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Which math curriculum do you use for Algebra?


Which math curriculum do you use for high school (algebra?)  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Which math curriculum do you use for high school (algebra?)

    • ABeka
      1
    • Key to series
      13
    • Life of Fred
      31
    • Math-U-See
      27
    • Saxon
      54
    • Singapore
      18
    • Teaching Textbooks
      40
    • Videotext
      9
    • Other/ please describe
      130


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I am really trying to find a good math program for high school for my student who does fine with math but really hates it. We used ABeka math through Algebra I, then decided to move to something else since we got stuck towards the end and I couldn't help him. We watched the Math-U-See video straight through (it took a week) for review and clarification on some concepts, and it helped- but wasn't what we were looking for.

 

I just wondered which math programs are most popular and why. My son looked them over recently (the more popular ones) and said that he really liked the writing style of Teaching Textbooks. (Just that was enough to make me want to buy it for him since he's usually so resistant to saying he likes anything about any math book). But I looked at the cost..... wow.

 

Anyway.. any input about math for high school? (Poll following with only the math curriculum I know about, alphabetically, so please don't be offended if yours isn't there).

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We use Art of Problem Solving

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/

 

It is a program geared towards strong motivated math students.

AoPS uses a discovery based approach where the student is confronted with problems, asked to solve them, and afterwards the problems are explained and concepts derived. There are sufficient practice problems to develop mastery, but they don't just drill; they are very varied and the student needs to think how the concept applies. The challenge problems are really challenging and sometimes require a lot of time. Intro to algebra contains much more material than the traditional algebra 1 course; the last third of the book is stuff typically taught in algebra 2.

The program is mastery based; any topic is treated comprehensively and only then a switch to the next topic is made. The sequence of topics is logical, there is no jumping around and no artificial spiral .

What we like especially is that the author clearly loves and is excited about math, and this joy radiates from every page. It is very different from the uninspired "math is good and useful" approach I have seen elsewhere.

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I used Lial with my oldest dd after she hit a wall with Saxon beginning in 8/7. We switched to Lial's Basic College Math for Pre-Algebra then continued with Introductory Algebra for Algebra 1 and Intermediate Algebra for Algebra 2.

 

My middle dd attended PS for Algebra 1 but is now homeschooled again. She used Lial's Intermediate Algebra for Algebra 2 and is currently using Lial's Pre-Calculus.

 

I also use Lial with my online classes (but I use Holt for Geometry).

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Kinetic Books is my favorite. We've used Algebra I and Algebra II so far. They have geometry also now, but it isn't available for sale yet.

 

I also like Jacobs Algebra and Jacobs Geometry, but I like Kinetic Books Algebra I better than Jacobs Algebra.

 

Kinetic Books doesn't go beyond Algebra II yet, so I am going to switch to Lial's for Precalculus. I used Larson's (Chalkdust) last year with my oldest and didn't like it.

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After two years of trying to find the right fit for Algebra, Lial's Introductory Algebra is working for dd. What didn't work, VideoText and Life of Fred with Key To series thrown in. Wish I would have known about Lial's in 9th.

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Foerster too! Love it!

:iagree: Here's my review:

 

We used Foerster’s Algebra in 8th grade after completing MUS Algebra (easy) and LoF Algebra (challenging). With 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had done something different for 7th grade, perhaps MUS Algebra and Patty Paper Geometry. I was able to obtain the 1999 student book and 1999 teacher book used. I purchased the solutions manual new through Prentice Hall.

 

Pros:

• Clear, easy to understand explanations

• Explicit, step-by-step working through problems

• Sufficient practice and continual review of concepts

• Clear building upon and relationships between concepts

• Explicit demonstration of how to apply concepts to word problems

• Challenging, real-life word problems

• Solutions manual provides worked out solutions for every problem

• Solid preparation for SAT, sciences, college level math

• Amusing names in many word problems: Moe Delaune, Mary Thon, Fran Tick, etc.

• Math Without Borders DVDs available

 

Cons:

• None

 

 

Here is an example from Foerster’s Chapter 6 on the Quadratic Formula:

In Foerster's Chapter 6 they teach the quadratic formula. That's

x = [-b +- sqrt(b2-4ac)]/2a

(not easy to type here)

Within this chapter, they teach the vertical motion formula: d = rt - 5t(squared)

They have a section with 12 problems. The TM says to take 2 days to do these problems, but only do 3 problems a day. Here is the first one:

Football problem - A football is kicked into the air with an initial upward velocity of 25 meters per second (m/sec).

a. Calculate it's height after 2 seconds; 3 seconds

b. When will it be 20 meters above the ground?

c. Copy the diagram. Show the answers to part (a) in relationship to the 20 meters of part (b).

d. When will the ball hit the ground?

 

 

FWIW - I have a degree in math and ds is math-oriented.

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We're using LOF mixed with some Dolciani this year. LOF works for my son, I don't think it's the right main algebra program for everyone. Because we've had a chaotic year and ds is younger, we will go through a second course of algebra (Dolciani) mixed with AoPS Number Theory next year.

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Our plan has been Jacob's Algebra in 8th grade, AoPS algebra over the summer, and then on to other AoPS Classes. So far it has worked out well.

 

I really like Jacob's BTW --- even I understand it.

 

If you knew me IRL you would know what a big deal that is. :001_smile:

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We used Singapore's NEM for High School level Math. My non math child is a MATH TUTOR at his college.

 

We also did University of Chicago Transitions MAth-Pre Algebra and their Algebra for my swimmer boy before changing him back to NEM.

 

He is going to THinkwell Pre Cal next year

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I used Saxon with my oldest 3. I used Teaching Textbooks with Life of Fred for # 4 and plan to use TT and LoF with the rest of my gang unless one of them turns out to be particularly mathy..then I will use Chalkdust or Singapore NEM.

 

Faithe

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Our school district adopted the Holt math books this past year and I think they are GREAT books. Every example problem in the book has an online video that a student can watch to see a teacher explain it. It is a rigorous book and I have really liked it! (So much better than the last horrible math books they used!!)

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My oldest used Key to and a bunch of other stuff after dropping VT. He went on to use MUS Geometry, MUS Alg2, and Sullivan Pre-Calc.

 

My second used MUS Alg1, Geometry, and Alg2. However, when he first did Alg2 he was going through pubescent brain fog and nothing seemed to stick, so I had him do Alg2 again. He went on to use TT Alg2 with a wonderful tutor who supplemented with worksheets from his public school Alg2 honors class. This year he is with the same tutor using his brother's Sullivan Pre-Calc text. Next year the plan is that he will use Chalkdust Calculus.

 

My third ds just finished the first chapter of Foerster's Alg1. He is also wrapping up the second week lesson of MUS Geometry. He will definitely use a more in-depth geometry text later, but I have not decided what it will be or what he will use for Alg2.

 

Obviously, I am not married to any particular program. TT is cheaper than Chalkdust, but not at cheap as Foerster's with the MathWithoutBorders lectures.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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My DD is finishing up TT Alg. It has been a good fit for her-She is doing well, and is totally working independently. The cost is well worth it in my opinion. She is learning, retaining and if she every has a question or isnt clear on something she can have the "teacher" go over the problem step by step.

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I used Chalkdust Prealgebra and Algebra I with ds15. It was a very thorough, challenging curriculum. He seems better prepared than most of the kids in his Catholic school Geometry class.

 

I think I will do the same with ds12 next year, but I am still undecided. He is doing Singapore now, and I love it. It will be hard to go back to a more traditional program. If we do switch to Chalkdust, I will continue to challenge him with Singapore 6 Challenging Word Problems, and then SAT practice workbooks. I think it's important to encourage kids to think mathematically, not just learn how to solve a problem.

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Here is an example from Foerster’s Chapter 6 on the Quadratic Formula:

In Foerster's Chapter 6 they teach the quadratic formula. That's

x = [-b +- sqrt(b2-4ac)]/2a

(not easy to type here)

Within this chapter, they teach the vertical motion formula: d = rt - 5t(squared)

They have a section with 12 problems. The TM says to take 2 days to do these problems, but only do 3 problems a day. Here is the first one:

Football problem - A football is kicked into the air with an initial upward velocity of 25 meters per second (m/sec).

a. Calculate it's height after 2 seconds; 3 seconds

b. When will it be 20 meters above the ground?

c. Copy the diagram. Show the answers to part (a) in relationship to the 20 meters of part (b).

d. When will the ball hit the ground?

 

 

Wow. That example just about scared me away from Foersters completely! (But I am NOT a math person). I will look at it, though, because I've never heard of it and because of all these great reviews! Thank you Sue for the time you put into that review.

 

Thank you everyone else, too- these responses were really helpful to me. I didn't realize there were so many good choices. Many of these I'd never heard of, like: Lial, Kinetic Books, Holt, Mary Dolciani, Thinkwell, and AoPS.

 

I guess I have my summers work cut out for me.

 

A question about Foerster math- is this ONLY a high school curriculum? Or do they have elementary levels as well? I wonder that I've never heard of it at all. Thanks!

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