LOF Algebra question for past/current users

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Our ds8th is working his way through LOF. We love the concept but still find it confusing, especially the "teaching through the answers" process used at times.

His time spent on lessons concerns me, but the cities can take him forever! Usually 1 to 1-1/2 hours a day over two days to do the two cities. Is this normal?

He is a chatty person and tends to have to work things out verbally. (I tell him that I will just put a cardboard image of myself in his room so he can ask it and therefore save us both some time as he often answers his own questions by asking them!)

But when he comes to me I feel like I cannot help him much as I find the way the questions are asked is confusing. He comes to me a lot!

His slow speed at doing the few problems asked concerns me.

Main concern:

The way ds solves the problems concerns me. It seems he doesn't have enough problem solving strategies. He often relies on past examples instead of solving the problems. Is this due to lack of enough example in LOF?

Any btdt advice about if this will all work itself out or if I need to change our tactics?

Thanks

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The Algebra book is alot meatier than the earlier ones and the cities do take time. We did a set amount of time each day rather than a whole city etc. I do remember it sometimes taking more than one day (45 min) to do one city, but there was a lot of learning happening in that time so it did not concern me (and we still finished the book in way less than a year). I don't know if my brain would still be functioning after 1 1/2 hours working on it in one session.

How long has he been using the book and how far through the book is he? How is he scoring on the cities? Are you only requiring the first two cities or more than that? By the time he finishes the city does he understand it?

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He is following the home companion book which assigns each day's work. Two cities are assigned at once. Perhaps I should slow that part down. Otherwise, he reads one to three pages a day and does a your turn to play.

Ds seems to have not cemented the concept of distributive property (pretty major imo) since he doesn't seem to be applying it when new things are taught. For example, he is getting tripped up by exponents outside of parentheses with an exponent inside.

(10x^3)^2 (^ = exponent) Even though he knows what an exponent by itself is. Also, distributing negatives when a problem has subtraction: 6-2(5x)= (bad example...short on time)

He's sailed through math all his school life, but he now seems to make mistakes that show a lack of grasp...or is he just learning to put it all together in new format (algebra)?

I am "blaming" the way LOF is teaching it b/c the program is talking about and showing through story but what about just teaching how to solve the problem? I can't just jump in and help and say "see...look at this example". So, I am not sure how to assess with LOF whether ds has missed an important concept or I just need to trust LOFs method.

Thanks

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Calvin didn't get on well with LOF Algebra. He loved Fractions, and Decimals and Percents, but he had some background in all of those. He's not an experimental type: he'd much rather be told how to do things, then do it. He stopped finding LOF fun, and was just confused. We switched to a more straight ahead programme.

Laura

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I can see why he does it that way, but I personally didn't think that it would fly here as a first-time Algebra program for a reluctant student.

I have it, but will be using it for summer review.

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Hmmm...I am not a curriculum jumper but this may have to be an exception. I'm not math-phobic just lazy lol! I want to have him work semi-independantly like in the past and jump in as needed. I am perfectly willing to do some of the problems at night ahead of him to be ready to help but I find that difficult so far with LOF.

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Ds completed LoF Algebra in 7th grade. It did not fit his learning style well. You may read my review in this thread. I also had a difficult time helping him (even though I generally read through the week's lessons ahead of time) because it was hard to flip back and find the critical information easily (although he had everything summarized neatly at the back or somewhere?). I don't remember how much time it took him daily. If it took over an hour, I'd let him finish the next day. The other thing to consider is hormones and teenage fog brain.

FWIW, we used Foerster's Algebra in 8th grade. Loved it. You may read my review here. Honestly, he worked through most of it on his own. We checked his work together and corrected errors. Occasionally, he needed my help, and I jumped in as needed. It was much more straight-forward.

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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Thanks everyone. Sue, teen-brain-fog definately isn't helping...either does mom brain-fog lol!

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Ds loves LOF but I was cautioned to be sure he has enough practice problems. I prefer a different approach so it makes teaching a pain.

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Calvin didn't get on well with LOF Algebra. He loved Fractions, and Decimals and Percents, but he had some background in all of those. He's not an experimental type: he'd much rather be told how to do things, then do it. He stopped finding LOF fun, and was just confused. We switched to a more straight ahead programme.

This is exactly what we experienced. I was disappointed in LoF Algebra after my dc loved the Fractions and Percents books.
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This is really painful; I like to pick something and stick with it.

I make myself dizzy when I read the posts about math (any subject) selection b/c each post makes so much sense when I read it...which is why I stick with my guns usually (if I think or read about it too much I will start to question.:)) But LOF isn't working.

Everyone's input has been so helpful. I'll do some research here (so many good posts on math selection.) then walk away and make a decision.

Thanks again!

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