Thinkwell (Pre-algebra)

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, October 4, 2011
  • Grades Used: 8th
  • Dates used: 2010-2011
My son is currently enrolled in Thinkwell Pre-algebra & he loves it! He was previously public schooled, but fell far behind when it came to math. With Thinkwell, my ADHD son actually thinks the professor is "the BEST teacher" he's ever had.

Watching the first few chapters, the professor is very engaging with his quirky personality and occasional props. He starts out with the basics and slowly moves forward usually giving instruction with at least 3 problems before giving you the practice. My son was making 100's on all of the practice lessons on the first try.

Need more optional practice work for kids who forget quickly! There are only 12 questions, which is excellent for students who "get" math.
Even after scoring 100's the first time with the practice work, he still failed both the Ch. 1 & Ch. 2 tests. By Ch. 3, I made him do extra work on corresponding with the lessons (Sometimes having to drop down to 7th grade or up to Algebra).

When I suggested changing cirricula, I thought my son was going to break down in tears. So, as long as it's working for us, we will continue using Thinkwell probably for years to come along with to supplement.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, October 28, 2009
  • Grades Used: 7th (Pre-Algebra)
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
We are several weeks into the Thinkwell Pre-Algebra program, and I am very pleased. My 13-year-old son is a reluctant, distractible learner, and Professor Burger very much keeps his attention with an engaging teaching style.

We started the year with Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra, and right away we both knew it was not a good fit for my son, and in searching for an alternative, discovered Thinkwell.

This program is presented online with video lectures that show Professor Burger presenting the lecture. An overhead camera shows his hand writing the problems while he is speaking, with printed examples off to the side of the lecture screen. This format does a good job of engaging visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. (The lectures are also available on CD.)

Each lesson consists of: video lecture segments, accompanying notes, sample problems with solutions, 12 questions for the student to complete (answers are immediate, with explanations for the correct answer), and an online written transcript of the lecture (helpful for learners who are not auditory.)

The Chapter Checklist keeps track of what has been completed, and my son can log in, find the next lesson, and easily pick up where he left off, even if it was in the middle of an exercise. He is totally independent with his math now, and says it's "awesome"!

Thinkwell is a quality math program that is absolutely in our future for continued homeschool math.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, October 21, 2009
  • Grades Used: 7th (Pre-Algebra)
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
This program has truly made the difference for my 12 year old daughter. She was public schooled for several years before we began homeschooling, and while she is very advanced in other subjects, math has always been her nemesis.

We have tried Singapore math, Math-U-See, Switched on Schoolhouse and even a combination of the Basic Math videos from the Teaching Company with a standard text.

We started the Thinkwell pre-algebra a few weeks ago and suddenly she doesn't hate math anymore--instead she says it's easy!

Thinkwell uses a combination of video lectures and online exercises as well as printable notes and practice tests. The math professor has made all the difference in the world at getting things across to my daughter in a way she understands.

If there's one thing I could change about the thinkwell, I wish it were easier to print out excercise "worksheets" for each lesson. Regardless, we're planning to use the Thinkwell math through the rest of her highschool years. It's a great program for us.