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Additional thoughts: I prefer a book because that is what I am used too...however, one of my concerns is that I will not be able to tell my son the "why" of what we are doing other than saying "because that is the way the steps go!"

 

So...what interested me most while researching the Videotext series is VT mentions that it focuses on relations between math concepts ~ seeing the larger picture. I am certain this would have helped me when I was taking Algebra and Geometry. With that, does VT really help someone see the bigger picture and does it really contribute to strengthening analytical thinking?

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My daughter likes it very much. It does focus on the reasons why behind the formulas.

 

Knowing the reason why behind the formula speeds the learning process along quickly.

 

They also have an 800 number to phone should you have a question. They are very prompt and helpful when getting back to you.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Deb in NJ

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My son used VT Algebra and all the geometry modules published by last spring semester as well as some pre-pub. materials. It prepared him well for the college math work he's done so far. He took a college algebra course through the cc last spring; one of the requirements was to present the how's and why's of solving different types of problems. He did well in the class overall, and was exempt from the final. One of his fellow students was a hs mom returning to work on a degree. She was so impressed with his explanations that she asked ds what he'd used in high school.

 

FWIW, we switched to VT after a disastrous first try at algebra and so we ran out of time. Ideally, I'd suggest that someone intending to use VT start early enough that you can go on to a more traditional textbook for calc. (or pre-calc. depending on placement scores). That said, ds has had no trouble transitioning from the VT format to textbooks.

 

I didn't find any con's other than the fact that you might want to do extra review during the first module. The built-in review the author speaks about is there, but doesn't fully kick in 'till later modules. The thing I liked about VT is that I was able to monitor progress with a minimal use of my time (mostly watching the lessons and working practice problems together --about 30 minutes a day). The only rough spot we had was in the module on polynomials; I had never learned it well myself, was waaay out of practice, and ds needed extra help. During that one module I spent extra time trying to dx just where we'd gotten off track.

 

I do suggest you look at sample lessons; some folks just don't like the format. Ds liked some of the algebra presenters better than others. Geometry so far, has been only Mr. Clark. I did have some trouble at first managing all the different booklets, but so long as everything goes back into the box after use it's nice to have separate components. Also, I kept a cheap pocket folder for each module to file quizzes and exams.

 

One place I departed from the author's suggestions was on note-taking. I had ds keep a spiral notebook of his own notes. Instead of trying to take notes during the lesson, though, he did the notes for any given lesson on the following class day as part of review. When we finished algebra, I filed his notes with the rest of his work, but he asked to look at them again for SAT/ACT review. BTW, the author suggests repeating exams to review for the algebra portions of the SAT and ACT. That worked well for ds.

 

Probably more than you wanted to know, but maybe you'll find it useful!

Martha

Edited by Martha in NM
clarity
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Additional thoughts: I prefer a book because that is what I am used too...however, one of my concerns is that I will not be able to tell my son the "why" of what we are doing other than saying "because that is the way the steps go!"

 

So...what interested me most while researching the Videotext series is VT mentions that it focuses on relations between math concepts ~ seeing the larger picture. I am certain this would have helped me when I was taking Algebra and Geometry. With that, does VT really help someone see the bigger picture and does it really contribute to strengthening analytical thinking?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by analytical thinking, but I do think it helped the student be able to know how to approach a problem. It also did a great job of explaining the reasoning behind the problem-solving steps. For me, it also seemed to make Algebra a comprehensive 'whole' subject, rather than lots of unrelated units.

 

We did both years of Algebra, and the one year of Geometry that was available. Now we're in Chalkdust precalculus, and I can so that so far, I don't like it near as well.)

 

HTH

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We tried several curriculums - Math Relief, Math-U-See [Alg 1 - about 4 weeks], Teaching Textbooks and then we tried Chalkdust Geom [one chapter] before switching to BJU Geom.

 

Without a doubt, VT was the most thorough, best teaching that we found. I loved the why and feel both dtrs got great algebra knowledge and retention from VT Algebra. The only reason we went away from VT Geom was because my math-hater said she was sick of VT and BJU Geom videos were ''free'' because we were doing 3 other BJU classes on DVD.

 

I ended up ''doing'' a lot of the VT with my math-hater and I feel qualified to teach Alg. 1 and 2 now if called upon [with VT review and help].

 

One thing we did do was take the VT module-end tests and cumulative review tests [the practice, or Test A test] mid-module and even 2/3rd way thru again to add review to the program.

 

My second dtr loves math usually - and she did VT much faster and more independently than the math-hater - still took 2 years for the 6 mods. Also the math hater switched out of VT after Mod D - if I could do it all over again - I would have made her staye with VT thru the end because I found everything about it superior to the other algebras we used.

 

When the math-hater took the CC math placement test and failed [when she hadn't seen algebra 2 for a year, just took the CC test after finishing geometry], we pulled out the VT and started reviewing and she passed the test with flying colors 2-3 weeks later.

 

just my recommendation... and btw, I have VT on my shelf for sale, 2 mods are VHS and 4 mods are DVDs - Lmk if anyone wants to buy it. I don't want to sell it - and I will almost def. rebuy it but I need the money and won't use it for 2-3 years probably for the next child.

 

Lisaj, mom to 5

lisaj

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I've used VT Algebra with 2 kids now, and as much of VT Geometry as was available 2 years ago (which was thru Mod D for ds; dd is just starting Geometry this year).

 

The more I use VT, the more I like it (which is not true of many curricula I've tried). It really does explain the "why" and "how" very well, and I've really appreciated having someone "teach" my dc math so clearly. It's been easy for me to oversee and keep up with what they're learning just by watching the videos. It has served my kids well, too, mathematically. FWIW, my ds went from VT Geometry Module D into EPGY Precalculus, placing half-way into the course. He's done really well in that course as well as calculus, and truly understands math concepts. I really believe VT played a major part in that.

 

HTH

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The lessons truly explain the "why" rather than leave the student to simply apply an algorithm.

 

About it not being a book--if you took the three books used for each of 3 modules and bound them altogether (9 paperback volumes) you'd have a text book. It's not bound the way the book you lugged around in 10th grade was, but it's all there.

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