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Homeschool Crew Review: ‘Numbers and Counting’ and ‘Basic Math Word Problems’ from Math Tutor




One of the Math Tutor products we received for the Homeschool Review Crew was the Young Minds Numbers and Counting DVD.  This is an absolutely wonderful product!  The photography is beautiful, full of color and nature.  The music (Bach, Pachelbel, Vivaldi, and more) suits it perfectly.  What a blissful environment for a little one to learn numbers!  


No other review product this year has brought a smile to my face and a song to my heart like this one.  To understand what I mean, you’ll have to check out the preview on the website.   Pour yourself a cup of tea (or some other yummy warm drink), call your little ones, and enjoy a wee holiday together.  If you don’t have little ones anymore, check it out anyways to add a bit of sunshine to your day.


I think that this would be an ideal gift for a family with very young children. They’ll learn about numbers as well as music, animals, fruit, colors, vehicles, and more. In fact, it may just be time to start that Christmas list for next year.  (Hint, hint.) This award winning DVD   is available from Math Tutor for $19.99 US.




Math Tutor also sells serious work-it-out-on-the-white-board DVD’s.  We received Basic Math Word Problemsfor elementary and middle school This covers word problems from addition and subtraction through decimals and fractions to ratio and proportion in two DVD’s totalling 8 hours of explanations.  The presentation is clear and thorough as Jason Gibson, the instructor, goes step by step through each word problem, discussing it, drawing diagrams, setting up the equations, and finally doing the arithmetic.  My children, who all started arithmetic with word problems and who continue to do quite a few of them, found him slow going.  However, for a child who is not used to doing word problems, this could be a very helpful resource. 


When Miss 9 started watching the first video she complained that it took too long, so I let her try to get the correct answer before the instructor.  If she got an answer, she was allowed to skip ahead to see if she was right, and if she was, she did not have to listen to the rest of the presentation for that question.  Problems in the first three sections (addition, subtraction, and multiplication) were very easy for her. However, at the end of the multiplication section, there was a discussion of units that was too difficult for her (I’ve known university students who did not understand it), so we ignored it. 


She also worked on problems in division, decimals, and  fractions.  In these sections, she did not learn anything about problem solving, but, boy, did she ever learn basic arithmetic concepts:  long division, adding fractions with different denominators, and how to work with decimals!  You see, not only does Mr Gibson explain how to convert a word problem into arithmetic, he also clearly explains the arithmetic itself in great detail. 


Miss 12 watched the second DVD about problems involving fractions, percents, ratio, and proportions.  She whizzed through it, giggling, and quickly did each problem without watching Mr. Gibson plod through it. 


Miss 7 found Mr. Gibson fascinating. She took some paper and a pen, settled herself tailor-style on a chair, and took notes, feeling very grown up indeed.  I’m sure she’s picking up a thing or two as well as having fun.


Mr Gibson, the instructor, is a dynamic, well-educated man who has done significant work with the space shuttle as a flight controller.  That fact alone should add some interest to his DVD’s.  Even Miss 17’s eyes lit up when she heard this.  Here’s a guy who helped to launch the space shuttle and has now turned to launching students into math.  (And, yes, I am pretty pleased to have thought of that analogy!) He really, really understands how to explain math concepts clearly.


In fact, Mr Gibson’s explanations are so clear that I’m going to keep the Math Tutor DVD’s in mind for upper level math assistance if Miss 17 needs it.  I think that anyone experiencing difficulties in teaching or understanding math should check out the sample videos in the area of difficulty. Math Tutor would probably help.


Now, I need to stress again that our children do a lot of word problems and thinking in their regular math programs.  The fact that they did not learn anything about problem-solving from these problem-solving DVD’s does not mean that children taking a more traditional math curriculum would not benefit.  The fact that Miss 9 learned arithmetic concepts she had not yet studied is a testimony to Mr Gibson’s teaching skills.


You’ll have to look at online video samples to see if this problem-solving DVD would work for your children.  (Don’t be startled–as soon as the page loads you’ll hear a testimonial, but if you click on the links in the middle of the page you’ll access the sample videos.)


For more reviews by homeschooling parents, see the Homeschool Crew Blog .


The Basic Math Word Problem DVD is available for $ 26.99 US and has the usual Math Tutor money back guarantee.  



Disclosure Policy:   As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received Numbers and Counting and Basic Math Word Problems from Math Tutor.

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