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Friday, September 10, 2010

Product Review: Math Essentials

Does your student struggle with mathematics? Do you struggle to teach your student difficult math concepts that you know are essential for future math success? Is your student doing fine but you wish you had just a little extra instruction in certain areas? Do you want to improve your ability level in complex math concepts?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, I have a program that may help you achieve your math goals.

As part of the TOS homeschool review group, I received a free trial subscription to America's Math Teacher in exchange for a review on my blog. I received no other compensation.

America's Math Teacher is an online math program designed for students in grades 4 to algebra level (algebra II is coming soon). Each video lesson is designed to be as close to a one-on-one tutoring session as possible. Each and every topic is explained in a clear and organized manner. Videos are grouped according to topic and progress in difficulty as your student moves through each lesson. The program provides written lessons for the students to complete after each video lesson. Quizzes and exams are also provided for each AMT course. In addition to the video lessons, the site offers a speed drill wheel to help students master their number facts as well as a resource center that offers information, glossaries, and math skill games. Click here to visit the website and learn more about this exciting program!

The cost for a one-year subscription to the site is $195 per family. This allows you full access to the entire site including online access from any computer and access to all the courses. For more information about AMT pricing, CLICK HERE.

How the program worked for us:

*I loved having the lessons for extra practice or to complement a concept that James was learning. They were short and easy to fit into our day. Sometimes I would make him watch the videos twice just for the extra practice.

*The on-line speed drills were fun and engaging.

*The video lessons were valuable for me as well, allowing me a new perspective to teach a difficult concept.

*Although there were no outlined day-to-day lesson plans, the topics were clearly labeled and easy for me to locate. I don't think I could use this as a stand-alone program, but it was great as an enrichment aid.

Ways the program didn't work for our family:

*James is only in the beginning of the fourth grade and is already working at a year above his age level. Due to this, he hasn't really been exposed to many of the math topics covered on the site. Our ability to use this program was limited because of this. This would not be a problem in a family with older students.

*Since we only have one student who falls into the fourth grade and above category, the price is a little high for our family. But when I have four or five kids who could benefit from the program, I might revisit the site.

*Although I found the videos engaging, James found them boring. I had him take notes during the lessons (which is encouraged from the site), but many times I would catch him doodling on the paper instead.

*The lack of clear day-to-day lesson plans made it difficult to fit into the routine of our homeschooling day. As time passed, the program became more of an afterthought for our family. Many of the valuable aspects of the site were overlooked by us simply because I didn't have a "schedule" to follow while using the site. As I have stated in previous reviews, I HAVE to have a schedule or else that material gets forgotten when real life takes over.

My final thoughts on the program:

Although the price is high, I would definitely consider this program when I have more children able to use it. I consider it more of a math tutor then a stand-alone program, and I can see myself relying on it to help teach difficult math concepts (since that is an area that I struggle in). At this time I don't think this program is the right fit for my family, but I wouldn't hesistate to recommend it to any family that might benefit from it. Since changes seem to be made regularly, I will be checking back on this program in the near future.


Dawn Chandler said...

Loved the honesty in your review! (And the whole premise of your blog!) When you get back down to GA, look me up! It would be so neat to meet someone from the Crew!

SharonHill said...

You can also try for instant and the most efficient math help for all grades from highly educated and dedicated tutors, at the most affordable price.