Monday, February 1, 2010

TOS Crew Review -- Math Tutor

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Word problems. Just the phrase makes many grade school kids shudder. However, they really show us where math hits the real world. Kids need to have the ability to apply their math skills to real life situations.

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Since many, many kids struggle with word problems it only makes sense that a good math program would come along to address just that problem.

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But, there's more. A great company like this wouldn't stop there, right? Nope, they have lots of other great products including a DVD geared toward preschoolers to help them in their counting skills with the help of some beautiful photography.

Product: Math Tutor DVD
Details: Basic Math Word Problem Tutor offers 8 hours of teaching sessions on DVD that address specific aspects of word problem solving starting with addition of whole numbers and continuing through ratios and proportions. The Young Minds Numbers and Counting DVD offers a perfect way for preschoolers to learn and reinforce their counting skills and color recognition all while listening to classical music.
Price: $26.99 for the Word Problem DVD (you could hardly get one hour with a tutor for that price, let alone 8 hours!) and $19.99 for the Young Minds DVD

What we loved . . .
about Basic Word Problems:
  • Focused Teaching time. Each approximately half hour lesson focuses on one concept through teaching, illustration, and then problems worked together. Students should definitely have paper and pencil while watching the video.
  • Lots of examples. If your child is struggling to grasp a topic, they most likely will not still be at the end of the teaching time. He takes you step by step through the process and then walks through numerous illustrations to make sure the concept and methods are cemented in the student's learning.
  • Professional presentation. Easy to follow, easy to watch, easy to understand.
  • Thorough. With 15 lessons on word problems of various types, they pretty well hit the main types of word problems the typical student will encounter.


about Young Minds:
  • Focused on one main concept. While kids enjoy the pictures of nature and transportation, they learn to count and recognize the numbers 1-10. The basic starting point of math.
  • Kids enjoy watching and participating. Although my four and six year old are well beyond counting to ten, they enjoyed watching the video and counting along.
  • Great music. The background music is all wonderful classical music that enhances the video presentation.



Some considerations . . .

  • Repetitious. For students that do grasp things quickly, they might not enjoy the many examples shown to make sure the concept is clear. But, you could easily pause the DVD after the first example or two and let them try a few on their own to be sure they have really grasped it.
  • Video taped teaching. This is just a DVD of a teacher up front, writing on a marker board. Obviously, a DVD is not a hands on math tool. It is a good teacher and very engaging, so for kids that need to stay involved a simple pencil and paper should do the trick.
  • As far as the Young Minds DVD goes, it does focus mainly on counting. Many kids grow through that age quickly, so this DVD may not have a very long life of usefulness in your home.

These DVDs can be very useful tools. They meet a definite need in many young people's educations and they may be just what you are looking for in your house. Especially if you like to pull together your own curriculum and are looking for something to help out with those sometimes troublesome word problems or something to keep your preschooler educationally engaged for a few minutes while you attend to someone else. The DVDs are definitely well done and thorough.


For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.


Disclaimer: These DVDs were provided to me free of charge from Math Tutor DVD as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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