Category Archives: Math

Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 {Review}

(Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.)

I have always been intimidated at the thought of teaching Math to my children so I was excited to be offered  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High Schoolfor my family’s review from Math Essentials.

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Please let me tell you about Mastering Essential Math Skills Book Two. This is a very nice work text. Sturdy, with a nice glossy cover. This book is 158 pages, eight chapters, plus the teacher answers in the book.

The eight chapters cover:

  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percent
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems

Ath the end, there is a Final Review Section and an answer section. Note: I’d love to see the answers in a separate book, bundled with the work text. Ask me why!

There is also a Resource Section which has a glossery, an Inportant Symbols page, and several charts.

This book, as well as the other books being reviewed by Review Crew families includes online, video lessions to take you all the way through. The courses are taught by Rick Fisher, a Math instructor for  over 31 years within the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California. His sixth grade students would regularly bypass the seventh grade math program and move directly to a high-powered eighth grade algebra program. The videos are password protected, and you must have to book to get in. For “The Artist,” this was very helpful. A number of times, he really needed them to “get it.” In twenty minutes or so per day, a student can easily refresh skills they have forgotten, or if they are just learning these concepts, these lessons will help the student to better succeed.

Each day “The Artist” watched the video for the lesson, and then do hus book work.

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Having just realized he wasn’t doing the review problems, I told him that was going to change. I had been letting him self direct, but between that and the answer section, I think either his dad or I will be needing to do something at the table during Math time! This is what he’s going to see, if he tries looking in the back again!

Neither myy son “The Artist” or I care much for  Math, but he had gone through the No-Nonsense Algebra book from Math Essentials during an earlier review and I went through Math Refresher for Adults. Both of us really learned using them. When I offered him the opportunity to be the student for this review, he happily said that he would. and I had gone through the Math Refresher for Adults. You can check out those reviews here.

Please click the banner below to see what 53 other Review Crew families think about this and two other books from Math Essentials!

No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults &  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School {Math Essentials Reviews}As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Math-U-See AIM {Review}

(Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.)

My son “The Batman” is developmentally disabled, and we have tried ever since he was little to help him learn just addition and subtraction, but he has just never been able to do it. I was very happy to receive Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction  from Math-U-See for review, because I thought maybe it would help. And oh my word, it is slowly but surely helping!

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Accelerated Individual Mastery is a program with both physical products and a digital toolbox. Here is what we received:

This is the book, the integer blocks and the special colored pencils.

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Here you see the 13 Fact Check Strategy posters.

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And finally, the Fact Check Cards which are printed on perforated Cardstock.

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I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize the fact check cards were in with the Fact Check Strategy posters, and printed them out on paper! But the ones in the box are so sturdy that we will be using them.

Because “The Batman” has always had such a problem with even the simplest of math, I am so happy that this is working, even though we have to go very slowly for him. Where others might be able to get through this program in one multi-part lesson per week, we have to go MUCH slower. Because this is an individual mastery program, the pace will look different for everyone.

“The Batman” really is enjoying this program, and not becoming frustrated! He is even asking every day if we can do some more of it. I think this is partly because of the hands on manipulatives, but also because he isn’t feeling as though he has to push through faster to “keep up.”

Before beginning, I went through the Before-AIM Assessment with “The batman.”

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You can download the assesment here before deciding to purchase this program. It will quickly help you to see where your child is with addition and Subtraction facts. Here is where “The Batman” was at the end of the assessment:

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At the end of this program, we’ll go through a post AIM assessment to see how much he’s gained.

Here is his first worksheet, which we downloaded from the worksheet generator in the Digital Toolbox, which you will have a one year access with your purchase of this program.

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After the lesson, I read the math facts to him and mark off those that  he now knows.

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Yiu can see that at this point, he’s all over the board.

After each lesson, I’ll do this again, until the whole sheet is marked. Then, we will move on to subtraction.

In the Digital Toolbox you’ll also find review activities and games to aid in memorizing the math facts. “The Batman” likes everything in the toolbox!

AIM  was created  many different students in mind, such as:

  • Those who have done other addition and subtraction fact methods without mastery (even adults!)
  • still need to tally marks or count on their fingers
  • struggle as they face harder math concepts
  • Have not mastered many math facts at all, like “The Batman”

This program focuses on:

  • Specifically single-digit addition and subtraction fact mastery
  • Uses language and activities that are updated for more mature students
  • does not use distractions and additional topics beyond the fundamental facts

Each lesson has a short video to help you teach the concept. That is where I went to learn how to use the integer blocks most effectively. Below the video, there were links telling me what I needed to print out, what physical materials to remove from the box, and what games there are to cement the concept taught. there are also sometimes activity pages like this coloring page:

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One activity that “The Batman” can do is a matching game. Here, he is using a printed out chart of the integer blocks to color the game cards. The numbers are the same color as the matching integer block cards. He is coloring them with the Math-U-see pancils, which match the color of each integer block.

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Now, when he wants to play, either his brother or I will do it with him.

“The Batman” really likes this program, as I said above. He feels so much more confident than with any other method we have tried.

Please click the banner below to find out what 44 other families think of Math-U-See.

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under Homeschool Math, Math, Math Games, Math-U-See

Adaptive Math Online From A+ TutorSoft Inc. {Review}

With the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) we are able to identify and address learning gaps in “The Artist’s” math skills.

Several years ago, we reviewed a different math product from A+ TutorSoft, and you can read that review here.

“The Artist” appears to have the same phobia dislike of math that I have pretty much always had. I like to think that it’s because our strengths are more on the creative side of our brains, but whatever. 🙂 Regardless, it’s still pretty important for us to have a better grasp on this subject, in my opinion.

The Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is set up to please any parent who would really like their child/children to be able to work mostly independently. The parent enrolls their child in a target grade level, and then the program gives them a pre-test for each topic , and if he/she passes, then they are not given a lesson and just move on.

At first, I put “The Artist” in the sixth grade because he had worked in a book on pre-algebra. He immediately came to me and told me it was too hard and asked to be put back in the third grade, so I agreed, and changed it. This is a real positive with this program, you are allowed to go into your side of the program and make changes like this. It also gives you reporting so that you can see how well the child is doing. After passing a lesson, the system gives them a page telling them how well they did and giving them a grade. You could print this out, if you need to keep records, or simply want them to keep for your child.

So, back to “The Artist.” Once I allowed him to go back to the grade he thought was more comfortable, he began taking the pre-tests. At first, he was passing every single one, which meant that the program didn’t create a lesson and he just moved on. Eventually though, he stopped passing them, and the program created custom lessons, based on where he was weak in the section.

Here is “The Artist,” working at my computer. You can see that he is also using paper and pencil to figure out some problems.

 

Once he was on a roll, he started enjoying the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online, and I believe that this was because whenever he passed the pre-test he was able to move on to the next thing. He wasn’t having to “complete five pages of stuff he had already proved he could do.” I like that as well, because whenever we’ve done workbooks, it irritated me to make them continue if they showed they “got” it after a page or two.

This is a VERY good program! You can sign up for one student, or for a family plan which covers two to ten students. You can go one month at a time, three months at a time, or a year at a time. It’s all-inclusive, meaning you have access to all the grades 1 – 6 and Pre-Algebra.

Some crew members reviewed the Family Math Package, which is different from Adaptive Math. Family Math does not pre-test, but does give a recommended lesson plan and instant grading.

As a parent who loves any plan which takes care of placement, creating custom lessons AND does the grading for me, I highly recommend Adaptive Math Curriculum Online !

To read 100 other fair and honest reviews from my fellow crew members, please click on the banner just below.

Family & Adaptive Math Online {A+ Interactive Math Reviews}

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under A+ TutorSoft, Adaptive Math Online Curriculum, Math

Math Refresher For Adults from Math Essentials . . . My Review

If you (like me) have always hated math, or if you simply have forgotten a lot of what you learned and need to brush up on your Math skills, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials  is a great way to regain those skills!

I was excited at the possibility of reviewing this book, because as I stated above, I’ve had a very long time dislike of Math. My husband is very good at Math, my best friend is good at Math, but I am Math challenged. I had a very bad teacher in junior high school, and have hated it ever since. In fact, when I found out that I only needed one Math class in high school to graduate, I got it out of the way the first year and never looked back!

I don’t want my kids to be math-phobic, so I thought if nothing else, it would be a good example if they were to see my at least TRYING to learn math.

Math Refresher for Adults has so much to offer! There are textbook and video (online) lessons in a variety of topics such as:

  1. Whole numbers, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  2. Fractions, including mixed numbers and basic operations.
  3. Decimals, including how to change fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.
  4. Percentages.
  5. Geometry.
  6. Word Problems.
  7. Pre-Algebra.
  8. Algebra.

And other topics, too!

For the record, it was an Algebra class where the teacher turned me right off of math. And I hate, hate, hate word problems! Math Essentials understands that hate (stumbling block) and instead of calling them word problems, labels them “problem solving.”

The way that Math Refresher for Adults is set up, you could, if you wanted to, just begin at the beginning and work straight through. Or if you are using it to help you to work with your child (homeschooling or helping with homework, for example) you could simply use it as a topical reference. In the latter case, simply look up the topic where the student needs help, and watch the video for tat topic together, working right along with the teacher in the video. Easy peasy!

In my case, I am going to different topics, areas in which I KNOW I need help. In doing so, I’m finding that for years, I have relied solely on calculators for just about every single math operation I needed to do. Now, I really don’t see any problem with my doing so, but it doesn’t really help when it comes to my kids needing some aid in learning a particular area of math.

I have four boys at vastly different ability levels when it comes to math, and I believe this book will help me with the boys. I have two boys at a very early elementary level, one at maybe mid elementary level, and one who worked on No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials last summer, and was very happy when the videos helped him!

We are so far, extremely happy with our experiences with this company!

Please click on the banner below and go read 74 other fair and honest reviews:

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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UnLock Pre-Algebra, Our Review!

I had never even heard of UnLock Math before this, but I am sure glad that being a member of the Homeschool Review Crew showed it to me!

We were given a number of options to request for review, and have been blessed with the one that would truly work for us (or should I say, work for “The Artist)! We were given for purpose of this review a one year subscription to UnLock Pre-Algebra.

One of the things I particularly like is that UnLock Pre-Algebra breaks the lessons down to small sections, so the student is never overwhelmed. Concepts are built one on top of another, so that the student can understand what is going on in a logical manner, and not fall prey to math anxiety (which is something that I have always had a problem with!), thereby building more confidence, skill and understanding.

The video lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length, and are watched after doing the warm up section. After the video are the practice problems, generally about 10 of them, focusing on what was taught in that particular video. After this, there is a stay sharp section, which covers everything the student has covered since the beginning of the program, and then a challenge yourself, a difficult (in my son’s opinion, anyway) word problem. I understand that, because I myself have always hated word problems.

UnLock Pre-Algebra can be used as a full program for the year, or as a supplement to your main program. This program is 16 units in length, and covers topics from whole numbers all the way to probability and statistics. The entire UnLock Pre-Algebra Scope and Sequence is available for you to read before purchase.

I also like that the program does allow the student to redo the practice questions if he or she feels they could do better. Afterwards, the system will use the highest score they get for their grade. I ESPECIALLY like that this is parent/teacher friendly. I didn’t have to prep or teach anything. I don’t have to grade anything, the system does it for me, and “The Artist” can see how he’s doing from his side as well, so that (as I said before) if he feels he didn’t do well, he can do the practice questions over and the system will take the better grade. I don’t have to decide how to schedule lessons, either, because there is a downloadable scheduling guide already made!

My favorite thing? The absolutely phenomenal customer service! The day that I was out-of-town with “Mr. Loquacious” when he needed surgery for his broken nose, I asked my husband to please make sure “The Artist” kept on schedule with this and one other school assignment. Well, he found a mistake in on of the tests. He had the right answer, his dad (the math geek) said it was right, too. so after I came home, I got into chat on the UnLock Pre-Algebra site, where I got an immediate response, no waiting. Devon came on, he told me he would fix the grade right away and check on the glitch. Then, he emailed me because he forgot to ask my son’s name in the chat, lol!

Then, a few days ago I received an email from Matthew Blackwood, founder of UnLock Math letting me (and apparently everyone else with this program,) to let us know that the testing and assessment platform was updated a couple of weeks ago. An unforseen result is that graphing questions were not grading correctly, and it is a bug they are working on fixing. With apology for any inconvenience, Mr. Blackwood hs told us that we can simply send a list of any questions that the student has answered correctly, but the system is grading as incorrect or incomplete, and it will be manually changed for the student.

In the beginning, I set up my log in and “The Artist’s” student log in, gave him a brief explanation, and away he went! Pretty quickly, he decided to keep paper and pencil at hand in order to work out on paper some of the problems.

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The very first day that “The Artist” began UnLock Pre-Algebra, I was hearing an awful lot of “Boo-Yah!” coming from the computer area, which I thought was funny, coming from someone who didn’t even really want to do a math program. 🙂

What does “The Artist” like about UnLock Math? Here are his answers to that question:

  • I can just look at my screen and visually see how  I’m doing percentage-wise
  • UnLock Pre-Algebra made it easier to learn Roman Numerals by explaining it better than other programs I have tried
  • I like that this is all on the computer and I didn’t have to do work sheets
  • I liked the short lesson videos
  • I liked that there was only one problem on the screen at a time, it made it easier to focus.

“The Artist” mostly uses a pair of head phones while working in UnLock Pre-Algebra, so that he can actually focus. With a six person household, it’s not often going to be quiet, hehehe.

I have decided I am a definite fan of this program! Now that the review period is over, we have decided this is a wonderful program to help “The Artist” get going on being where he may need to be in math. I highly recommend it to you!

To see what 64 other Homeschool Review Crew members think of

please click on the banner just below:

Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry {UnLock Math Reviews}Crew DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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