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We have switched from Hewitt's Conceptual Physics to Giancoli's Physics


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Physics is primarily a math-based science. My dd just wasn't getting it with Hewitt's Conceptual Physics. Without the math, it didn't make sense.

 

Giancoli's is generally considered a more difficult book, but since it has a lot of math, it's actually easier for my dd. I think it's easier to teach as well, although calculus-based is far easier to teach than algebra-based.

 

I like it so far. We finished the chapter on fluids earlier this week and are now working in the chapter on vibrations and waves. I like that the answers to the odds are in the back. It means that my dd can check her answer after each problem to see if she's on the right track. Rather than missing all or nearly all of the problems, she knows immediately when she's missed something.

 

The Instructor Resource discs have all the solutions worked out.

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Even as a physics major (a long time ago), I had to think hard while I was using it with my kids. However, we've now used it successfully with 2 kids in grade 8. Everyone enjoyed the experience. The oldest is just staring Kinetic Physics (principles version)--I'm hoping the time with Hewitt earlier pays off. At grade 8, neither kid would have had enough math to do a non-conceptual course.

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I'm unfamiliar with either of these books but trying to learn more about science options. Are you saying that Hewitts has no real math and Giancoli would require Algebra but is not a Calculus-based physics?

 

This is new to me because when I was in school my only option was the Calculus-based physics that I took.

 

Thanks

Heather

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I'm unfamiliar with either of these books but trying to learn more about science options. Are you saying that Hewitts has no real math and Giancoli would require Algebra but is not a Calculus-based physics?

 

This is new to me because when I was in school my only option was the Calculus-based physics that I took.

 

Thanks

Heather

 

Conceptual Physics teaches via basic math & algebra; Giancoli, calculus.

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If you are talking about this Giancoli, it says algebra-based. I think they mean Algebra II/Trig based (but some high school Algebra texts include some trig even if they don't say it in the title) as there is definitely trig in it.

 

In this thread, Kathy in Richmond says you can use it if you have studied some basic triangle trigonometry.

 

In our experience, ds got bogged down in the Giancoli text, not due to the math, but because he hadn't had enough practice using basic physics equations.

 

So we have backtracked to an easier math-based text and will retackle Giancoli after he finishes this text. We're also using videos from Georgia Public Broadcasting (also math based but easier level than Giancoli). They do not match, but it is nice to have a "teacher".

 

HTH moms like me who don't have much physics experience,

Joan

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The problem we had was that in attempting to make the physics easier to understand by having less math and making it more conceptual, Hewitt actually made the physics more difficult for my dd. I didn't say that Hewitt was easy, but it is often used in 8th grade by people on this board and I've never seen people post about using Giancoli's earlier than 10th grade.

 

The math in Giancoli's is more difficult, mainly because there is a LOT of it, but my dd wasn't understanding the concepts without a heavy math-base underneath them.

 

The Giancoli's book that I'm using is algebra and trig based. I think you'd need Algebra II at least concurrently in order to do well with it. You definitely need to have been introduced to sines and cosines before, but that is usually introduced in geometry, covered again in Algebra II, and then covered heavily in precalculus.

 

If my dd wasn't able to do the math in Giancoli's, I'm not sure what we'd do for physics, because she can't understand the physics without the math.

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Yes, the Giancoli volume that we've discussed here in the past is the algebra and trig-based version that Joan referenced. It's commonly used in AP Physics B courses in the US, and also aligns well with the SAT II Physics exam.

 

We loved this text and it worked well with my son as a first physics course, but he did have a lot of informal physics background (he read tons in science) and was done with algebra 2 and trig at the time.

 

~Kathy

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If my dd wasn't able to do the math in Giancoli's, I'm not sure what we'd do for physics, because she can't understand the physics without the math.

 

 

I recently learned from my brother who teaches physics, that there is a physics level in between the two.

 

General physics - uses Conceptual Physics

College-prep - Giambattista (Trig based) (I am not using this one, so I cannot vouch for it)

Honors level- uses Giancoli or Wilson/Buffa (Trig based)

AP level - since he wasn't teaching it he wasn't sure (he just started again this year) I think Kathy used something like Halliday?.. (Calculus based)

 

There are other college-prep level texts which have math based physics but are not as difficult as Giancoli though my brother says they will start using Giancoli even at the college-prep level next year but will not teach "Light/EM/Heat/Relativity" (at that level)- not enough time he says....

 

We have ended up using Apologia (uses some trig) and Georgia Public Broadcasting Physics Fundamentals DVD's just because it is a pain to get books over here and we were running out of time. It would be nice to be able to peruse lots of physics books before buying. When I consulted the Georgia Public Broadcasting teacher about the book she used to develop the course, she said she used a combination of - Conceptual Physics by Hewitt, Holt's Physics and Merrrill's Physics Principles and Problems. Her course is math based but does not cover nearly the number of topics as Giancoli, so I slot it in between General and Honors levels...

 

I'm not trying to convince you to change your program. Just putting this info out there for others who might need something in between and are inexperienced like me.

 

Joan

Edited by Joan in Geneva
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