# Asta

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I hope you don't mind me posting to you, but I was searching through some old threads and I noticed that you used Systematic mathematics with your DS. You had not finished the Algebra II level at the time of the post and i'm hoping that you've completed it now and would love to know your thoughts on the program. We used the Math Rescue program and we're now using the Algebra program and I must say that I really like the way my DS is learning. Thanks

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We finished it about a month ago. I was very happy with it, as was kid. I know it is a relatively unknown program, but kid really understands the nuts and bolts of math now and can really manipulate equations. Chemistry has been really easy for him because of this.

Today, we sat down to flip through Lial's Intermediate Algebra because I want to make sure that kid is "on the same page" as "standard" programs. It just seems like no two programs teach the same things KWIM? And now he needs to move to something else for pre-calc, since SM doesn't go any further.

Anyway, we started running through the table of contents and DS was able to say "yep, done that, done that, done that" until we got past quadratic equations and inequalities and slopes and landed on linear equations in two variables. SM hadn't covered it. The interesting thing, though, was that kid looked at it and said "oh, that's easy" - and just did it. So the base he had learned in SM gave him the tools to just run right through it (as it should be!).

The last 4 chapters in Lial's are Conics, Functions, Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, and Sequences and Series. The very last lesson in SM was parabolas, so DS had an intro to conics but will need to have more exposure. DS has no experience whatsoever in Functions, so we will have to study that. He has learned Exponents and Logs in chemistry, but we will go over it again. He has done sequencing elsewhere during maths, but not the binomial theorem, so I will have him do this last chapter as well.

Like I said, I love SM (that is why we did the whole program), but I recognize that no two programs teach the same thing, so that is why I'm tacking these bits from Lial's on to the end. I am very impressed with his comprehension above all. I know for fact that he has not memorized and spit back anything; he really understands what he is doing.

Now if I could just get him to put a fire under his pencil when he is working problems...

a

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Now if I could just get him to put a fire under his pencil when he is working problems...

a

This is my ds also :). Thank you so much for responding.

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Asta,

I have a question for you also that I'm asking on behalf of an acquaintance who is looking for a pre-Algebra curriculum. She said that they have used Singapore math to date but that her son needs a little more repetition and detailed directions.

Do you feel that Systematic Mathematics offers a good amount of repetition and detailed directions?

I am familiar with Lial's but not overly so with Singapore. If you can add any more information that compares SM with either or both of those, I would appreciate it.

Regards,

Kareni

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Asta,

I have a question for you also that I'm asking on behalf of an acquaintance who is looking for a pre-Algebra curriculum. She said that they have used Singapore math to date but that her son needs a little more repetition and detailed directions.

Do you feel that Systematic Mathematics offers a good amount of repetition and detailed directions?

I am familiar with Lial's but not overly so with Singapore. If you can add any more information that compares SM with either or both of those, I would appreciate it.

Regards,

Kareni

SM is the antithesis of Singapore.

It does not rely on repetition at. all. It relies on introducing one, tiny concept a day, and having the student do one, short worksheet of problems (ONLY) a day on that concept. The student will never have more than 10-20 problems on any worksheet. And that will include 3-5 at the bottom that are review questions from a concept learned previously in math (not the day before - previously, like perhaps an entire subject ago).

SM is old, old math in a true incremental approach. Every single lesson builds on the previous one. There is no jumping around. The student is not expected to already know anything or to guess at anything. It is designed to teach the "why" behind everything so that the student can take the concepts and apply them not only to any equation they see, but also to real life (SM is big on real life uses). The other thing SM is big on is not memorizing formulas. Paul (the teacher) is all about learning how to derive them. He doesn't think kids/people can understand what to do with a formula if they don't know where they came from.

The only problem with SM is that Paul periodically will make a mistake on the DVD. It isn't anything that an adult won't catch (an arithmetic error usually), but a kid might miss it. Personally, we find it kind of endearing, because he's a total grandpa (really, he is in real life), and he just gets excited and distracted sometimes...

As to Singapore, DS found it overwhelming, too wordy, and way, way too many problem sets. He doesn't do too well w/o lots of white space in a book. He does well with "old" text books that don't have a lot of stuff crammed into them. Lial's older editions are like that. They are very "clean" with clear examples, and a reasonable number of problem sets per concept.

I know every kid is different. We just happen to be in the "it's not the repetition, it's the 'how well and how incrementally is it taught'" camp. This method doesn't work for everyone. I hope your friend finds what works for her kid.

a

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Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply, Asta. I have a much better idea now of what Systematic Mathematics is like. I will share your information with my friend.

Regards,

Kareni

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