Okay, you all know that I do my best to be honest with you, right? A few weeks ago, I received a couple of DVDs in the mail from Math Tutor DVD. I was immediately drawn to the one DVD because it had my very favorite creature in all the world on the cover — a red-eyed tree frog.
Then, I read the title of the second DVD, The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor: 8 Hour Video Course. Here comes the honesty part. When I read that title, my first thought was, “I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil than watch that DVD.”
I mean, really, aren’t the words “math word problems” the three most dreaded words in the English language? The whole purpose of the DVD, however, is to make those words a little less dreaded. The 8 hour DVD course covers word problems of the following types:
- Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers
- Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals and fractions
- Percents, ratio, and proportion
The instructor, Jason Gibson, goes into great detail, breaking down each type of problem and giving students tips on how to recognize what, exactly, they’re being asked to do in each particular problem. He offers key words to tell students which operation to use and gives practical suggestions on how to figure out each problem, such as drawing diagrams.
For us, though, there was too much detail. Mr. Gibson literally spent over five minutes on the problems we watched (no, we didn’t watch the entire 8 hours). My kids were screaming the answer at the screen within the first couple of minutes and becoming very frustrated that the explanation went on and on. This might be great for some kids, but it was driving mine crazy.
There are lots of topics in the Math Tutor DVD library, in addition to the word problems DVD. Some examples are:
- Basic Math
You can check out samples online at Math Tutor DVD. Prices vary, but the word problems DVD is available for $26.99.
The second DVD we reviewed, the one with the cute little red-eyed tree frog, is called Young Minds: Numbers and Counting. This DVD were developed to teach young children basic math skills such as, well, numbers and counting.
The DVD features music by classical composers, such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. The relaxing music and stunning photography of the DVD provide the backdrop for learning number recognition and counting skills.
The DVD is narrated by a young child (or, perhaps, an adult with a young child’s voice) and counts things that kids will find interesting, such as dump trucks, sea turtles, and baby birds. In addition to counting, there are games such as: Guess the Animal, Connect the Dots, and Picture Puzzles.
Of course, I don’t have kids young enough to say for sure if this DVD would capture the interest of it’s intended audience, but it reminded me of the Baby Einstein DVDs, so that might give you an idea if your little one would like it or not. The Young Minds DVD is available from the website for $19.99.