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LIVE Online Math Review by Carrie Wilbur

John Bovey
PO Box 10621
Spokane, WA 99209
General Email:
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Live Online Math (LOM) services extend from smaller sessions of tutoring through live online classes, tailored to grade level and ability. For the purposes of this review, each of my four eldest children worked for half an hour with Mr. Bovey. The children's ages and math curriculums are: 7 (Saxon 2); 9 (Teaching Textbooks 4); 12 (Teaching Textbooks 7); and 14 (Saxon Algebra I and Teaching Textbooks Algebra I). I'm reviewing the tutoring sessions, though I also participated in one of the free demos of services.

For optimal results, you'll need high speed Internet and a headset with microphone. Using the monitor speakers allows feedback of ambient noise and creates an echo.

Upon logging into an initial tutoring session, the student receives a run-through of the features of the "white board." (Your monitor screen becomes a shared virtual white board.) The tutor and the student are both able to "draw" on the white board in several colors and then erase, make shapes, lines, and more. If a parent were looking for help with a particular worksheet, that worksheet could be faxed to LOM and then scanned to be included in the tutoring time, or emailed as a PDF for inclusion on the white board. Either is viable, with good representation on the white board itself. Following the tutoring session, the parent receives notes from the instructor via email and is free to continue to discuss concerns and goals.

My seven-year-old was enchanted with the features of the white board and would like to have a chance to "work on math online" again. My nine-year-old enjoyed the white board but was a little nervous about working with someone she didn't know. By the end of the session, however, she'd relaxed a bit and was more excited about doing math online. My twelve-year-old states that her tutoring time (working on Roman numerals) was "fun and interesting and different." She liked the explanation she received, calling it "better than most" and would like to have more tutoring sessions. My fourteen-year-old (working with fractions) states: "The explanations were helpful, but it was made much easier by having a live person to work with."

At the beginning of our second full hour, we had some difficulty with an echo in a microphone. This was quickly solved when the tutor for our session, Mr. Bovey, called our home number and proceeded with the sessions over the phone.

I can't think of a downside of this program. Our tutor was personable and knowledgeable, and he easily worked with a wide range of abilities and communicated well with me as the mom. There may be a negative somewhere, but in our experience it seems close to perfect. The flexibility in scheduling and skill level is especially appealing, as is the fact that this company has experience with and appreciates homeschoolers. Because of the variety of services offered, the fee structure offers something for everyone.

I recommend this math resource as exceptional. I'm off to sign up a couple of my children now.

Product review by Carrie Wilbur, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2009