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So...I thought since there are quite a few threads going now on the topic of Pre-Algebra, it might be helpful to have one master thread to discuss texts, and to link to previous conversations. (Links at the bottom) I will post a link to my blog once I get photos up, as I know some of the texts are hard to preview online (Lial's, in particular)

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I have received Dolciani PreAlgebra: An Accelerated Course (1985) and Lial's Pre-Algebra Third Edition in the mail this past week. I already own Lial's BCM and AoPS Pre-A. So I think I have shopped enough that I can now safely make my decision...:D

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Initial impressions of Dolciani and Lials:

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Dolciani Pre Algebra: An Accelerated Course 1985 thorough, dry, no color, few pictures/images, black text with some color fonts as headers to different sections. Problems: divided into A (basic) B (more challenging) and C (challenging) problems. Word problems are dull, but serviceable. If your child didn't have trouble with Singapore CWP, he/she won't find these too hard, certainly not in the first part of the book. Odd answers in the back of the student book. Percents Chapter has the following sections: Percent of Increase or Decrease, Discount and Markup, Commision and Profit, Percents and Proportions, Simple Interest, Compound Interest, Percents and Problem Solving.

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Sample Word Problem: Gilbert wants to borrow \$2250 for 3 years to remodel his garage. The annual rate is 18%. If the principal and interest are to be repaid in equal monthly installments, how much will each installment be?

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Sample Word PRoblem 2: If a car uses 5 gallons of gas to travel 160 miles, how many gallons would the car use in traveling 96 mi

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Lial's Pre-Algebra, Third Edition: Thorough, more visually appealing than Dolciani. Some might say it's more visually cluttered, but I don't agree. I think the colored fonts are used well to highlight important information. Sidebars on each page provide problems that are linked directly to the text they are next to, so it's easy to pinpoint areas of weakness in your student. Word problems seem more 'real-life'. Each chapter has sub-sections outlining how to solve different sorts of problems. For example, the Percent chapter has subsections entitled: Changing Percents to Decimals by Moving the Decimal Point, Changing Decimals to Percents by Moving the Decimal Point, Wrting Percents as Fractions, Writing Decimal Percents or Fractions Percents as Fractions, Writing Fractions as Percents, Finding 100% of a Number, Finding 50% of a Number. Each explanation is clear and shows a few examples.

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Sample Word Problem:In the hospital pharmacy, Michiko sees that a medicine is to be given at a rate of 3.5 mg for every 50 lbs of body weight. How much medicine should be given to a patient weighing 210 pounds? As point of reference, this question shows up about halfway through the book.

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Sample Word Problem 2: Ms Henderson owes \$1900 in taxes. She is charged a penalty of 12 1/4 % annual interest and pays the taxes and penalty after 6 months. How much does she pay?

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Both text have built-in review and self-tests. I think Lial's has more concrete examples, Dolciani assumes a bit more. Lials' questions seem more...interesting. With Lial's I think you'd have to be careful that your child wasn't just following the steps: the steps are so clear, that a child could potentially follow formulas rather than truly understand the concept. Throwing in some Singapore CWP 6 or AoPS Pre-A would certainly reveal that. Dolciani is more old-fashioned and perhaps less suitable to a younger child.

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Okay, so I have more to say, and want to talk about AoPS and BCM too, but I'm tired and I'd rather here what others have to say.

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Edited by Halcyon

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So I think I have shopped enough that I can now safely make my decision...:D

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Are you sure?? You don't have Russian Math 6 :lol:

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Are you sure?? You don't have Russian Math 6 :lol:

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Stop. Just stop. :D

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LOL! I was just thinking today that we needed a master thread on pre-algebra/algebra I! :)

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Just to add to the mix.... Singapore Math's Discovering Mathematics 1 looks great for pre-algebra/beginning algebra. I just received the set of DM1 & now I am really torn between Dolciani and DM.

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(The most extensive samples I saw online of DM were at cbd. Unfortunately, they're all from the first chapter, so they're pretty basic.)

Edited by yvonne
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I didn't follow your links, but my kids had great success using MUS alg/geo for pre-alg and pre-geo at young ages. It is very simplified alg w/concrete presentation. I have never used a pre-alg program per se.

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FWIW, I chose MUS b/c it is not like a textbook and it is not overwhelming w/info on a page. My kids may have been ready intellectually for alg, but they were not mature enough to deal with a high school textbook. MUS was a nice stepping stone w/o stagnating. It also made the transition to traditional alg basically nothing.

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Well, I've got three kids and it looks like all three are going to have used different programs for Prealgebra! One did Lial's Prealgebra, one did Singapore DM1, and the third looks like she's headed for AoPS. :001_rolleyes:

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Matroyshka,

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Did your child who did DM1 continue with DM? Or move into a different program? And if s/he moved to a different program (for algebra? geometry?) which one & why?

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Thanks!

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My older daughter is using SM5a and I'm also wondering what we'll do next year. SM6a/b? DM1? AOPS PA? Jacobs? Something completely different? I used Dolciani in 7th grade. Honestly, it might be a great book, but even the cover makes me shiver with dread. I couldn't use it.

I'm also wondering if I should perhaps slow her down since she will very likely be going to the local high school. There's really no need for her to do Algebra 1 before 8th grade. Although she's quite good at math and generally does it without complaining, she doesn't actually like it particularly. (Except she loves Fred and Murderous Maths) I'm hoping that moving from arithmetic towards algebra might help her to enjoy it more? I don't know...

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Anyway, while I do read these threads thoughtfully, I refuse to buy anything until she's well into SM5b.

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I just want to say, I'm SO FREAKIN' GLAD that I'm not the only one who does this - I've driving my husband NUTS going back and forth and back and forth!! :lol:

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And just to muddy the waters - am I the only one who looks ahead to the next few years to decide on this stuff? Every time I think about making a change, I start calculating like this -

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"OK, if I finish AoPS Pre-A this year, then I can spend the next two years on AoPS Algebra if we have to (I am VERY concerned that she be absolutely rock-solid on algebra), then stick with AoPS for the rest of the sequence in high school. BUT if I switch to Dolciani Algebra this semester, I won't finish it this school year. So then do I finish Dolciani in the fall? Or switch to Foerster's to give her a full year? Then what do I do the NEXT year? Dolciani Geometry or Foersters? Does Foersters HAVE a geometry? Maybe I SHOULD look at Lial's..." My poor poor husband has to listen to this stuff by the HOUR sometimes...

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I think part of the problem too is, I want her to not just understand the theory, but also have 'automatic' recall of the procedures. My DS in K understands the THEORY of multiplication pretty well - you add groups of the same number over and over. But it's not like he knows his times tables or anything!!! Eventually I want him to know both the underlying ideas AND the times tables! And it's the same for DD - I want her to understand the ideas behind math, and ALSO to be able to perform the skills without having to reinvent the wheel from those underlying theories each time. That's where *I* have issues! Up until this year, we just did Saxon, which worked SO well for teaching skill performance. I understand the theory that solving a few really hard problems with do more to cement the ideas than solving 30 rote practice problems, but those rote practice problems are really super for solidifying those skills until you can do it in your sleep! If I could figure out a way to meld AoPS and Saxon I think I would! :lol:

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Not to derail the OP, but no, Foerster's does not have a geo text. So, there, you don't have to worry about that one. ;)

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Not to derail the OP, but no, Foerster's does not have a geo text. So, there, you don't have to worry about that one. ;)

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But don't you see, that makes it WORSE - Foersters is supposed to be really good for engineers, and she wants to be an engineer, so if we go with Foersters I have to find another geometry! And what if she likes THAT series better and we have to change again? And what if all this changing makes her forget everything? :lol:

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I think I better just go drink the rest of my Friday night glass of wine!!!

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My older daughter is using SM5a and I'm also wondering what we'll do next year. SM6a/b? DM1? AOPS PA? Jacobs? Something completely different? I used Dolciani in 7th grade. Honestly, it might be a great book, but even the cover makes me shiver with dread. I couldn't use it.

I'm also wondering if I should perhaps slow her down since she will very likely be going to the local high school. There's really no need for her to do Algebra 1 before 8th grade. Although she's quite good at math and generally does it without complaining, she doesn't actually like it particularly. (Except she loves Fred and Murderous Maths) I'm hoping that moving from arithmetic towards algebra might help her to enjoy it more? I don't know...

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Anyway, while I do read these threads thoughtfully, I refuse to buy anything until she's well into SM5b.

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She is still young and so you have many options. I agree with 8FillTheHeart that MUS is an easier way to introduce these abstract concepts to younger audiences.

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A couple more options are TT Algebra which many treat like pre-A. I've heard from a number of parents who used it as a comfortable bridge to secondary math. It is interactive and interesting for kids.

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Thirdly if she loves Fred you could always use that as an intro to Algebra.

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Lastly you can begin the process now teaching the abstract ideas of algebra with fun games like Hands on Equations. Both our ds10 and dd7 are using and solving for x while having fun with it.

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Derek

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Did your child who did DM1 continue with DM? Or move into a different program? And if s/he moved to a different program (for algebra? geometry?) which one & why?

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She's moved on to a more "traditional" math sequence - she's probably going to ps for high school, so I wanted something it would be easy for her to transition from.

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The original plan was Foersters, then we discovered AoPS. She did about half of Number Theory over a summer and liked it, and I really liked it, so then I bought AoPS Algebra for her.

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Then, about a week or two before we started the new school year, she says she'd rather do Foersters, because DM1 ate up a chunk of her day, and she said she'd rather have a math that wasn't so intense, especially as she's also taking algebra-based physics this year.

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So, back to Foersters (which seems easy after DM, have to say).

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So...I thought since there are quite a few threads going now on the topic of Pre-Algebra, it might be helpful to have one master thread to discuss texts,

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Dd8 is doing prealg with a combo of these resources over the next 2 years or so...

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~TT Algebra 1 (all)

~CD Prealg w/ Aufmann text (selected chapters/problems)

~AoPS prealg problems on the white board with me (selected chapters/problems)

~Hands On Equations verbal problems (all)

~Cybershala/NEM (2 hours/week)

~LOF Decimals/Percents/Beg Alg for review & fun :)

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:bigear:

Edited by BethinWA
clarify
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Thanks so much, Matroyshka. I've been struggling with that question of sticking w/ SM/DM or switching to a traditional sequence (Dolciani) in case the kids go to a b&m school for high school.

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For the moment, I'm thinking that, worst case, if they use DM1 & 2 in 7th & 8th, they'd go into a standard geometry text for 9th at a b&m school. They are average students, so geometry in 9th is probably where they'd be whatever route we take. So, I'm leaning toward sticking with SM.

Edited by yvonne
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I am THERE with you all!

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I keep thinking of doing the MUS like 8Fill always suggests because it seems "friendlier" for my non-mathy dd. BUT then I remember that 8Fill did some older version of MUS or something, and the newer version is totally different or something....and all that throws me off because I can't keep what she said straight, and I throw MUS out with the bathwater. (Help-8Fill?)

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So after she finishes CLE6, I'm thinking of doing a year of a combo of:

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-CLE7 (she needs the spiral but it's not a complete pre-alg)

-HOE

-LOF pre-alg 2 bks

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Somehow that feels too "light" though. Like it's not a complete pre-alg. (This combo is missing some of the "traditional" pre-alg concepts)

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I have Lial's BCM here, which to me doesn't look like a complete Pre-Alg. I also have Lial's Pre-Alg, which looks better, but SO busy and the whole book just overwhelms me in so many ways.

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I just after this thread am adding TT Alg as a possibility. Do people think it's a good pre-alg course? Can you go right into it after typical 6th grade math?

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I just after this thread am adding TT Alg as a possibility. Do people think it's a good pre-alg course? Can you go right into it after typical 6th grade math?

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I would not use TT alone -- regardless of level. It is a delightful program for my dd.

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So Beth, maybe *with* the other things I mentioned above? How long are the TT lessons? Is it "worth it" to bother doing it? Would you say it's a full pre-alg?

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It is very appealing and she'd like it. I am wary of it and have ruled it out before-I know it's generally very "light" for the grade, etc.

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She'd be getting good solid arithmetic work and spiral w/ the CLE still. (The LOF and HOE would just be fun add-ons).

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Programs we own:

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MUS Pre-Algebra: Video instruction which is straight forward, teaching both concepts as well as mechanics. Instruction pack comes with DVD and instruction manual. This can usually be found used which we did for \$35 in like new condition. Student kit comes with main textbook now including honors questions. The Honors Qs have been added in response to requests for more rigorous Qs. The b&w text is very easy to read for younger kids with complete lack of clutter. Focus is on mastery with attention given to review of previous lessons learned.

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Lials Pre-Algebra, third edition: Textbook is colorful and layout busy. This is more like a college textbook. My wife and I find the text too visually busy/distracting. I'm sure it can work fine for some. It just doesn't fit our teaching style nor is it something our ds10 would enjoy working with. There is a solution manual and CD video instuctions which follow the book. We bought all three. Probably should have waited to review the textbook first before buying the others.

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Hands-on-Equations: More of a pre pre algebra. This introduces algebraic concepts in concrete ways. Both our dd7 & dd10 enjoy solving for unknown variables while playing the game.

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We will use MUS as the Pre-Algebra spine and possibly suppliment with other books such as Lials, TT, Key to Algebra, AoPS, etc... One of the nice thing with MUS is it can be accelerated when a section is understood and then 'tested out of.'

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Now that we have decided upon a Pre-A spine, Algebra is really the larger question. So far Foerster, Dolciani and Jacobs look interesting. But I haven't purchased or checked out these textbooks yet to compare them. So this is still very much up in the air. Although like some others here I like to plan and prepare in advance.

Edited by dereksurfs
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I am THERE with you all!

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I keep thinking of doing the MUS like 8Fill always suggests because it seems "friendlier" for my non-mathy dd. BUT then I remember that 8Fill did some older version of MUS or something, and the newer version is totally different or something....and all that throws me off because I can't keep what she said straight, and I throw MUS out with the bathwater. (Help-8Fill?)

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So after she finishes CLE6, I'm thinking of doing a year of a combo of:

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-CLE7 (she needs the spiral but it's not a complete pre-alg)

-HOE

-LOF pre-alg 2 bks

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Somehow that feels too "light" though. Like it's not a complete pre-alg. (This combo is missing some of the "traditional" pre-alg concepts)

Â

I have Lial's BCM here, which to me doesn't look like a complete Pre-Alg. I also have Lial's Pre-Alg, which looks better, but SO busy and the whole book just overwhelms me in so many ways.

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I just after this thread am adding TT Alg as a possibility. Do people think it's a good pre-alg course? Can you go right into it after typical 6th grade math?

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My understanding is that the only thing that has happened w/MUS is that the combo book I own (which contains both alg and geo) has been split into 2 separate books and that the "honors" questions have been incorporated into the text. I don't think that anything else has changed. Based on the recent posts that I have read by Jackie (Corraleno) , it sounds like that understanding has been confirmed by her experience.

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I might have to put my self on time-out from the boards to stop myself from buying and/or considering any additional math curriculum. The latest version of my plans for young pre-algebra student are to use mus as the spine with Life of Fred and possibly TT and/or Hands on Equations as supplements. DD doesn't care for math but is good at it and quite accelerated. I too am hoping that getting to algebra will make her like it more. She is really liking Singapore CWP which we use to supplement our MUS spine.

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Thanks, 8Fill. So it is the MUS Algebra that I'd want, and that is considered like a Pre-Algebra? Or is it the actual MUS Pre-Algebra that you are talking about? And if it is the MUS Algebra that you are recommending as Pre-Algebra, is there a reason for doing it that way rather than going with the MUS Pre-Algebra? I guess I'm trying to figure out which one to get as an actual thorough pre-algebra course. Thanks!

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Derek-thanks for the good reviews-very helpful to us all! So is the MUS Pre-Alg considered a full pre-alg course or more "light"? (I guess it will help when I find out if 8Fill uses the MUS Alg as a Pre-Alg or not.)

Edited by HappyGrace
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I use the ALGEBRA book, not the pre-alg. My kids have gone straight from elementary level math into MUS's alg book w/no problems. The alg book is very basic/simplified alg concepts presented in a very concrete way.

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Sue in St. Pete has written a lot about her experiences with the text, so you might try searching for some of her posts b/c they are more detailed. (she has also used MUS's alg as pre-alg and followed it w/Foerster's.)

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So Beth, maybe *with* the other things I mentioned above? How long are the TT lessons? Is it "worth it" to bother doing it? Would you say it's a full pre-alg?

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Dd does a TT Alg 1 lesson in about 40 minutes. She loves it. I have said before I can't imagine a more delightful way of teaching this content to a youngster. Have you seen the online sample?

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Anyway, she is going to need a pre-algebra program pretty soon. I can't even say it is for next fall; this 5th grade book isn't going to take long to get through...maybe a few months. I could just go with R&S 6 and 7 at the same rate of speed, but honestly, I am tired of combining lessons and trying to find the level that challenges her. I have been considering AOPS, but I think she might freak at the jump in difficulty level (she has a perfectionist streak and cries at the sight of anything difficult)...it might be a possibility after doing another pre-algebra program. I have also been seriously considering Jacob's Elementary Algebra. I really like the looks of it, and I showed my daughter the sample of it and she liked it. I have also been thinking about LOF...starting with Fractions, Decimals, and Percents (just to make sure everything is cemented) before doing pre-algebra. I could do the first books while doing R&S (my daughter loves math and she loves to read, so she would not view it as extra work) and then move to the two pre-algebra books when she finishes R&S 5.

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I really just don't know. I want something appropriately challenging, but I also don't want to rush her into higher math...she is a young 4th grader (she would be a 3rd grader by local public school standards). She is holding a high B average, and that is simply because she is only nine...she occasionally doesn't pay close enough attention to signs and will add instead of subtract, or multiply instead of divide. Or she will get lazy in her handwriting and misread a six as a zero. But as far as concepts go, she *gets* math.

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I don't have the luxury of buying several different programs and comparing them...I am relying on y'all for that! :D I need to make a decision, and whatever I decide on will get purchased with the rest of our curriculum when we get our tax return. So, here I sit on this fence....:lol:

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Thanks, 8Fill. So it is the MUS Algebra that I'd want, and that is considered like a Pre-Algebra? Or is it the actual MUS Pre-Algebra that you are talking about? And if it is the MUS Algebra that you are recommending as Pre-Algebra, is there a reason for doing it that way rather than going with the MUS Pre-Algebra? I guess I'm trying to figure out which one to get as an actual thorough pre-algebra course. Thanks!

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Derek-thanks for the good reviews-very helpful to us all! So is the MUS Pre-Alg considered a full pre-alg course or more "light"? (I guess it will help when I find out if 8Fill uses the MUS Alg as a Pre-Alg or not.)

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IHMO, it really depends where your dc is coming from and what scope and sequence they have followed thus far. For our dc who use MUS as the spine, Pre-A has important areas not to be skipped over. This is especially important with a mastery program which really focuses on one main concept like negative numbers, then moves on. I recommend taking a look at the current TOC and 30 lessons to see if this is something you feel you can skip/already covered somewhere else:

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• Negative Numbers: Subtraction
• Negative Numbers: Multiplication
• Negative Numbers: Division
• Whole Numbers
• Integers
• Number Line
• Exponents
• Place Value
• Expanded and Exponential Notation
• Negative Numbers: Exponents
• Solve for an Unknown with Additive Inverse
• Pythagorean Theorem
• Associative Property
• Commutative Property
• Distributive Property
• Solve for an Unknown with Multiplicative Inverse
• Solve for an Unknown with Order of Operations
• Surface Area of a Solid
• Transform Celsius to Fahrenheit
• Transform Fahrenheit to Celsius
• Absolute Value
• Ratio and Proportion
• Similar Polygons
• Prime Factorization
• Least Common Multiple
• Greatest Common Factor
• Volume of a Cylinder
• Polynomials: Multiplication
• Same Difference Theorem
• Volume of a Cone and a Pyramid
• Military Time: Addition and Subtraction
• Irrational Numbers
• Square Root Formula
• Real Numbers

Now Algebra 1. Notice the difference in scope and complexity:

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• Commutative and Associative Properties
• Order of Operations
• Solving for an Unknown with One Variable
• Distributive Property
• Cartesian Coordinates
• Graphing a Line
• Slope-Intercept Formula
• Graphing Parallel Lines and the Equation of a Line
• Graphing Perpendicular Lines
• Finding the Slope-Intercept Formula with Different Givens
• Graphing Inequalities
• Solving Simultaneous Equations by Graphing
• Solving Simultaneous Equations by Substitution
• Solving Simultaneous Equations by Elimination
• Coin Problems
• Consecutive Integers
• Multiplication and Division with Exponents
• Negative Exponents and Raising Exponents to a Power
• Addition and Multiplication of Polynomials
• Factor Polynomials
• Factor Trinomials with Coefficients
• Factor Trinomials with Negative Numbers
• Square Roots and Dividing Polynomials
• Difference of Two Squares and Oriental Squares
• Repeated Factoring of Polynomials
• Solving Equations with Factoring
• Unit Multipliers
• Square Unit Multipliers
• Metric Conversions
• Fractional Exponents
• Significant Digits and Scientific Notation
• Bases Other Than Ten
• Graphing a Circle and an Ellipse
• Graphing a Parabola and a Hyperbola

Edited by dereksurfs
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Dd8 is doing prealg with a combo of these resources over the next 2 years or so...

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~TT Algebra 1 (all)

~CD Prealg w/ Aufmann text (selected chapters/problems)

~AoPS prealg problems on the white board with me (selected chapters/problems)

~Hands On Equations verbal problems (all)

~Cybershala/NEM (2 hours/week)

~LOF Decimals/Percents/Beg Alg for review & fun :)

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:bigear:

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Beth, you hold the record at 6 different programs at one time for Pre-A. :tongue_smilie:

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I would not use TT alone -- regardless of level.

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Please elaborate on this statement as I do know parents who use this alone, though they may follow it with something else afterward. From what I have heard TT is basically 1 grade level behind. So Algebra would be more like Pre-A. But as a means for creating a mental bridge to Algebra 1 it seems like it could be quite effective for some students.

Edited by dereksurfs
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For our pre-algebra year, we continue on with Singapore and finish Singapore 6A/B. I also add in Key to Algebra after making sure fractions, decimals, and percents are solid with the Key to series.

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We've tried LOF, but it hasn't been so much of a hit at our house.

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We have also added in Hands on Equations for my girls this year.

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My son looked through Dolciani and Lial's this evening, briefly, and said he preferred the layout of Lial's. I am going to have him do some problems from it, and keep working with AoPS, and see how that goes.

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Beth, you hold the record at 6 different programs at one time for Pre-A. :tongue_smilie:

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Don't ask me about grammar or writing programs. I love aspects of them all! :)

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Please elaborate on this statement as I do know parents who use this alone, though they may follow it with something else afterward. From what I have heard TT is basically 1 grade level behind. So Algebra would be more like Pre-A. But as a means for creating a mental bridge to Algebra 1 it seems like it could be quite effective for some students.

:iagree: It is highly effective here.

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TT Alg 1 doesn't have much review (percents) or depth of certain topics (exponents).

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I love TT for the ease of use. I appreciate Aufmann pages which I can photocopy and hand to dd for practice. I love aops for the mental challenge. I love HoE for the word problems. Fred is a kick. (Dd reads those books night & day.) Cybershala offers dd the Singapore approach -- which at the NEM level is fairly traditional (as compared to SM primary).

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Phew. That's a mouthful. I'll shut up now. :)

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I know where you are coming from. I like certain things about more than one program, but I have no idea how to coordinate that all. I can't even think about how I'd coordinate Dolciani and AoPS. Frankly I'm not sure I want to.

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Don't shut up! I appreciate the info. ;)

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Wendy, I think this will vary the most with each parent's teaching style and preferences. Before I got more involved with our kids math my dw was happy to use only one program - MUS. However now that we have introduced LOF and HOE, along with online games such as Dreambox it seems like variety has spiced things up nicely. I think 6 would make my wife batty however. :tongue_smilie:

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For us a Pre-A spine coupled with a few suppliments will keep things interesting - HOE for sure and we'll see about the rest. The TT demo looks very engaging.

Edited by dereksurfs

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Edited by wapiti
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...But after what a poster said here, I'm considering using MUS algebra as pre algebra. I like the teaching support it seems to provide. I dismissed MUS pre algebra because it seemed too easy. I hadn't considered using the algebra instead.

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I think I need to stop reading these sections of the boards. :lol:

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The thing with MUS which is quite different from the other programs you mentioned is that the primary focus is take something complex and make it easier to grasp, then master. It has been critiqued for being too easy and the author actually agrees with this in part. He wants to make Algebra easier for student to learn. With the addition of honors questions he has tried to increase rigor as well. But this is also where one could suppliment with more challenging word problems from other sources like the ones you mentioned.

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Hm...good points. I'm always afraid to not follow the order things are presented, but why?!

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I think the order does have some importance, so I'd stick with one as your main book and supplement with the other. For now, we're sticking with AoPS as the main book and I'll pull from Dolciani as needed. The order of topics is not drastically different.

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:lurk5:

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I see MUS's Algebra 1 samples are working now. A couple weeks ago when I went to look at them, there was nothing on the page. That's certainly a good possibility for us. Does it work well with kids that don't like to use manipulatives for actual math though? DS tends to build things instead of use them for math. :tongue_smilie: He's a fairly abstract thinker already, and he does well with pictorial examples alone.

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I'm working through Dolciani Prealgebra myself right now. The lesson sets seem VERY repetitive... sometimes 60 problems that are all very similar. Obviously, you wouldn't assign every problem (I remember my teachers assigning half the problems in a math text for homework), but still... Working through chapter 1, I can't see my son needing to do even half the problems to understand the material. Then there is the presentation... very boring. The explanations are good, and I like that they show "why". I definitely can't see using this text with my son though. It will be good to have on the shelf for ME to reference if another text doesn't explain something well enough. At least it was cheap. ;)

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I have Jacobs Algebra coming to me. My son looked at the sample on Google Books and really liked it (though he was mostly focused on the cartoons, not the math :lol:). The problem sets seem varied enough to hold a young child's attention, and the humor is a big help. It also uses balance scales just like Math Mammoth did, so he's familiar with that. I think he will like that text. Maria Miller says it doesn't go as in depth as Foerster (and I plan to get Foerster at some point, but we're far enough away from Algebra 1 to not really need it yet). I may take the first half of Jacobs at half pace and use that as prealgebra, then switch over to Foerster OR combine the 2nd half with Foerster in some manner, to get the extra depth of Foerster (and slow the kid down a bit). If I use Jacobs as our prealgebra, I'll be sure to go through anything in MM6 that we haven't done yet, after we complete Singapore 5B.

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Question about MUS Algebra... If you pick up an older combo book, does the newer workbook go with it at all (ie, are the non-honors questions in the same order)? I figure the older combo book would probably be easy to find dirt cheap, so if it didn't work out, we're not out much money. But there is the issue of a consumable workbook there. :tongue_smilie:

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I'm saving AoPS until DS is middle school age, as I don't see him being ready to tackle the brain stretching of those problems at 8 or 9. I will probably get the book anyway, because it's fun to collect math books. :lol: And I could use it occasionally. I just don't see being able to really use it as his main curriculum at that point. I'd rather save it for when he's more mature and ready to handle that much work. I'd hate to turn him off AoPS by using it too early, when I need AoPS in the later years to pad his math sequence!

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We do not use manipulatives. I might (depends on the child) demonstrate how x^2 + 3x + 2 forms a perfect rectangle (you can do it easily w/cuisnaire rods), but only if they need a visual. Most of my kids don't need that sort of support and my kids generally can't stand manipulatives. As far as that goes, we don't use the videos either. (I did the first couple of times through, but I have taught it so many times I don't anymore. Also about 6 yrs I lent my videos to someone and she didn't return all of them. :tongue_smilie: )

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What I have comes w/the textbook (which is in workbook format so they write in the book) and a supplemental student workbook. The textbook has something like 15 problems/day and the workbook about the same (sometimes less, sometimes more)

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A couple of yrs ago when they made the decision to stop printing the combo book, I bought a complete set. So, somewhere in the attic I have an old teachers book. Somewhere up there I also have the student text books and workbooks that my older kids wrote in. (and whatever videos I still own). If I can locate them, if any of you want to mail them around to look through first hand w/o having to purchase blind, I can see if I can find them.

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Looking at the scope posted for MUS pre-alg, it appears to be a mish-mash of topics not covered elsewhere in the MUS sequence. Most elementary level programs should have covered the concepts, if not the exact problems. (like converting from F to C. That is a simple substitution into an equation and not a "skill" in and of itself.)

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I would personally never use MUS alg as an alg course. the primary focus is take something complex and make it easier to grasp, then master. It has been critiqued for being too easy and the author actually agrees with this in part. He wants to make Algebra easier for student to learn. With the addition of honors questions he has tried to increase rigor as well. He does succeed in making basic alg easy to grasp, but it does not move beyond the easy. (I have not seen the honors problems, but even the scope is reduced to about 1/2 of Foerster's text. And based on all of the problems in the book, I imagine the "honors" problems finally approaching the level of complexity you will find elsewhere as the base problems but in no way approaching challenging problems found elsewhere.)

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FWIW, I am not a multiple approach teacher. W/the exception of my ds that worked on Math Count problems, I have always only taught my kids via one textbook. I have a hard enough time teaching 1 of everything....can't imagine multiple of each! ;) You all make my head spin. It would give me a headache to attempt to balance that many books. :lol:

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So nobody has anything to say about Lial's Pre-A? :tongue_smilie:

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I know where you are coming from. I like certain things about more than one program, but I have no idea how to coordinate that all. I can't even think about how I'd coordinate Dolciani and AoPS. Frankly I'm not sure I want to.

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Don't shut up! I appreciate the info. ;)

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Thanks, Wendy. Why would you need to coordinate? Dd is doing something a little different in math everyday. She never gets in a rut or does math 'via autopilot' because the format is always different. It keeps her on her toes. Not to mention, I would poke my eyes out if I had to teach from the same book day after day. The best teachers I have met IRL and online use multiple resources to teach. The cookie-cutter approach has never worked for me. Color me crazy.

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I used TT, SM, MM, KTF, HoE throughout the last year w/ dds. They seem relatively unscathed from the process (sarcasm :)) and always eager to learn. Every day is something new. Yes, it is more work for me but it's worth it. I apply this logic to other subjects as well.

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Thankfully hubby chimes in and did/does some creative math exercises with the kiddos. Today, Saturday, they may do some cwps together or HoE.

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Since I'm relatively new at teaching youngers I don't have preconceived ideas as to the right or wrong way to do anything. I'm going on instinct & logic. My method is working beautifully here for all of us. Dds are jazzed about math.

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I think using multiple texts is really wonderful, and for some kids, the jumping around really keeps them alert. My son is like that -- by presenting information in different ways, from different texts, by moving from one topic to another (being careful, of course, to follow a scope and sequence so as not to miss anything), he is able to understand math more deeply.

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I think using multiple texts is really wonderful, and for some kids, the jumping around really keeps them alert. My son is like that -- by presenting information in different ways, from different texts, by moving from one topic to another (being careful, of course, to follow a scope and sequence so as not to miss anything), he is able to understand math more deeply.

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:iagree:

Not a day goes by here on these forums that you don't read a math horror story from a parent who never 'got' math as a youngster, 'hated' math or learned one way but regrets not having been taught a different way.

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I doubt my kids will ever feel that way. At least that is my goal.

Edited by BethinWA
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Can someone soothe my compulsive brain and let me know the typical math sequence after grade 6.

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From k-gr11 math was fully integrated for me so I don't know the order math is supposed to go. My plan is to ride the Singapore DM train until it derails in a fiery crash. Also I have the Dolciani text (1985) and I am really enjoying going through the problems as a refresher.

Edited by HootyTooty
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Can someone soothe my compulsive brain and let me know the typical math sequence after grade 6.

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There are various ways to do it, but typically, 7th and possibly 8th grade are prealgebra (depending on the school), and 8th or 9th is algebra 1, then there is geometry, algebra 2 or algebra2/trig, precalculus, calculus... I didn't have precalculus. We did algebra 1 in 9th, then geometry in 10th, algebra 2/trig in 11th, and calculus in 12th. But there were different tracks, and many kids took precalculus in 12th, which I think also included trig.

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Hopefully that somewhat answers your question. Really, there are many ways to do it.

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Really, there are many ways to do it.

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Our sequence was similar. Beginning in 7th with Prealgebra, 8th was Algebra, 9th was Geometry, 10th was Algebra 2/Trig, 11th was Precalc and 12th was Calculus. The PS here continues to do it the same way for the advanced track (based on grades). Otherwise kids do 7th grade math and then begin 8th with Prealgebra and finish with Precalc.

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I am thinking we will just have more AoPS or similar classes mixed in our sequence.

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So nobody has anything to say about Lial's Pre-A? :tongue_smilie:

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One of my dds did it. It was perfect for her. The BCM was too much review. This year she's doing Lial's Algebra I. I'm very glad we did that vs. the BCM because she needed all the negative number practice, since Singapore hadn't covered it at all (and BCM just touches on it). I think she would've had a lot more difficulty in Algebra this year if she hadn't had all that time to work with it.

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I found the layout busy, but I'm not the one doing it. It works for her.

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Thanks, Wendy. Why would you need to coordinate? Dd is doing something a little different in math everyday. She never gets in a rut or does math 'via autopilot' because the format is always different. It keeps her on her toes. Not to mention, I would poke my eyes out if I had to teach from the same book day after day. The best teachers I have met IRL and online use multiple resources to teach. The cookie-cutter approach has never worked for me. Color me crazy.

Â

I used TT, SM, MM, KTF, HoE throughout the last year w/ dds. They seem relatively unscathed from the process (sarcasm :)) and always eager to learn. Every day is something new. Yes, it is more work for me but it's worth it. I apply this logic to other subjects as well.

Â

Thankfully hubby chimes in and did/does some creative math exercises with the kiddos. Today, Saturday, they may do some cwps together or HoE.

Â

Since I'm relatively new at teaching youngers I don't have preconceived ideas as to the right or wrong way to do anything. I'm going on instinct & logic. My method is working beautifully here for all of us. Dds are jazzed about math.

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This is very interesting to me. I'd like to know more. Do you have a particular scope and sequence you are following?

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We've had to drop a couple of other things we were using for math, as time has been our enemy lately. I'd really like to pick them up again.

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Are you doing something on some kind of schedule at all? Is it following in a sequence through each program?

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One of my dds did it. It was perfect for her. The BCM was too much review. This year she's doing Lial's Algebra I. I'm very glad we did that vs. the BCM because she needed all the negative number practice, since Singapore hadn't covered it at all (and BCM just touches on it). I think she would've had a lot more difficulty in Algebra this year if she hadn't had all that time to work with it.

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I found the layout busy, but I'm not the one doing it. It works for her.

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Did she find Lial's Pre-A to be rigorous/challenging? Looking at it, it looks fairly straightforward to me, certainly compared to AoPS, but I am not an expert.

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Do you have a particular scope and sequence you are following?

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We work on mastery of basic K-6 arithmetic. After that, start prealg/alg.

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Are you doing something on some kind of schedule at all? Is it following in a sequence through each program?

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No schedule. We 'do the next thing' in most cases. I don't over-think it. It just seems logical and feels natural for dh & me to do it this way. We have a math-rich environment.

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No schedule. We 'do the next thing' in most cases. I don't over-think it. It just seems logical and feels natural for dh & me to do it this way. We have a math-rich environment.

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Thank you.

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I guess it is hard for me to let go of going from one worksheet to the next (MEP--I am teaching the lessons on the dry-erase board first). We have been working in another text at night (60's math), and this has been working okay. I really would like to pick up CSMP again, as it was very fun and enjoyable, but I'm trying to figure out how to make all of this work in the way you've described.

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Editing... I had hoped to have a math-rich environment here as well. That was part of my plan originally. I'm not pulling it off as well as I'd hoped, though.

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Thank you.

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I guess it is hard for me to let go of going from one worksheet to the next

That would kill me slowly. My older dc used Saxon math worksheets in a private school K-5. It was solid but bbbbboooorrrriiinnnnnngggg.

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(MEP--I am teaching the lessons on the dry-erase board first). We have been working in another text at night (60's math), and this has been working okay. I really would like to pick up CSMP again, as it was very fun and enjoyable, but I'm trying to figure out how to make all of this work in the way you've described.

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Sounds like you're doing great!

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Did she find Lial's Pre-A to be rigorous/challenging? Looking at it, it looks fairly straightforward to me, certainly compared to AoPS, but I am not an expert.

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It was just the right level of challenge for her. But this is not my mathy kid - she would have spent all day crying with AoPS or DM.

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And everything looks simple after AoPS. Except the DM workbook. :tongue_smilie:

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