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So...I thought since there are quite a few threads going now on the topic of Pre-Algebra, it might be helpful to have one master thread to discuss texts, and to link to previous conversations. (Links at the bottom) I will post a link to my blog once I get photos up, as I know some of the texts are hard to preview online (Lial's, in particular) I have received Dolciani PreAlgebra: An Accelerated Course (1985) and Lial's Pre-Algebra Third Edition in the mail this past week. I already own Lial's BCM and AoPS Pre-A. So I think I have shopped enough that I can now safely make my decision...:D Initial impressions of Dolciani and Lials: Dolciani Pre Algebra: An Accelerated Course 1985 thorough, dry, no color, few pictures/images, black text with some color fonts as headers to different sections. Problems: divided into A (basic) B (more challenging) and C (challenging) problems. Word problems are dull, but serviceable. If your child didn't have trouble with Singapore CWP, he/she won't find these too hard, certainly not in the first part of the book. Odd answers in the back of the student book. Percents Chapter has the following sections: Percent of Increase or Decrease, Discount and Markup, Commision and Profit, Percents and Proportions, Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Percents and Problem Solving. Sample Word Problem: Gilbert wants to borrow $2250 for 3 years to remodel his garage. The annual rate is 18%. If the principal and interest are to be repaid in equal monthly installments, how much will each installment be? Sample Word PRoblem 2: If a car uses 5 gallons of gas to travel 160 miles, how many gallons would the car use in traveling 96 mi Lial's Pre-Algebra, Third Edition: Thorough, more visually appealing than Dolciani. Some might say it's more visually cluttered, but I don't agree. I think the colored fonts are used well to highlight important information. Sidebars on each page provide problems that are linked directly to the text they are next to, so it's easy to pinpoint areas of weakness in your student. Word problems seem more 'real-life'. Each chapter has sub-sections outlining how to solve different sorts of problems. For example, the Percent chapter has subsections entitled: Changing Percents to Decimals by Moving the Decimal Point, Changing Decimals to Percents by Moving the Decimal Point, Wrting Percents as Fractions, Writing Decimal Percents or Fractions Percents as Fractions, Writing Fractions as Percents, Finding 100% of a Number, Finding 50% of a Number. Each explanation is clear and shows a few examples. Sample Word Problem:In the hospital pharmacy, Michiko sees that a medicine is to be given at a rate of 3.5 mg for every 50 lbs of body weight. How much medicine should be given to a patient weighing 210 pounds? As point of reference, this question shows up about halfway through the book. Sample Word Problem 2: Ms Henderson owes $1900 in taxes. She is charged a penalty of 12 1/4 % annual interest and pays the taxes and penalty after 6 months. How much does she pay? Both text have built-in review and self-tests. I think Lial's has more concrete examples, Dolciani assumes a bit more. Lials' questions seem more...interesting. With Lial's I think you'd have to be careful that your child wasn't just following the steps: the steps are so clear, that a child could potentially follow formulas rather than truly understand the concept. Throwing in some Singapore CWP 6 or AoPS Pre-A would certainly reveal that. Dolciani is more old-fashioned and perhaps less suitable to a younger child. Okay, so I have more to say, and want to talk about AoPS and BCM too, but I'm tired and I'd rather here what others have to say. Links to recent threads on Pre-A: Thread 1 Thread 2 Thread 3 Thread 4 Thread 5 Thread 6
As mentioned in some earlier posts, I've decided we are going to revisit Algebra I once we wrap up CLE Alg I for the year (we go through summer so shouldn't slow us too much overall). I'm going back and forth between two programs for dd. Math U See and VideoText Algebra. I need help deciding. Both look great in their own way for dd, and I'm having trouble figuring out which would be the better choice. Or perhaps they're both great and it doesn't matter and I can flip a coin or decide by price? If that's the case I would like to be told that by outside parties, so here I am Hive. Advise me. :) Main issues are that Dd lacks confidence. She needs more repetition overall and mastery over word problems before we go forward with Algebra II. She has a high B average in Algebra I, but using the bar "could she teach this to someone else?" the answer is a definite no. I worry that the house will come tumbling down in Algebra II or PreCal because I can tell it just hasn't clicked yet. She knows the steps, but she doesn't get it and it doesn't take much to throw her. I think moving to Geometry instead of Alg II for 10th grade would not help matters, as it will simply make her rustier when we go back to it in 11th. I want her to be rock solid even if she never takes more than college algebra (she's a humanities kid at heart), and she needs time and practice more than anything to get there. Homeschooling gives us that time so I'm taking advantage of it. I've bought some resources recommended here to help strengthen the word problem issues (which we started this weekend), but I'm going to a conference next week and hoping to have made a decision by then on our next math program so that I can take advantage of any conference pricing (if there is such a thing for these courses). Both Thomas Clark for VideoText and a rep for Math-U-See will be at the convention- I'm hoping to go to workshops for each and that may answer questions for me, but I'm stressing ahead of time and wanted to think this through here. Both are appealing with the video aspect. With CLE we have been very dependent on Khan Academy videos to supplement lately. I think she needs more visual aids to help her master all of this, so we definitely want video based which both programs fit. I've read that with MUS, the videos are more for the parent, but I wasn't sure if that held true for the high school levels? I'm prepared to watch daily with her as needed no matter which way we go. MUS has the addition of manipulatives, but as this is my oldest kid, I have no idea how helpful this is for a high schooler. These are unchartered waters for me. I thought I had decided on VT, but after seeing MUS now I'm torn. Videos and manipulatives seem a good fit and then there's the whole 1990's VT vibe (I know that shouldn't matter but I feel like I'm in high school every time I watch the samples!) But then I read the feedback that MUS is a light program and I continue to go back and forth......Honestly, I DON'T see this kid being a STEM major at this point so I doubt that matters, but then she's only 14 so you never know and I don't want to close a door. Also, she's going to either CC first or one of the local Houston 4 years, so it's not like we're aiming for a competitive college entry, and from what I've been told here we don't need to worry about Cal in high school, which also takes some pressure off. Yet here I am mulling over this for weeks now.....argh! Can y'all help me think through this? Whatever we pick we are sticking with through Algebra and Geometry because I know sequencing varies between programs, so I want to make sure I choose as wisely as possible. If it makes any difference she tried with Saxon back in jr. high and cried everyday, and did okay with TT, but wasn't the biggest fan after a year of it. What would you select if this were your daughter?