TabletClass Algebra 1TabletClass Algebra 1, on first glance, sounds like yet another class-in-a-video, but it goes beyond that. I’ve seen courses that have a workbook/textbook plus videos, and courses that are primarily videos of lectures that may or may not have workbooks available. TabletClass Math is one of only two I know of that is like having a tutor sit beside you. Students using TabletClass Algebra 1 should be ready to do true high school algebra.
TabletClass courses are online subscriptions, so you’ll need to have a fairly fast internet connection, as well as a fairly fast computer. Our old laptop was just barely able to handle it, but it’s a 6-year-old laptop, for example.
After setting up your parent and student accounts, your child will log in to start the first class. There are 14 chapters, and each is broken into several shorter sections, with a video lesson for each. After watching the video, your student will then need to try to solve the problems in the Example Sets. There are solutions for each Lesson, as well as extra practice worksheets, study notes, and tests.
One of the unique things about TabletClass Algebra 1 is the Student Pulse feature, where the student rates how confident he feels of how much he understands of each lesson. There are guidelines on which option to pick, so it’s more accurate than it sounds like it might be for a self-evaluation.
Another special feature is the ability to download videos for use on your tablet computer, like an iPad or Android tablet, as well as their corresponding smartphones. This is particularly nice if you spend a lot of time shuttling kids back and forth. In fact, it’s one of the only math courses I’m aware of that can be used on a tablet or smartphone, which may be enough to tip the scales towards the purchase of a iPad for my family.
My son, 14, is a mathy kid, but he’s also a perfectionist. If he runs into problems, he tends to get embarrassed and stalls out. He started out on Singapore, got frustrated when he couldn’t self-teach the grade 4 books when he was 8, and stalled until he was 11. At that point I used another program to catch him back up, and he used yet another program to fly through all of jr. high math in a year. He started a textbook-based algebra program at 12, ran into a problem and felt stupid asking for help, and went back to doing his pre-algebra books over and over. It’s not math aptitude as much as a perfectionism problem with him.
That said, he *loves* TabletClass! If he’s not positive he got something the first time, he can rewatch it. He’s excited enough about it that he will talk math at the drop of a hat, even trying to explain algebra terminology to his 6-year-old sister. He did get off to a slow start because he was very sick in the first month we had the trail subscription, and then we were out traveling a bit. Had I had a way to use the free downloadable videos, this wouldn’t have been as big a setback.
One problem that we had, besides our illness setback, was that he wasn’t quite sure on how to use Pulse at first, and was showing signs of his old ditch-this-I’m not-getting-100% problem because everything was showing up “70%”. I thought this was a bit strange, because he’s consistent, but not *that* consistent, and not usually that low of a performer on math. I had an email exchange with site owner/chief educator/certified math instructor John Zimmerman, who explained to me that my son needs to rate his understanding of each lesson, or it will default to 70% (‘C’). Because of this, my son’s overall course score shows as lower than it actually is. It is possible to change the Pulse score, but only by starting up the video again.
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Tracey Rollison has always homeschooled her three kids, now 14, 12 and 6. She enjoys watching her kids pursue their interests. She has a formal background in psychology, communication studies, and Medieval and Renaissance literature, as well as ongoing interests in science, health, and technology. She is currently a freelance writer and web designer living in Indiana.
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