Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Math Tutor - TOS Product Review

Sometimes, teaching math is just plain painful... for me, anyway! There are days when the oldest tells me something like, "step away from the math book, mom," and takes over helping a younger sibling. There are days, I have to say, when I slap the book shut and announce with firmness, "Wait till your dad gets here. He's the math guy!" And there are days, frankly, when I think, "You don't know how easy you've got it. You do school in your jammies on the couch and at the table during snack time and in the grass under the Florida sun. You should try sitting in a classroom for lectures!"

Enter the Math Tutor DVDs. Designed with parents like me in mind (well, maybe not that last one!), it is a series of topical training videos to help students with Math!! Most courses are 8 hours long, and cost about $27. Ranging from basic math, to physics, calculus, geometry, word problems, probability and statistics and many more, Math Tutor DVD's slogan is "Press Play For Success."

My children especially enjoyed the story problems DVD. Although it's really just a teacher in a classroom (aha! my wish is granted!) problems are taught slowly and in detail, with some humor thrown in occasionally to grab attention. The instructor, Jason Gibson, holds a long and impressive list of credentials including work with NASA with a full space shuttle flight control certification. As he says, though,

"Now, I am the first to admit that none of this amounts to a hill of beans when teaching a lesson. What really matters if the instructor take a complex topic and assume the student knows absolutely nothing about the task at hand and take him/her from zero knowlege to expert in step-by-step chunks. I personally get a thrill out of making seemingly complex topics suddenly easy to students. I have found over the years that the easy way to do this is to learn by working example problems, beginning with the easier ones and gradually progressing to the harder ones."

I personally found in school that teachers who were likeable, were most memorable, and often their material was therefore somehow more palatable. I am thinking this guy comes across as a "nice guy" on video, and it just make harder math concepts more digestible! (His simple and straightforward methods of course would help.)

These videos could be a great add-on for days when teaching many stretches you beyond your dreams, or for supplementing the vital math studies to assure success in a given subject. Complete course listings are available online, as well as sample videos and verbal testimonials (VERY convincing!!). This is a neat discovery, and I love the money-back guarantee, although I suspect it rarely gets used.

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