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Which do you like better: Lial's Intermediate Algebra or Chalkdust Alg 2

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I'm looking for a math program for ds for next year. He's about average when it comes to math but he wants to understand why you do things and wants to see it broken down. We've tried MUS and TT. While he did good with both of them they didn't seem to challenge him enough. He has even commented that TT went through things much too fast and he's worrying a little about retention. I have Lial's Inter Alg 7th edition but wonder what you all think. I know nothing about upper level math and am a poor math student so I need to be able to rely on others to teach this. Which would be better under these circumstances? Which did you like and why? I've looked at Chalkdust last year and it looked a little overwhelming. Is it?

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Both cover the same material.


Chalkdust is more expensive. The quality of the videos is much better. Online support is available if the student gets stuck...Chalkdust has a high resale value--so you will get at least half of your investment back...


Lial is definately cheaper--usually under $50 for a set (with videos and solutions) for 7th edition. Lial's lessons are more detailed because the program was designed for independent study. Videos are OK and support the text. Most students do not need the videos for every lesson.


Comming from MUS or TT the student may need to either work the first chapters SLOWLY or review with a program like http://www.aleks.com for a few weeks to catch up to some concepts that Chalkdust and Lial have in their Algebra 1 texts that MUS and TT have not covered yet. Just something to be aware of.

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Dd is finishing up Algebra 2 this month and although she is an average math student, Chalkdust has made it a much more enjoyable subject.

What has contributed to this:

She loves the instructor...he's neat, friendly, shows you everything, and is enthusiastic without expecting his students to be math whizzes. He explains things so that even average students understand it well.

I watch it with her. This has made a big difference. I can tell by watching her whether she's getting it or not. Sometimes I stop the dvd and have her talk out what he's doing so she cements it in her mind. Then when she's doing the problems, I can watch to be sure she really did understand what he taught.

We don't always watch a whole lesson and then do the problems. Some lessons incorporate 9 or more new concepts and that was just too much for her to learn all at once. For those lessons, we watch a couple of things and then she does problems associated with those topics. When it got really tricky for her, she watched ONE topic and then did those problems. Some lessons were simple for her while others were difficult...we just adjusted as we went along. I couldn't have done that if I hadn't been watching and keeping up with what she was learning.

It's been a fabulous year, math wise.

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As far as the DVD instruction is concerned. Dana Mosely is the far superior teacher, in my opinion. I like that he's very organized in his presentation. He's very thorough and does not make assumptions about what a student might/might not understand and therefore does not make leaps in teaching a concept. He's very methodical. He does not skip steps. I like that he might review a concept a little before teaching a new one to refresh the student's memory. He can be quite animated and is therefore not boring. He almost teaches with his whole body.

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and I would recommend watching the video with your student so you will be up to speed. I found that I was not able to help much using the text and it was a far better use of my time just to sit and watch the video and I am quite proficient in math. The explanations are excellent and your son will get a good math education with Chalkdust. The program is very easy to resell so that's not a problem. Also you will have higher levels to go into. My oldest son was not a math whiz but did not struggle with math and did well with Chalkdust. The graphing calculator stuff was over my head but I have trouble with gadgets. Fortunately most kids "get" electronic stuff.


I used Lial's Intermediate with my second son who really struggled with math and I was also pleased with that program. I felt that Chalkdust would have been over his head so this worked well for him. I actually kept this and will probably use it with my daughter who will be using Lial's Beginning Algebra next year. (She also struggles with math)


Maybe this will give you some perspective.



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