Thursday, May 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew Review: Algebra for Breakfast

Because my son struggles with math, I was thrilled that we were granted the opportunity to review Algebra for Breakfast an online, video-based math enrichment program. We were able to review a variety of topics in Grades 3/4 and Grades 5/6 of Algebra for Breakfast.

Algebra for Breakfast is an online mathematics program that combines short instructional video clips, worksheets that build upon that day's lesson, manipulatives to help students learn visually, skip-counting songs to reinforce basic skills, and fun card and dice games to help reinforce math skills in an engaging method to offer a dynamic mathematics program for children. One tract targets children in 3rd and 4th grade while a second tract is geared to students in 5th and 6th grade. My son is technically in 9th grade this year. However, he struggles with mathematics due to Dyscalculia, a learning disability in mathematics, and his diagnosis of Autism, which causes him to dump information from his long-term memory that he doesn't feel is important. Unfortunately, he doesn't relate to math or understand its importance in daily life. Therefore, he has to relearn basic skills each time that concept is presented. This makes Algebra for Breakfast a great tool to help reinforce skills he has already learned as a supplement to our current math curriculum. It is also a program we will continue to use over the summer to prevent him from losing any of the knowledge he has gained this year. By repetition, he will slowly start to retain more of these math skills.

In grades 3/4, students will learn about Single Variable Expressions, the Meaning of Variables, Quadratic Expressions, Linear Expressions, Constant Expressions, Single Variable Polynomials, Equivalent Amounts, Quadratic Factoring, Monomial Factoring, Factors, Problem Solving, Prime Numbers, Composite Numbers, Multiplication, Division, and Algebraic Factoring. In grades 5/6, the lessons cover the Meaning of Variables, Variables and Constants, Order of Operations, Integers, Factoring, Exponents, Square Numbers, Equivalency, Binomials, Factoring, Problem Solving, Mental Math, and Algebraic Substitution.

I would recommend that students complete the videos and worksheets in order as each lesson builds upon the skills learned in previous lessons and repetition reinforces math skills. As for the videos, the instruction is clear and easy to understand. I recommend that you always have your student watch the video lesson first. Then, have them complete the worksheets afterwards as a follow-up activity. Otherwise, they may not understand what the worksheet is asking them to do if they haven't previously watched the corresponding lessons. My son did get distracted by the children in the video. Instead of focusing on the actual lesson, he would focus upon what the children were doing or how they may be getting in trouble for not paying attention. I am patient, to a fault, with his interruptions and flurry of questions during lessons. Whereas a teacher with multiple students can't afford to have as many disruptions. My son had difficulty understanding this. Otherwise, Algebra for Breakfast is a phenomenal program that helps build and reinforce math skills.

This video provides an overview of the Algebra for Breakfast program.

This video talks about the use of skip counting. My son sings skip counting songs out loud to help him remember his times tables. This is something we did prior to Algebra for Breakfast and it continues to be a very effective tool for retaining multiplication facts.

This video discusses the math dice games that engage students in learning while making it seem less like work and more like fun.

To learn more about Algebra for Breakfast, visit the Algebra for Breakfast website as well as their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. You can also read additional reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew site.

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