The opportunity to try out High School Math from Thinkwell came at the perfect time for my 9th grader. He is a good math student, but we were clashing with each other far too much when I tried to help him. He does like video lessons and our current math program was textbook only. So we gave Thinkwell a try. Here’s how online homeschool math went for us.
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About Thinkwell’s online math courses
Thinkwell Homeschool offers online courses for 6th to 8th Grade Math (6th Grade to Pre-Algebra including Essentials and Honors) as well as High School Math (Algebra to Calculus including Essentials and Honors).
They are designed to cover 36 weeks of instruction and you can follow the included daily lesson plan to stay on schedule, or you can be as flexible as you want to with your children and their pace.
Once you purchase a subscription, it is good for 12 months, plus you are able to purchase extensions for an additional 1, 3, or 6 months as needed.
The video instruction is not overwhelming because it is delivered in 5-10 minute segments. Videos include key ideas written out on the sidebar. You can access notes or transcripts of the lessons as well.
Your kids can answer online exercises that are immediately graded. Or, you can print exercises and also access the answer key. This course can easily fit your family’s homeschooling style.
Online quizzes and tests are automatically graded for you, making this an easy math course for mom to implement. Your kids are able to take a practice test before the “real one” and they can even re-test if you feel like they need another try.
Our Experience with Honors Algebra I
Overview of the Course
My 9th grade has been working through Honors Algebra I for several months now. He likes the instructional videos and is doing quite well with the course.
Like any online resource, there is a bit of a learning curve to put all the pieces together. I think some of the components could be easier to find, but we made it work.
Before he started into Honors Algebra I, my son took a placement test which verified for us that he could handle the course. Since we had started the school year with another curriculum, we didn’t start the Thinkwell Homeschool course from the beginning. But the topic order was similar, so we were able to figure out where to skip to in the scope of the new course.
We followed the suggested pattern in the lesson plan. My son goes into the online course and finds the next topic to complete.
Daily Lesson Overview
Once he clicks on the link, it will take him to a page with all the resources for the day.
He watches the lectures, which are done in bite-sized pieces. You can see from the screenshot below that while the instruction is happening on the left side of the screen, the key ideas are reiterated on the right side of the screen. Your student could easily pause the video or replay as much as needed to gain understanding of a concept.
The notes for each topic are also able to be printed out and consulted for more explanation. In the course of using this curriculum, I have only had to go over one topic separately with my son, and we did this by using the notes from the section. He was able to understand the rest on his own.
Here’s an example of notes for one of the lessons.
Once my son has watched the instructional videos, I have him complete the topic worksheet, which I print out and he does by hand. Then, I print the answer key and have him score his own work.
If he misses something and isn’t able to understand why, then I go over the problem with him.
My son and I agree that the worksheets present a reasonable amount of problems to solve. It’s not overwhelming or full of busy work.
Once he feels confident with a topic, I have him take the online exercise, which immediately shows a score.
Thinkwell’s lesson plan doesn’t count either the worksheets or the online exercise toward the grade, and the plan also mentions that these assignments are either/or, meaning they don’t have to do both.
Once your child has sufficiently understood the concepts presented in the lesson, they can find section quizzes along with chapter tests on the Assessments page.
Thinkwell Homeschool includes Practice Tests for the end of the chapter, and I had my son start with this. Because he did well on the Practice Test, we didn’t complete the actual chapter test. But I like that there are essentially two chapter tests to use so that if your child doesn’t do well on the Practice Test, there’s an opportunity for remediation before the “real” test.
Find lesson plans available for this product at Homeschool Planet. Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial.
We think the Algebra I Honors course is working quite well for us and we will continue with it the rest of the school year.
If you have middle or high schoolers who need a different math approach and you are burned out with trying to help them, then we would recommend Thinkwell as a great option.
Here are some other common questions about Thinkwell Homeschool.
Is Thinkwell Homeschool accredited?
Many accredited schools use Thinkwell courses. Only schools can be accredited, not specific online courses.
Is Thinkwell math rigorous?
Yes, the Thinkwell courses are great for even accelerated students. They have regular and AP versions.
How much does Thinkwell cost?
Each online courses costs $125 for 12 months of unlimited access. You can add on optional tutoring support or printed notes and worksheets for an additional fee.
If you have more questions about Thinkwell that we haven’t answered, then take a look at their FAQ Page.
And be sure to read more of the reviews of Thinkwell Homeschool from the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking the graphic below!