I'm not a math genius, but I did take the highest levels of math offered at my high school...back in the "olden" days. My high school didn't offer Calculus at the time, so I took Trigonometry. I can't say that I loved it, but I did pull decent grades in my math classes, mainly because I put in huge amounts of time to do my homework and prepare for tests.
When people ask me how I'm going to manage to teach high school levels of math, I tell them that I'm not overly worried. First of all, I did take those classes once upon a time, and since I passed them, I must have not been totally dumb, I suppose. I'm no math genius or even a "natural" at math, but I'm willing to work hard to figure it out.
Secondly, we have used a math curriculum for years that has lesson instruction on DVD. Since I was taught in school to basically "memorize the formulas" instead of truly understanding mathematical concepts, I decided back when the girls were in kindergarten to begin watching each and every lesson with them before they began doing their assignments. There have only been a few lessons over the years where I chose not to watch them with the girls, but only because they already had a great grasp on the material, and they didn't really need my input during the DVD portion of the lesson. Our math curriculum goes clear through Trigonometry, and I think they will be adding Calculus, but I'm not positive about that. Watching these DVD lessons has helped me fill in a lot of gaps that I had in my learning. I like that!
Thirdly, I'm hoping that my dad is still hanging around by the time the girls both finish high school. He's the math genius. Unfortunately, it skipped a generation or two, and while math and I get along, it's definitely not a love affair or a career choice of mine!
My oldest daughter, Kelsi, began Pre-Algebra this school year. She hasn't had any problems with it yet, and I'm glad. She seems to be doing well in it, and she's understanding the concepts which are being covered in her lessons and assignments.
However, some children, teens, and their homeschooling parents find math to be extremely challenging. No matter which curricula is selected for math at home, sometimes it is just difficult to help our children with math concepts.
Kelsi began using Virtual Nerd this last month, for Pre-Algebra, to try out their site and let you know what we thought of it. As a member of the TOS Crew, it's always fun to take a closer look at something new to us.
What did we think about Virtual Nerd?
Well, we thought that it might be useful in the future, for more difficult subjects in math and science. Currently, Kelsi isn't needing assistance in her math and science classes. At some point, though, she may. Virtual Nerd would be an excellent choice from which to choose should she or my younger daughter need some additional tutoring. We both liked the presentation of the videos and the white screen "chalkboard." The people teaching the videos wrote neatly and carefully, and they talked at a reasonable speed so that it was easy to understand them.
Josh Salcman and Leo Shmuylovich, the founders of Virtual Nerd, are continuing to develop a sophisticated tutoring website for math and science, to work with students of all ages. Here is some additional information about them and the Virtual Nerd program:
Virtual Nerd received the Seal of Approval from the Parent Tested Parent Approved organization for excellent quality and value.
Will we use Virtual Nerd in our family over the next eight years? I don't know. It's a great option, though. If I felt like one of our girls needed a math tutor (and Grandpa had "kicked the bucket!"), it would be cheaper to sign up for a month or two of than it would be to hire a math tutor for a period of time. Virtual Nerd can be used at any time of the day or night, weekdays or weekends, so it would be easier to work with Virtual Nerd than it would be to try to schedule a tutor to come to our home.
One benefit of a personal tutor coming into my home would be that the instruction would be incredibly individualized, more than a computer website can do. However, Virtual Nerd has also designed their program to get to the root of the difficulty with a math concept, so their program is very, very solid.
To see what the rest of the Crew has to say about Virtual Nerd, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog!
Disclaimer: A free, six-week membership to Virtual Nerd was provided to me as a member of the TOS Crew for "The Old Schoolhouse Magazine" solely for the purpose of us using the website and providing a review for them. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!