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HELP! Should I try something different for precalculus???

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I'll try to keep this short. (Oops, I failed!)


Background: 11th grader, pretty good at math and science, in the sense of understanding it, but SLOW worker. We used Videotext for two years of algebra and 1 year of geometry, and it worked like a dream.


Current situation: We're using Chalkdust, except we got the cheap Houghton Mifflin tapes from Amazon, which don't have the P chapter as lectures. Since Alg. 2 was the year before last, I had him work through the P chapter by reading the book, and doing as many problems as he felt he needed to. As CD suggests, I had him work for an hour (or 45 mins, since the rest of his workload is very heavy this year) and then stop.


It took him 8 weeks to finish the P section! I thought things would move more quickly once he was watching the lectures instead of trying to read the textbook, but most of the lectures on the first disc (covering Chapter 1) don't work. The second disc seems fine, so I ordered the first disc from CD... It covers chapter P, not chapter 1. :banghead: I'd have to order two more discs from CD to cover the one that doesn't work, thus spending more than I spent for the whole set to begin with...


Now, I'm seriously considering dumping out of CD for the following reasons:

The book is anything but clear and concise, the lectures are way too long, there are TOO many problems and I struggle figuring out which ones to do, and of course, the problems with the discs.


A recent thread has made me want to consider LOF Trigonometry. I got it from the library to evaluate, and I think he could get through that in a year (CD would have taken more than two at the pace he was at.) Tuning out the voices which seem to require us to give the hardest possible curriculum (most 'rigorous';)) is that a reasonable alternative for a smart, slow-working 11th grader with a heavy workload this year who is leaning towards a computer repair/upgrade/troubleshoot/systems type of career?


Thanks for any input!

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I was very frustrated with CD precal in the beginning, and I tried to match the CD dvd's to Lial's text but found it difficult to do. Since then I have found a few aids which make CD easier. I found this syllabus which helps me stay on track. It also made me realize that I need to have more quizzes. (The extra quizzes have made a big difference in ds chapter test scores)




We spend about two days on each section. On the first day we watch the dvd and begin the problems (every-other-odd). On the second day he finishes the section. He has a packed schedule also, but he spends about an hour and forty-five minutes on math each day. I can understand Mosley suggesting 45 minutes for alg I, but surely he doesn't expect a student to complete pre-cal in only 45 min/day, does he?


We use these to help take notes on each section so that we are sure to get the main concepts





Finally ds uses the Ace the Test for review:




He really disliked the course in the beginning. He was successful with the homework (for the most part), but would score poorly on the chapter tests. Since I have added the extra quizzes, he has scored much higher and is much more confident.

I know this doesn't help you with the dvd issue. but I just wanted to encourage you :001_smile:

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I highly recommend the precal videos with Dr. Burger from Hotmath.com. The subscription is around $29/yr and well worth it. There's never been a concept that I can't understand once watching it.


Dr. Burger is the same teacher that is on Thinkwell Precal. My plan next time around is to try Precal with thinkwell since Dr. Burger is the only one we can relate to/learn from. We tried Chalkdust too, and it was not a good match for either of my dd's.

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FWIW, Dana Moseley suggests taking more than a year to go through pre-calc. I think he suggested 18 months, but I could be remembering the actual number wrong. It was definitely more than a year, though. My daughter is scheduled to start pre-calc in early April, so we plan to take the rest of this school year and all of next to do pre-calc.


On the other hand, if your student isn't taking calculus in college, trig would be a perfectly acceptable substitute for pre-calc, and it would certainly be easier to cover it in a year. CD's trig program is for students who will not eventually need full-blown calculus.



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We've decided to finish this year with LOF Trig. It will leave some room in his schedule for Chalkdust SAT review. Mr. Mosely is a good lecturer, but the sheer amount of time taken by his LONG lectures, and even working only one-fourth or less of all those problems... it was just insurmountable.


We'll probably continue with LOF Calculus next year for 12th grade.


Thanks again.

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