Math Clinic Blog


Taking Control of Your Child’s Math Instruction

Many parents feel they have lost control of their child's math education and know how it effects their child's self-confidence.  Full course instructional videos solve this problem.

As a child struggles with their math studies, issues with teachers, curriculum, and the classroom environment become a concern of parents trying to intervene.   More often than not, parents come away from conferences within the school with the sense they have lost control their child's math instruction.   Parents know well the impact that this has on their child's self-confidence and overall disposition toward school. The prospect that the problem will continue for the entire school year becomes a real concern.

Tutoring becomes the parent's last resort.  Finding a tutor that is a skilled teacher that is also able to establish a productive rapport with the child is the next challenge as well as the high cost.  Even accomplishing this, scheduling sessions convenient to the student and tutor can be a tedious exercise with back and forth email and voicemail.

A full course math instructional video allows the parent to take back control of their child's math instruction.   Parents will eliminate the lack of quality instruction as an obstacle to their child's success.  The student will have available on their phone and in their computer perfect instruction on each topic to view as often as needed.  Previewing topics just ahead of the class will allow them to benefit from whatever level of classroom instruction is being offered.  On top of this, a full course instructional video is incredibly affordable and merely the cost of 2 tutoring sessions that may or may not be helpful.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

The Benefits of the Video Instruction

The benefits of full course math instructional videos are numerous and are amazingly undervalued in spite of our culture’s dependence on YouTube to inform and instruct.

Benefits of Video Instruction:

  •     Much cheaper than one on one tutoring
  •     Perfect instruction that can be replayed as often as desired
  •     Allows a student to learn a topic on their own just prior to classroom instruction
  •     Fosters the key to success in the classroom, get ahead and stay ahead
  •     Previewing topics helps student derive more benefit from classroom instruction
  •     Uninterrupted instruction.  This simply does not occur in the classroom. 
  •     Provides the student with superior traditional instruction at their fingertips
  •     Note taking can be done with more understanding and with more confidence
  •     Builds important self confidence in the student’s ability to grasp each new concept
  •     A student can learn topics in the comfort of their home
  •     The student practices, develops, and perfects self-study skills
  •     Perfect aid to review for quizzes, tests, and comprehensive exams

Before paying $100 for two tutoring sessions,  purchase the instructional videos for the course and use this as a first line of defense resource.  Consider one-on-one tutoring to remediate, refine, and to get the interpersonal coaching that can jump start and solidify the student’s self confidence.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

Repetition is a Key Feature of Video Instruction

Classroom instruction for any math topic is generally a one shot deal.  But what about “repetition is the mother of learning”.   The video re-play feature puts this issue to rest.

Studies show that when students receive instruction during a class period under the best circumstances, a student on average will grasp but 50% of what they see and hear.  By the next day they will have retained but 25% !  

On top of that, classroom instruction, even if well structured and well delivered, is generally a one shot deal.  If a student is absent or leaves early for an athletic event or Dr. appointment, it is a lost opportunity to have the topic fully explained. The student’s ability to comprehend is further eroded with the distracting urgency to take notes and copy boardwork before it is erased or removed from the screen, another one shot deal.  Again, the student will typically not have another chance to receive a full presentation.

I recall when I was a classroom teacher, I would have presented what I considered a terrific lesson.  The students all seem quite pleased with their success at grasping the concepts and appeared ready and confident to tackle their homework assignment.  The next day, as the next lesson was ready to begin, a student that was absent the day before would approach and innocently ask, “Did I miss anything yesterday?"

Inherently, video instruction is re-playable as often as needed, unchanged and perfect every time.  The full context, order, continuity, and logical progression of thought also remains unchanged.  A typical video lesson is 15-20 minutes.  Viewing a topic 3 times over a few days should be quite sufficient for a student to develop a full grasp of a typical math lesson.  

At chapter’s end after some success and confidence with each unit and their problem sets, re-viewing the video instruction for the entire chapter can be a powerful exercise that solidifies and brings depth to the student’s understanding.  This serves to smooth and fill in even the smallest gaps in their understanding.  

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

The Student’s Dilemma and Excuse

Student’s often assign the cause of their difficulties in their math class to poor instruction by the teacher and a disruptive class environment.  This is often true and serves as a good excuse.  Now what?

Poor teaching technique and classroom management does stack the deck against a student’s ability to focus and master each new topic.  As the classroom environment breaks down, teachers and students become frustrated and impatient with each other.  They lose faith and trust in each other to accomplish their partnership of teaching and learning math.

While they do have a good excuse, the student still finds themselves held accountable with quizzes, tests, progress reports, report cards, and unpleasant interactions with teachers and parents.   Understandably this can erode their self-confidence and disposition toward school in general. Motivation and attitudes begin to move in the wrong direction.

This sets parents and students searching for tutors.  Finding a tutor that is affordable, knowledgeable, articulate, available, and can relate well with young people becomes a daunting task.  School are reluctant to provide lists of independent tutors as they fear the legal culpability of a presumptive vetted endorsement.

It can also be the case where the teacher and classroom environment are quite adequate while the student scapegoats the teacher unchallenged to explain their difficulties in the class.

Math instructional videos span this chasm in a cost effective way.  With perfect full instruction at the student’s fingertips in the comfort of their home the lack of good instruction is taken out the discussion.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

Developing Advanced Study Skills Using Math Instructional Videos

Students that become fully engaged in utilizing math instructional videos demonstrate they are attaining advanced study skills.

The use of full course math instructional videos to learn and review each new math topic teaches students important study skills.  As a student becomes accustomed to utilizing the videos on a regular basis, they are not only receiving perfect instruction on each topic but they are developing the following study skills and practicing them on a regular basis.

  • Taking Ownership
  • Being Motivated
  • Self-Discipline & Self-Starting
  • Staying ahead by previewing topics ahead of class instruction
  • Replay and Review
  • Focus and Concentration by taking advantage of the continuity inherent to video instruction.

As a result, they will take pride in and enjoy the self-confidence that comes from knowing that they are in control of their learning.  These new study skills and the self-confidence they engender spreads to their other classes.  This invites a realization that learning is a process and success is well within their capability.

On the other hand, if a student dismisses and does not use the instructional videos as a resource and continues to anguish about the classroom teacher’s instruction, the options for improvement narrow dramatically.  The gives rise to a sense of helplessness and loss of self-confidence.  Even more disappointing, the important study skills that are triggered and developed with the regular use of instruction videos will not be realized. 

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

Imagine a Video of Your Child’s Math Class

Imagine a video of your child’s math class.  What you will most probably see is an inefficient and oft interrupted explanation of the topic at hand. This is what you will probably see:

  • Students arriving late to class
  • Students hesitant to settle down and get started
  • A teacher distracted with attendance and administrative tasks for students at his desk
  • A teacher taking time to return graded assignments and tests
  • A teacher taking time to pass out worksheets for the lesson
  • A teacher writing on the board or fussing with a computer or projector
  • As instruction begins, students begin to raise their hands with questions that may or may not be relevant to the lesson.
  • A few students are inattentive and are furtively viewing their iPhone or talking to the student next to them.  Disengaged and unmotivated.
  • A teacher directly interacting primarily with the more outgoing students
  • Occasionally at times both students and teachers express frustration understanding and teaching the concepts respectively.
  • Before the lesson is fully completed, class time is running out. The teacher hurries to complete the instruction just in time to blurt out the home assignment as students are happily packing up to leave.

Keep in mind that what you will be seeing is primarily what your child is relying on to help them understand each new math concept.  And, its a one shot deal.

Compare all this to a professionally produced math instructional video that your child can view, as often as needed, in the privacy of their room at home.  This, more than anything else, will demonstrate how important access to this resource can give your child a huge advantage in being successful in their math studies.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

The Limits of a Teacher’s Presentation

There are limits to what can be expected from a teacher’s classroom presentation. A teacher making a “live” classroom presentation on a topic simply is not comparable to fully produced math instructional video.

Most teachers will not have detailed lesson plans for each class they teach.  Even with lesson plans, their instruction will not be fully and optimally scripted.  The dynamics and tangential divergences of each class with so many personalities and skill levels renders repeatability and control of the lesson’s delivery from class to class inconsistent. 

A teacher intends to make essentially one presentation of each topic to each class with the expectation that attentive, focused students will then take possession of the concept.   Having delivered what they consider to be a good lesson, teachers can become frustrated, impatient, and even confounded when they discover students' lack of sufficient understanding and self sufficiency in application to problem sets.

Clearly, a teacher making a “live” classroom presentation on a topic is simply not comparable to fully produced instructional video.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

Classroom Distractions Fragment Instruction

Classroom distractions fragment instruction and represents a huge obstacle for students to benefit from their single opportunity to receive full instruction on a topic.  When assigning blame for the failures of schools this is rarely discussed.  Video instruction overcomes this obstacle.

Like commercial television, math instruction in a classroom of 20-30 students is typicallly quite fragmented if not downright distracting.  Continuity of thought and following the inherent logical progressions in math instruction is very difficult for any student to sustain.  Video instruction is continuous, uninterrupted instruction.  Since Video instruction being better organized it is more concise and can be completed well within the optimum attention span limits of most students.  Longer presentations common to classroom instruction exceed this attention span limit and minds begin to wander.

Teachers are distracted by administrative duties and using class time to address an never ending array of individual students' extra demands concerning missed assignments, makeup work, and coordination of asssignments for future planned absences.

As instruction begins, students' questions that range from relevant to frivolous stops instruction and flow of thought being developed.   Unmotivated and disengaged students can be very clever and effective in disrupting instruction.  Their antics can be either subtle and blatant.  Addressing  blatantly disruptive behavioral issues is not only distracting but also cast a uncomfortable pall in the class.

Producing and clearing board work or fussing with technology stops instruction.

Video instruction provides uninterrupted, continuous instruction.   The production of instructional videos have been thoughtfully produced, directed, edited, and can include the effective use of graphics.  Since video instruction is better organized and more concise the instruction on a topic can be completed well within the optimum attention span limits of most students.  Longer presentations common to classroom instruction exceed this attention span limit and minds begin to wander.  As such, 15-20 minutes of video instruction can more effectively teach a concept than can be accomplished in 50 minutes in a classroom setting.   Homeschooling proponents commonly maintain their children can accomplish more in 2-3 hours than can be accomplished in an entire day in the typical school.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

How to Get Your Child to Use Instructional Videos Regularly

Initially a student may resist using instructional videos for each topic they will be studying.  This is natural.  We all resist change and it is uncomfortable at first to try new things.   Achieving this new study habit, however, will pay huge dividends for your child.

The 3 R’s of Habit Change from Charles Duhigg’s “Habit Loop” in The Power of Habit:Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.

  •  Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  •  Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  •  Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

If the reward is positive, then you’ll want to repeat the routine again the next time the reminder happens. Repeat the same action enough times and it becomes a habit.

We all respond positively to success.  This is the key.  Wherever your child is in their course of study, have them view the video for their current topic.  No notetaking, just view the video.  Have them do this for a 3 consecutive topics being studied.   After this is accomplished, have them also view the next topic ahead their class for three consecutive topics.  Typically, this will be enough for the student to realize the benefits and experience a new level of success and comfort.  This may be enough for the student to self-start and begin to rely on the videos. 

If, at first, the child is hesitant, sit down and view the videos together.  Make no comments or attempt to expand on the video.  Just be there.  It is quite common for children to resist instruction from parents.  Parent’s expectations beyond math studies are stressful for children and interfere with any attempt to instruct them in their math.  Teenage children, particularly, may think that they already have enough parent instruction in all matters.   They will question the parents grasp of math topic.  “That’s not how my teacher is teaching this”, effectively dismisses parent instruction and can initiate conflict that will not be helpful.

There is a big payoff when a student incorporates instructional videos into their study routine to clarify topics they are studying and previewing topics they will be studying.  Accomplishing this will guide the student to realizing the many benefits of video instruction over classroom instruction.  More importantly, it will empower the student and they will realize they are in control of their learning.  The ripple effect of this realization can set the tone of their disposition toward learning for the rest of their lives.

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 

Guiding a Student Toward Owning Their Education


Utilizing full course math instructional videos fosters the development of great study skills and guides students to take ownership of their math education.

When a student learns to take full ownership of their education, they will have a foundation on which a love of learning will support an active mind and a full and purposeful life.  This is or at the very least should be the real goal of education.   Unfortunately, much of a student’s experience in school either does not directly address this or ignores it as the primary goal altogether.  Chinese Proverb, “A teacher can open the door, but the student must enter by themselves.”  Learning to utilize full course math instructional videos guides a student in a very distinct way to take ownership of their education.

Quite appropriately, in the primary grades leading to high school, students learn to rely heavily on their teachers and parents to guide, encourage, and motivate them in their studies.  Their developmental stages and maturity do not yet lend itself to study skills much beyond compliance, attentiveness, and completing assignments.  Most students as they enter high school are not taught advanced study skills such as self-starting, notetaking, making study guides, daily review of notes, staying with and a little ahead of the class, knowing what you don’t know, anticipating test questions, and most importantly self-study, i.e. reading the book.  They rely primarily on their limited study skills conditioned from their primary years of school.  This limitation will not be sufficient for more advanced high school studies, particularly in math.

Schools will imply ostensibly to assume much of the responsibility of assuring students learn in spite of their typically limited study skills.   The problem is school can’t and don’t deliver.  As an example a teacher with over 100 students will not and cannot become a one-on-one tutor, while at the same time announcing their availability for extra help outside class.

The weakness of this covenant, leaves students, teachers, and parents frustrated and at odds.  As a result, many students “hit the wall” in their math studies when the teacher, curriculum, and classroom environment do not provide the support the student had relied on in their primary years nor guide the development of their study skills. 

Full course math instructional video advances student toward owning their math education.  As a student becomes accustomed to utilizing the videos on a regular basis, they not only are receiving perfect instruction on each topic but they are developing great study skills.

  • Self-Starting Discipline of viewing videos regularly
  • Get head and stay ahead by previewing topics ahead of class instruction
  • Replay and Review
  • Focus and Concentration by taking advantage of the continuity inherent to video instruction.

More importantly, they will take pride in and enjoy the self-confidence that comes knowing that they are in control of their learning.

On the otherhand, if a student dismisses and does not use instructional videos as a resource and continues to anguish about the classroom teacher’s instruction, the options for improvement narrow dramatically.  Even more disappointing, the important study skills that are triggered and developed with the regular use of instruction videos will not be realized. 

With the purchase of any full course, each student will also receive a free bonus course on Study Skills. 





info@mathclinic.org (410)817-4033                                                                                © Mark Deaton 2005