Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TOS Review: Math Tutor

The hardest part of starting back to school always seems to be math.      Maybe that is because math is not my best subject and my Big Guy is not so crazy about it either.      Luckily, my Little Guy loves math just like his Dad and his Aunt S.     Whew!   

Math Tutor sent me two tutor videos to review right as the school year was to begin and one of them was their pre-algebra tutor.    Big Guy and I decided that this would be a great way to start the first week of school.    We could brush up on our algebra skills before jumping back into our Algebra 1 curriculum.      Because the run time on the DVD is 5 hours, we split this up into one hour sessions each day over the first week.

The subjects covered on the Pre-Algebra Tutor DVD are...

Disk 1
Sect 1 - Real Numbers
Sect 2 - The Number Line
Sect 3 - Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Sect 4 - Absolute Value and Adding Integers
Sect 5 - Subtracting Integers

Disk 2
Sect 6 - Multiplying Integers
Sect 7 - Dividing Integers
Sect 8 - Powers and Exponents
Sect 9 - Order of Operations

The instructor on the DVD immediately encourages you NOT to have any pencils or paper, but to just listen to all the instructions and absorb the materials that he is teaching.       Oh my.     This is really great if you have a visual/auditory learning like my Little Guy.     However, if you have a tactile/auditory learner like my Big Guy then a lot of this is going to be lost.      

Because the video is geared towards watching and listening it was tough to try to encourage my Big Guy to work along with the instructor.     I encouraged that after I noticed that he was getting easily distracted.    

I would have loved if this video would have come with a feature which gave students problems to work, then asked them to pause and work the problems and then press to check their work.    

The second video we were sent was "Unlock the Power of your TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor".     We were both fascinated with this video since we pretty much felt if  our calculator has "power" it is definitely locked inside.       We only watched a few random samples from this video because we are going to use the entire video as part of our second semester math.     I thought this DVD was an extra value because it has 8 hours of instruction time.

Disk 1
Section 1: Overview of the Calculator
Section 2: The Mode Menu
Section 3: Basic Arithmetic and Exponents
Section 4: Logarithms and Square Roots
Section 5: Sin, Cos, Tan
Section 6: Scientific Notation and Storing Variables
Section 7: The Math Menu and Catalog Menu
Section 8: Convert between Fractions and Decimals
Section 9: Finding the Min and Max of a Function
Section 10: Calculating Derivatives and Integrals
Section 11: Absolute Value, Rounding, and Integers
Section 12: Converting between Degrees and Radians
Section 13: Working with Complex Numbers

Disk 2
Section 14: Using the Equation Solver
Section 15: Graphing and Tracing Functions
Section 16: Using Tables and Split Screen Modes
Section 17: Find the Exact Value of a Function Using Graphing
Section 18: Finding the Zeros of a Function using Graphing
Section 19: Finding the Max and Min of a Function using Graphing
Section 20: Finding Intersections of Functions using Graphing
Section 21: Finding the Derivative of a Function by Graphing
Section 22: Calculating the Definite Integral by Graphing
Section 23: Drawing on a Graph
Section 24: Graphing and Tracing Sequences

Disk 3
Section 25: Graphing and Tracing Parametric Equations
Section 26: Converting between Rectangular and Polar Coordinates
Section 27: Graphing and Tracing Polar Equations
Section 28: Permutations, Combinations, and Factorial
Section 29: Working with Histograms and Box Plots
Section 30: Graphing Statistical Scatter Plots
Section 31: Calculating Mean, Median, Standard Deviation, and more
Section 32: Performing Statistical Regression
Section 33: Calculating with Matrices
Section 34: Solving Systems of Equations with Matrices
Section 35: Calculating Interest Rates
Section 36: Calculating Mortgages and Loans
Section 37: Calculating Savings and Investments

Seriously?   Where was this when I was in high school?   College?    Last week?      I am excited about going through this entire DVD.   The parts that we watched were good.    We paused a lot and did a lot of "trying".      I am hoping that this will give my boys a knowledge and advantage that I never had.

These DVDs can be purchased from and they are all about $26.99.     There are math DVDs for all subjects ranging from basic math, algebra, geometry, physics, trig, calculus, to probabilities.      I love the section with free sample DVDs.        Any DVD you purchase comes with a guarantee to raise your grade or you get your money back.    That is quite a deal!

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive these DVDs for free from MathTutor DVD.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family. 

1 comment:

Debra said...

I tried to comment yesterday -- gotta do it from my own computer! Love the review. Love how you were able to tweak it to make it work for you!