Pre-Algebra Tutor, Volume I
I would love to have had the Pre-Algebra Tutor before my boys started down the Algebra path. The instructor, Jason, does a good job of explaining things in laymen’s terms. There can be times when you read a definition or rule in Algebra in your textbook and come away feeling a little confused. Jason just tells it like it is. Both of my boys agreed that even though they’re both beyond the scope of this particular Math Tutor DVD, it was a helpful review as they jump back into the school year. In fact, my older son has struggled with Absolute Value, but when Jason explained it on the DVD, it suddenly clicked for him. I think this year will be a little easier now that he understands it better.
Jason writes everything on a white board, provides plenty of examples, and speaks conversationally. Now I will admit that when I watched it, I kind of got drowsy. But I think it doesn’t fit my learning style, as I seem to get that way with most instructional DVDs (my apologies to all those wonderful people who make them!). There are also sample videos on the website, so check those out to get a sense of what the DVDs are like.
My youngest son has a hard time learning Algebra from me, even though I understand it just fine. As you can imagine, this has caused some issues during math for us. But a program like this makes all the difference in the world. He loves computers and videos and this really works for him. There are those times that you need a little outside help and if it’s in Pre-Algebra, I would recommend getting this DVD set. Of course, they also have DVDs covering all other areas of Math, so whatever your need, you should be able to find something to help.
Because the concepts are divided into different segments, you can easily get to a specific concept to work on with your child – whether that child is learning it for the first time or needs a little review. These can be watched by your child independently, but if you watch along, you’ll be able to reinforce what Jason has taught. The two DVDs are broken down into nine lessons for a total of five hours of instruction. Concepts covered in this set are:
- Real Numbers
- The Number Line
- Great Than, Less Than, Equal To
- Absolute Value & Adding Integers
- Subtracting Integers
- Multiplying Integers
- Dividing Integers
- Powers and Exponents
- Order of Operations
Texas Instruments TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor
If you’re not familiar with them, the TI-83 and TI-84 are both graphing calculators with advanced functions. For those who don’t really enjoy reading through typically dry product manuals, Math Tutor’s DVD is the way to go. They have an enlarged working calculator on the screen and they walk you through the myriad of functions available on this calculator. It’s great to see exactly how to operate it. They give a number of examples for each function, allowing you to follow along and try it for yourself.
The DVDs work very well for anyone. Personally, I’m a right-brained, visual person, so seeing the functions done in a way that I can follow along was great. My son is right-brained and doesn’t always learn as well directly from me, and he thought this was a wonderful way to learn.
It comes with three DVDs which contain a total of eight hours of video. With 37 total lessons, they average around just 13 minutes each. Having your child use the DVDs will enable them to learn all the functions of the calculator and get the most out of it. At a list price of $31.99, it’s a good value for all your child can learn (or you, if you’re interested!).
Your child could watch these independently as they don’t require any parental oversight. Since it’s on DVD, you have the convenience of letting them watch on the computer, TV, or a portable DVD player – whatever works best for your family.
You can also see what other TOS Crew members had to say in their reviews here.
Disclaimer: I was provided free copies of these two Math Tutor DVDs to review. The opinions stated here are my own.