Since I've been talking about Math lately on the blog, I'm excited to tell you about a new to us Math Supplement progam called Algebra for Breakfast.
In my simplistic brain Algebra is substituting letters for numbers and the methods used to solve the equations and learn what those letters stand for.
My daughter started sticking her toe into the Algebra water back in 4th grade. I thought that was pretty young but it was just a very mild introduction it passed quickly and painlessly. I, myself, didn't study any algebra until high school so that was a hmmmm moment.
Enter Algebra for Breakfast to give a her a little leg up in the Math world.
About Algebra for Breakfast
Bob Hazen (creator and teacher in Algebra for Breakfast) says that understanding Algebra is the key to understanding all the Math concepts that come afterwards. I've been wondering if this means calculus too since this is where I started to bomb. His goal is to help young students master Algebra so that Math won't be such a conundrum.
Algebra for Breakfast is an online Math supplemental program covering grades 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. It's subscription based and there are 2 grade levels and 3 versions of the program you can subscribe to. A subscription lasts 6 months.
- All the lessons (with worksheets) for either grades 3 through 4 or 5 through 6, manipulatives, math dice, and skip counting songs.
- Just the video lessons (with worksheets) for chosen grade.
- And a membership that includes the videos (with worksheets) with the skip counting songs and the math dice.
Each grade set has about 40 lessons. But you won't get access to all the lessons at once.
The Homeschool Review Crew members were given subscriptions to their chosen grade set of Algebra for Breakfast, the skip counting songs, and a set of Math Dice with which to complete the program. We already own a set of math manipulatives which are necessary to make the program effective.
Each lesson in the Algebra for Breakfast program includes a worksheet to complete following the lesson. The worksheets are simple and reinforce the lessons in unique ways that cause your student to think about and apply what they have learned.
How Did We Use Algebra for Breakfast
This program came at a good time.
My daughter has a love-hate relationship with math. When she gets it and does well she proclaims from the highest mountain how much she loves math. When it's hard and she's struggling she hates it. Period.
Right before Algebra for Breakfast came along she was on the fence. She felt like math had been betraying her this year and she was approaching each lesson timidly afraid it would bite her in the end.
The Sweet Peanut had been exposed to a teensy bit of Algebra in earlier grades but this year we've been diving in full force and were just getting started when we received our subscription to Algebra for Breakfast.
This year we put down the Homeschool DVDs for Math class and Mom (that's me) has been the facilitator. That means a lot of reading, some brush up, and then a lot of fumbling to impart this immense math knowledge into my daughter's sweet brain. Following that she'll do a few lessons of Algebra for Breakfast.
We use Algebra for Breakfast a couple of times a week doing more than one lesson at a time (2 to 3).
We began our Algebra chapter in our regular homeschool program about a week before Algebra for Breakfast arrived. After watching the Prep Activities section, which include several math games, for the
After watching the Prep Activities section, which includes several math games, for the program, The Sweet Peanut has been going through the lessons herself. I've noticed a marked improvement in her math skills.
The Prep Activities for Algebra for Breakfast include a number of fun math games described in detail. Using those and the skip counting songs can help a student get over some of the hurdles that may have bogged them down previously in math.
One game, in particular, uses these cool Math Dice we received. You'll need someone to compete with and I highly recommend torturing parents with this. You have two types of dice. The twelve-sided dice you quickly multiply (in your head) to find the number and then each of the regular sided dice you multiply, add, subtract, or divide, a combination thereof to get a number close to the number of the multiplied 12 sided dice. The person who gets closest wins. It's a great way to use mental math to beat your opponent.
Each math lesson in Algebra for Breakfast is a video recorded in front of a live math class. No bells or whistles. If your child is easily distracted this could be an issue.
There are some funny moments (I think) in the videos with students not paying attention and Bob calling them on it but I love how he uses the manipulatives ingeniously to help young students understand concepts such as positive and negative numbers and how they work.
Results from Algebra for Breakfast?
After using Algebra for Breakfast I've noticed a marked improvement in The Sweet Peanut's math skills and quiz grades. Where as before positive and negative numbers were a little confusing, she now gets them and how they work in equations.
And just before this review, she completed her math work text from our regular math curriculum the fastest I've seen since the beginning days of addition and subtraction.
This is a great math progam and I'm always pleased when I get to review gems like this. If you've read my math posts you know that sometimes you have to find new and unique ways to get math concepts across to your children. Consider this part of my list.
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