Come Home: to Millie's Math House
Author: Denise Jesus
Date: April, 1994
Keywords: Edmark Education Software program review educational children kids
Text: Millie's Math House is an award winning program that helps children ages 2 to 6 learn early math skills in a fun, playful environment. The program comes on four 800k disks, and includes a Users Guide and Registration Card. The system requirements are: a Macintosh Plus or higher; hard disk; System 6.0.7 or higher; 1MB for monochrome; 2 MB for color, 4 MB for System 7 (5.5 MB required during installation).
Optional: TouchWindow*; microphone for Sound-in; printer. Installation is easy. Preferences can be toggled to: Allow Printing; Show Stop Sign; Play Theme Music; and adjustments can be made for special needs users. The main menu of Millie's Math House is an activity room with shelves holding six activities, each activity has its own theme music and two modes of play (explore & discover mode and question & answer mode). Children toggle between the two modes of play by clicking inside the picture frame in each activity room. The activities are: Little, Middle, and Big; Mouse House; Bing & Boing, Build-A-Bug; Number Machine; and Cookie Factory. Millie is a charming cow who welcomes children into her house. To add to the fun Millie speaks to the children and her eyes follow the curser. There's also an animated helicopter and jack-in-the-box. Little, Middle, and Big is an activity where children find just the right shoes to fit three adorable characters. Clicking on the cat above the shoe wardrobe increases the difficulty by mixing up the shoe sizes. Mouse House is an activity where guided by blueprints, or their own creativity, children build houses for mice. When the house is complete the mice move in! Children can also print and color their houses. Bing & Boing is an activity where children learn to recognize patterns of animals and shapes, accompanied by wacky sound effects. Children can also record their own custom sound effects. Build-A-Bug is an activity where children can build a colorful, animated bug while learning about numbers and sets. Number Machine is an activity where children use the keys of a cash register to find the little critters that correspond to the numerals. Cookie Factory is a counting activity where children decorate cookies with jelly beans. Children develop problem-solving skills while exploring the cookie machine, and learn the sequence of events required to make a treat for Harley the Horse. If they count incorrectly Harley says ''This one's for you Froggy'', and the cookie is tossed to the frog sitting atop Harley's head, who gulps it down in one bite. Children navigate between the activity rooms by clicking the objects in the main menu activity room; clicking on the stop sign icon ends the program returns you to the finder (you can turn off this feature to limit access); and clicking on the notebook icon brings up a dialog box that directs you to hold down the option & command keys while pressing A, to access information files for adults. For each activity adults can read up on game play (how-to), learning goals, school play, home play, and about kids (what to expect). The school play and home play sections each include suggestions for two away-from-the-computer activities. These files are well written and are a helpful addition for parents & teachers wishing to assist children in their development. There are icons on the Adult Information Notebook window that return you to Millie's activity room , navigate within the notebook, allow you to print the information on the page, or access the Records Folder. From the Records Folder you can set up a record for each child using the program, track how long each child spends in each activity room, record each child's total responses as well as each child's correct responses. Credentialed as an Early Childhood Education Specialist, I found the activities in Millie's Math House to represent sound mathematical concepts, presented in a developmentally correct manner. Millie's Math House is loaded with fun, sound effects, and surprises. Your children will love it! (I had a pretty good time too.) Millie's Math House is available from Edmark Corporation, P.O. Box 3218, Redmond, WA 98073-3218. 1-800-426-0856. $49.95 retail, street price is $32.98 (MacZone).
Copyright © april, 1994 by Denise Jesus