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Mastering Algebra "John Saxon's Way"--Algebra 1 DVD Tutorial Review by Amy M. O'Quinn

AJ Publishers, LLC
117 N. Washington
Enid, OK 73701-4019
580-234 - 0064
http://www.usingsaxon.com/

(I previously reviewed the DVD tutorial for Algebra 1/2, and much of that information applies to Algebra I as well.)

In the past few years, our family has used the DVDs from Teaching Tape Technology to give additional instruction in Saxon Math for grade levels 4th through Advanced Math. We have been (and still are) extremely satisfied with these videos and the teacher, so when I had the opportunity to review the Algebra 1 (3rd edition) DVDs from Mastering Algebra "John Saxon's Way," I was intrigued--yet a bit hesitant. Could these videos measure up? Could I be objective? I can honestly answer "yes" to both questions.

These Algebra 1 DVDs come in a hard plastic case with clear sleeve protectors for each disc. There are 11 DVDs, covering over 20 hours of Saxon Math instruction (120 lessons) in a classroom setting. Each disc has about 12 lessons. To see the concepts that are covered in Algebra 1, visit the following link on the usingsaxonmath.com website: http://homeschoolwithsaxon.com/contents_alg1.php. In addition, by using this outline of lessons covered in Saxon Algebra 1, you could correlate the DVDs to another pre-algebra curriculum.

Art Reed is a fantastic instructor. He is engaging and inspiring, but his approach is also straightforward and no nonsense--without a lot of fluff. But then again, he also has a great sense of humor. He is a professional through and through, and he knows his stuff. It is obvious that he enjoys teaching math and wants his students to master the material. I like his confident way of presenting each lesson, but he is also the first to say that he makes mistakes like everyone else. He expects students to take responsibility for their work and do what it takes to learn the material. He does not spoon feed, but he does explain each concept thoroughly and provide encouragement. He gives extra tips and information to make everything easier to understand, and I think his approach fosters a much-needed character-building "learning style." I also like the way he uses visual aids and manipulatives when needed to reinforce certain concepts.

Art Reed was a contemporary and friend of John Saxon, who passed away in 1996, so he has a firm grasp on how the program is to be used. Although now retired, Mr. Reed has over 12 years of classroom teaching experience using Saxon Math, and he has been a Saxon homeschool consultant during the last nine years. In addition, he is the author of the hands-on guide Using John Saxon's Math Books, designed to help homeschool educators successfully use Saxon Math and save money too.

The cost of this DVD set for Algebra 1 (3rd Edition) is $49.95 with free shipping. You can visit the usingsaxonmath.com website for more information or to download sample lesson videos.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful set for homeschool families who use Saxon Math. The DVDs are the perfect solution for moms (or dads) who need a bit of assistance in teaching higher-level math. The students have access to an experienced instructor, and they can replay the videos as many times as they need to master the material. Personally, I was thrilled to find yet another great resource for Saxon Math instruction to add to our collection. I highly recommend Art Reed and the Mastering Algebra "John Saxon's Way" DVDs as a great investment in your child's mathematical education.

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2010

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