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Recently the author of Kinetic Books contacted me and asked me to review their Algebra 1 Online Homeschool Edition.
I've never used this kind of math book before but I can see that it can be a very valuable way of learning math for many students.
The book is interactive and is read and used online. The student can read about their lesson or listen to the lesson. The best part about this book, in my opinion, is that the student gets an instant answer. They have 3 chances to get the answer right.
If they read or listen to the lesson, they can answer the question right away or ask for help with the steps needed to get the right answer. The reading about the new material and the problems are all on the same page, so it's easy for the student to refer back to the examples.
The student can download the book on their computer as a pdf, but at a whopping 752 pages I don't know why anyone would need to do this. The interactive book is much more valuable. If someone was going on vacation and need to take their math with them for a week, then I suppose they could copy off some pages to take with them.
There are 136 lessons with 26 quizzes and 13 tests. The quizzes come after about 3-4 lessons and the tests come after about 10-11 lessons. There are also 10-12 minute videos on each concept introduced. That way the student can have the material explained to them by video if they didn't understand everything from reading.
The program keeps track of all scores from the lessons, tests, and quizzes. These can be requested from the book and come up in an excel document. My computer runs slowly with excel but I only have to check the scores every week or two so this is not a big deal. Some of the videos for the course are not completed, but for a vast majority of the lessons there are video explanations.
The book also includes practice tests and cumulative reviews to help in preparation for the tests that the student will need to take.
The student who is a fast learner can read through the lessons and answer the questions right away. The slower or more average learner can take advantage of all the videos, whiteboards, and activities to help them complete the work.
Many homeschool families have tested this program and the developers listened to their feedback and made changes to those areas that were important to them. This Algebra curriculum aligns with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards.
Kinetic Books has been in business for over 10 years and have had plenty of time to fine tune their books to make them comprehensive, engaging and fun. When someone purchases their program they are granted a 12 month access. The total cost is $79.95 for the 12 months and requires internet access. They offer courses in Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry.
Overall, I think Kinetic Books is a good program. If a student enjoys completing their work on the computer, like my son does, then they should be able to follow the program with success. I like the fact that it works for both the quick and slow learner and everyone in between and that it has been well tested and fine tuned for homeschooling.
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