To help develop these two things, skills and confidence, requires a gentle, persistent, guiding hand. After reviewing America's Math Teacher, I feel that Rick Fisher seems to have this capability. My middler son, Tex, who is starting Pre-Algebra this year (7th grade), liked him a lot. In fact, Tex said he wouldn't mind doing Mr. Fisher's math lessons for the rest of the year, instead of his much liked other computer-based math program, which we temporarily set aside for the purposes of reviewing this product. That he is willing to set aside a program he REALLY likes says a lot to me. He didn't say he liked one or the other better, but rather that he liked one just as well as the other.
- There are four courses: Basic Math (4th & 5th grades), Advanced Math (middle grades), Pre-Algebra (around 7th), and Algebra (around 8th). Read more about them HERE.
- Video tutorials are available for each skill set at each level. For example, if my son needs to learn about exponents, there is a video for that topic (ranging from as little as two minutes to about eighteen minutes, depending on the scope of the topic). See a list of videos lessons HERE. Tex did make the comment that he wished there was a bit more information on some of the tougher topics. When that happened, I wound up going over things in more detail with him. I think this program is ideal as a supplement to an existing curriculum, or as extra help for a public schooled student. However, a parent who is confident about their own math skills could make this work as a freestanding curriculum since they could elaborate if their students needed further help.
- Units (such as Integers or Exponents) are accompanied by printable written exercises, including an end of unit reveiw AND (every mom's favorite thing...) an answer key (yay!). You can see a listing of available printable exercises HERE.
- Each unit also has an end of unit quiz that is automatically graded by the computer. There is also a FINAL EXAM at the end of each of the courses. Check out the list of evaluations HERE.
- There are evaluation exams available if you need to see if your student is ready to move onto another level, such as from advanced math to pre-algebra. These are extensive tests (they take about sixty minutes if you allow a minute per question) and are graded automatically. If your student fails to show mastery of the subject (scoring 80% or higher), he can review the materials and retake the evaluation in two days.
- The site offers speed drills in the areas of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Your student can do these as a daily warm up and compete against his own times.