Friday, September 10, 2010
TOS Review: Math Essentials
My current homeschool product up for review is Math Essentials. This program was created and is ran by Rick Fisher, a math professor from CA. It is an online program that covers Basic Math 4th grade thru Algebra I (Algebra II coming soon). The cost for a one year family subscription is $195. You can access it anytime and any where, as long as you have internet available. There is also a Free Sample Subscription if you would like to try it before you buy it.
HOW DOES IT WORK: Very simply, there is a short (usually less than 10 min) video lesson that explains the new concept and as Mr. Fisher is explaining it the child is supposed to be working it out on his/her own paper. This was a little difficult because my son and I felt like it was hard to keep up sometimes. He moves along very quickly. I would have to tweak this a bit and have my son WATCH and LISTEN first, and then WORK the problem(s). After the video you have review exercises that you can download and print out. These are worksheets that help the kids practice the new concept they’ve just learned.
After each section the child will take a quiz and there is a final exam after each course. There is also an evaluation exam to determine where to place your child and a practice exam to help them prepare for the final. The courses (Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra I) are broken into major concepts. For example Basic Math has sections on Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals etc. Each concept has multiple lesson videos ranging from as little as 4 videos to 16 videos so the topics are thoroughly covered.
As I mentioned earlier the one ‘gripe’ my family had with the program was that it was hard to keep up. He talked a little too fast for us, but I’m sure in time we would get used to it AND it was very easy to pause or rewind so it’s not really a big enough grip to stop us from using the program. Also the videos are straight and to the point so it wouldn’t be too difficult to watch them a couple of times.
Math is a very important subject and I really like the idea of having a math professional teach my child, so that is a very big plus for Math Essentials.
Another advantage to using Math Essentials are the speed drills. These are super fun and easy. I missed 6x9 but I bet I never will again…there’s just something about seeing it there on the wheel that has engrained it into my memory (I know, it should’ve already been there but I guess I forgot it in my haste to finish). This is an excellent exercise to help your kids brush up on their math skills before jumping back into school, or to help them learn a new skill.
My personal opinion is that Math Essentials would be a very wise investment for a family with multiple children learning multiple levels of math. The cost is kind of high for just one child, but then again if you’re only homeschooling one child you may be able to invest more.
If you’d like to see what other homeschoolers are saying about this product click here.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.