Pros: tutor, good course
Cons: expensive, may end up paying a lot for several courses, have trouble w/ independent learning
My parents' best friend was a math professor. Both my older sister and I were taught math by him. As a result, we were both very advanced in math.
My dad's job required us to move to Westchester. The schools here didn't have the math course that I would have been right for. As a result, I spent seventh grade using the Thinkwell courses for Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra.
Thinkwell gives you a tutor (I took this through a Johns Hopkins program, there may be slight differences because of Johns Hopkins benefits) , the CD lessons, and a workbook. On your account, you can listen to the CD lessons, as taught by Prof. Edward Burger (I went nuts when I heard his name). On the website, there are problems, notes, and sample problems, as well as transcripts for the lesson. There are about 8-9 chapters for these courses. There is a chapter test for each, as well as extra credit, a midterm, and a final exam.
~THE PROS~
I was allowed to go at my own pace. The lessons were very thorough and taught everything a normal school class would. I was allowed to take this instead of the normal seventh grade curriculum at my school. Each course, at least the ones I took, were offered in 3, 6, and 9 month periods. Many colleges use this program.
~THE CONS`
Even though I had a tutor, occasionally the lessons were a bit hard to understand. However, my older sister, mother, school math teacher, and my parents' friend the math teacher all helped me out. You can also email your tutor.
The curriculum is different from many school curriculums, which is really to be expected. However, if you or your child gets used to taking this, but then stops, the classes he/she will take will become VERY VERY VERY boring. Each course is about $800-$1600, a small fortune. I know my parents spent over $2000 on the two courses. Once you begin an advanced math course, you just can't stop. In this way, you can spend thousands and thousands of dollars. Be prepared if you want to do this!
I stopped my course at the end of seventh grade. I now have a great math teacher that provides extra challenges. Thinkwell definitely isn't the only way out for a bored kid. I used to take Kumon courses (again, a family friend used to run this) and my mom and my parents' friend the math teacher used to teach me advanced stuff. Before you enroll in a Thinkwell course, see if you can't just use a textbook. The Kumon course is also great. I have a friend who takes this, and I used to as well. I think it might be slightly less expensive, and there's a real live teacher, a big bonus. If you don't want to spring for a course like that, see if your math teacher can give you enrichment! Try things out, see what works. Everything's different for everybody else.