A frequent question I hear from homeschooling parents is, “What happens when my child starts doing work I don’t know how to explain?” I’ll admit that’s one of my fears, too, though we aren’t there yet. Do I actually remember enough Algebra 2 to teach it? I got good grades in high school, but I’m not sure the information stuck around for 20 years.
Virtual Nerd is a website that can help you out in math and science, when the subject matter is difficult to understand. As part of the TOS Crew, I had the opportunity to check it out!
About Virtual Nerd
Virtual Nerd offers tutorials in various math and science subjects. Currently they offer hundreds of tutorials for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Intro to Physics. Additional tutorials for Physics, Chemistry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus are planned to be in place by the 2011-2012 school year.
A 2 hour free trial is offered, so you can see if the tutorials will work for you. If they do, you can subscribe by the day, week, month, or every three months, depending on your needs.
Our Experience With Virtual Nerd
Initially, we tried to incorporate Virtual Nerd as part of our school. We hit a snag, however, as Stargirl isn’t doing Pre-Algebra yet. To add to the confusion, math is a very difficult subject for her, so she got a little confused by the tutorials, which were covering subject matter she hasn’t tackled yet. So we went to plan B.
Since 20 years ago I took every subject covered by Virtual Nerd, I watched several tutorials to see if it could jog my memory on math concepts I’ve long forgotten. I must say, I was pretty impressed.
Each video tutorial takes place with the “tutor” in front of a whiteboard. As the tutor explains the concept, he or she gives a visual demonstration on the whiteboard. Off to the right of the video box are two smaller boxes. On top is a diagram box, which basically shows what the tutor is writing on the whiteboard. The bottom box lists a series of steps to explain the concept, written in easy to understand language. The steps are filled in as they are explained in the tutorial.
Once the video is over, a link to a related video appears, in case you need further help with the subject matter.
If you click the link, a new video appears in a window on top of the first video, so you don’t lose your original place.
Finding a video to help you out is pretty simple. You can either do a search or browse the subjects. I was able to find what I was looking for easily.
The Nitty Gritty on Virtual Nerd
- Videos are easy to understand.
- Subject matter is broken into manageable steps.
- Whiteboard makes learning easy, especially for visual students.
- Don’t need to be using a specific curriculum to make use of Virtual Nerd.
- Different subscription options for varying needs
- Cost can add up over the long term.
- Subject matter, as of yet, is limited.
My Overall Opinion: I like Virtual Nerd a lot, even though it didn’t work out for us right now. The explanations are very simple and understandable, and the site is easy to navigate. I can see us paying for a day or a month at a time, when we hit a level of math that gets too difficult for me to explain to my non-math oriented daughter.
Important Information About Virtual Nerd
- Website: www.virtualnerd.com
- Age Range: Students studying Pre-Algebra and up.
- Cost: $5 for a day, $19 for a week, $49 for a month (recurring subscription), or $129 for 3 months.
To see what the rest of the Crew has to say about Virtual Nerd, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog!
*Disclosure: Virtual Nerd provided me with a subscription in exchange for my honest review.