Happily Homeschooling
 
Many homeschool families have found areas of education or subjects that are difficult to teach or that the students may struggle in. Sometimes with these subjects, the student just needs a different perspective or format for learning. Math & science are two of those subjects that I have heard fellow moms, dads, & students, mention.

My newest review is on VirtualNerd.com. This company offers that different perspective that students might need to help with their math or physics lessons. If you or your student are in need of algebra or physics tutoring, this may be just what the doctor ordered :-)

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What is Virtual Nerd? - Virtual Nerd is a website that was developed to help struggling students with everything from pre-algebra to physics. It is an interactive, video based tutorial system that keeps your attention and really does help.

Who is Virtual Nerd? - Virtual Nerd was created in 2008 by Josh Salcman & Leo Schmuylovich. Josh has an education & experience in design and Leo has education & experience is math, science, & tutoring. To read Josh & Leo's bio's click here. St. Louis is the home to the recording studio for Virtual Nerd and there are also independent contractors that assist Josh and Leo. For more information about the company, including a timeline for additional subjects, contact info, & awards, click here.

What Kind of Tutoring Can I Get? - You will find video's for pre-algebra, algebra 1 & 2, and physics.  After you purchase and create your account, you will find tabs at the top of the screen, 1 for each of the topics available. Once under a tab, there is a "keyword search" box that you can type in what you're looking for, and a "topic search" box that you can scroll down to the topic you need. For example, in the topic search under algebra 2, you will find radical functions that will expand out to inverse relations and functions. Under this tab, you will find the video's. There are several other topics that are available, too. You can check out a sample of what is available by signing up for a free 2 hour trial. You can also view the intro video to get additional information.

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How Does It Work? As you can see from the above screenshot, there is a whiteboard used. They call this the "Dynamic Whiteboard". There are 3 sections to the board: 1) The Video window - this is the main window where you will see the video. There is a tutor that writes on the board while speaking. 2) The Diagram window - this section of the screen is dedicated to diagramming the problem out. It's basically the same information seen in the video, but written in a computer font and not handwriting. This section can be moused-over to bring up additional information and includes clickable links that will bring up a new Dynamic Whiteboard. This new board offers help with concepts that support the current lesson. Once that 2nd whiteboard is closed, you will be at the initial whiteboard right where you left off. 3) The Step-By-Step window - this section does just as it's titled: it breaks the lesson down step by step. This section can, again, be moused-over to offer additional information, as well as more clickable links.

What We Thought: I have to say, initially I wasn't very thrilled with this. We have Internet Explorer and for some reason, it wasn't loading the correct way and the video's were on the right side of the screen, partially cut off. Once I realized that was not the way it should be, I downloaded Google Chrome and was amazed at the difference! I'm impressed with this company! I LOVE math and science and enjoy learning about it and helping my kids learn it. Virtual Nerd makes learning these subjects interesting, I think. The video's are not monotone, the lighting is good, and the tutor is animated, not dry. This makes a huge difference, IMO, when learning math especially. There is so much information available here, too. You're sure to find whatever it is you need within these catagories. My daughter said, "it's helpful because it shows things differently than most schoolbooks do." Which is exactly what I believe struggling students need in order to learn, that different perspective or format. She actually liked getting on and watching the video's and the extras.

How Much Is It? Virtual Nerd offers different levels of membership. The lowest is just $5, which gives you one day of access, and the highest is $129 for 3 months of access. The most popular might be the $49/month. You can try it for free, too, for 2 hours. This will give you an idea of what is available through Virtual Nerd. 

I believe you will be pleased with a Virtual Nerd membership. Your struggling student will thank you!! You can read additional reviews from the TOS Crew members here.

And remember: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with sole purpose to provide an honest review after using the product. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer
 
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Comments

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 11:55:13 am

Hello. I found your blog on the crew review forum. Just wanted to stop by and say hi.

 

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 6:28:00 pm

VERY well done review, Mona Lisa! I was actually looking for more info on this and what you shared really gave me a super personal perspective, rather than just a program overview. THANK you!

 

Fri, 14 Jan 2011 8:52:00 pm

Thanks for stopping by Briana and Melissa. Thank you, Melissa, for your kind words, too.

 

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