Multiplexercise is a musical program designed to help children learn and retain the multiplication tables easily through song and dance. Multiplication and exercise what could be better? When I popped the DVD into the player, I had high hopes that the program would help my 10-year old with her multiplication trouble spots. Although my six-year old was busy doing battle with Beyblades, I thought this might also be a great way to do that sneaky homeschooling thing where the kids learn despite themselves.
So, I corralled the kids into the room and turned on the program. The first problem with this program, for me at least, is that there was no introductory statement to let the kids know what to expect. The song and dance starts as soon as you hit “Play” and you’re left to your own devices.
I’ve watched other musical/exercise math programs, and having the dancers/singers interact with their audience was always a plus. Although the website mentions that the kids should feel free to create their own choreography, the DVD doesn’t make that invitation to the audience.
My 10-year old liked the way “times” and “equal” were eliminated during the review of the multiplication tables. She is a minimalist at heart, so not having to recite or write a lot of words is right up her alley. But that really seemed to be the high point for her. My 13-year old was very vocal about her distaste for the multiplication program. I attempted to elicit at least one positive aspect of the program, so I asked her if she thought that the songs would help kids to remember their multiplication facts and her answer was, “Sure, the music is so annoying, how can anyone forget it.” Ouch!
Since there is an absence of narration, it took a few minutes to realize that each time the cast moved on to the next number the dance routine also changed. This lack of direction killed whatever enthusiasm my children may have had to dance along with the cast. All in all, my crew found the DVD to be lame.
From a parental point of view, the recitation style is a wonderful strategy to learn the multiplication table. The creators have the right idea, but the execution definitely could have been better. There are three levels to the DVD — Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Out of the three levels, we enjoyed (if we can use that word) the Advanced level the best, primarily because the choreography was a bit better. I really wanted to like this multiplcation program, but it just didn’t work for us.
Disclosure: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion of this product. No other compensation was received.