What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: ScienceandMath.com

ScienceandMath.com Review

It's been a week or two since my last review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I figured it was about time for a new one...and this one I am particularly excited about.  Up until now I have been given the opportunity to review online resources, which are cool in their own way, but THIS review is about a tangible, feel-in-your-hand, get-in-the-mail resource. (And you all know how much I like getting things in the mail!)  Even more appealing, though, is what this educational 5th grade math tool does.  It stops a math-grumbling 5th grader from grumbling at math time. This is pretty huge in my book, so I have to give Kudos to ScienceandMath.com and their Mastering 5th Grade Math- Volume 1: Essentials of Fractions DVD for doing something I thought impossible....quieting the grumble monster at Math time.

ScienceandMath.com Review

Mastering 5th Grade Math: Volume 1: Essentials of Fractions is a DVD set that includes two discs; a DVD with the video lessons and a second disc that includes the worksheets and answer key for all 16 lessons.  On the second disc, too, is a digital copy of all the video lessons.  The teacher of the program is Jason, who was a scientist for NASA and just seems like such a sweet guy.  (I suppose I shouldn't be reviewing the character of the speaker but I can spot a nice guy from a mile away...) 

See? Nice guy.  You can just tell.

In each lesson, Jason walks the student through each math concept step-by-step and explains clearly what he is doing and why he is doing it while providing plenty of examples of each math concept for the student to fully grasp his instruction.    After the short lesson, the student is given corresponding worksheets to further practice the skills taught.  Here is a list of the lessons covered in Volume 1:

Lesson 1: Review of Fraction Concepts
Lesson 2: Writing Fractions as Words
Lesson 3: Finding Factors of Numbers
Lesson 4: Finding the Greatest Common Factor
Lesson 5: Finding the GCF of 3 Numbers
Lesson 6: Prime Factorization
Lesson 7: Equivalent Fractions
Lesson 8: Renaming Fractions    
 Lesson 9: Simplifying Fractions, Part 1
Lesson 10: Simplifying Fractions, Part 2
Lesson 11: Review of Improper Fractions
Lesson 12: Review of Mixed Fractions
Lesson 13: Writing Mixed Fractions as Improper Fractions
Lesson 14: Writing Improper Fractions as Mixed Fractions
Lesson 15: Thinking of Fractions as Division
Lesson 16: Writing Whole Numbers as Fractions

I do a lot of reading and teaching in our homeschool.  Our children aren't quite at the age/stage where they can be autonomous in their studies so I read history to everyone.  I read Bible.  I read science.  I read biographies.  I read and read and read.  I teach and teach and teach.  And I gotta tell ya, it was a nice break to WATCH another person teach math instead of ME teaching and reading it.  I liked it.  (A lot.)

The one thing that I would probably change is a very small and trivial thing when it comes right down to it, but I'll suggest it anyway.  The worksheets are full of practice problems to do but each problem is so spaced out that you end up wasting a lot more paper than is necessary.  Two pages worth of problems could be nicely spaced into one page with little/no effort.  I notice this especially in this instance, because at the time, I could not print the pictures from our old computer (the disc drive was broken) so I had to take it to the library to print the pages.  At a dime a page.  (THEN it becomes apparent how much paper you use!)  Again, trivial but noteworthy.

Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the program.

ScienceandMath.com provide step by step Math and Science courses for different age levels- from fractions to trigonometry, science experiments to physics.  T

hey offer step-by-step math and science help and learning from grades 4 all the way through highschool so don't let the fact that I am reviewing Mastering 5th grade Math deter you from checking out their other products!

The Mastering 5th Grade Math: Volume 1: Essentials of Fractions can be downloaded for $14.99 (access to all video and worksheets) or by purchasing the physical DVD for $15.99 (which includes both the video and worksheet discs). 

Hey you!  What are YOU doing over here second grader?
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