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Tell me about Videotext Algebra...please

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Please HELP me get dd through algebra! She has always excelled in math but 1/2 way through algebra we hit a wall:banghead:. So over the last 1 1/2 years we have tried several different curriculums (Teaching Textbooks(twice) & LOF), but she is just not getting it. It doesn't help that dd is a perfectionist and gets really upset when she gets stuck (says it makes her feel stupid-another issue we are trying to work through) We have gone from an easy going, happy girl to tears, and even to depression/anger all over math. I'm about ready to throw it out the window for good and say we gave it our best shot just because I don't think it's worth all the stress it is causing! But I ran across Videotext last night and dd showed a spark of interest!:w00t: We watched the sample view lessons and she said she really enjoyed them (this is HUGE!!)!!! So now here I am begging you to tell me everything you know about Videotext. I cannot just haul off and buy something so expensive without first researching it extensively. I know nothing is a sure thing, but I can't bear the thought of sending dd down the road to another brick wall. I like the way it seems Videotext breaks things down and explains them step by step. So, tell me, what do you love? What do you hate? Please tell me this is the key to unlock the brick wall for dd...ok, I'm done rambling. Sorry this got so long. Thank you for helping and exhausted momma that is at the end of her rope and doesn't know what to do next...

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We went from MUS pre alg to Video Text. We tried MUS alg 1, but we seemed to get stuck in the same place with both my dc. I found the Video text VHS used on this forum and so far it has been great. We did get stuck at the same type of problems as MUS, but we took a couple of weeks off and went back reviewing MUS and Video Text of the similar lessons and finally figured it out. I think the problem with MUS wasn't really the curriculum as much as we needed to have it explained a little different. Both of my children like the way VT explain and show the work. It seems to be very thorough in its explanations, but at times they will have problems in the lesson to work out that are a little different than what they talked about in the lesson. I guess to make you think. This has been frustrating to say the least, but we would work the even problems first and if needed, would use the answer key to see how to work the problems. Then, once we understood it, we would go back and work the odd problems without the answer key. This has worked very well for us if we needed more review/work. My dd is 16 and is doing alg 1 and 2 in 6 months using Video text. She is not strong in math but is motivated to complete it by the summer since she is older. My ds is 14 and is taking it at the normal pace and is doing well.


If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.


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I've used this with my three older children. I have had three different responses:


My math struggling eldest ended up having to take remedial Algebra her first semester in college. She tolerated VT as well as any other math program, but things did not "click" with her until her college Algebra course. However, she did test out in 7 weeks which was quicker than anyone else in her class, so VT did give her somewhat of a foundation.


My 18yo did well with VT, but was frustrated because she wanted a textbook to reference when she needed to review a concept. The "notes" were not enough for her to effectively review.


My 16yo math bright son sped through VT in one year. He LOVED it. He loves math. He's doing Calculus as a junior. I don't know where he came from.


I have two friends with dd's who are National Merit scholars and both of them used Videotext. I have loaned out my VT to three other families. The kids who are successful are those who like math. Those who struggle, continue to struggle with VT.


My conclusion for the rest of my family is to use VT for the ones who love math, and to use something else for my kids whose strengths are in other areas.

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My question, more from a philosophical point of view, is what problems did she have with TT? I ask because while I haven't used TT (I do own the first module of VT), my oldest did Kinetic Books (another computer based program) for a while and I found that while we both loved the idea, she couldn't translate what she saw and did on screen to physical writing it out with the end of unit problems.


If that is the sort of problem your dd had, then VT isn't going to be any better because it is again all visual. In fact VT is known for being more challenging than TT, so it really comes down to a will it "click" factor.


LOF is also known for being challenging and not having enough explanation.


My recommendations would be more in lines of doing Hands on Equations, which might help it any program click because of the hands on element or doing something like Lial's program which is know for the really clear directions (she writes for community colleges where it is assumed most students are remedial), for its incremental (little) steps and lots of practice problems. The answer key only has odd problems, but they are fully worked out. I am using Lial's with my dd now and it is working well for her. Though I also took a step back and put her in Basic College Math.



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story to yours, going from MUS to Key To to blah blah....all to no avail. tears etc.


We have had a good experience, but when we get stuck we do call/use the helpline. We bought the Algebra used, but Tom will let you pay $100 to use the call line. This one time fee is good for all children 4ever.


DD would call and they would spend as long as they needed to with her, one time it was well over a half an hour. The man isolated the concept she was stuck on, told her what lesson to go back to, rework it and go forward from there. That was out first big hurdle. Dd went thru modules A-D last year.


This year she is going through VT Geometry, while she does not love it of course, she does fine and so far only used the helpline once. Tom himself called back and she thought that was special. She will work through modules A-D this year and then next year we will go thru both E and F of Algebra and Geo. I am comfortable with that as you can count it for three years as Alg 1, Alg 2 and Geo.




Edited by rockala
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I used it with my older son and he did well with it. When he returned to a private school to complete high school, he started with the geometry that we hadn't done at home yet, then did trig/pre-calc and calc. He wasn't the most wonderful math student (doesn't really like it), but does better with geometry than algebra.


I know a national merit scholar who used it, at least for algebra. I don't think their geometry was out yet, so don't know what they used after Algebra II....


Like most things, I have heard of people who love it and those who hate it.....

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Our Dd didn't like it at all. She was young (6th grade) and could not comprehend the lengthy/wordy explanations.

She also did not like TT.

We finally hired a tutor (certified in math) and she is thriving.

A tutor is more expensive, but the one-to-one teaching is magnificent with immediate feedback.

That's my recommendation!:)

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  • 1 month later...

but I would consider something like Derek Owens if I were you.


VT is good, but it can be quite frustrating - there are times when the explanations seem to leave gaps. At one point, we used Key to Algebra and it seemed to get us over the "hump." But we have started VT in 7th grade and feel we can take a slow approach.

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If your child is nonmathy... run! :auto::auto::auto: My very nonmathy child couldn't tolerate it. It was great for the first few wks. then things seriously fell apart. The notes aren't "enough" and for her, there just weren't enough practice problems.

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Are you working with your daughter or is she doing it independently? If she is doing it independently, I would *highly* recommend that whatever program you do choose, that you do it with her.


We used Videotext's Module A and it was a horrific experience. The video presentation was good, but there was not enough review. And this was for a kid who excels in math!


I would recommend either Jacobs or Lial. And I strongly suggest that you present the material to your daughter and work with her until you and she are sure she understands before you set her loose on a problem set.

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I'm a VT fan, but think it works best if you have time to watch, pause and discuss, and work the practice problems together. Also, it's important to go over daily work together before deciding whether to move on to the next lesson or work more problems. My son enjoyed the different lesson presenters, but he was surprised because at first he was expecting to see the same person all the way through.


Mr. Clark does not like to have students take notes during lesson, and I agree with him. However I did have my son do his own notebook using the course notes and things he learned while doing problems. He started each day's math by making an entry for the previous day's lesson. The notebook was helpful for review during the course, but ds also used it for PSAT/SAT/ACT prep.


VT is advertised as being self-reviewing which is true; the problem is that it doesn't kick in until Module B, so it's a good idea to take the first module fairly slowly, and work odds AND evens as well as the online extra practice problems. We flew through many sections, but had to slow down for others. I particularly like the way VT explains polynomials and word problems. Both of those things gave me major anxiety when I was in high school. I also like having a full solutions manual and two versions of quizzes and exams.


The materials are expensive, though, so it's good to be able to buy single modules. I think, too, that there's an online program offered now which may be less expensive than the traditional materials. I'll be happy to answer questions, but it's been several years now since we used VT.


ETA: I do understand about the cost; we borrowed VT algebra from a generous friend, but bought all the Geometry modules published before ds graduated from high school. If you think you'll use VT with several children it doesn't seem quite so daunting. All the materials in the traditional format are reusable.

Edited by Martha in NM
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