The adventures of a homeschooling family

Howard and Rachel
Annie, Emma, Sarah, Laura and Adam

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Professor B review

 We were asked to review a product through TOS.  It is another math program.   This time, it is a program called Professor B Math.  The claim for this program is that it is 3 years of math in one year.
It has a cute little bee that has the script for the teacher to read, while sitting with the child.  There are 3 different levels, and each covers quite a bit of material.  It is put together in a Power Point kind of way, which is a drawback as it is really slow.  Like drove Emma nuts kind of slow.  However, the methods of teaching are really well thought out.  Emma did some review of writing in expanded notation (not what its called on the site, but pretty much the same) and she said it made sense.  Which is good because we have tried it at home with base ten blocks over and over.  She also worked on multiplication facts and multiplying by 10, 100s, 40s, etc.  She quickly adapted to the new method and did well.

So now, the nitty gritty:
*Professor B Math is geared toward Pre-K through 8th grade, and also for remedial learners. 
*You can find the site here.
*The material covered at each level can be found here.
*The price is $100 for 3 year's access to all three levels, or you can call 678-765-6655 for monthly rates (they have been updating their website so it might be hard to find until it is complete)

What makes this different from any other online math site?  Here is their philosophy:
"Our program, "Mathematics Power Learning,", have thoroughly structured the content of arithmetic as a developmental, contextual flow (like a story). This allows children's minds to assimilate its content more quickly (in the same natural way they assimilate stories rapidly) without any gaps in their knowledge.
Tell the Truth in Teaching and Learning Math
Because the vast majority of statements made in the traditional teaching of arithmetic are either false or meaningless and children's natural capacities for mastery of mathematics are consequently frustrated (even deactivated), our program to "tell the truth" in all the operations on whole numbers, fractions and decimals. As a teacher/parent, you will be very surprised at the rapid and thorough understanding you are able to achieve when you experience truth telling in arithmetic."

How does it work?  Well, you log in first, of course.  Then you access the level you have subscribed to.   There is an initial screen that shows you how to navigate the slides.  Then in the bottom left-hand corner there is a link to the table of contents.  From there you pick a topic and a new table of contents shows up.  You pick a lesson and get to work.  Emma needed a piece of scratch paper for some of her work.  We liked that she could go back one slide at a time to review.  Once the lesson is finished, it says to work on the workbook pages.  That would be swell, but I haven't found an easy way to get back to the workbook page to print it out.  I have had to back out completely, then print out the pages, then back out and find the spot in the lesson, if she wanted to review again.  Also, there is no memory built in, so every time you log in, you have to dig through to find where you were.  You might want to write down the last lesson. 

So, my Pros would have to be that the actual methods of teaching are good, they work.  There isn't annoying music or anything like on many kids sites. The price is actually doable. There is no separate teacher's manual to drag out, the script is right there on the screen.  I think once the levels are complete, the student will be more than competent in all of the material covered. 

Cons would have to be that the site is a mess to navigate.  Hopefully this is an aspect that they are working on in their update.  There is no memory of lesson progress, and its hard to get from one place to another.  Since the teacher's script is right there on the screen, kids old enough to read independently can read it for themselves and don't want their teacher/parent hovering over them.  Also, for auditory learners, it would be nice to have an option for the script to be read by the bee.

If you would like to see what I am talking about, you can go here to see a sample lesson.  What is an issue for me could be no big deal to you, and vice versa. If you would like to see what others thought of this product, hop on over to the Schoolhouse Review Blog and click to read other reviews. 

Disclaimer:  I received a subscription to Professor B Math in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed herein are my own. 

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