As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew I got to try out an interesting resource for math, America’s Math Teacher. The site was created by Rick Fisher, a math teacher from California and founder of the Math Essentials program. Basically Mr. Fisher’s goal is to help students master the basics of math and better prepare them for algebra, which he believes is the “gateway subject to more advanced math, science, and technical classes.” His approach is clear, simple and focused, eliminating any extra “fluff” that may be a distraction to students.
America’s Math Teacher is designed for 4th grade through early high school, with four levels of instruction: Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra and Algebra. The site has three areas with resources for each level. In the Learning Centers, Mr. Fisher offers video instruction for each course where he encourages students to write out problems along with him and follow up with written exercises. The Evaluation Center houses evaluations to help decide which level a student should begin with, as well as the quizzes and final exams for each course. In the Resource Center you will find helpful tables and other tools to help improve math skills. The site also features speed drills for fun practice of addition, subtraction and multiplication skills.
Pricing for homeschoolers is $195 for a year. A subscription allows access to resources for all four levels, so the more students you have at those levels, the more affordable the program becomes.
My 9yo 4th grader tried out the program. He enjoyed watching the videos and how the lessons were short. I liked how the lessons were laid out and the “all lessons list” in the Resources Center that helped with my lesson planning. It was nice to turn over the math lessons to someone else for a while, knowing that ds was actually getting real instruction and not clicking “next” and guessing at answers. The site is still undergoing construction but does provide online support for any problems you may encounter.