Review of MathTV.com video lessons
MathTV.com website includes thousands of videos that cover topics from basic math (pre-algebra) through high school calculus. The videos are offered completely FREE of charge online. The site also offers free worksheets with additional problems and sells textbooks to match the videos.
The idea in these videos is fairly simple: you watch a teacher solve math problems on the whiteboard. It's like sitting in a classroom and following the teacher; however this is better because you can rewind and replay the 'teacher' as much as you wish.
Screenshot of an algebra video from MathTV.com
MathTV covers basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus — all of high school math. Each of these sections covers a range of topics and has an extensive amount of video instruction. For example, under Algebra 1, Chapter 2, Linear Inequalities, we find 10 lessons or examples, explained by several instructors, including in Spanish.
Often, there is a video solution of the same example by several instructors. For example, like you see in the image, you can choose to view either Mr. McKeague, Matt, Ana, or Cynthia solve the equation 3(x − 5) + 4 = 13.
These videos can be used along with any mathematics textbook or workbook you might have; however, they have been matched to XYZ Textbooks written by Charles P. McKeague, the originator of MathTV.com. The videos themselves are "companions," not stand-alone instruction. In other words, you cannot learn everything about algebra or trigonometry just by seeing the videos. You will still need a textbook to explain concepts, symbols, and the whys and wherefores of math. The video clips serve to give you examples of how a skilled teacher solves problems - step by step.
MathTV.com videos are an excellent way to review and practice "forgotten" math. However, they are also an excellent source of help for homeschoolers on the high school level. Many times homeschooling mothers and fathers struggle with teaching high school math because they perhaps have forgotten it (When was the last time you solved absolute value equations or played with trigonometric identities?) or because they perhaps didn't learn it in the first place.
In those occasions, seeing a teacher solve problems step-by-step can be of great value. In textbooks, these steps are often explained in words, which is much more difficult to follow. Seeing and hearing it (repeatedly if you so wish) can help the learning process compared to just reading a textbook and trying to figure out what happened in each step.
The solutions to problems are quite mechanical, using the common rules. You won't probably find any "creative" solutions. This is good when you're learning those tecniques and rules; but please note that the videos do not contain explanations why these rules work or where they come from.
The instructor Charles P. McKeague is also an author of several math textbooks and an inspirational speaker. His style of teaching is very clear. The way he writes on the board and uses symbols is also very clear – concise, yet illustrative and helpful. I was delighted by the way he used notation when solving absolute value inequalities, for example. He's not the only instructor in the videos, though.
Website: www.MathTV.com. The website and the videos are free to view. An E-Content Pass to access all the ebooks, videos, worksheets, MathTV mobile, and XYZ homework is $30 for 12 months; print textbooks run $48 - $68 depending on the subject.
Review by Maria Miller