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Frequently Asked Questions



Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill Questions

QM1. How do I know what grade level to start my student on in Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill?

QM2. My student doesn't remember his password for his Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. How can I get my student's password?

QM3. Can I change grade level for my student who is using Dr. Aardsma's Math Drills in the middle of my one year subscription?

QM4. I have the old version of Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill in the CD format. I have used it over and over and love it! I'm excited about your new web-based version! Do you provide any discounts so that I can upgrade to the new web-based version of Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill?

QM5. I have Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill on CD version. I am having trouble getting it to work properly. Who do I contact for customer support?

QM6. Is Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill used in conjunction with a math curriculum or does it replace it?

QM7. I just tried Math 1 for my son. It starts very slowly, with just a few simple questions. I want him to get to practice his speed at these earlier addition and subtraction levels, but he certainly knows these facts and to start with so few cards is way too easy for him. Is there a way for me to set the number of flash cards that he does in a lesson?

QM8. I am a school administrator interested in setting my teachers up with Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. Is there a way that I can purchase a school license so I don't have to pay for each student individually?

QM9. What happens if the student completes all facts for a given Math drill level before the one year registration is completed? Will they automatically be moved up to the next level?

QM10. Is there a way to slow down the math speed? There is a link to change the spelling speed, but I didn't see one for the math speed. The default math speed is too fast and stresses out my children. Help!


Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill Questions

QS1. My student doesn't remember his password for Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill? How can I get my student's password?

QS2. How do I know what grade level to start my student on in Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill?

QS3. What does it mean when it says "0 words mastered to date" on the Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill e-mail report?

QS4. Can I change grade level for a student of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill in the middle of my one year subscription?

QS5. I have the CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill. How do I go about upgrading and how much does the new web-based version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill cost?

QS6. I am having a problem with the CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill. I cannot get it to install on my student's new laptop. Can you give me a number to call for help with this problem?

QS7. Do I need to use Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill with a spelling curriculum or is it a stand-alone spelling program?

QS8. I registered my student for Spelling 7. Why are there some very simple words in the Spelling 7 drill?

QS9. I registered my student for Spelling 8. Why are there some very simple words in the Spelling 8 drill?

QS10. I've tried the demo for Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill and I am unable to hear the spelling words. Any suggestions?

QS11. We are having trouble with the 'Too slow; hurry!' message popping up too soon, sometimes even before the sentence for the word has been given. Are you able to help us?

QS12. We are having trouble with long delays (like 20 seconds!) before the sentence for the word begins to play. Are you able to help us?


Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill Q & A


QM1. How do I know what grade level to start my student on in Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill?

AM1. Most students can start their Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill at their current math grade level. For example, if your child is in Grade 4 and is keeping up just fine with the curriculum, start with the Math 4 drill. At the beginning of each new level, Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill quickly reviews flashcards from the earlier levels. This ensures that the student has the basics down pat before starting any new flashcards for the new level.

For students who are not up to grade level in math or are struggling at their current grade level, start Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill one year behind their grade level. For example, if the student is in Grade 3 and is needing to count on her fingers, or ask for help with the basic math facts that she should know to do the curriculum successfully, start her with the Math 2 drill.

My wife, Helen, has homeschooled all ten of our children. She has used Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill since the early 1980's. She is still using it with the remaining children at home. She has not hesitated to put our children back one year on the drills if she felt it necessary. She would postpone the math curriculum for a time, even up to a year if necessary, to give them time to first learn the basic math facts via Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. This was a wise thing to do. The children were eventually able to accelerate in their math in the later years (doing two years in one, for example), once the firm foundation of the basic math facts had been laid.

QM2. My student doesn't remember his password for his Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. How can I get my student's password?

AM2. When you registered your student for Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill, you were sent a receipt by e-mail. This e-mail contains the student's password. If you cannot find the e-mail, use the "Contact Us" link at left and request the student's password. From the e-mail address where your reports are sent, send us the name of the student and the drill (type and level) you need the password for and we will send you the password in a return e-mail.

QM3. Can I change the level of the drill my student is taking in the middle of my one year subscription?

AM3. Yes, you are able to change the grade level for your student at any time during your one year registration. Simply click on the "Change Student's Grade Level for a Drill" link at left and follow the instructions.

QM4. I have the old CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. I have used it over and over and love it! I'm excited about your new web-based version! Do you provide any discounts for those of us who would like to upgrade to the new web-based version?

AM4. Yes, we do provide discounts to those who have purchased the old CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. We offer a free one year registration to the drill of your choice for every CD mailed back to us. Mail us your old CD (use the address listed in the "Contact Us" link at left) along with the first and last name of the student, the e-mail address where you would like to receive automatically e-mailed reports on your student's progress, and a phone number. Once we receive your CD we will register your student and notify you by e-mail.

QM5. I have Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill on CD version. I am having trouble getting it to work properly. Who do I contact for customer support?

AM5. The old CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill is no longer being supported. But the good news is that you can upgrade to the brand new web-based Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill for free! See the answer to the previous question for details.

QM6. Is Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill used in conjunction with a math curriculum or does it replace it?

AM6. Great question and an important one! Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill is to be used as a supplement to a math curriculum. It is not a math curriculum, but a drill to solidify the foundational math facts essential to success with any math curriculum.

QM7. I just tried Math 1 for my son. It starts very slowly, with just a few simple questions. I want him to get to practice his speed at these earlier addition and subtraction levels, but he certainly knows these facts and to start with so few cards is way too easy for him. Is there a way for me to set the number of flash cards that he does in a lesson?

AM7. Most students starting out in the Math 1 drill are just beginning their Grade 1 year. These students are just 6 years old and I strongly discourage any effort to accelerate the drill for them. For older or more advanced students you have two options.

1. You can increase the number of Math 1 drills your student does per day. The drill automatically increases the number of flash cards per drill by 1 every 3 drills. It starts with 5 flash cards at the beginning of Math 1 and works its way up to 20 flash cards. Thus, you can get to more flash cards per drill more quickly by having your student do multiple drills per day.

2. You can move your student up one level, to Math 2. (See AM3 above for how to do this.) On the directions for the math drills it says, "If you are in doubt about which of two levels to choose, select the higher level as long as the student has the necessary attention span to handle the number of questions per drill at that level. The drill will automatically decrease the rate at which new material is introduced if the student gets into unfamiliar material, and the student will have ample opportunity to learn new material through abundant review." Math 2 starts at 20 flash cards and goes up to 50 flash cards. Math 2 will review all of the Math 1 facts until your student has mastered them, so the student will not miss any material.

QM8. I am a school administrator interested in setting my teachers up with Dr. Aardsma's Math Drill. Is there a way that I can purchase a school license so I don't have to pay for each student individually?

AM8. We are pleased to offer quantity discounts to groups of students administered by a single teacher or parent. Click on the "Quantity Discounts" link at left. Follow the instructions on that page. I think you will find our quantity discounts utility to be a great money and time saver for you and your teachers.

QM9. What happens if the student completes all facts for a given Math drill level before the one year registration is completed? Will they automatically be moved up to the next level?

AM9. Normally a student will find it appropriate to stick with a given level for a year, but occasionally this may not be the case. Suppose a student who is registered for Math 4 moves through the material relatively rapidly for whatever reason. After six months the student has all of the Math 4 facts down pat. The drill will not automatically advance the student to Math 5. As long as the student is registered for Math 4, he or she will review only the Math 1 through Math 4 facts once the Math 4 facts have been mastered. Review over a significant period of time (e.g., months) is usually necessary to fix the facts in the student's memory.

The drills assume a parent or teacher is getting the automatically e-mailed reports from DrAardsmasDrills.com, and that they are deciding what drill level the student should be in based on the history of reported scores and their knowledge of the student's ability. If you feel your student needs to move up to the next level part way through the year, we are happy to make that change for you at no extra cost. See AM3 above for details.

QM10. Is there a way to slow down the math speed? There is a link to change the spelling speed, but I didn't see one for the math speed. The default math speed is too fast and stresses out my children. Help!

AM10. There is no default math speed. Math Drill sets the speed individually on each flashcard according to the student's own best time on that flashcard. That is, the student is competing only against himself. The drill keeps track of the student's best time and adds an extra margin of time before it will signal "too slow". Your student should not feel he is in a break-neck race against the clock. He should relax and do the drill at the pace he feels comfortable with. The function of the speed requirement is only to keep him focused---to train concentration. A student who is relaxed yet properly focused should seldom see the "too slow" message.

If your student has been racing against the clock he may have gotten his best times down remarkably low on some questions, making it hard for him to match his own best performance in the future. Don't worry. Math Drill will automatically adjust these low values to more reasonable values as the student relaxes and does the drill at a more comfortable pace.



Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Q & A



QS1. My student doesn't remember his password for Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill. How can I get my student's password?

AS1. When you registered your student for Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill, you were sent a receipt by e-mail. This e-mail contains the student's password. If you cannot find the e-mail, use the "Contact Us" link at left and request the student's password. From the e-mail address where your reports are sent, send us the name of the student and the drill (type and level) you need the password for and we will send you the password in a return e-mail.

QS2. How do I know what grade level to start my student on in Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill?

AS2. There is no initial review in Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drills grades 1 through 6. So, for example, your student will only get grade 5 level words in the Spelling 5 drill. Most language students who are up to grade level can start their Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill at their current grade level. For example, if your child is in grade 5 and is keeping up just fine with the curriculum --- is able to write the essays and answer the questions in their school work with proper spelling --- then start with Spelling 5. If after a few weeks you find that your student is consistently getting very low scores (below 70), then go back a grade level for a few months to a year. With consistent daily drills students usually soon catch up and are able to move back up to their grade level.

For language students who are struggling with spelling at their current grade level, then start Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill one year behind their grade level. For example, if the student is in Grade 6 language and cannot spell well enough to write essays or essay questions required for their grade level, start her with Spelling 5. If you find that even this is too hard --- that she is consistently getting low scores (below 70) --- then go back another grade level for a few months to a year. Once spelling skills at that grade level have been mastered, as evidenced by consistently good scores, then go up to the next grade level.

My wife, Helen, has homeschooled all ten of our children. She has used Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill since 2002 and she is still using it with the remaining children at home. She has not hesitated to put our children back one, two or even three years on the spelling drills if she felt that it was necessary. The boys, particularly, were late readers, so their spelling was characteristically one year behind grade level, and sometimes two or even three years behind grade level. Helen kept them progressing in their reading, despite the fact that their spelling was behind. She did not require much written work for language until the spelling level was brought up to grade level. Helen had them give their answers orally, and didn't make a big deal about it. Once their spelling matched their grade level in language, she then required them to give written answers for essays and essay questions. The earlier written work in language just never happened. It never hurt them. One of our sons could hardly spell until well into high school and proceeded to graduate with honors from university.

QS3. What does it mean when it says "0 words mastered to date" on the Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill e-mail report?

AS3. When the student first starts taking Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill, it will say "0 words mastered to date" on the e-mail report. It will take a few days of doing Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill before the number of words mastered gets above zero. Each word is given repeatedly in consecutive drills. Once the child gets the word right three times in a row, they will no longer be asked that word and it goes on the "words mastered to date" list. For example, after they have mastered three words, it will say on the Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill e-mail report, "3 words mastered to date." The number of words mastered gives you an idea of your student's progress.

QS4. Can I change grade level for a student of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill in the middle of my one year subscription?

AS4. Yes, you are able to change the grade level for your student at any time during your one year registration. Simply click on the "Change Student's Grade Level for a Drill" link at left and follow the instructions.

QS5. I have the CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill. How do I go about upgrading and how much does the new web-based version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill cost?

AS5. We provide discounts to those who have purchased the old CD versions of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drills. We offer a free one year registration to the drill of your choice for every CD mailed back to us. Mail us your old CD (use the address listed in the "Contact Us" link at left) along with the first and last name of the student, the e-mail address where you would like to receive automatically e-mailed reports on your student's progress, and a phone number. Once we receive your CD we will register your student and notify you by e-mail.

QS6. I am having a problem with the old CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill. I cannot get it to install on my student's new laptop. Can you give me a number to call for help with this problem?

AS6. The old CD version of Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill is no longer being supported. But the good news is that you can upgrade to the web-based Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill for free! See the answer to the previous question for details.

QS7. Do I need to use Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill with a spelling curriculum or is it a stand-alone spelling program?

AS7. Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill is not a spelling curriculum --- it does not teach phonetics or spelling rules, for example. It is intended to be used as a supplement to a spelling curriculum. It provides opportunity for students to practice what they have learned about phonetics and spelling rules, and it expands students' exposure to spelling (and vocabulary) words.

QS8. I registered my student for Spelling 7. Why are there some very simple words in the Spelling 7 drill?

AS8. Spelling 7 contains a random assortment of roughly half of the words in our combined word lists from grade 1 through grade 6. The Spelling 8 drill contains the remaining words. The student taking Spelling 7 or Spelling 8 who has previously taken Spelling 1 through Spelling 6 will encounter both easy and hard words, some review and some totally new. These advanced drills thus provide opportunity to review and consolidate what has already been learned as well as to continue to sharpen the student's spelling and vocabulary skills.

QS9. I registered my student for Spelling 8. Why are there some very simple words in the Spelling 8 drill?

AS9. See the answer to the previous question.

QS10. I've tried the demo for Dr. Aardsma's Spelling Drill and I am unable to hear the spelling words. Any suggestions?

AS10. When a Spelling Drill first starts it plays a sentence continuously in a loop, all the while it displays "Adjust the sound volume". If you cannot hear any sound, first make sure your speakers are turned on and the volume is turned up. Test them with some sound you already know your computer can play, using your computer's media player or by browsing to a web news video, for example.

Once you know the speakers are working, close the browser and browse to the Spelling Drill over again.

If you still cannot hear any sound then it is likely that the browser you are using does not properly implement the HTML5 web audio standard. Try the Drill with a modern version of a browser such as Chrome or Firefox or (for mobile devices) One Browser. These can be downloaded for free from the Internet.

QS11. We are having trouble with the 'Too slow; hurry!' message popping up too soon, sometimes even before the sentence for the word has been given. Are you able to help us?

AS11. You will not encounter this problem if you use a modern version of a standard browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.

You can download free browsers from the Internet. It's easy.

QS12. We are having trouble with long delays (like 20 seconds!) before the sentence for the word begins to play. Are you able to help us?

AS12. You will not encounter this problem if you use a modern version of a standard browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.

You can download free browsers from the Internet. It's easy.






    
     

 
 
 
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