America's Math Teacher
America's Math teacher is an online Math Tutor program for 4th grade math thru Algebra. The site could also be used for lower grades if the student is advanced in math. The speed wheel on the site may also be able to be used for younger children.
$195 a year for a family subscription
Under the pricing tab there is a place to look at some of the videos and printed work for free. One link enables you to access it, in another place the link requires registration with a code.
Mr. Fisher also has a Print/ DVD Math curriculum entitled Math Essentials. Information about this program can be found at : http://www.mathessentials.net/
The America's Math Teacher Program
Many people feel that America's schools are not doing the same job educating our children today as they have in the past. This seems to be true for many subjects, but especially math. While most homeschoolers are trying to provide a better education for their children, they may also share the same concerns regarding math instruction. Maybe they don't feel comfortable teaching math, they have come to an impasse with their student, or just haven't found a curriculum they are happy with.
Enter Rick Fisher, America's Math Teacher. Rick is a teacher in California schools who saw that students were not mastering basic math concepts. Because of this they were also struggling with algebra and higher level math as well as other subjects. He also shares statistics which show a student with a solid math background is more likely to stay in school. To help his students he developed the Math Essentials curriculum and he has now brought that information and plan to http://americasmathteacher.com/
The website has video tutorials of Mr. Fisher clearly explaining the concepts and in several cases their applicability to real life, written exercises that can be printed out, and online tests. The website is very clear and easy to navigate, there aren't a lot of extra features to make it difficult to find what you want. There is also a resource center with tables and charts as well as a list of National standards. However, not everything on the site has worked on a consistent basis.
A fun feature are the speed drills for addition,
subtraction,and multiplication. Both my 6 and 9 year old have enjoyed the speed wheel drills. However, the subtraction one is confusing at first, since sometimes it requires negative numbers
This is a sample of the speed drill.
- This site is very complete. All the basic math topics are covered.
- The appearance of the site is very clean and easily navigable.
- The video tutorials are short and to the point, Rick demonstrates a problem while encouraging the student to work along with him. Often giving gentle reminders, such as keep your numbers in the proper column.
- The videos and written work for a lesson do not take a long time to accomplish each day, generally both could be completed in less than 45 minutes.
- This program would require very little teacher preparation, mainly to print and correct the worksheets.
- The evaluation centers do not consistently accept completed assessments.
- Correct answers are often marked as wrong or the tests time out after just a few minutes.
- The site often logs the user out in the middle of an exercise.
- It is not easily clear which written exercises go with which tutorial.
How I used America's Math Teacher in my Homeschool
My 4th grade student watched several of the video tutorials in the Basic Math section. I was able to see improvement in her math skills and remembered several of the special points Mr Fisher made in his tutorials. She particularly liked the example of loaning and paying back money to illustrate negative numbers. I am disappointed that the evaluations were not working because I was not able to have her take them to see exactly where see needed to focus. She loved the speed drills. My first grader also enjoyed them. The speed drills are a lot more fun than flashcards and really did increase their speed with facts.
I also watched several of the Pre-Algebra and Algebra videos myself and found them to be as straight forward and instructive as the Basic math tutorials.
I really like the format of America's Math Teacher and would consider using it in a year or two when both of my students can use it. I would recommend it to friends, except for the technical issues. I am sure they will get the technical issues worked out as Mr. Fisher really believes in his product and truly wants to help students succeed in math.
See what other Homeschool Crew members are saying about America's Math teacher here: http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/
Disclaimer: I was given a free limited timed subscription to America's Math Teacher in order to use the resources it contains and review the contents. I have not received any other compensation for writing this review and all opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.