One of my weak points has always been math, so one of my worries is that my children will not have a well rounded math education (even though I know this may be more in my mind than anything else) so when I had the chance to review ScienceandMath.com newer math help video course, Mastering 5th Grade Math: Volume I: Essentials of Fractions I knew I had to use this with my 9 year old daughter. She is only doing 4th grade math currently but I know she is capable of doing more and sometimes struggles with fraction concepts so this came at the right time to help her out – and even I learned some things to help me in the future that I never learned in school. What is great about Mastering 5th Grade Math is that is goes lesson by lesson and breaks each concept down into manageable sizes for children, who otherwise, might get lost or who may already be lost but might benefit from a DVD style math tutoring session.
I appreciated that the first lesson was a review, so that she was able to refresh what she’d learned already in her other math curricula and sort of set herself up for understanding what was to come in the other lessons – there are 16 lessons in all and so far it seems most are under 10 or 15 minutes which is great for my daughter who has a short attention span and has a hard time focusing when lessons are drawn out. Jason Gibson who teaches the lessons on the DVD has a conversational style which helped in keeping my daughter focused and he also had a quieter voice that didn’t seem to rush her or make her feel overwhelmed with intensity – another plus in my book! It was easy to get started, just pop in the DVD in the computer drive and start watching – even if your child doesn’t think they need the review I recommend it be watched in order and proceed through the lessons systematically.
There are also included PDF worksheets that are in color, however I printed them in gray scale to save on ink and printed double sided to save on paper. Another idea I had was to pull up the lesson worksheet and have my daughter write her answers on a piece of notebook paper instead of printing every single worksheet out – because I don’t have to show all the work my daughter does so a worksheet or so would suffice with the rest of the work being done on notebook paper, however I haven’t done that yet as she doesn’t like to do extra writing. The answer key is also included, so if your child is independent they could watch the video lesson, do the worksheet and check their own answers and then re-work the problems they missed. I preferred to be the one to grade my daughter’s work and go over the missed problems with her so she felt I wasn’t leaving her totally on her own at this point.
In my opinion, this is not meant to be a full year math curricula and it’s more along the lines of math tutoring without the cost involved of hiring a real life tutor, which can be costly, but this way is much more affordable at just $15.99 for the physical DVD and $14.99 for the download version (available immediately upon payment) and works just as well – I know my parents hired many a math tutor for me and I think this would have been a wonderful way for me to have made more progress. As I’ve said I’m even learning along side my daughter in her watching the video lessons, which is a great experience for both of us – and while it does say 5th grade math it can also be used for 4th through 6th grade students who need a little challenge or a little remedial work in fractions. After using this product during the review period, I may even consider buying some extra programs for my other two children both as tutoring tool and to provide a break from the usual math curricula. You can also visit ScienceandMath.com on Facebook.
If you’d like to read what other homeschool parents thought visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.