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:lol::lol::lol:

 

I would love to be a fly on the wall at your house - it sounds like you guys have fun! And that you give your dd the same kind of grief I give mine! :D

 

LOL! Yes, on most days there is much fun and laughter.

 

We sometimes need to remind ourselves to settle down--this studying business is serious stuff!

 

That never lasts long...lol.....

 

:party:

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He has also begun AoPS Pre A and is on the second chapter. He is finding some of the problems to be quite hard. He is not getting frustrated, and is still enjoying the book, but is getting more wrong than he is used to. Should he continue? Right now, I have him redo the next day the ones he gets wrong, and he sometimes gets them right, sometimes not. Some are the challenge questions, which even I find quite hard. Some are the regular questions.

 

To paraphrase Richard Rusczyk's "Tyranny of 100%"

http://mathprize.atfoundation.org/archive/2009/Rusczyk_Problem_Solving_Presentation_at_Math_Prize_for_Girls_2009.pdf

 

If a student always gets a 100%, he is not learning efficiently - because the material he is using is too easy.

So, he, and you should get used to him not getting every problem right away, because that shows that he is being challenged.

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To paraphrase Richard Rusczyk's "Tyranny of 100%"

http://mathprize.atfoundation.org/archive/2009/Rusczyk_Problem_Solving_Presentation_at_Math_Prize_for_Girls_2009.pdf

 

If a student always gets a 100%, he is not learning efficiently - because the material he is using is too easy.

So, he, and you should get used to him not getting every problem right away, because that shows that he is being challenged.

 

Thanks! I will try to keep his advice in mind when my son gets just 50% right again :tongue_smilie:

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To paraphrase Richard Rusczyk's "Tyranny of 100%"

http://mathprize.atfoundation.org/archive/2009/Rusczyk_Problem_Solving_Presentation_at_Math_Prize_for_Girls_2009.pdf

 

If a student always gets a 100%, he is not learning efficiently - because the material he is using is too easy.

So, he, and you should get used to him not getting every problem right away, because that shows that he is being challenged.

 

That's such an important point. Singapore Math is set up the same way. From the SM FAQ:

 

"A* to U Grade System

A*: 91% and above ["A with distinction"]

A: 75% to 90%

B: 60% to 74%

C: 50% to 59% (passing grade)

D: 35% to 49%

E: 20% to 34%

U: 0% to 19% (Ungraded)

 

50% is the minimum passing mark for primary school math.

A*distinction (91% and above).

 

 

Should we use this grading scale with the tests for Standards Edition?

Probably not. The tests for the Standards Edition should be graded according to typical US grading scales. Tests in Singapore, and sample tests in supplementary books we import, will have a greater percentage of challenging problems."

 

I never was able to persuade my friend, the mother of my 'bonus student' last year, that her son was NOT failing Singapore just because he was not getting 100% on the unit exams/reviews. Singapore was so good for him, but she could not get past the fact that "he's not even getting 90% on the tests." (We used the US edition, not the Standards ed.)

Edited by yvonne
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But isn't there a difference between not getting the problems right away, and being able to test to a mastery level? I agree that if my dd can do all of the problems in her math lessons, they are too easy and she needs more challenging work. But I do expect her to be able to get more than 90% on the *chapter test* after she has completed all of the lessons - if she doesn't, then I don't think she has mastered the material, and we need to go back and redo it.

 

It sounds to me like Halcyon is talking about her son missing 50% of the problems on the lessons as he is going through them (which sounds like he's finding it challenging!) And I interpreted Regentrude's comment to apply to lesson problems/exercises within the chapter, not the final chapter test. Because you are shooting for mastery on chapter tests, right Regentrude? And is that 100%, 90%, or something else for you? And if your student doesn't reach that, do you go back over the material the struggled with in the chapter, or try to go at it from another angle using different material?

 

So far so good for us with the MM5 chapter tests, but I expect this may come up at some point . . .

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But isn't there a difference between not getting the problems right away, and being able to test to a mastery level? I agree that if my dd can do all of the problems in her math lessons, they are too easy and she needs more challenging work. But I do expect her to be able to get more than 90% on the *chapter test* after she has completed all of the lessons - if she doesn't, then I don't think she has mastered the material, and we need to go back and redo it.

 

It sounds to me like Halcyon is talking about her son missing 50% of the problems on the lessons as he is going through them (which sounds like he's finding it challenging!) And I interpreted Regentrude's comment to apply to lesson problems/exercises within the chapter, not the final chapter test. Because you are shooting for mastery on chapter tests, right Regentrude? And is that 100%, 90%, or something else for you? And if your student doesn't reach that, do you go back over the material the struggled with in the chapter, or try to go at it from another angle using different material?

.

 

That is an excellent question - and entirely dependent on the test I create. The tests I write for my kids contain the material that I want them to know to a 90+% level - after having worked through lessons and struggled with problems and worked for over an hour on some single challenge problems. So, for the test, I choose to design less involved problems that test the mastery of the skills I need them to retain in the long term; I also want the test to be doable in a reasonable amount of time. On a test like this, I expect 90+%.

But, I could also write a test where they would demonstrate excellent mastery of the material by getting 50% correct. I could write a single involved hard challenge problem and judge the approach and the many different steps and come to an equally accurate assessment of their mastery. It all is in the test design, so there is no clear cut answer. (Designing a good test that tests exactly what you want, at the level where you want it, with grade cuts that are exactly where you need them, is actually very difficult and requires a great amount of subject expertise.)

 

I was understanding Halcyon's question to mean that her student is not getting all of the daily problems; sorry if I misinterpreted. Since she is using AoPS, there are no tests that come with the curriculum; she'd have to design her own - and there it would depend on the test whether mastery corresponds to 50 or 90%.

Edited by regentrude
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That is an excellent question - and entirely dependent on the test I create. The tests I write for my kids contain the material that I want them to know to a 90+% level - after having worked through lessons and struggled with problems and worked for over an hour on some challenge problems. So, for the test, I design less involved problems that test the mastery of the skills I need them to retain in the long term; I also want the test to be doable in a reasonable amount of time.

Now, I could also write a test where they would demonstrate excellent mastery of the material by getting 50% correct. I could give a single involved hard challenge problem and judge the approach and the many different steps - it all is in the test design, so there is no clear cut answer.

 

I was understanding Halcyon's question to mean that her student is not getting all of the daily problems; sorry if I misinterpreted. Since she is using AoPS, there are no tests that come with the curriculum; she'd have to design her own - and there it would depend on the test whether mastery corresponds to 50 or 90%.

 

 

This makes a lot of sense to me. In MM, she provides tests, and I expect my dd to make at least 90% on the chapter test before we "move on," but if she can do the work easily within a daily lesson, we add additional related challenging problem solving from another source, or just accelerate through the lessons till we get to something she finds hard. So I feel like our daily lessons are quite challenging, but once we get to the end of chapter test, she is demonstrating her mastery of the topic by getting a high score on the test. So at this point for her the tests are "easy" but it is because she has mastered the challenging material.

 

I don't think she is quite ready - emotionally - for a test in which mastery corresponded to 50% correct! :lol: But that's also why we aren't doing AoPS yet!

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So at this point for her the tests are "easy" but it is because she has mastered the challenging material.

I don't think she is quite ready - emotionally - for a test in which mastery corresponded to 50% correct! :lol: But that's also why we aren't doing AoPS yet!

 

Actually, I do use AoPS, and my tests are such that 90% corresponds to A mastery, LOL. I know my kids are challenged with their daily work and are "overtraining", just like your DD.

In fact, I have my college students "overtrain" as well; their homework is significantly harder than their exams.

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That is an excellent question - and entirely dependent on the test I create. The tests I write for my kids contain the material that I want them to know to a 90+% level - after having worked through lessons and struggled with problems and worked for over an hour on some single challenge problems. So, for the test, I choose to design less involved problems that test the mastery of the skills I need them to retain in the long term; I also want the test to be doable in a reasonable amount of time. On a test like this, I expect 90+%.

But, I could also write a test where they would demonstrate excellent mastery of the material by getting 50% correct. I could write a single involved hard challenge problem and judge the approach and the many different steps and come to an equally accurate assessment of their mastery. It all is in the test design, so there is no clear cut answer. (Designing a good test that tests exactly what you want, at the level where you want it, with grade cuts that are exactly where you need them, is actually very difficult and requires a great amount of subject expertise.)

 

I was understanding Halcyon's question to mean that her student is not getting all of the daily problems; sorry if I misinterpreted. Since she is using AoPS, there are no tests that come with the curriculum; she'd have to design her own - and there it would depend on the test whether mastery corresponds to 50 or 90%.

You understood correctly. Actually, it is just one particular section of Chapter 2 (Higher Exponents) where he is getting about half the problems perfectly correct (he gets portions of other questions right; that is, his thinking is correct up to a certain point, and then falters). I like your idea of creating a test for him, particularly for areas I wonder whether he has mastered. I do that in other subjects, but have gotten complacent siince we had used MM prior to this and tests were included.

 

I may use sections of Dolciani and Lials to create tests. For me, I'd like to create a doable test where 90% is considered mastery, rather than a harder test where 50% is considered mastery. THat is only because I think there IS a certain middle level that should be absolutely understoood by my son. I think at this point he WILL get SOME of the more challenging problems in AoPS Pre A, but I dont think I would consider it neccesary for him to be able to ace them all in order to move on.

 

That said, I will make note of areas that he could revisit, and we will do so next year.

 

Thank you all! I forget that AoPS IS really hard, and it's okay if he struggles! WHen I revisit Dolciani and Lials, both solid texts, I realize "Wait, he could do this without too much trouble!" and then I remember :LOL:

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What I tend to do for tests is have part A and part B. Part A is what I think you should have down pat in order to move on. The questions are shorter and tend to test one- or two-step problems. On part A, I expect perfect or near-perfect work and give little partial credit.

 

Part B, on the other hand, tests at a much deeper level. The problems have more steps and the solution steps are not necessarily intuitively obvious. Although a C may be obtained by only doing well on the first part, correct work on the second part is necessary to get higher than a C.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ohh I found it hooray!!!!

 

Wanted to say that my son has been using Dolciani as his supplement to AoPS when we hit a tough part, and....I think he wants to make it his spine....Hrmph. Is it because it is easier, or because it is more clear for him? Does it matter ?

 

Dolciani seems like a solid enough program that if your DS prefers it to AOPS, I'd say go for it. You can always revisit AOPS when he's a bit older and more mature.

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Ohh I found it hooray!!!!

 

Wanted to say that my son has been using Dolciani as his supplement to AoPS when we hit a tough part, and....I think he wants to make it his spine....Hrmph. Is it because it is easier, or because it is more clear for him? Does it matter ?

 

Hahaa, what an interesting Pre-Algebra journey you have both taken! I bet when you first considered what this might look like you had no idea it would go in these directions. But I think that is part of the fun in homeschooling when you can discover with your child what works best and then tailor it accordingly.

 

For us we started with MUS, then moved to TabletClass. And now that we have hit the challenging area of linear equations we have begun supplimenting with both Khan Academy and AoPS. In the beginning I had decided against AoPS because I didn't think my son was one who would like the 'discovery approach.' But in looking at the free samples of their Pre-Algebra book they just so happened to have a great section on linear equations! So we used these problems which are really quite good, and we did the online corresponding lectures. My son ended up really enjoying these extra challenging problems. Of course we are using it quite differently than one would as a spine. :tongue_smilie:

 

Just wait until we get to Algebra Halcyon! We'll have to start an Algebra fence straddlers thread. There are so many options for Algebra 1, even more so than Pre-A. :D

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Wanted to say that my son has been using Dolciani as his supplement to AoPS when we hit a tough part, and....I think he wants to make it his spine....Hrmph. Is it because it is easier, or because it is more clear for him? Does it matter ?

Dolciani seems like a solid enough program that if your DS prefers it to AOPS, I'd say go for it. You can always revisit AOPS when he's a bit older and more mature.

iagree.gif I'd go with it smile.gif

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Wow! A lot to think about with this thread! I thought I had settled on LOF pre-algebra books, alongside Zacarro's Real World Algebra for ds next year (he's currently using LOF Fractions, then Decimals, alongside Zacarro's Primary Challenge and Challenge Math), but now I'm going to have to research Dolciani, Lials, Thinkwell, AoPS, etc.

 

Thanks a lot. ;)

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Does anyone know if this edtion of Lial's is the same (Pre Algebra: In Integrated approach) as the 4th or 3rd editions?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Prealgebra-Integrated-Approach-Margaret-Lial/dp/032135639X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

I ordered this thinking it was the third edition (long story). I haven't received it yet, and have no idea if this will work just the same. I'm kind of in a spot because I am out of the country and have to send a pre-algebra book to my brother in the states who will be visiting us next week. I am almost about to just order Saxon Algebra 1/2and have him bring both, just to be safe. Does anyone know if this book will work? I am really in a bind and need a preAlgebra book ASAP.

Do the Lial users here, also use the Student Solutions Manual?

Thanks!

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Does anyone know if this edtion of Lial's is the same (Pre Algebra: In Integrated approach) as the 4th or 3rd editions?

 

http://www.amazon.co..._pr_product_top

 

I ordered this thinking it was the third edition (long story). I haven't received it yet, and have no idea if this will work just the same. I'm kind of in a spot because I am out of the country and have to send a pre-algebra book to my brother in the states who will be visiting us next week. I am almost about to just order Saxon Algebra 1/2and have him bring both, just to be safe. Does anyone know if this book will work? I am really in a bind and need a preAlgebra book ASAP.

Do the Lial users here, also use the Student Solutions Manual?

Thanks!

 

Can't definitely compare Lial's versions, but when I was getting one used, OhElizabeth said they are all essentially the same. My sense comparing the one I got to one I saw inside of online is that that is true. They seem to have pretty much the same content, though the one I have puts review of basic operations at the end as an extra chapter and the one I saw excerpts of online put that at the beginning. I think newer editions will have more up to date word problem examples, perhaps.

 

Most of them (all?) have, I believe, the solutions to odd problems in the back. Solutions manual seems unnecessary for the Lial's I have, unless either you cannot recall (or never had) that level of math yourself, or want the child to be self-teaching and need more exercises (or perhaps, it the SM does this, more full procedures) than just the odd problems' answers. And SM could I suppose just make answer checking faster.

 

The Lial's (that I've seen and believe to be typical of all) looks good to me--clear explanations, good word problems, and probably about right for following MM5 (our situation--don't know yours)--though I decided to do a Basic College Math (Aufmann's not Lial's) review first. For my ds the only issue with Lial's may be a too "busy" page, but I wouldn't expect Saxon to help that. If I were getting a second thing on top of Lial's, I'd think to get something very different, like Life of Fred (I probably will do that), or AOPS, for a whole different way of looking at pre-algebra if needed-- or even just if wanted for relief of too much of the same thing. Alternatively in your situation, I might consider an Algebra1 in addition to pre-Algebra, so as to be able to move ahead if the prealg. level goes very swiftly.

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Lial's Pre-Algebra is a love/hate kinda thing for many families, similar to Saxon. It was the first Pre-A we purchased and the one we like the least due to its immensely cluttered layout and smallish print spanning over 900 pages. It just seems too scatter brained to us. We were coming from programs just the opposite and really prefer clearer, cleaner instruction.

 

Since you live out of country I also strongly advise bringing at least one more program home in case it doesn't work out. Its good to have a second reference anyway even if your first choice works fine. Sometimes when your ds hits a bump you just need to take a step back and have him look at things from a little different perspective. There really are so many other great choices available. Just read the reviews in light of your dc and pick one (more):

AoPS

Horizons

BJU

Dolciani

MUS Pre-A/Algebra

LOF

etc...

 

I'm not sure if you have reliable internet. But if so there many good online resources as well such as Khan Academy, Derek Owens lessons, AoPS lessons, etc...

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Thanks. More background: He has finished MM 6a, b and has LOF Pre-Algebra w/ Biology (we use Kahn when we can too). I also have Jacobs Algebra thinking we could transition into that but I am finding he needs a lot more review. Aops will not work for him, he just doesn't LOVE math and is not interested in working out a problem without steps. I had planned on ordering Kinetic Books preAlgebra (non-internet based version), but when I tried to do that after I left the states, I was told they will not sell it to homeschool families (nice!) and I can't use the internet based version (we live on a boat and do not have access except when in town). So, I have LoF pre-Algebra 1 and the MM 7 worksheets, but I need more (he really needs review). I thought Lials sounded good but now I don't know, and pretty much this is the last day I can order anything and have it shipped in time! Any other thoughts?

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Thanks. More background: He has finished MM 6a, b and has LOF Pre-Algebra w/ Biology (we use Kahn when we can too). I also have Jacobs Algebra thinking we could transition into that but I am finding he needs a lot more review. Aops will not work for him, he just doesn't LOVE math and is not interested in working out a problem without steps. I had planned on ordering Kinetic Books preAlgebra (non-internet based version), but when I tried to do that after I left the states, I was told they will not sell it to homeschool families (nice!) and I can't use the internet based version (we live on a boat and do not have access except when in town). So, I have LoF pre-Algebra 1 and the MM 7 worksheets, but I need more (he really needs review). I thought Lials sounded good but now I don't know, and pretty much this is the last day I can order anything and have it shipped in time! Any other thoughts?

 

Catherine,

 

The added background really helps. Sorry to hear about KB. Yeah, they are not the most HS friendly and their customer support leaves something to be desired. The fact that you already have done LOF Pre-A along with Khan makes me think you may be ok without more beyond Lials. However this is only a guess as I don't really know your ds like you do. When my son hit linear equations he really needed extra supplimentals of some kind to help solidify the concepts. And we use TabletClass Pre-A which has very good explanations along with good breadth and depth for this level.

 

Depending of how he is doing I might just order the second LOF Pre-A with Economics. On the other hand if unsure I would consider one of the others with very good explanations along with adequate depth and scope like AoPS or Dolciani. That will be your call as a best educated guess knowing you may not have the internet to use to look up extra problems or alternative explanations. Jacobs is also known to have a pretty good pre-A portion. So you may be ok. I think its just a matter of piece of mind at this point having all your bases covered.

 

I think used Dolciani Pre-A is pretty affordable though possibly hard to find depending on the edition. Here is one for ~ $1: http://www.abebooks....&tn=pre algebra I am not sure if this is the edition most use, but for the price its hard to beat. Here are a few more: http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=5296350.

 

BTW, while AoPS is not for eveyone as a spine it is a good resource in terms of explanations of important concepts. It has great depth and breadth. Take a look at their samples to get an idea. I recommend printing this Linear Equations section as its so good: http://www.artofprob...lgebra/exc2.pdf. I am thinking about buying their Intro to Algebra book even if we don't use it as a spine for the quality of the questions along their explanations.

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My Lial's gives a lot of problems. And since what you want is lots of practice, maybe you do want the Solutions Manual. It does not (so far as I see) define a linear equation the way the AOPS posted by Derek does, but rather follows along with the idea of an equation depicted by a balance (scale or teeter totter) that would be familiar from MM, and gradually works on first equations with addition/subtraction, then ones with multiplication/division, at first with variable on only one side, then showing that variables could be on both sides and have to be moved so all variables are on same side and so on. It is precisely quite strong on showing examples, and then giving lots of practice. Not a "discovery" or theoretical approach.

 

 

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PS: To be more specific, there are about 70 Lial's problems at the AOPS problem 5.8 level before moving on to another type of problem. It does not ask for child to try to figure out a solution to a problem first, but shows the steps to solve that type of problem, then has chance for the child to practice. It only gives one way to do it.

 

It seems close to the exact opposite of AOPS. And in terms of number of problems and approach also radically different from LOF.

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This thread is very timely and I'm glad it was bumped up as I don't think I saw it the first time through. Ds11 is finishing SM 5B (S/E) in four weeks and I thought we'd roll right into a mix of LoF and SM DM, but I've realized he's not ready for that and there's no need pushing him further than he's ready to be pushed. (Dh is actually doing evening 5A/B review with ds through the spring to really shore up a few weak spots.) I found a used copy of Dolciani PreAlgebra on Amazon that I'm going to pick up (dh has Dolciani Algebra at work - he's a math teacher of all things :lo: - but not the PreA book, but I think our main spine will be a slightly accelerated journey through SM 6A/B through early summer. After that, I'm all confused again. I think SM DM will be too much for ds; he needs something that will challenge him but also build his confidence (so, with DM having a pass rate of roughly 50% correct wouldn't work for him). Maybe we'll spend 7th grade doing MUS Algebra (along with some supplemental LoF and/or the Dolciani PreA book to shore up some concepts) and then do regular Algebra in 8th. Dh and I really liked the idea of integrated math and thus SM DM, but we'll have to wait and see where we are next year this time.

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Looks like I will have to live with Lial's. That's what came and that's all I have time to order. But, on the plus side, I found out that when I did the free 30 day trial at Kinetic Books (when I was in the states), they also included a pdf of the entire program. So, while it does not include answers or the online videos or games, it has all the explanations and problems. So, it is another resource that will defintely help. At least I got something out of that hassle (I don't know how they stay in business with such horrible customer service).

 

And, FWIW - I had emailed the person at AOPS and asked there to (pretty please) be a pdf version of their books, and he said they were looking into it but it would be at least a year before it would be available. So, there is hope!

I honestly don't know why there aren't more core books (like history, science and math) available in PDF format. It's all legal issues, I know, but it just makes SO much sense. One more reason why I love SWB and all her curriculum.

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Well, looking back at what I wrote almost a year ago I should have not stressed about it and waited to see where we would end up. :D We have taken a totally different approach than I thought we would! We are still holding off pre-algebra, but I have dropped R&S. She knew most of the concepts in 6 & 7, but she was stuck because she was making too many careless errors...and doing them over or more of the same did not fix it. So for now she is doing a combination of LOF Fractions/Key to Fractions, and when she finishes with that in a couple of weeks she will continue with LOF D&P/Key to Decimals & Percents. She is also doing the first Elements of Mathematics course...I have no idea where it is mathematically (probably pre-algebra), but it is making her think HARD, as well as providing the incentive she needs to prevent careless mistakes. She loves earning a gold star for a perfect set of exercises! LOF also provides some incetive, as well; she likes the challenge of passing a bridge on the first try. At this point I am not sure if she is learning new concepts so much as learning how to think mathmatically and do her work carefully, but I honestly don't care. If that is what she needs, then so be it.

 

Now I have a whole 'nother set of options for pre-algebra once she is solid on fractions, decimals, and percents (if she had done math over the summer as instructed, she would have finished all that by August, grrrr!). I can continue with LOF Pre-A/Key to algebra, continue with the next course in Elements of Mathematics (except future courses are under development and I am pretty sure she will work faster than they are putting them out), or order AOPS Pre-A. Or I have Jacob's on the shelf. And Dolciani. Guess i need to wait and see, again. :tongue_smilie:

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That is an excellent question - and entirely dependent on the test I create. The tests I write for my kids contain the material that I want them to know to a 90+% level - after having worked through lessons and struggled with problems and worked for over an hour on some single challenge problems. So, for the test, I choose to design less involved problems that test the mastery of the skills I need them to retain in the long term; I also want the test to be doable in a reasonable amount of time. On a test like this, I expect 90+%.

 

 

 

Regentrude,

 

Any chance you still have those tests that you created?? specific for AOPS - Algebra?

 

Will you care to share?? :D

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Ohh I found it hooray!!!!

Wanted to say that my son has been using Dolciani as his supplement to AoPS when we hit a tough part, and....I think he wants to make it his spine....Hrmph. Is it because it is easier, or because it is more clear for him? Does it matter ?

Halcyon,

I just placed an order on a used Dolciani Prealgebra copy. It is 1985 edition. Is yours this edition, too?

I am hoping to get a used AoPS Prealgebra set, too. I can't wait to start. I used the videos now to show my boys how to do fraction and other troublesome problems.

I enjoy reading this thread. Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, this is a long thread! I'm new to the forums (and to homeschooling) -- would someone please list what the acronyms used for identifying curricula actually stand for? I'm in the planning-before-we-switch-to-homeschooling stage of things right now, and would like to better understand which curricula are being discussed here.

 

Thanks!

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Wow, this is a long thread! I'm new to the forums (and to homeschooling) -- would someone please list what the acronyms used for identifying curricula actually stand for? I'm in the planning-before-we-switch-to-homeschooling stage of things right now, and would like to better understand which curricula are being discussed here.

 

Thanks!

 

Hi AMJ,

 

Glad you are planning ahead. All the acronym slinging seems a bit overwelming when you first join I know.

 

So here is the list which includes multiple subjects:

http://www.welltrain...-abbreviations/

And another:

http://whythereyouar...breviations.htm

 

I got these from the Abreviations Sticky at the top of the Parent K-8 forum.

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I got a used copy of Dolciani Prealgebra: An Accelerated Course 1985 for $8 including shipping. The first three lessons are done in pen. So I will type the exercises out for ds to use for the three lessons.

After using Singapore for so many years, I like the change of having just one book and it looks very easy to use. I can't wait to start. Ds10 is finishing up 5B now. I hope to start early next year.

I still would like to find a relatively cheap used set of AoPS Prealgebra book and solution manual to use sometimes. Please let me know if you want to part with yours. Thanks!

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I got a used copy of Dolciani Prealgebra: An Accelerated Course 1985 for $8 including shipping. The first three lessons are done in pen. So I will type the exercises out for ds to use for the three lessons.

After using Singapore for so many years, I like the change of having just one book and it looks very easy to use. I can't wait to start. Ds10 is finishing up 5B now. I hope to start early next year.

I still would like to find a relatively cheap used set of AoPS Prealgebra book and solution manual to use sometimes. Please let me know if you want to part with yours. Thanks!

 

Glad you like the Dolciani. I purchased both the Pre-A (1980s) and the Algebra (1992) and like them both. They are pretty cheap used.

 

With regards to AoPS I also purchased the Intro to Algebra text new. However I first looked for both the Pre-A and Algebra texts used and did not find anything. Since these are newer books and *very* popular the odds of finding affordable used copies are pretty low IMO. But you never know. You may get lucky. Based on the samples, online videos and overall quality I decided this was one book I would be willing to pay full price for. I even asked the author if they had annual books sales first and he politely said no. :tongue_smilie:

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Derek,

You are right about it being hard to find used price. I will wait one more month since we are still doing 5B. I really hope ds10 will like Dolciani. I am very excited that it is just ONE book instead of Singapore's two textbooks, two workbooks, two intensive practice books and one challenging word problem for each year (some people used HIGs which is two more books). I am really wanting to simplify my math teaching life. But if I use both AoPS and Dolciani, it won't be that simple. We will start with just Dolciani in the beginning.

Thanks for your encouragement!

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Derek,

You are right about it being hard to find used price. I will wait one more month since we are still doing 5B. I really hope ds10 will like Dolciani. I am very excited that it is just ONE book instead of Singapore's two textbooks, two workbooks, two intensive practice books and one challenging word problem for each year (some people used HIGs which is two more books). I am really wanting to simplify my math teaching life. But if I use both AoPS and Dolciani, it won't be that simple. We will start with just Dolciani in the beginning.

Thanks for your encouragement!

 

 

aomom,

I can highly recommend several more resources that are free which we use in conjunction with our Pre-Algebra spine (TabletClass). While its nice to have one book or online program in our case (TabletClass) it is also nice to pull from other areas when needed. During Pre-A this year my son hit a wall when encountering linear equations for the first time. It was then that I looked for outside supplimental resources in order to help him better understand the concepts and then practice solving these types of problems. I hadn't received Dolciani yet and I'm sure that would have helped as well. We found these to be the most helpful:

 

1. AoPS Pre-Algebra videos. These are really good and align with the book. But you don't have to own the book to benefit from the instruction. The video and free sample chapter were great on this subject: http://www.artofprob...type=prealgebra

 

2. The free AoPS Excerpts such as this one: http://www.artofprob...lgebra/exc2.pdf

 

3. Khan Academy. We used the lessons on linear equations and accompanying online problems. My son really enjoyed these. Sal Khan is gifted at explaining sometimes difficult concepts to kids. Here is an example from Linear Equations: http://www.khanacade...ear-equations-1

Problems: http://www.khanacade...ear_equations_4

 

I hope these resources help if you need them.

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Awright, I just went through chapter 1 of AoPS PreAlgebra, and I gotta say, I don't see this working for DD AT ALL!! This is not how she thinks. She is more linear, a symbolic/semantic learner, as opposed to a figural/visual learner. I can see getting cool word problems from it, and I love the online videos, but I do not see this approach working very well for her. Of course, things could change in a year, but as of now I think I need to rethink my plan of trying to do AoPS.

 

She is doing really well with MM, we are able to move through it pretty quickly using ~ half of the problems, doubling up on some lessons. She's acing the tests, and even though we do a lot of supplementing, she'll finish 5 before the end of this school year (as well as finishing LOF Frac & Decimals). My current plan is to start MM6, and go through that, though at this rate it will also take less than a year . . . so we may be looking to start PreA in a year from now.

 

She likes a mastery program, hates heavily spiral programs. She loves LOF, really likes the conceptual explanations, but concluded (after finishing Frac) that it isn't enough practice on its own. She would like to continue using it as a supplement, though.

 

Anybody got any suggestions for this child? Not a visual learner, not very into manipulatives, very verbal, pretty linear and parts-to-whole, loves LOF, HOE, does great with MM. Where to go for PreA. Help??? Pretty please???

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Awright, I just went through chapter 1 of AoPS PreAlgebra, and I gotta say, I don't see this working for DD AT ALL!! This is not how she thinks. She is more linear, a symbolic/semantic learner, as opposed to a figural/visual learner. I can see getting cool word problems from it, and I love the online videos, but I do not see this approach working very well for her. Of course, things could change in a year, but as of now I think I need to rethink my plan of trying to do AoPS.

 

She is doing really well with MM, we are able to move through it pretty quickly using ~ half of the problems, doubling up on some lessons. She's acing the tests, and even though we do a lot of supplementing, she'll finish 5 before the end of this school year (as well as finishing LOF Frac & Decimals). My current plan is to start MM6, and go through that, though at this rate it will also take less than a year . . . so we may be looking to start PreA in a year from now.

 

She likes a mastery program, hates heavily spiral programs. She loves LOF, really likes the conceptual explanations, but concluded (after finishing Frac) that it isn't enough practice on its own. She would like to continue using it as a supplement, though.

 

Anybody got any suggestions for this child? Not a visual learner, not very into manipulatives, very verbal, pretty linear and parts-to-whole, loves LOF, HOE, does great with MM. Where to go for PreA. Help??? Pretty please???

 

Rose,

My son is a year older and I came to basically the same conclusion with him last year regarding AoPS for Pre-A. A year later now we have used it as a supplimental with good results. And he has developed so much in just a year I can for the first time imagine him at least attempting AoPS 'discovery'. For your dd I can highly recommend TabletClass which we discovered through other WTM forum member posts. ds11 likes a good challenge and TabletClass provides that along with a solid core standards based curriculum. They have a free trial which you can test drive. The other we were strongly considering was Derek Owens Pre-Algebra. Dolciani is another very affordable option. Halcyon is going through that after starting with AoPS and seems to really like it. I also purchased the Dolciani Pre-A text and find it to be very straightforward. It does require more direct instruction as its mainly a workbook with 'brief' descriptions of concepts followed by ~ 85% problems. You may be able to suppliment it just fine with a combo of AoPS and Derek Owens free Pre-A videos.

 

BTW, AoPS may work better latter as her abstract reasoning skills grow and she matures a bit more. In looking at AoPS Intro to Algebra it seems more reasonable and doable than Pre-A ever did a year ago.

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I looked over aops pre-algebra and Lial's and DM 7a and decided they would not be a good fit for my daughter. So, following SM 6a and 6b, we are now working through a combination of SYRWL Maths 2 and Algebra Survival Guide and workbook and some MM7/alg1 worksheets and AOPS videos. It's been a good choice so far and gives us plenty to do and is very non-threatening. I think she'll be very well prepared to start Algebra next fall. I do have to explain things first because instructions are not as explicit in the MM worksheets or SYRWL as they were in SM, but that's okay with me since I love teaching math. I also like skipping around to focus on areas of interest or struggle, so home-made pre-algebra turned out to be the right choice for us.

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Derek, thanks for the suggestions. I'll check all these out.

 

Momling, I was lying in bed last night fantasizing about pulling together all the bits and pieces of programs I like into home-made preAlgebra! It's inspiring to hear you have done so successfully.

 

Of course, I worry about missing something - besides pooling scope & sequences from a bunch of different texts, does anyone have a favorite "definitive" Pre-A S&S that lists everything a kid should master before starting Algebra? Seems like something like that must exist somewhere . . . .

 

 

Ooo, I found one from the CTY mathematics sequence that I forgot I had downloaded from here awhile back. What do y'all think of this?

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Derek, thanks for the suggestions. I'll check all these out.

 

Momling, I was lying in bed last night fantasizing about pulling together all the bits and pieces of programs I like into home-made preAlgebra! It's inspiring to hear you have done so successfully.

 

Of course, I worry about missing something - besides pooling scope & sequences from a bunch of different texts, does anyone have a favorite "definitive" Pre-A S&S that lists everything a kid should master before starting Algebra? Seems like something like that must exist somewhere . . . .

 

 

Ooo, I found one from the CTY mathematics sequence that I forgot I had downloaded from here awhile back. What do y'all think of this?

 

This is a good question which I think varies considerably more than any other course depending on who you ask. I think it is partially the case since many of us old timers didn't even have Pre-A when we went to school. Consequently some consider it as not much more than as a basic review of arithmetic. However I prefer to include more of a gentle introduction to the much more challenging algebraic topics to come. So I favored a program with more algebraic content along with review of basic arithmetic. I think this is also why some parents use programs such as MUS or TT Algebra 1 as a their 'Pre-Algebra' in preparation for a more rigorous course to follow.

 

IMO the one you included above follows a middle of the road S&S leaning a bit more toward arithmetic review. While it does go into linear equations it doesn't mention specifics such as point slope or slope intercept. These are topics and formulas stretching ds11's brain in TabletClass Pre-A currently. I am glad he's getting that now vs. later. The other thing lists like this won't show you is the degree of rigor or depth which varies greatly in Pre-A programs. Are most of the problems easy one or two steps to solve (e.g. 3x = 9)? This is where pulling from other known challenging sources is great for supplimenting such as AoPS. I would compare the list you have there with other well regarded courses such as AoPS and TabletClass which I like. This also depends on where you plan to go for Algebra 1 - a gentler program or something known to be somewhat more difficult. I like to think of Pre-A as building a mental bridge to the rigors of Algebra 1 to come laying a foundation of basic algebraic reasoning.

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I'm back to wondering if we should do a full year of PreA with ds11 starting this summer (he'll complete SM S/E 6A/B this spring) instead of doing a year of a "light" Algebra program like MUS and then a year of a regular Algebra 1 program like Dolciani. The hard part is I won't really know until June and I like to plan ahead. ;) So, if we go the PreA route, I think we'll do a combo of LoF PreA (1 & 2) and Dolciani. Ds11 loves LoF (we own the whole set; dh is a math teacher and seems to like to collect curriculum as much as I :lol: ), but it is not a good fit for him in terms of teaching/learning. But, I think if I assign each chapter as a "silent" reading assignment and then together we can work some of the problems, it'll help him see math from a different perspective while keeping Dolciani as the main instructional/practice text. I know I have to wait and see how he does this semester between SM 6A/B with me during the day and a 5A/B review with dh at night. I'd love to avoid what would feel like another year of PreA in 7th, but then again, I want ds11 to have a very solid foundation for Algebra and higher-level math.

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I'm back to wondering if we should do a full year of PreA with ds11 starting this summer (he'll complete SM S/E 6A/B this spring) instead of doing a year of a "light" Algebra program like MUS and then a year of a regular Algebra 1 program like Dolciani. The hard part is I won't really know until June and I like to plan ahead. ;) So, if we go the PreA route, I think we'll do a combo of LoF PreA (1 & 2) and Dolciani. Ds11 loves LoF (we own the whole set; dh is a math teacher and seems to like to collect curriculum as much as I :lol: ), but it is not a good fit for him in terms of teaching/learning. But, I think if I assign each chapter as a "silent" reading assignment and then together we can work some of the problems, it'll help him see math from a different perspective while keeping Dolciani as the main instructional/practice text. I know I have to wait and see how he does this semester between SM 6A/B with me during the day and a 5A/B review with dh at night. I'd love to avoid what would feel like another year of PreA in 7th, but then again, I want ds11 to have a very solid foundation for Algebra and higher-level math.

 

Yes, there are really a number of ways to go. I think its a good idea to base your decision on where you think your ds11 is at. Does SM 6A/B provide any early introductions to algebraic concepts such as variables? Sometimes the gentler Algebra 1 works great at laying a basic foundation. I decided to go for the more challenging Pre-A partially because I wanted to review aspects of arithmetic which relate more to algebraic problem solving such as variables combined with fractions. I also wanted to cover basic things like negative numbers, absolute value, etc... which hadn't been addressed in his MUS program yet. But that could also be covered in these lighter Algebra classes through direct usage. Or you could suppliment with brief lessons and problem sets on negative numbers for example.

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Yes, there are really a number of ways to go. I think its a good idea to base your decision on where you think your ds11 is at. Does SM 6A/B provide any early introductions to algebraic concepts such as variables? Sometimes the gentler Algebra 1 works great at laying a basic foundation. I decided to go for the more challenging Pre-A partially because I wanted to review aspects of arithmetic which relate more to algebraic problem solving such as variables combined with fractions. I also wanted to cover basic things like negative numbers, absolute value, etc... which hadn't been addressed in his MUS program yet. But that could also be covered in these lighter Algebra classes through direct usage. Or you could suppliment with brief lessons and problem sets on negative numbers for example.

 

SM 5B introduces solving for "y" and graphing equations; the 6A/B series seems to just go more in-depth with the same topics - equations, negative numbers, absolute value (though they call it numerical value so I introduced the term absolute and showed him the mathematical notation), stats/probability, rates/proportion, etc. It should be a good base for Algebra, but ds11 isn't the strongest in math. He's done okay with Singapore and I'm glad we took that route for him as it stretches his thinking (we are working very hard on looking at an answer logically to see if it even makes sense!). But, he might do well with a full year of a solid PreA program like Dolciani before Algebra in 8th. We don't feel the need make him go too quickly and will spend as much time in Algebra as it takes, but the goal is at least PreCal/Trig/Linear Algebra by 12th grade, if not Calculus. Hopefully by April or so I'll have a better feel for what we'll do when our new year starts the end of July.

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SM 5B introduces solving for "y" and graphing equations; the 6A/B series seems to just go more in-depth with the same topics - equations, negative numbers, absolute value (though they call it numerical value so I introduced the term absolute and showed him the mathematical notation), stats/probability, rates/proportion, etc. It should be a good base for Algebra, but ds11 isn't the strongest in math. He's done okay with Singapore and I'm glad we took that route for him as it stretches his thinking (we are working very hard on looking at an answer logically to see if it even makes sense!). But, he might do well with a full year of a solid PreA program like Dolciani before Algebra in 8th. We don't feel the need make him go too quickly and will spend as much time in Algebra as it takes, but the goal is at least PreCal/Trig/Linear Algebra by 12th grade, if not Calculus. Hopefully by April or so I'll have a better feel for what we'll do when our new year starts the end of July.

 

SM 6A/B sounds really good in terms of preparation for a more rigorous Pre-A or a gentler Algebra 1. With that being the case here is one suggestion to try. Pick up the Dolciani Pre-A book regardless. Plan to start with that. But also begin introducing the gentler Algebra 1 along the way, say 1-2x per week initially. Then see how things progress and tailor accordingly. This leaves 'both' doors open rather an all or nothing decision. If you have both resources available you can use them together throughout the year. For example if you find certain parts of Dolciani overly redundant move to the next section. Then move into Algebra 1 at any point when ready. Having both will also help to avoid potential gaps moving from primary to secondary math. Lastly If by the end of the year your assessment of his skills are higher you could flip this combination around and do mostly the gentler Algebra 1 with Dolciani 1-2x per weeks to catch any gaps.

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I just pulled the Dolciani PreA out of the mailbox. I haven't looked through it thoroughly, but flipping through, it looks like he'll be able to breeze through it, so now I'm back to being unsure. :lol: It seems like it might actually supplement 6A/B, but I'm not sure we'll have time except to pull it out to look at a concept from a different angle. I'm going to sit down with it and SM 6A/B over the winter break to really look through them and also have dh browse them. Hmm ... I don't like undecided land. ;) Dh has Dolciani Algebra in his classroom, but only a Teacher's Edition. So, I think I'll have him bring it home tomorrow before his break to compare.

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I just pulled the Dolciani PreA out of the mailbox. I haven't looked through it thoroughly, but flipping through, it looks like he'll be able to breeze through it, so now I'm back to being unsure. :lol: It seems like it might actually supplement 6A/B, but I'm not sure we'll have time except to pull it out to look at a concept from a different angle. I'm going to sit down with it and SM 6A/B over the winter break to really look through them and also have dh browse them. Hmm ... I don't like undecided land. ;) Dh has Dolciani Algebra in his classroom, but only a Teacher's Edition. So, I think I'll have him bring it home tomorrow before his break to compare.

 

Good, I'm glad you were able to pick this up to compare with SM 6A/B. If they are close then it may in fact be too redundant. On the other hand if certain areas are missing like linear equations you could work at those and skip the rest.

 

I will say there is a big difference between Dolciani Pre-A and Algebra when compared side by side. Its a significant step up in terms of challenge. So that should be considered in terms of Algebra 1 readiness. And that is also where a gentler Algebra 1 could work as a bridge or possibly a fun book like Zaccaro's Real World Algebra.

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I just pulled the Dolciani PreA out of the mailbox. I haven't looked through it thoroughly, but flipping through, it looks like he'll be able to breeze through it, so now I'm back to being unsure. :lol: It seems like it might actually supplement 6A/B, but I'm not sure we'll have time except to pull it out to look at a concept from a different angle. I'm going to sit down with it and SM 6A/B over the winter break to really look through them and also have dh browse them. Hmm ... I don't like undecided land. ;) Dh has Dolciani Algebra in his classroom, but only a Teacher's Edition. So, I think I'll have him bring it home tomorrow before his break to compare.

 

I have both SM 6 and Dolciani PreA. Please let us know what your comparison of the two brings you to and let us know the main differences. I haven't done look at both side by side yet. It will be great to hear what you think. We are finishing up SM 5B now. Thanks!

 

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I have both SM 6 and Dolciani PreA. Please let us know what your comparison of the two brings you to and let us know the main differences. I haven't done look at both side by side yet. It will be great to hear what you think. We are finishing up SM 5B now. Thanks!

 

I will. :) I should have it figured out by the 6th of January (as we start again on the 7th :lol: ) and will report back.

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I haven't read through the entire thread so excuse me if I missed something.

 

 

This year dd11 is using 6/7 Saxon Math and is doing well with it.There are a lot of prealgebra concepts in it. Last year she did Rod and Staff 5th grade. Last year was a struggle because she had to get used to the routine, but I think it benefit us this year. I'm a Saxon Math fan so I doubt I will change it in the future. I'm not familiar with the other programs, but I don't plan to change because with all the curriculum switching we've done over the years my daughter is happy with Saxon.

 

I do have to decide which Saxon to go to next year. She could go on to 7/8 or to the 1/2 Algebra text next year. We will see.

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  • 1 month later...

Can everyone update on how their child is doing with their chosen pre-a? We are about halfway through DOlciani Pre-A, An Accelerated Course, and I decided to pull out Lial's Pre and supplement a little with Lials Chapter 4 stuff, which has a bit more fleshing out about single variable equations using fractions (particularly dividing fractions). Otherwise, Dolciani seems to be going well. I am also going to have him do a comprehensive midterm "exam"/review in the next couple of weeks. I will pull questions from ALL my pre-a books (yes, I have a few) that cover the same material and see how he does when faced with questions in a "different format".

 

We are still thinking about what to do for Algebra next year!

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