MathTutor DVD Review

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I recently had a chance to review 2 DVDs from .  The first I looked over was Pre -Algebra  Tutor Volume 1. The company's boast to all users is: "Raise Grades or your money back guarantee". While I would normally think this is a lofty promise, just look below at the list of covered items from their site! It is all covered in this volume of the Pre-Algebra DVD!  It would be hard not to learn something.

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

True Story! One of my sons is just starting Algebra.  He took right to this video.  It was a great refresher for him as he started  into Algebra . This video really helped him out.  In fact, he told me he wanted to watch the next part before he started his assignment on the 2nd day. (Little did he know it was my intent to have him watch the whole DVD)

I generally find a teacher on this type of  DVD hard to watch. Yet, I didn't mind watching  or listening to the instructor on these DVDs. Included in just Level 1 are  5 hours of one-on-one tutoring for your student.

This video is available to view online or through DVD. The online option is available for  $19.95/ month and gives access to all worksheets and all levels of math - some are not even released on DVD yet.  This particular DVD's stand alone price  is  $26.99. If you are just starting out with Math, there are wonderful bundles available that include everything at a large savings!

Compared to an hourly rate of tutoring, this is clearly an excellent value for either the DVDs or the online subscription. Your student is able to watch just the individual lesson he needs help with. It is easy and seamless to move between. I put my DVDs through  quite a workout. They didn't skip, slow or have an issue in my player. It amazed me how my children literally ran over to watch the videos as soon as the intro music began. The teacher generally presents in just a business attire and writes on a white board - so there isn't any sort of bright , catchy display .(However, at least one lesson he was in more casual wear and  I did find that out of character with the rest of the DVD style and preferred a more business type attire)

I was also given a chance to review  The Texas Instruments TI-83/ TI-84 Calculator Tutor.

I have to admit, my very first thought was... "8 HOURS of a calculator tutoring???  How can someone speak so long about a calculator?? " However, I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation.  I believe, if you own this calculator or plan to, it is a MUST BUY. It is an extremely thorough teaching tool. If you need to review a certain aspect of the calculator, then just skip to that. If the calculator is new to you?? Watch the whole video as an introduction and then review it the sections as needed.

Let's be honest! Who reads the manuals?  While I don't actually have any experience with this kind of a calculator ( or ever have needed one), it was quite interesting to review this DVD set covering the topic. I was able to download a calculator to work with since I didn't own a TI-83 or TI 84 calculator. I do not have a strong enough math background (my husband teaches the upper levels to our children!) to really review each section, however, I watched all of the intro and several of the sub sections. I know one or all of my younger 4 children will need a calculator like this one day. So, this is one I plan to hold onto. This truly does "unlock the power" of this calculator as claimed.

The lessons range from about 10 minutes - 40 minutes or so. They are short enough to not lose interest in the matter. In fact, I found myself pausing and trying out the calculator to see how it functioned and then going back a little to review what I just learned. I never knew a calculator could contain so much.

If I had the budget for it, I would buy the whole series. I didn't see a "Lifetime Subscription" offer, but think I would buy into something like that - again- if I had the budget. With the worksheets offered, I believe this could even be a standalone math program instead of just a tutoring tool. Either way, I believe the DVD price is excellent. I feel nearly $20 a month is more than I would spend for my family. However, it does give access to all levels and all worksheets.  Plus, you do not need to sign a year long agreement. So, it really could be very cost effective if you find you are enjoy being connected.

I found the website easy to use. Some of the information was outdated- that is the only fault I could find. For instance, one benefit stated for an online subscription vs the DVD  is the ability to view lessons that aren't released yet. However, several of the lessons appear to be available in DVD form now. So, that was a little confusing.
Overall the website was very easy to find my way around and very well laid out.  Also, there are lots and lots of video samples to view.

I found these DVDs to be as good as they claimed to be and they left me wanting to get them all! In fact, I know I would personally benefit from several.

*These DVDs were given to me for free in exchange for my honest review of theses products.


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