Math. It seems you either love it, or you hate it. My younger child loves math, and my older child hates it. We’re always looking for ways to help math make more sense for Stargirl, who would much rather be playing her flute than figuring fractions.
When I received a subscription to America’s Math Teacher, my plan was to use it as a warm up to our regular math program this year. How did it work? Keep reading to find out!
About America’s Math Teacher
Covering math skills from about the 4th grade level through Algebra I, America’s Math Teacher provides video lessons, exercises, evaluations, drills, and resources to help your child with math.
There are four courses: Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra. Each course contains video lessons, written practice exercises, and evaluations. Students are encouraged not to move on until they are able to answer all questions correctly, ensuring mastery of a concept.
The subscription is $195 per year per family, and the subscription does NOT automatically renew, which is great news for a frugal person like me, who hates auto-renewals.
Our Experience with America’s Math Teacher
Stargirl began by watching a couple of videos on fractions, and by the end she was utterly confused. This was not at all the fault of America’s Math Teacher. Rather, America’s Math Teacher’s approach to fractions was so different than the approach we used last year, my daughter couldn’t handle it. Truth be told, she has a pretty low frustration tolerance to math. If she were used to a more traditional math program, I’m quite certain it wouldn’t be a problem. I totally followed the video and thought it was easy to understand, and I’m sure in a few years my son will have no problem with it. But he likes math.
So, here’s MY experience. I thought the video lessons were very clear for someone used to a traditional, spiral approach to math. They were well done and easy to understand.
Each section of each course comes with printable exercises. I loved the way the printed exercises were laid out, with helpful hints on each page. The exercises contained enough problems for the student to get a good amount of practice in, but not so many problems that the student gets bored or frustrated.
The evaluation center is supposed to evaluate how much you’ve learned and give you an idea as to whether you should move on to the next part of the course. Unfortunately, every time I tried to take an evaluation, I received a message saying my time was up, even though I know I hadn’t taken the entire 30 minutes that were allotted. I cheated and used a calculator, so I know I completed the evaluations fairly quickly.
Also, the evaluations are pretty touchy, in that if you hit the enter key instead of the tab key, you go back to the course home page and lose all the work you’ve done on the evaluation. I know that would frustrate my student.
The online speed drills for addition, subtraction, and multiplication are a lot of fun, once you get the hang of them. Taking the time to read the directions is important. I’m not a direction reader, and it took me a while to figure them out for myself.
To complete the program, there is a very handy resource center with tables of fraction/decimal equivalents, math symbols, and common prime numbers. I will be printing and laminating this information for future use.
The Skinny on America’s Math Teacher
- Videos are clear and informative
- Lessons flow well
- Written exercise sheets are fantastic
- Speed drills are fun
- Not teacher intensive
- Price is per year, so if your student works fast, he can complete more than one level in a year
- There are kinks in the evaluation center, making it difficult to use
- The exercises and evaluations for Algebra I are not on the site yet
My Overall Opinion
This program isn’t for our family, as it doesn’t mesh well with the program we’re already using. And the problems with the evaluations and the lack of exercises for Algebra I make it difficult to highly recommend this program…yet.
I believe America’s Math Teacher has a lot of potential. I think once the kinks in the website are worked out and the rest of the Algebra I program is added, America’s Math Teacher could be a good deal for someone who wants a math program that doesn’t require a lot of teacher preparation. And with more than one child in the age range of the program, the better deal it becomes. Give it a little while, but keep your eye on this program.
America’s Math Teacher Facts
- Website: www.americasmathteacher.com
- Cost: $195 for a year’s access (no automatic renewal)
- Age level: Approximately 4th – 9th grade
- You can try some free lessons before you buy.
- Other products by this vendor: Math Essentials
To see what my TOS Crew Mates thought about America’s Math Teacher, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog!
*Disclaimer: I received a free 60 day trial to America’s Math Teacher in exchange for my honest review.