Wednesday, October 2, 2013

VideoText Interactive Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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When it comes to Math, I hand the teaching over to someone else. I know enough Math to get through everyday life but I am not ashamed to say when it comes to Algebra and Geometry I am not comfortable teaching it. I can help when needed but want to make sure the boys are learning the material properly. So when a review opportunity presents itself I am all for it. VideoText Interactive is our newest Math Review. I decided to go with Taylor on this one as he is the one struggling with Math, he is moving into Algebra this year and is feeling a bit overwhelmed. So went with the Algebra: A Complete Course

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Now I was worried at first because he is not really ready for Algebra, but I found out quickly this was just what he needed. The full course is Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. Geared for kids 8th grade and up or if you follow their placement prompts than you can start when you feel your child is ready. For us this was later rather than sooner, Taylor is beginning 9 th grade and is not grasping Math as quickly as his brothers. Now if it had been Nick or Alyx we would have most likely been ready years ago. The joy of homeschooling is moving at each child's unique pace so as not to cause a meltdown(in our case). This has proven to be an optimal theory in our home as our kids now LOVE to learn as they are not feeling overwhelmed. 
One thing we noticed right off the bat is this is a no nonsense, straight to the point learning approach. No games to play to win points, just the lesson to be learned and the work to be done. This works for some and not for others. Taylor it depends on his mood. SO some days this worked for us and some days not so much. This was OK with me though, as he was getting what he was learning it just might move a little slower for us more than others. It is truly my child's personality not the program. 
Being that the student doesn't truly interact with the teacher, I did have to intervene a little to help expand on what he learned from watching the video of the lesson. Sometimes he had to rewatch the lesson to have it click before he could sit down and do the work. The video lessons last 5-10 minutes, they suggest pausing the video every 15- 20 seconds so that the child can answer the question posed before hearing the teacher's answer. This drove Taylor nuts to say the least. He needed to watch the entire video through without interruption and then watched it again pausing only when he had a question that required my interaction and help. 
Then he would sit down and complete the included Student WorkText and then go onto the Solutions Manual, also included and self grade his work, if he found errors there were helpful steps to help him figure out where he made his mistake. I found this very useful, instead of just getting them wrong, he was able to figure out why they were wrong and work through the errors to come up with the correct solution and answer. This was key in him mastering the concept not just learning a trick or formula or tool to come up with the answers. He is truly learning the concepts behind the math. After a couple lessons there were progress Quizzes and Tests. This was a true way to make sure he was really grasping the concepts he was being taught. 
VideoText Interactive offers 2 complete courses that when finished you will be able to allow your child to claim the credit for the following courses. There programs allow for the student to work through the full courses over 3 years. Now if your child moves quicker they may not require the 3 full school years to accomplish this, it is all up to you and of course your child and how well they master the concepts they are being taught. 
When a student completes Algebra: A Complete Course, the student can claim credits for all of the following:
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
With the completion of Geometry: A Complete Course, the student can also claim credits for:
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Pre-Calculus
    All that I mentioned above, the access to all of the 176 Video Lessons, 360 pages of Course Notes, the 590 page Student WorkText and Solutions Manuals, as well as the Progress Tests are included for 3 full years all online for you to view and print as you go through the program. We printed the WorkText a week at a time and then three hole punched them to put them into a 3-ring binder. The Solutions Manuals I printed and put them into a binder as well as the Course Notes. This made it easy to maintain and by only printing a weeks lessons at a time it left Taylor feeling less overwhelmed. When he looks at a huge book of lessons, he feels defeated before even starting. You can do whichever is best for your students. You will get access to the online program for 2 students. You do not need to activate the 2nd student when you gain access, but can give them the student info and then activate that student in the future when it is time to start the program. So the price for this program for 3 years for 2 students is $299. You can add additional children for just $49 each. When you break this down this is $50 for each year of Math per student using the 2 student plan. Now when you think about it, your current Math is most likely costing you more than $50 per year, per student. Your current Math doesn't come with a helpline either, does it?

($299 pricing reflects licensing for two students. Add an additional student in your family’s household for $49. A student license will last three years from the date it is activated for each student, and instructor accounts may also be turned on for a short period by request for SAT/CLEP prep after a student license has expired. Online Programs have a full 30-day money back guarantee.))

   Now the only downside I saw about this program may be an issue for us but not for others, I was looking for an independent Math program for Taylor, where I was way more hands off than this required me to be. For most parents this is not an issue, but for me it can become an issue as he gets more into Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, so we are just going to see how it goes and cross that bridge when we come to it.
  So in closing if you are looking for a comprehensive Math curriculum, that can be used with more than one student and covers the span of several years, but still requires you to engage and interact in the Math learning with your child, then I highly recommend VideoText Interactive, for either Algebra, Geometry or Both. If you are apprehensive about Math like myself this may or may not be the program for you, head to their website and poke around and see if this is a good fit for your family, also be sure to click on the banner below and check out all of the Crew Reviews to see what their experiences were like with VideoText Interactive.

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