Review of (and Giveaway)

We have been homeschooling my 14-year-old daughter since the beginning.  For the most part, we haven't had any issues with teaching her what she needs to know.  She is largely an independent learner, doing her math and grammar courses online, and using the Charlotte Mason method of reading "living books" to supplement her history, arts, and science studies.  We have been able to answer questions she has, especially since my husband and I still remember much of our math from high school.  What will we do, however, when our daughter (and eventually, our sons) get into the higher levels of math and science.  Will we be able to keep up?

I recently tried out as a tool to help us with this question. Since my daughter was already doing some online learning, I figured it wouldn't hurt to check out the site as a possible addition to our coursework.  I didn't plan on it being an addictive tool to get me on board with the lessons she would be covering before she were to go through them!

The site has several categories of video instruction, including math, science, test prep (such as an SAT overview), and even computer and software courses.  I started with the "General Math" course, since it was closest to the grade level my daughter was reviewing.  Right away, I was happy with how the course was taught:

1) Lessons were broken down into 8-12 minute sessions.  Within these sessions, they were broken down and labeled even further.  For example, if I wanted to help my daughter with the order of operations, I could go directly to the lesson on "Order of Operations", go through all the steps, watch a few sample problems being solved with the teacher, and see a review.  It is all done in a reasonable chunk of time, and it's easy to skip to the exact theory, lesson, or method that you want to learn about.

2) The lessons are presented in a visual and an audio format.  Not only can you see the teacher presenting in a box on the side of the screen, you will see a whiteboard where the teacher can demonstrate problems (like a chalkboard).  Both the audio and visual component ensures kids will get it sooner.  (There is also the option to darken everything on the screen except for the lesson; this is appreciated when you have a "distracted learner" in the home.

3) Below each lesson, there are tabs for comments from others (some have questions, other are giving feedback.)  There is also a tab for "quick notes" which is a sort of simplified outline, "related links" which offers definitions and explanations of terms via Wiki, a download of the slides used in the lecture, and a table of context for all lessons for the class.

There are a few sample lessons available on the site that I recommend you view before you sign up.  They give a very good view of what membership would be like, and it will help you to determine if your child (or even you) will benefit.  I am very excited to see how it helps my daughter in the higher levels of math and science.  We find that repetition is needed for her to grasp some of the trickier concepts, and this is just one more way to give her exposure to the material (without me having to be proficient in the subject.)  The teachers are very articulate, but not uptight or off-putting   Kids should enjoy listening to them speak, and it's nice to be able to pause for help from parents or to research further on their own.

You don't have to be a student or homeschooler to benefit from this site!  There are several courses that you could use in a web-based or blogging business, including Adobe Photoshop Cs6 and Wordpress!

With over 500 courses you can access anywhere, it's a great buy, in my opinion.  Learn more at the official website!

Wanna Win?  We are giving away memberships to 3 lucky readers!  The prizes are:
(1) One Grand Prize of an annual subscription worth $240
(2) Two 6-month subscriptions worth $150 each

There are five ways to win.  Mandatory entry requires that you comment on this post with how you would use an membership!

Bonus entries - Get one additional entry for each of the following:
1) "Like" on Facebook
2) Follow them on Twitter
3) Comment on their blog (any article)
4) Subscribe to them on YouTube

Leave a comment for each additional method of entry, please!  You have until February 22nd at 11:59 pm CST to get your entries in (a total of 5 entries per person.)  
We'll randomly pick one winner to get the prize.  Open to U.S. residents ages 18+ only.  Full promotional rules here.

Don't forget to enter our other blog giveaways while you're here!

*Prizing and Trial of received to facilitate review.  Opinions are 100% my own.