This course introduces the student to the basic concepts of mathematics as well as the fundamentals of more complicated areas. Basic Math is designed to provide students with an understanding of arithmetic and to prepare them for Algebra I and beyond.
Dr. Murray H. Siegel has a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. Kentucky Educational Television honored him as "the best math teacher in America."
He has a gift and evident passion for explaining mathematical concepts in ways that make math seem clear and obvious rather than arbitrary and murky.
From the basics of multiplication to decimals and fractions and the operations of geometry, he is the master of the skillful metaphor and the well-wrought example.
The Plan of the Course
Dr. Siegel describes how he designed this course: "The topics, sequences, and examples used in this series are based on 23 years' experience teaching mathematics to real students. These students ranged in age from young children to adults past retirement age, many of whom lacked confidence in their ability to succeed in a mathematics course.
"If you, the student, do what is asked of you in the 30 lessons, you will greatly improve your understanding of basic mathematics. Furthermore, you will gain confidence in your ability to understand new mathematical topics and to accept new mathematical challenges."
The lessons cover the arithmetic of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, and integers. Also included in the series are investigations of exponents, square roots, and the order of operations.
Lessons on geometry, measurement, problem-solving, probability, statistics, and pattern recognition (including sequences) prepare students for future mathematical studies.
In addition to learning how to perform various mathematical operations, you will find out why these operations work, how a particular lesson's topic relates to other parts of mathematics, and what practical uses exist requiring knowledge of these arithmetic operations.
When possible, alternative methods of computation are demonstrated. You may find these methods easier to use than the more traditional methods taught in most schools.
Who Can Benefit?
Basic Math is designed to instruct three different audiences. The first audience consists of students using this series at the outset of their study of arithmetic. Such a group may include children attending homeschool. The lessons are arranged sequentially to allow for logical development of the material.
The second audience is comprised of students experiencing difficulty with elementary mathematics in school. The lessons offer an opportunity for students to "make sense" of the mathematical knowledge that has been a source of frustration. These students will be able to fill in crucial gaps in their mathematical foundation as well as to develop a true understanding of arithmetic and pre-algebra topics.
The third audience consists of adults who are seeking a GED, are trying to prepare for college mathematics after many years away from the classroom, or, perhaps, finally want to overcome their anxiety regarding mathematics.
A review of this course by The Eclectic Homeschool Association describes Dr. Siegel's course:
Imagine, a teacher who wants his students to know how they will use what they are learning in the real world.
Professor Murray H. Siegel earned his graduate degrees at Georgia State University and is currently teaching at The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics in Hartsville, South Carolina. His primary goal is to instill confidence in your student's ability to understand and perform math functions. He conveys his topic well and makes sure the student understands why the problem works the way it does. His ambition in this course is to take anxiety out of math.
The professor uses a wealth of subtitles and graphic visuals, including white board demonstrations, to help the student understand concepts. For example, in a lesson that covers calculators, he has graphics including the calculator keyboard and display on the video screen at the same time so that all the parts of the process can be seen. With its resourceful teaching, this coursework is one I recommend, especially for the students who find math challenging.