Another Way to Learn Math

March 20, 2011 at 6:40 am 1 comment

I had been on a mission to find an online pre-algebra textbook for my son. We have been using Saxon Math. But the thought of adding another textbook and solution book to our pile to haul all over the world was not enticing. I tried to find a textbook for our Kindle, but they don’t really exist. It just wasn’t happening. I finally found two different options. My son is only 9 and had been in Saxon 7/8. My 10 year old who turned 11 this week was in Saxon 5/4. I felt like both could use a break and some review, so we ditched the textbooks at Grandma’s house before we headed over the ocean again. They are there waiting if we want them in the future. (I still have 3 other math learners following behind them.)

Right now I have them both using Khan Academy. There are lessons other than math, but math is how it got started and all I’ve looked at. It starts with basic addition and moves you through various levels as you achieve proficiency.

The blue shows where proficiency has been reached. The green shows where she’s started working. The white hasn’t been started yet. On the left there are suggested exercises. It keeps track of how many right you get in a row. You get different rewards, which show as little icons along the top of your screen, as your correct streak gets higher and higher.

There are several things I like about it. It tells them right away if they get something wrong, no more fussing at them to check their work and to fix mistakes. They can’t move on until it’s right. My daughter is someone who could do every problem wrong on a page–she just spent all that time practicing it wrong! I’m glad now she’s forced to do it right. It also makes them stay at it until they are proficient. She can’t just turn the page and move on. You gotta get it.

It also keeps track of what they’ve done. I have a “coach” page which shows me all of my kids. I can see at a glance how many minutes they have spent on there. I can see what they have finished and where they are stuck.

All instruction takes place through videos. You don’t have to watch the video if you already know how to do it. The problems just come up on the screen and you answer it. The screen is like a white board, so you can write on it to help you solve the problem. My daughter just writes the problems in her notebook though. The program goes through calculus by the way.

My concern is the application. Is it all just computation? Does it have word problems? This may need supplementing. We shall see. We are going to use this through the end of the school year and then make a decision as to what’s next.

Here’s another pre-algebra online course I have found. We haven’t used this yet. I need to look at it more. There are online textbooks for algebra, geometry, algebra 2, trigonometry and calculus. You can find links to these on my Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers Blog.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. See Jamie blog  |  March 31, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I’ve heard of Khan Academy, but haven’t tried it. This week we are doing a free trial of ThinkWell math for Algebra. If we end up using it, I’ll write a review of course. It’s not free, though.

    Reply

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