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Yes. It's me and math again. I am very frustrated.

I am waiting anxiously for the publication of Horizons Pre-Algebra. Sight unseen, I am ready to use it. We used Horizons 3-6 easily.

Last year we did Chalk Dust Prealgebra and made it through roughly half of the book. It included a tremendous number of concepts & I thought we had a great basis for beginning algebra. Well, ds rebelled at the Chalk Dust format of long videos followed by numerous practice problems (I had him doing every other odd-numbered problem, about 25 per day). I decided that we did, indeed need to change as this was a lot to expect out of a boy who has difficulty sustaining attention. We started reviewing fractions with Keys to Fractions while I did some research. I settled on Math U See Algebra I. Well, this program is not very thorough and doesn't offer enough practice problems for ds to master the concepts. Problems with fractions are cropping up again, so I have decided to retreat to Pre-Algebra again to make sure everything is solidified. This is not a race, right? It's more important that he understand than move along through material at a randomly decided pace, right? Hence, I am waiting for the Horizons Pre-Algebra program to publish.

That doesn't solve what I need to do in the meantime. I have the following resources:

• LOF Fractions, Decimals and Beginning Algebra
• Keys to Fractions (about 1/3 of this is not yet done, some pages undone in every book)
• Use, It, Don't Lose It! Daily Math Practice, 8th grade
• Beginning Algebra (Jacobs)
• Critical Thinking Co. Algebra Word Problems, Book 1 - Algebra I

I am thinking of having him work through LOF fractions and Use It, Don't Lose It! Additionally, we can spend some time graphing equations with MUS Algebra I. This is where I run into difficulty - how do I combine these programs? I can have him do one day of Use It, Don't Lose It! each day. Should I have him complete LOF fractions and set MUS Algebra I aside? Much of MUS Algebra I was covered in Horizons 6.

As I type this all out, I can see that since we left Horizons, consistency has been an issue - there doesn't seem to be any one program that fits. I am hopeful that we will be able to start Beginning Algebra (Jacobs) sometime next school year, which will be his 9th grade year. So, how do I get him from here to there? I need to figure this out for the next month or so, but with the idea that I may have to do the rest of pre-algebra like this if the Horizons Pre-Algebra doesn't publish in Jan. like it is supposed to. Help, I am at the end of my math rope.

:confused1: :crying:

Edited by Ann Brown
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prealgebra was a hodge podge for my younger son and he did just fine in Algebra 1. All we had access to was some adult remedial workbooks from the library and some Math Blaster software. We were not even online yet, so I couldn't even run off worksheets.

I focused on what he needed to work on, to be able to do the Algebra 1 textbook I'd scrimped and saved for.

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Yes, no need to repeat material that has been mastered. Could you be specific as to what he doesn't understand in fractions?

I wish I knew. In previous years he has done a fabulous job with fractions and up until this fall I thought he had the concepts nailed - he could add, subtract, multiply and divide AND explain why he was doing what he was doing. Everything fell out of his brain during the summer.

My highest math is business calculus during college.

It sounds like you want a comprehensive curriculum, rather than pulling material from various resources to teach a particular concept.

I would prefer a comprehensive curriculum, but at this point I just need to find something that works and am willing to pull together what I need.

If the H P-A isn't available, could you switch to something similar or consider an online or distance learning class?

If there were something similar, I would have used it already. I have been unable to find something that is spiral in it's methodology; has concise, understandable explanations; is in a workbook format; reasonable number of practice problems for each concept.

Online and distance learning classes are not a good match for my son at this time. I wish they were.

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prealgebra was a hodge podge for my younger son and he did just fine in Algebra 1. All we had access to was some adult remedial workbooks from the library and some Math Blaster software. We were not even online yet, so I couldn't even run off worksheets.

I focused on what he needed to work on, to be able to do the Algebra 1 textbook I'd scrimped and saved for.

You know, there really isn't any new material presented in any pre-algebra course I've looked at. It is a matter of reviewing and reinforcing the concepts that were taught in earlier years. I can see where this approach would work for many people.

I'm leaning towards combining the Use It! Don' Lose It!, LOF Fractions and some mom made worksheets from mathfactcafe.com. The Use It! Don't Lose It! has five problems each day. I can then have him read LOF and complete one bridge each day, requiring 9/10 correct on two bridges before moving on. When he finishes LOF fractions, I will move him into the LOF Beginning Algebra book. The mommy made sheets will simply be multiplication and division practice. This way I won't have to spend any more \$ right now.

Of course, now I am looking at lifepacs and considering using some of those as fill in. Their format makes it easy to move between pre-algebra and algebra concepts as needed. Anyone have experience with this?

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Just so you won't feel too bad, my daughter finished doing Singapore 6A and it fell out of her head over the summer. Just All. Fell. Out!! It's a 12 year old thing. In fact, I wrote a thread on her ;)

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I have been unable to find something that is spiral in it's methodology; has concise, understandable explanations; is in a workbook format; reasonable number of practice problems for each concept.

I wonder if CLE meets your criteria? We only used it for part of CLE 500, but you might read the older thread here comparing CLE 700 and CLE 800.

I'm not saying LOF and Daily Maths wouldn't be enough (I have no experience teaching pre-algebra yet, LOL).... but just wanted to say that CLE might be similar to what you are looking for.

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You're saying he retained nothing, not even 1/4+1/4? Is he actively participating in the learning process, as well as studying? Is there an LD?

He remembers how to do the basic operations, however he is laboring intensely over it. His work just isn't as fluid as it used to be. No LD's, just middle school!

If it has to be workbook based, consider Glencoe.

THe workbooks are here to preview: http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/workbooks/math/Pre-AlgebraOK/papssgw.pdf The lesson could come from the text or another source.

Some thoughts on preAlgebra here: http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/prealgebra.php

If he's going into engineering, Dolciani Pre-Algebra is a good choice once he has his K-6 concepts firmly embedded... no wkbk though, you'd have to type the problem sets into the computer and print out. You would get spiral , you'd get fairly good explanations, extra problem sets, skill practice, and challenge problems as well as exercises.

Both Glencoe and Dolciani can be picked up used for less than \$10.

Thanks for the ideas - I'll go exploring.

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Thanks for this. I've never looked at this program before. I posted a question on that thread.

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I'll agree to disagree about the brain, as I've been through this experience twice now & noticed that concepts that were done to mastery stayed embedded through the scatterbrainedness while those that weren't embedded so firmly took a while to root and thrive when the fog rolled in.

I am not at all sure what you are referring to, as the discussion is not about the brain, but rather about looking for an alternate math curriculum. We all have insights to our own children as we educate them.

Note that the fraction and ratio topic has many stumbling blocks and it's worth it to go through and check each bit of each concept for preciseness as well as provide a lot of practice in factoring & seeing multiples by inspection.

I am well aware of this, which is why I have decided to back up and go though these topics again as is evident in my original posted question.

Let us know how it works out for you.

What in particular would you like for me to follow up on?

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Yes. It's me and math again. I am very frustrated.

I am waiting anxiously for the publication of Horizons Pre-Algebra. Sight unseen, I am ready to use it. We used Horizons 3-6 easily.

Last year we did Chalk Dust Prealgebra and made it through roughly half of the book. It included a tremendous number of concepts & I thought we had a great basis for beginning algebra. Well, ds rebelled at the Chalk Dust format of long videos followed by numerous practice problems (I had him doing every other odd-numbered problem, about 25 per day). I decided that we did, indeed need to change as this was a lot to expect out of a boy who has difficulty sustaining attention. We started reviewing fractions with Keys to Fractions while I did some research. I settled on Math U See Algebra I. Well, this program is not very thorough and doesn't offer enough practice problems for ds to master the concepts. Problems with fractions are cropping up again, so I have decided to retreat to Pre-Algebra again to make sure everything is solidified. This is not a race, right? It's more important that he understand than move along through material at a randomly decided pace, right? Hence, I am waiting for the Horizons Pre-Algebra program to publish.

That doesn't solve what I need to do in the meantime. I have the following resources:

• LOF Fractions, Decimals and Beginning Algebra

• Keys to Fractions (about 1/3 of this is not yet done, some pages undone in every book)

• Use, It, Don't Lose It! Daily Math Practice, 8th grade

• Beginning Algebra (Jacobs)

• Critical Thinking Co. Algebra Word Problems, Book 1 - Algebra I

I am thinking of having him work through LOF fractions and Use It, Don't Lose It! Additionally, we can spend some time graphing equations with MUS Algebra I. This is where I run into difficulty - how do I combine these programs? I can have him do one day of Use It, Don't Lose It! each day. Should I have him complete LOF fractions and set MUS Algebra I aside? Much of MUS Algebra I was covered in Horizons 6.

As I type this all out, I can see that since we left Horizons, consistency has been an issue - there doesn't seem to be any one program that fits. I am hopeful that we will be able to start Beginning Algebra (Jacobs) sometime next school year, which will be his 9th grade year. So, how do I get him from here to there? I need to figure this out for the next month or so, but with the idea that I may have to do the rest of pre-algebra like this if the Horizons Pre-Algebra doesn't publish in Jan. like it is supposed to. Help, I am at the end of my math rope.

:confused1: :crying:

:bigear: I would love to hear what you decide on. We are in the same general position. I spent last summer making sure my DD was ready for Prealgebra, after being told she was ready for over a year. She is moving through CD but not retaining the way she should be and I need to do something different, the question is what? Finding something that fits is a struggle. I am pulling the Key to books back out in the meantime.

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:bigear: I would love to hear what you decide on. We are in the same general position. I spent last summer making sure my DD was ready for Prealgebra, after being told she was ready for over a year. She is moving through CD but not retaining the way she should be and I need to do something different, the question is what? Finding something that fits is a struggle. I am pulling the Key to books back out in the meantime.

I can tell you what we did today - it went very well! He read chapters 1-5 of LOF Fractions (he has read this before as a fun read) and completed the first bridge. He completed a day in Use It! Don't Lose It! and did a timed multiplication drill sheet. He only made two small errors on everything and in all completed 40 math problems.

So far, so good. I am going to continue this through the week and see if it continues to go well.

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Life? Goodness. I'd settle for a great math curriculum.

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Life? Goodness. I'd settle for a great math curriculum.

:lol: Oh man, I have soooo been there. :tongue_smilie:

Have you considered Systematic Mathematics? (http://www.systemath.com/) Although it isn't spiral in nature, it might still be worth a look. There's a whole module on fractions, for example. (http://systemath.com/index.php/2008011141/Level-6/Working-With-Fractions.html). Also, there are video lessons (though not terribly high quality/exciting ones), and it's not terribly expensive. :)

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• 2 months later...

...Some thoughts on preAlgebra here: http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/prealgebra.php

...

QUOTE]

Thanks for sharing this article! It's really informative and gave me a lot to think about. I was planning on using Horizons or TT Pre-Algebra, but I'll probably consider something different now.

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I think we're going to use Horizons pre-algebra and Thinkwell 8th grade. (8th grade seems to have all the concepts covered in their 'pre-algebra' course plus some extra review) We'll be doing some Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Economics over the summer, I think.

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Another great resource for this stage is Zaccaro's "Challenge Math":

https://smartmall.net-smart.net/challengemath/products.cfm?ID=20&cat=8

It was a lifesaver for my 7th grader when he wasn't quite ready for Algebra, but didn't want to spend the entire year doing review with a Pre-Algebra course. It covers pretty much everything a Pre-Algebra course does, but it's much more entertaining, with lots of problems to work out at different levels of difficulty.

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