Friday, September 10, 2010

Math Essentials, America's Math Teacher, a TOS Crew Review

Ever wonder what you'd do when your child's math actually went over your head? Hire a tutor? Travel to a teaching/learning center? Tutors and learning centers can be pricey and scheduling around a tutor's availability can be a hassle.

Are you a parent who explains math a lot differently from the way your child learns it? I have. That dynamic is the set up for a lot of frustration at home.

America's Math Teacher is an online teaching web site, a sort of substitute for parent and/or teacher. AMT is geared for children older than where my homeschooler is from a developmental standpoint, so I reviewed this one without involving her. She and I are still working in a really concrete manipulative mode, with real objects, mainly in real life situations.

America's Math Teacher offers parents and students video teaching and written exercises (downloadable) when learning and practicing math. Students who would like a demonstration may access videos that show them the how-to. A male voice-over narrates the action on the screen, and the male speaks calmly and slowly. I like his tone and pace. He is no-nonsense, yet his tone is confident. I get a sense that yes, I can do this, too. (The videos are not closed-captioned.)

CEO Rick Fisher tells viewers that there's not a lot of "razzle dazzle" in his videos, and he's right. They're simple so as not to be distracting or confusing. He uses a red "pen" and a black "pen" on a "whiteboard". He is excellent at spotlighting potential problem areas ahead of time, showing us the right way or a smart way to set up a math problem as we write it down and work through it. The 85 videos are short and sweet, ranging from one minute 44 seconds to 10 minutes 49 seconds in length.

After the student (or parent) watches the video, the next step is to download and go through the written activities that accompany each video.

AMT's first video begins with adding three-digit whole numbers, which AMT calls 4th and 5th grade math. AMT covers Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algegra, and Algebra. "America's Math Teacher Courses align with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics." according to the web site.

My homeschooler is not ready for 4th and 5th grade math, although she is certainly old enough for it. She and I could do some of the speed drills together, but I would not pay for this program for just the speed drills. My homeschooler is simply not ready for a math approach that is all pencil and paper. I would absolutely subscribe to AMT for my school-building schoolers, though, should they feel challenged by work at school. My husband and I would be able to watch the videos with our children as we assist with homework, and the subscription is less expensive than a tutor.

AMT offers evaluations, too (the folks at AMT have been busy working out some kinks, and the eval feature continues to improve).

Try some video and written exercise samples free HERE.

A one-year subscription is priced at $195.00.

To read the reviews of my Crewmates about America's Math Teacher, please go HERE.

As part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I received a free trial at America's Math Teacher at no cost to me so that I could review them here, on my blog. I received no money for this review and am not obligated to write a positive review.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

GReat review!

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