Professor B Math Review

I hate math. I have always hated math – well, especially since high school where I had a well-meaning but misguided teacher who – instead of explaining HOW or WHY to do a problem in a certain way – simply just DID the problem on the board for us whenever we had a question. Needless to say, I spent my whole high school math career bumbling my way through C’s on homework and tests.

Me too, little buddy! Me too!

When it came to teaching math, then, to my own children, I vowed to find the right program that would explain things to us.

HA! Easier said than done.

I have spent more money on math programs in the last 3 years than I have on any other curriculum. The problem was that although we finished every page in the elementary curriculum, whenever we got to pre-algebra and algebra I, we were lost in no time due to weak multiplication, fraction, or division skills! Clearly something was missing in the elementary programs that we used.

Within the last year, I finally found a program that my 8th and 11th grade girls have bonded with and are now steadily soaring through. The algebra monsters no longer threaten our existence, but I sorely I wish I would have known about Professor B Math, oh, say… 8-11 years ago… It would have saved a lot of time and money in the transition.

I don’t know if the online program even existed back then, but it does now, and if you have students in grades kindergarten and up, look into Professor B before you sink your homeschool math budget into anything else.

Professor B Math is an online curriculum for both the student AND teacher. The program is driven by scripted, PowerPoint-like videos that are designed to teach the teacher how to explain HOW and WHY math works while your student learns the concepts right alongside you. Student and parent watch the video side by side as the parent reads the script aloud and checks for student understanding in the interaction of the lesson. The idea is that once you work through a level with your first student, you will understand how to teach the course using just the workbook with your upcoming student(s), thus saving yourself money on future lessons!

Click to enlarge.

For purposes of this review, I printed out a few key pages of the Level 3 workbook for my 8th grader. Professor B has a specific sequence of lessons unique to its own program, so finding a place to jump in at this age was somewhat tricky. At first she worked through some lessons that she was already confident about. When we reached a lesson about something that was somewhat still unfamiliar like transforming fractions to decimals, we watched the videos first, and then she did the practice lessons in the workbook.

Click to enlarge.

Professor B lessons are so detailed, and so specific, that one time through this video, for example, and my daughter no longer had any doubt about fractions to decimals.

Basically that’s how all the lessons go from Kindergarten through 8th grade: Watch the friendly-faced Professor B point out the numbers and read aloud through the lesson together. Do the practice lessons in the workbook. Move on when ready.

From our experience, here are my recommendations:

  • Professor B videos provide a parent/teacher guide for teaching math, not a student curriculum alone.
  • Professor B math lessons are sequentially and systematically organized as a comprehensive math curriculum for grades K through 8.
  • There are only 3 Levels, and each level covers 3 grades of math: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th, so if you purchase access to one level, you are actually getting 3 years of math to work through. However, that level is designed to be completed in as little as 10 months if you work through a lesson everyday.
  • Professor B turns you into a confident math teacher while your student becomes a confident math student. For homeschoolers who are in this for the long haul, this is a great advantage. Believe-you-me, as a veteran homeschooler, I KNOW that YOU want homeschooling to get EASIER as you grow older! ;-)
  • Professor B lessons are perfectly scripted. Other than printing up the practice workbook when you start the program, there is no prep time required for the teacher. Just log in to the video lessons and off you go! Suhweet!
  • I’ve learned over the years that there are no shortcuts when it comes to teaching or learning math. Every. Single. Number. Counts. (Ha! I just made that up! ;-) ) Professor B not only thoroughly covers every single detail in elementary math, it also provides an opportunity for quality one-on-one time with our student(s). You don’t often hear of a child getting to cuddle with Mom during math time, but with Professor B, that’s totally possible! It’s another great way to make loving homeschooling memories! Who could resist that?
  • There are free placement tests here for finding the best level to start with.

Now here a few considerations to be aware of:

  • Professor B Math is not meant to be an independent study program or a drill program. Live, auditory input by the student and parent is crucial for understanding. The video lessons and workbook lessons are not merely basic drill work, but actual lessons of math concepts that progressively build.
  • Professor B uses lingo that is specific to its own program, so jumping in from another program may be tricky. The workbook lessons are called “Facility Exercises” and the concepts are approached as “Telling the Truth about Long Division with Two and Three Place Dividers”, etc. The language actually refers to the concepts being taught, not simply a chapter number as most of us may be used to.
  • At this time, the video lesson titles and the workbook titles are not perfectly matched, so it can be challenging to find the right spot for one or the other if you don’t religiously bookmark where you have been.
  • Because the video lessons are so specific and detailed, and there is no sound without a parent reading aloud, students in this fast paced, electronic world might be tempted to perceive the videos as boring. They are not flashy or meant to be entertaining, but they are meant to be effective math lessons – and that they are. If a parent presents the lessons as lessons, and not as “fun videos to watch for math”, students may escape the entertainment expectation. The videos are really meant to be a teacher tool, not a student tool.

Overall, my daughter and I enjoyed the Professor B Math Program. If I were starting homeschooling anew with young elementary students, I would give Professor B Math some real consideration for my homeschool. Rumor has it that they will be soon streamlining their subscription fees to $100 per level for a 36 month subscription! Email them or call the number on their website for more information.

Photobucket

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a one year subscription to Professor B lessons at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

Comments

  1. Very interesting! We are only starting our 3rd year of homeschooling and I already feel what you are saying about Math programs. I am searching for a new one for next year now. We have done several online programs that do practice and supplemental but haven’t tried a all-emcompassing online math programs. Something to look into. Did you feel that the lessons were a good length? Are they long lessons? Thanks for the review.

    • Hi Tawnee,
      The lessons can get to be a bit tooooo long, especially when the concept is clicking for your kid. BUT, you can fast forward through them as needed to speed them up a bit. The lessons range from 10-20 minutes in length.

      If you call the number on the website, they also have a free 1 month trial option. Unfortunately, at the time of the review, or now because of the review, perhaps, they see/plan to make updates to their website to help customers connect with them better. The last time I checked, when you clicked the 1 month trial box, it took you to their facebook page. Ooops!

  2. Great job on the review. You obviously went to a lot of work. Boy, have things changed since I homeschooled. We had basically two or three choices in curricula. Yes, 1982 was the stone-age.

    • Pamela, thank you for the feedback, and I bless those of you who homeschooled in the stone age! You paved the way for the current generation. Thank you!

      Yes, there is a plethora of curricula nowadays. It’s a blessing and a curse sometimes. That’s why co-op groups and review teams like this are so helpful. It takes a bit of homework these days to wade through all the options. But it’s a good problem to have compared to what some of you faced back then – like jail time for homeschooling!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. We’ve used our fair share of math programs over the years too. If I had the time I’d write one myself! I’ve never heard of this one. Great review!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

      I have another math review for No-Nonesense Algebra coming up next week. I bless those who can write math curricula! ;-)

  4. I’m glad you found success in the program. I liked elements of the program and have saved the workbooks, but really needed something where my boys (2nd and 4th grade) could work on their own) We are still enjoying the variety with the Crew this summer so it is all good.

    • It’s great that we have so many curriculum options out there. I could see Prof B working well for some folks.

      Thanks for stopping by!

What's buzzing in your bonnet?