Friday, September 27, 2013

TOS Crew: VideoText Interactive Review



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Anyone who knows me, will tell you I am NOT a math genius. I struggle with most math, and always have. I had to have a tutor to pass math in high school. So, it is a good thing that I married a math genius since my son is obviously going to take after him.
A math curriculum that is the right fit for your child is the hardest thing to come across. When we were offered the chance to review another math curricula I was excited! We received Geometry: A complete Course from VideoText Interactive.


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What is Geometry: A complete course :
VideoText Interactive approaches math in two ways. Through a inquiry-based video format, and by not using shortcuts, tricks, rules, or formulas. With complete mastery being the end result. Developed by Tom Clark a teacher of Mathematics and Science with 46 years of experience. He worked with all levels from elementary to adult! You can read more about him here.

What is included in Geometry: A Complete Course :
I like to have the physical product, so we opted for the books and Dvd’s instead of doing it online. I was super excited when the box arrived, Monkey Man not so much! We received modules A and B.
Each module comes with:
  • Student Worktext
  • Course Notes Book
  • Solutions Manual
  • Progress Test Book
  • Teacher’s Instruction Book
  • 3 lesson DVD’s

We got all of that with each module A & B.
When it arrived, I cracked right into the box to check it out. I was anxious for him to get started. He just finished Algebra, and I was just doing review with him the past few weeks.

How VideoText Interactive works:
Your child watches a 5-10 minute video lesson. As the instructor you can watch it with them, and then you should discuss what you learned and make sure they understand the concept. I like for Monkey Man to take notes as he is going, but it is stated NOT to take notes. They are only to watch the video, and after that is finished they can go back and take any notes.
When the video is finished your child is then to complete the student text assignment to help reinforce concepts. You can give them either the odds or evens to do. If they get any wrong, that is where the solutions book comes in. They use that to figure out what they did wrong. I tried to have Monkey Man go back over the ones he got wrong to see if he could see what he did wrong first. Sometimes, he caught his mistake, and others I had to show him, or daddy had to go back over it with him.
After you finish a lesson, you can use the progress test book to give quizzes to make sure they are understanding the concepts. We found that taking the quiz for the lesson they learned the day before was the best way to go. Then we knew he really understood the concept. It was also noted to remember that if they miss 2 or 3 problems that doesn’t mean there is a lack of mastery.

Our thoughts:
Monkey Man is a hard child to find math for. . . being that he is in 6th grade, doing 9-10th grade math. Most curriculum is to boring for him, or even to easy. When we received Geometry: A Complete Course he was not excited at all. While he is really good at math, he doesn’t like it when I get him more. 
However, after the first few lessons he began to complain less, and do more! He really thought the instructor was awesome. He liked how he presented. He also likes that he doesn’t have to wait hours for daddy to come home and help him with a problem. Since I am not the math genius, and can’t really help him as well now. Now, he only has to wait if he gets stumped which isn’t very often.
We use the curriculum three times a week, cause that is what works for us. He has been doing really well with the concepts that I can tell. His work is good, and his quizzes have been better than he thought they would. While I don’t think he will ever admit to loving math, VideoText Interactive ranks right up there as one of his favorites!
Of all the curriculums we have tried, this one has been a bit more teacher intense. However, since this is really the only subject I have to be a bit more involved with, it has worked out fairly well. I am trying to get Monkey Man to be mostly independent, so I can focus on Little Monkey. He is really improving on this, this year.
As a homeschooling parent, I am always concerned that I can’t teach enough or good enough. My beliefs are challenged everyday, so that is why I think I really stress about that. After much stress and thinking, I discovered that this may be true, but I have the option to find the best fit of curriculum for my child. Does a public school teacher have that option? If he was in public school would they be teaching him 3 grades ahead? Probably not, so I love that we have that freedom. Having great people like Tom Clark, who love and create such great curricula really helps us!
Overall, I really think this program is a great product. The lessons are great, but short enough not to bore your child. The books are broken down very nicely, you know right where to look when searching for something. They are very high quality materials.


Cost:
I have to admit, the cost is rather high.
If you purchase all the modules you would receive:
  • 8 Units
  • 176 Video Lessons
For Geometry the complete online course costs $299 this is for licensing two students. If you need more it is an extra $49 for each extra student.
and the printed version of the whole course will cost you $529.
You can also purchase modules A-B-C or D-E-F for $279 each.
You can purchase all modules separately if you choose.
Online geometry module A costs $59.00 or for the printed version it is $99.95.
Keep in mind that if you purchase the online version you do get 3 years of access.
Also each complete course can count as 2 to 3 credits for High School Math.  You would be completing Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus.
While this is high, and I am the first to say I couldn’t afford to pay that for a math program. It is worth a couple math credits, so that helps justify the cost. I have a very tight budget myself, but I would absolutely consider this program for my kids.

You can find VideoText Interactive here, Facebook, and Twitter.

See what the rest of the TOS Crew is saying about VideoText Interactive Products.


2 comments:

Stacie said...

This sounds like a really good math program. I like the idea of watching the videos and then doing the practice problems. I like how you quized the next day. To me the videos are more visual to the kids.

Robin F said...

I will definitely be checking out this program! Sounds great! One little observation, though, it seems that the cost of three programs (Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 OR Geometry, Trig & pre-Calculus) for only $299 is really not that expensive at all if you break it down. I have been looking for programs lately counting our pennies. In fact, unless I just buy just textbooks (which I most definitely won't be doing! HA!) I'm not sure if I could find a program cheaper...AND if this program is superior to others out there. Well, that is a win win in my book! :) Thanks for the review! I'll be checking it out!