Imagine a world where there are...
- first and second graders mastering all addition, subtraction and multiplication facts
- second graders mastering "difficult" long division
- fourth graders mastering all of arithmetic
- fifth and sixth graders passing "with flying colors" the same statewide examination in Algebra I traditionally reserved for the brightest ninth graders
- children in every class (in every grade up to sixth) using textbooks at least one year ahead of their grade.
Over the years of being a student, working as an educational therapist in a private school, substitute teaching in a public school and now homeschooling my children, I have encountered many techniques for learning math. I even remember counting on my fingers (and toes) when I was little. Some folks encouraged it and some didn't. Most of the time I was discouraged from doing so and prodded to use my head and not my fingers.
Can you believe that Professor B Math actually encourages you to use your fingers? Not in the same way that we all used them as children, but in a very unique way.
Most of you know that my middle child, Joshua, was diagnosed with asperger's syndrome a few years back. Asperger's syndrome is on the autism spectrum. Because of his disabilities, Joshua has difficulties with many learning activities. Concepts that may seem easy to normal kindergarten and first grade students can be very difficult for Joshua.
We have tried many math programs for him. Some with success and others with no success whatsoever. He is still woefully behind in math compared to others his same age. I wanted to see if Professor B Math would help. The instructions said that we should not worry about grade levels but start him at the place we thought would be most beneficial for him. There is even a free placement test on there website that could have tried, but I decided to start him way back at the beginning. My plan was to work quickly through the lessons until he reached a challenging area and then we could continue at a regular pace. Professor B has actually worked for him and I am seeing progress!
Professor B, who in real life is an actual man by the name of Everard Barrett, uses a lot of innovative techniques that have really helped Joshua. And what's really neat about these innovative techniques is that you don't need to know math in order for them to work. Everything is shown and explained right on your computer screen. And when I say shown and explained, I really mean shown and explained. Not just for the teacher but for the teacher and student together. You see, the lessons in Professor B are all on the computer. You mut log in to access them. The main teacher on the computer is, yes, a bee to represent Professor B. But, Professor B (the bee) doesn't talk. There are cartoon balloons that he talks with but no sound. The reason there is no sound is that Professor B is not a computer game that the student uses alone, it's actually a whole math program. Since it is a whole math teaching program, the teacher (or, in this case, you, the parent) sits with the child and reads the words on the screen while the child watches and mirrors what is happening on the screen. The parent is also to make sure that the child is understanding what he being asked to do and doing it correctly. After mirroring what is done on the screen, the child practices doing it on his own. If wanted, there is also a downloadable workbook where you can print out needed pages for your child to use as extra practice.
As I mentioned before, the lower levels are mostly done using the fingers. This isn't finger counting, however, it is a very ingenious way to solidify the truth about math. I don't usually insert snippets from a product website because I am supposed to be reviewing a product myself, but in this case I don't think I could explain the reasoning behind Professor B's methods better than Professor B himself: He says:
Because the vast majority of statements made in the traditional teaching of arithmetic are either false or meaningless and children's natural capacities for mastery of mathematics are consequently frustrated (even deactivated), our program to "tell the truth" in all the operations on whole numbers, fractions and decimals. As a teacher/parent, you will be very surprised at the rapid and thorough understanding you are able to achieve when you experience truth telling in arithmetic.
Professor B's techniques are so unique and different that they are really difficult to explain. There are many sample videos on their website that you can access by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. I did find one video of Professor Everard Barrett that explains the concept of subtraction. You can see by this clip how logical and easy it is.
Of course, when you log into the Professor B website and choose one of he subtraction lessons it won't be the actual Professor B but the animated Professor B (the Bee) that teaches you. Please, though, check out the Professor B Math website for many more sample videos that actually show you how the program works. We are loving using Professor B Math. I'm not sure if we will use this along side the program that we are presently using or use this exclusively on its own, but we will continue using this program. As Professor B says:
Professor B Math is much cheaper than hiring a tutor. Each level can be purchased for $100 for a 36 month access. For example, you can purchase a 36 month access to the online program for Level 1 (pre-K through 2nd grade) for $100 and then when needed you can purchase a 36 month access to the online program for Level 2 (3rd through 5th grade) for 36 months and then another $100 for Level 3 (6th through 8th grade) when needed. Such a bargain! Each level can be completed in a year, but Professor B Math allows you a 36 month access for a child that may need a little extra time, or for a family with multiple children on different grade levels. When child #2 is ready then it's there and waiting!
Professor B Math also has a monthly price of $20 per month for one level. If you have another child on another level then that level would be $15 and if you have still another child on the third level then that level would just cost $10 if you purchase all three levels at the same time. For more information on the pricing just click on one of the hi-lighted links above.
Other TOS Review Crew members reviewed Professor B Math and you can find what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was given a one year membership to Professor B Math in order to try their product and give my honest review on this blog.