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Mathematical Reasoning (review)

An educational, easy-to-use, middle school supplement that combines logic and math skills? Yes, please! The Critical Thinking Company manages to do just that with their latest offering, Mathematical Reasoning: Middle School Supplement. Word problems encourage creative, logical thinking and reinforce common 7th-8th grade math concepts. This is a great supplement to whatever math curriculum you’re using and takes just a short time each day.

To be totally honest, I have to say that my middle schooler’s least favorite subjects are math and logic. However, the clean formatting, engaging questions, and included math facts needed for each problem set made these subjects almost bearable for her. The detailed solutions and tips made it almost painless for her equally challenged mom :-). I have yet to be disappointed by a Critical Thinking Company product.

Visit The Critical Thinking Company’s website to purchase your copy today for only $19.99, not a bad price for the 50 activities (2 pages each) it contains.

Disclaimer: The Critical Thinking Company provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed, however, are my own.

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Professor in a Box: Financial Accounting (review)

Professor in a Box is exactly what it sounds like: a professor teaching my teen a subject with which I am not comfortable: “Financial Accounting.” The 4-CD (for the computer) set comes in an oversized CD case with a paper course syllabus and learning objectives by chapter as well as an itemized list of the contents on each disc. The first CD is for the instructor/parent and contains an introduction, a detailed lesson plan, templates for all of the homework problems, demonstrations, quizzes and exams, solutions, and a grading guide.
This is a high school (1 full year, 1 full credit) level math elective aimed specifically towards homeschoolers. Since I have absolutely no business or math thoughts in my head, I was very excited when the package came in the mail. What’s more, my high schooler was also excited (but probably not as much as I was). She reports that “the video lectures, although easy to understand, are a bit on the long side, so it’s a good thing that there aren’t too many of them.” She was thrilled that this particular math program did not come with a hefty textbook and a million problems to solve per lesson. I’m thrilled that all of the answers are on my CD; I might actually be able to handle this math course. Since it is on CDs, it’s reusable. I would definitely recommend this course for high schoolers not wanting to take trigonometry or calculus.
The topics covered include an introduction, financial statements, recording transactions, merchandising, short-term financial assets, inventories, long-term assets, liabilities, stockholders’ equity, cash flows, and financial statement analysis. All of the course content is included in the flash lecture slides and a brief key concepts and terms file for each of the 12 chapters (28 lessons total). These also include demo problems and step-by-step illustrations of how to work through the various types of accounting problems covered.
You can see a sample chapter on the Professor in a Box website as well as FAQs and a link to purchase “Financial Accounting.” The program costs $134.99 and includes free priority shipping via the USPS. That’s not a bad price considering it’s everything you need for a complete high school course.
For more opinions and reviews, check out the official TOS Review Crew blog @ http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783255/
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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America’s Math Teacher (review)

Do you ever wish you had a private tutor who was available 24/7 to explain some of the trickier math concepts to your kids? Or perhaps you understand exponents (or whatever) yourself, but can’t seem to explain it in a way that makes sense to your child. America’s Math Teacher to the rescue! It is a completely web-based program and can be accessed from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The website includes a Learning Center, an Exercise Center, an Evaluation Center, a Resource Center, and Speed Drills. It’s a great addition to your current math program and it’s aligned with state standards. Kids learn by watching short videos, completing worksheets, and more. Kids can work at their own pace. Adults can review fuzzy math concepts as well.


My teenagers found the short videos engaging and helpful, although they have a fairly broad scope. The games were fun and different from just flipping through flashcards, but still managed to drill the facts. The worksheets could be filled out online or printed and then completed. They seemed to be more of a general review than a specific drill on one concept. I would like to have seen more worksheets that focused on one idea so we could focus on weak areas. I think it’s a bit pricey, but any number of people can access it an unlimited number of times throughout the year, so that does make the dollars stretch a bit further.
Math Essentials is good for explaining difficult math concepts in a kid-friendly manner. It allows kids to hear and see the same concepts over and over again as needed. It covers math concepts for basic math (grade 4) through algebra.
Click your way over to America’s Math Teacher for a free demo/trial offer and to register. The cost is $195 for a full year’s access, which is cheaper and more convenient than hiring a tutor to come to your house. Other products available from this vendor include
For more opinions and reviews, check out the official TOS Review Crew blog @ http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/783008/

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Math Tutor DVDs Review

“Caution: The use of this DVD will cause increased understanding of basic math word problems and will lead to higher grades.” This warning is on the front of Math Tutor’s DVDs and I love it!

Many of the issues we encounter trying to solve math problems stem from trying to convert words to math symbols. It seems like getting the problem set up properly is half the battle. The Math Tutor DVDs take those sticky word problems and teach your students how to solve them step by step. They are not affiliated with any particular math curriculum, which means that they work with all types of math curricula. My fifth grader viewed some of “The Basic Math Tutor Word Problem Tutor” DVD (an eight-hour video course). While she found each session to be a bit long for her (admittedly short) attention span, she did find the explanations to be helpful. “The Algebra 2 Tutor” (a six-hour video course) had my ninth grader saying “ah ha!”
These two DVDs are $26.99 each and are part of a nearly twenty-course lineup. Since math is one of my weaker subjects, I am thrilled to add the Math Tutor DVDs to my bookshelf. Go ahead. I dare you: order the Math Tutor DVDs and watch your children’s math comprehension and grades soar.

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A Mountain of Math

Help! I need a different math curriculum! My child just is not getting fractions (or decimals, or beginning geometry). My child needs more practice doing long division and I don’t have time to scour the internet to make my own worksheets all the time. Math Mammoth to the rescue!

The Math Mammoth Web site offers a plethora of workbooks from which to choose. The books are offered both as e-books, for those wanting instant gratification and no shelf space, and as actual textbooks that can be ordered from Lulu.com, for those wanting to hold a real book in their hands and flip through the pages. Full-length, complete math curriculum is offered in the light blue series for grades 1–5 for $27 per grade level. Math Mammoth also offers a full line of supplemental workbooks for grades 1–8 for as little as $2–$5 each. These are listed by grade and by topic. You can order just one, or a bundle with several related topics. Some series just have problems for extra practice, while some also include full explanations. The no-nonsense booklets get right to the point—no fluff. They’re great for a supplement or for a full-time curriculum.

Don’t know which book or supplement is right for your child? Neither did I. I took a stab at it and asked for two I thought would work for my daughter. When I placed my order, I mentioned our areas of struggle, and Math Mammoth’s creator/writer made several recommendations for me and even threw in a supplement I wasn’t expecting. Although the Web site can be confusing, it does state very clearly that they will help you choose the right workbooks if you ask. Want to check out what’s available? Go ahead! The Math Mammoth Web site offers a TON of FREE, downloadable worksheets for all levels.

Help! I don’t know how to teach math to my kids—I hated math when I was in school! Math Mammoth teaching emails to the rescue. Sign up to receive 280 FREE, bonus worksheets, 7 how-to-teach math articles, and 2 emails that explain the books. Sign up for the ongoing newsletter, and get 280 free worksheets as well as other sample pages from the workbooks. What a great deal!