pemberley
 Reviewed on Friday, July 26, 2013
 Grades Used: Algebra I
 Dates used: 20122013
I have fretted and stressed over finding the right Algebra curriculum. I've tried MUS, ChalkDust, Khan Academy, and finally settled on VideoText.
At first, I was concerned that there was so little review. I mean, I grew up on practice...drill...practice...drill. That's all I knew...and that's what I thought my son needed. I should add that despite all of that drill and practice, math never "stuck" with me. After watching the VT videos myself, I am FINALLY understanding Algebra in a way that makes sense. Finally! I realize now that VT DOES have review...but it is embedded into the work and done in context...not in isolation.
For example...with a program like Saxon math, a student may reach the unit about finding the slope of a line...and as part of their review in the daily work, they may face problems asking them to do simple addition or multiplication. Now...I'm all for keeping skills sharp, but if a student does not know how to multiply or add quickly and as PART of Algebra, then said student may need some serious remediation.
I can liken it to this...when learning to speak English, we all learned (at some point) that using a double negative is wrong. As we speak, we are constantly aware of our use of negatives in speech...we don't need a "quiz" or a "review" to remind us of that because we use that skill all of the time.
VT's computer animation is the best I've seen and makes math "real" and understandable.
At first we yawned over the lessons b/c they were review of preAlgebra concepts. However, we were pleased to move on into new territory.
My husband's only complaint was that the videos look dated. And, maybe they are...but the algebraic concepts are not, and therein lies the beauty of this program.
Speaking to the author of the program opened my eyes to how it should work.
My son is only required to work half of the problems, but he must show his work. I am not allowed to even LOOK at his work and instead only look at his answers (insert common sense here). If his answer is right, then we move on. If it's wrong, then I give him the solutions guide and ask HIM to do a comparative analysis of his work. That means he does a sidebyside comparison of what HE did and what the solution's guide did. When he finds the place where he made an error, then he shows it to me. Easy Peasy.
The video instructors do not give shortcuts and they don't teach "tricks"; HOWEVER, if a student finds a shortcut on his own that works...we applaud him...because he is understanding the concepts well enough that he is able to apply logic and reasoning to his work.
My son can use a calculator for much of his work as that takes out the double jeopardy of a careless mistake in computation.
If considering this program, call the company and ask for a preview of the videos.

hobbes
 Reviewed on Sunday, April 19, 2009
 Grades Used: 79th
 Dates used: 200609
Great for a student who is bright, doesn't like math (but gets it logically) and doesn't like or need a lot of drill work. My son was ready for this by 7th grade but we have worked at a leisure pace. I will probably wait until 8th grade to start my next son, who works at a bit slower pace.

momoffour
 Reviewed on Tuesday, February 3, 2009
 Grades Used: 10th
 Dates used: 20082009
We have only used the algebra VTI but this program has worked so well for us that I had to post a review. The video lecture takes about 10 min. and is explained in a very clear and precise manner with examples. The lecturers are not boring and do a good job presenting the material. The computer graphics really help esp. in graphing. Their approach to word problems is PHENOMINAL. Without it both of us would just look at these types of problems and cry. I am amazed at what she can solve with this method. I watch the videos with her and recommend any parent do that. The child will have questions at times. (I cant imagine what upper level math course a child could do totally self taught and really get it.) But VTI does offer support. Review isn't exactly built in, like the way saxon does, but there is a method you are supposed to follow so that review is done in areas where it is needed. My daughter is a good student but I wouldn't say she is a math genius or something. She had taken Making Math Meaningful's Principles and Patterns (aka. Algebra 1) and did not remember hardly any of it. I would not recommend it at all. Her Alg. skills were definatly not up to par so we chose this program since it is alg1 and alg2. She did module A in the summer and she will be able to complete the work through module E by school year's end (so almost the whole curriculum in one year not two). The scope and sequence is differnt here than other programs, I think. You take a concept and go much deeper with it than most courses before you move on. That is why it is Alg 1 and Alg 2 in continum over a two year period. I have been very pleased with it and my daughter likes it as well and is now able to do most of the alg. problems in the PSAT guide, no sweat. I recommed it for anyone but especially for a student who has had Alg. 1 and had a bad time of it and needs to move on to Alg 2 but at the same time really needs Alg. 1 again. Thanks.

lgraves
 Reviewed on Friday, May 30, 2008
 Grades Used: 7th8th9th
 Dates used: 20062008
My son began this in 7th grade, because he was ready, even though it took him 2 1/2 years to complete. This is a wonderful curriculum for children who are bright in math (my son scores in the 90's on the Iowa Test), and who are motivated and can work independently. My son does this completely on his own, with me checking and correcting his work, and he does a fairly good job. I can see how this curr. would NOT be beneficial to students who don't pick up on math topics fairly quickly and easily, or who can't focus or work independently. If the parent is willing to put in a good deal of time in learning these lessons alongside their child, then the student can benefit. But like most homeschoolers, there is usually more than one child in the family, so the practicality of this happening is probably small. I like that there are extra practice exercises and record sheets on their website, and that someone is always available to answer your student's questions. My son just started their new Geometry program, and it has worked very well for him so far.
UPDATE 9/2010 My son has gone through all the VideoText Algebra and Geometry, and took a College Trigonometry course at a community college as a junior, and did very well. He then took Calculus 1 and 2 as a senior in high school at the community college, and is also doing a great job. I applaud VideoText for helping him succeed.
