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So how is everyone's pre-algebra going this year? Happy with your choice of curric?


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After all the hemming and hawing we all did over pre-alg choices, just wondering how it's going for everyone?

 

We chose Saxon 8/7 because dd needs the spiral plus it's some review of arithmetic plus the pre-alg all in one. It is just ok. I wish it had more conceptual, but I'm trying to bring that in with watching the MUS dvd or other resources (Cerwton Ramone, etc) on each topic. It is a TON of work to pull it together and math takes us too long, so I'm not that happy with it overall.

 

I have to admit I've been toying with switching to TT Pre-Alg to just not deal with it but SO much of it would be review, plus all the other usual "issues" w/ TT.

 

No program really has what I'm looking for anyway, so we'll prbly just muddle through with the Saxon. :glare:

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We went with AoPS pre-A. I bit the bullet and signed him up for the online class. This has been a great challenge for him. For the first time he has really had to work at math. He is working just a hair out of his comfort zone, a good place to be IMO. Alcumus is great because it keeps him honest and holds him accountable for sloppy work. That has mostly been the biggest challenge, the carelessness factor. He is 12 and just moves too fast for his own good, makes big leaps and hates to to the 'easy' parts. When he makes mistakes it is usually because he outsmartes himself.

 

I only wish AoPS offered year long algebra classes. The one they offer now goes through all of algebra 1 in a single semester. He is going to be 13 and an 8th grader next year. He's going to have a lot going on in that brain of his. I don't want to make the year any more difficult than it has to be for any of us. I had planned to go with Math without Borders for Algebra 1, but after AoPS I am not sure. It is difficult to match the excitement factor of AoPS. And that is something I NEVER thought I would say about a math program!

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We are really happy with Discovering Mathematics 7 so far, and are supplementing with online Alcumus problems from AoPS for fun. Since dd likes Alcumus so much, I've ordered the AoPS Pre-Algebra book to use for certain topics that aren't covered, or are covered differently, in DM 7. So far, so good!

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We started out with MUS Pre-A simply because he had used it from the very beginning (Primer) and we wanted to fill in some missing S&S areas not yet covered. However after the first several chapters we switched to TabletClass which is a much better program at this level IMO. ds11 is definately more challenged which is great. But it is not too diffcult for him since the instruction is so thorough. TC is great preparation for Algebra 1 addressing many of the more challenging algebraic concepts earlier on. There have been a few times we've supplimented with other materials such as AoPS or Khan Academy when a difficult subject needed some elaboration or simply more time spent on it. Other than that it has been great and very independent for him. Overall we are very pleased with TabletClass, so much so we may continue with it next year into Algebra 1.

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I only wish AoPS offered year long algebra classes. The one they offer now goes through all of algebra 1 in a single semester. He is going to be 13 and an 8th grader next year. He's going to have a lot going on in that brain of his. I don't want to make the year any more difficult than it has to be for any of us. I had planned to go with Math without Borders for Algebra 1, but after AoPS I am not sure. It is difficult to match the excitement factor of AoPS. And that is something I NEVER thought I would say about a math program!

 

I had the same wish. Dd took the online Prealgebra and did fine, but she was not ready for Algebra in a semester at 11yo. So we're doing the book at her pace, and I have to say it's going great. She's getting more and more independent with it. Their Prealgebra was a great foundation for this, but at that pace I think she was skimming a lot of the text, and doing all the online Alcumus and Challenge problems, but I wasn't sure that was quite enough for it to stick. Now we're doing most of the end-of-section problems and Summary, about half the book's Challenge problems, and I'm also having her keep up with Alcumus (she likes the online portion).

 

Once she's done with this (I'm thinking it will take her two years - we're taking it slow), I'm pondering signing her up for their online Geometry. I don't think that moves quite as fast??? and she'll be older and have all that AoPS Algebra behind her...

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We haven't started our Pre-Alg just yet. I have Horizons Pre-Alg sitting on the shelf and I worked through the first 20 lessons myself (I think I'm going to be very glad I did!) She just finished Horizons 6, but we're taking a month to get speedier with multiplication. She is super sllllooooowwww with math, even the easy stuff like multiplication. I was really hoping that by speeding up her multiplication skills, pre-alg would seem a lot easier. We'll see. I think turtles are just turtles; they never become hares:)

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I just posted in the TT thread - we just switched dd over to TT Pre-Algebra after the first semester of Saxon Pre-Algebra. We skipped several lessons and now are hitting the lessons with things she needs to have reinforced and moving ahead (taking the tests as she goes along to make sure she understands the material).

 

She is so thrilled with the change that it's all worth it.

 

*I* like Saxon. Her older sister loves Saxon. I predict my youngest child with choose Saxon. But, for this dd, I forsee TT all the way through to the end - she truly seems to love math when it's TT. :)

 

So - we made a change, and are very happy about it so far. :)

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Very happy with Dolciani Pre A, An Accelerated Course for DS10. Towards the latter half, i will add in some Alcumus or Aops for more comceptual challenge as Dolciani does not offer enough in this area. We are also continuing to use CWP, which co tnues to kick our collective bu@@s. :)

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We've gone DIY with the pre-algebra. After SM6a/b, we have been doing a mix of different pre-algebra books and are happy. We mix galore park SYRWL Maths 2 with AOPS videos and MM grade 7 and algebra worksheets and the algebra survival guide. We're moving along nicely and I think she'll be ready for algebra in the fall.

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Dd12 is using Lial's Prealgebra and it is great!!! She is learning alot and it is really shoring up all the basics. I just cant believe a textbook ended up being the answer after all we tried! I have no doubt she will move into Lial's Algera next year. It is direct and to the point with the teaching and this is what she loves. "Just show me how to do it and let me go!!" So it has been a perfect fit. :hurray:

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Another Lial's family here. No bells or whistles, but we're getting through it with relatively little drama. It helps that her older sister is using (and loving) Lial's for pre-calc, so she can't claim that no sane person could use Lial's (well, maybe she could, but you know what I mean).

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We haven't started Pre-algebra yet. We are working on not making many, many little careless mistakes and not copying the answers instead of doing the work. I have the second one covered now, lol, so once we get a handle on the first one we will move into pre-algebra. For the moment she is working through LOF Fractions along with Key to Fractions (almost finished with both of them), and then we will quickly go through LOF Decimals & Percents with Key to Decimals and Percents. I have been randomly picking lessons from R&S 7 that cover the fraction topics that she has covered and she has had no problem with doing them; I will continue to do the same while she covers D&P.

 

After that...I don't know. I still haven't settled on a pre-algebra for her.

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This is really great to see all the variety which seems to be working well for these families. Many of us started as Pre-Algebra fence straddlers. I'm already looking forward to Algebra 1 now. Hopefully those still struggling can find a better fit for their dc.

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Dd12 is using Lial's Prealgebra and it is great!!! She is learning alot and it is really shoring up all the basics. I just cant believe a textbook ended up being the answer after all we tried! I have no doubt she will move into Lial's Algera next year. It is direct and to the point with the teaching and this is what she loves. "Just show me how to do it and let me go!!" So it has been a perfect fit. :hurray:

 

 

I may have to look at Lial's. It sounds like what I'm looking for for when DS gets there.

 

We haven't started Pre-algebra yet. We are working on not making many, many little careless mistakes and not copying the answers instead of doing the work. I have the second one covered now, lol, so once we get a handle on the first one we will move into pre-algebra. For the moment she is working through LOF Fractions along with Key to Fractions (almost finished with both of them), and then we will quickly go through LOF Decimals & Percents with Key to Decimals and Percents. I have been randomly picking lessons from R&S 7 that cover the fraction topics that she has covered and she has had no problem with doing them; I will continue to do the same while she covers D&P.

After that...I don't know. I still haven't settled on a pre-algebra for her.

 

 

Careless errors have been a huge issue here as well. As I've been looking at Pre-Algebra, and working some of the problems, I realized how many dumb errors I make. And it's not from not knowing how, I had 3 semesters of college calculus. I haven't found anything difficult, but it has been humbling to see the trait that has frustrated me in DS reflected back at me! Also, it's helpful in that I'm finding the pitfalls (hopefully) - in each problem type, what kind of careless errors are likely.

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I may have to look at Lial's. It sounds like what I'm looking for for when DS gets there.

 

 

 

Careless errors have been a huge issue here as well. As I've been looking at Pre-Algebra, and working some of the problems, I realized how many dumb errors I make. And it's not from not knowing how, I had 3 semesters of college calculus. I haven't found anything difficult, but it has been humbling to see the trait that has frustrated me in DS reflected back at me! Also, it's helpful in that I'm finding the pitfalls (hopefully) - in each problem type, what kind of careless errors are likely.

 

 

Yep, working through Khan Academy has had the same effect on me - it took me a long time to pass multi-digit multiplication, just due to dumb errors. It was humbling, and helped me be a little more patient when dd does similar things . . .

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ds 13 (just turned) is rocking away with Saxon Alg 1/2. It's the first year in 3 that math hasn't been sheer torment for him! Woot! I was a little worried about going back to Saxon but he was hating LoF and just couldn't seem to get through it. I thought he wasn't understanding it and was taking a big risk on the Saxon but he is doing great with it- yippee !

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We're using MUS and I'm very happy with it. It includes lots of review of fractions and decimals along with teaching the new pre-alg. concepts, so I feel it's been a good fit for my kids. When I looked at choices 2 years ago, I felt it was the best combo of review and new for us, and it was the one my son liked the demo's of the best. Thankfully it's worked for my dd now too! I really wasn't wanting to do multiple math programs, LOL!

 

Merry :-)

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Very happy with Saxon Algebra 1/2 and Art Reed dvds.

 

That's where we are too. We're very happy with them. I have a notebook and do each problem also, so I can see exactly what any issues are (and I'm better able to teach the lessons and help as needed). I was surprised on the last test - about 20% of the questions were out-of-the-box conceptual application questions. I was impressed and felt like a lot of the critique of Saxon's lack of conceptual may be from people who havent actually worked through the book themselves. Grading is on thing, doing is quite different.

 

I will also plug for the Art Reed DVDs. Funny, engaging, useful. High marks for them!!!

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My children have been using Singapore in the primary level. So we started the year (7th grade) with Discovering Mathematics 1. However, I also had a copy of the older New Elementarty Mathematics 1 on hand, and after turning to NEM several times for a "better/more complete" explanation of what we were working on in DM1, we decided to just switch to NEM1 altogether. DD is learning really well with NEM, although the lessons are long. I've ordered NEM2 for next year.

 

I really do like the explanations in NEM, plus it covers practical topics such as taxation/money exchange. The word problems are extremely good and there are "problem solving" sections that coach the student on how to approach standard word problem types. The program seems have a fair amount of heavy-lifting, but it is extremely solid preparation (IMHO).

 

Ann in MI

 

DD(12): Fourth Form Latin, NEM1, CW Diogenes Maxim, SOW4, Omnibus 1, Elementary Greek 2, geography, astronomy, piano, tennis

DS(10): First Form Latin, Singapore 4, CW Aesop B, SOW4, good books, geography, astronomy, piano, tennis, basketball

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We're using Singapore's Discovering Mathematics. I am very impressed with the program and the problems they have in there. It has not exactly been smooth sailing for dd who is not a math lover. At times I thought we might have to jump to something simpler, but she prefers to try to step up to the challenge. We are a bit behind--will not finish the first book by the end of the first semester and we may need to make math a year-round subject (we do the textbook and workbook). But I think if we stick with it dd will have a really strong math background to take into public high school, SATs, etc.

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We are using MUS pre-algebra this year after switching from TT. DD is really doing very well and prefers this program. I think she likes having a video only once per chapter/concept and then practice and review pages. I feel there is enough review but not so much of a spiral aspect that it overwhelms her. She used to complain bitterly about TT. With MUS there is no complaining. She actually said she likes how math is a puzzle! I'll take it!

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My math phobic son is doing well with Dolciani's Pre-Algebra. I've been pleased with how painless it has been to implement.

I plan to use this. I have a copy already. How old is your ds? How do you do the lessons? Do you have him do all the problems or only the odd numbers? I am trying to plan how much needs to be done. Thanks!

 

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My son will be finishing CLE 7 in the next couple of months, which is the first half of pre-algebra. He's done well with it, but I'm wondering if I should continue with CLE 8 or switch him to Lial's since that's what I'm planning on having him use for algebra. (He's taking the Lial's BCM diagnostic test as we speak.) He gets the concepts and does pretty well, but he does make glitchy errors and I'm curious how long math will take once he no longer has a workbook to write in. He has a lot of trouble with writing!

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Both girls switched curriculum early in the year, but it looks like they'll both finish by the end of the year. Whew!

 

Dsd 13 started out with Teaching Textbooks Pre-algebra, dropped back to TT 7, then found her groove in MUS Pre-algebra. Dd 12 tried AoPS, but ended up in Lial's, which is perfect for her. We'll be sticking with both for algebra 1 next year.

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Wow-so many different answers! It's really interesting to read.

 

We have now started doubling up lessons in the Saxon 8/7 since it's a ton of review after CLE6 (there's nothing much new til at least lesson 60!) Just reinforcing and making sure she knows the WHY behind it all. It's going better. I am anxious to get into some new material so we don't feel like we're spinning our wheels.

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Wow-so many different answers! It's really interesting to read.

 

We have now started doubling up lessons in the Saxon 8/7 since it's a ton of review after CLE6 (there's nothing much new til at least lesson 60!) Just reinforcing and making sure she knows the WHY behind it all. It's going better. I am anxious to get into some new material so we don't feel like we're spinning our wheels.

 

HappyGrace, did you finish all of CLE 6 before starting Saxon 8/7? What made you decide to use Saxon 8/7 over Saxon 1/2?

 

TIA!

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Very interested in hearing HappyGrace's answer here. We are currently in CLE 600 level, and I'm trying to decide what to use next year. CLE 700? Saxon 8/7, Saxon Algebra 1/2...

 

My daughter does not love math, but seems to do pretty well. She likes the look of Saxon, which is why I'm leaning that way. :bigear:

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Wow-so many different answers! It's really interesting to read.

 

We have now started doubling up lessons in the Saxon 8/7 since it's a ton of review after CLE6 (there's nothing much new til at least lesson 60!) Just reinforcing and making sure she knows the WHY behind it all. It's going better. I am anxious to get into some new material so we don't feel like we're spinning our wheels.

 

Good! Now stay put and put on blinders to everyone else. :)

 

Glad it's working for you!!! :)

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We're doing LoF and it's working fine-what's NOT working so well is the online program that I was having her do to review some of those topics that she breezed by very quickly on the way to pre-algebra ;).

 

DD suddenly likes LOF. I waited and waited, but she wasn't even interested in the storyline until just recently. I didn't know that LOF's Pre-A series begins with Fractions.

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Mine's working on AOPS Pre-Algebra and doing well. She also uses Alcumus and she's working through the Key to... series on the side. She really likes the Key to series. She wants to be ready to start the Algebra/Geometry books this summer. Because I'm rambling here, it will probably take us 2 school years to get through the AOPS Pre-Algebra book (and I'm perfectly OK with that). Also, she's working on the chapters out of order (after completing ch 1- which you would need to do first) and it seems fine.

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Pre-Algebra potpourri here.

 

-We went through LoF Fractions and Decimals and are now on Pre-Algebra with Biology. We did LoF Elementary Physics for a while but it was more physics than math. I hope to use it in a physics curriculum next year.

 

-We supplement with Khan Academy drills where he is rusty. I first tried supplementing with Saxon Algebra 1/2, but their spiral approach is not useful for drilling in on a weak topic. I am eyeing Keys to Algebra for drill, but perhaps that would serve the same function as Khan, and I need to curb my lust for new curricula?

 

-We have started on Zaccaro, doing a chapter every couple of weeks. Really nice, intuitive introduction to algebraic concepts (balancing equations, isolating variables).

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I'm happy with KB. It started out rough, but it's going better now. I like that they have interactives in each lesson for him to play around with and really get how algebra works. Instant results works great for him.

My only complaint is that he has a lot of correct answers that get marked wrong because he didn't input it in exactly how they wanted. I've had to keep my own grade report to keep track of the changes. Many times, it's not clear they just want the answer and not the equation. If he got it right, I count it. If it asks for a specific answer, ex. what does x equal and he inputs the equation, then he gets it wrong. Otherwise, I love that it automatically grades everything.

 

Do you have access to all the answers for Kinetic Books. as a homeschooler? Does Kinetic books correct all the answers to all problems as a homeschooler?

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Sorry-just getting back here to answer!

 

We went halfway through CLE 606. But a LOT of Saxon 8/7 is now review-we could have really stopped much earlier within 600. I'm not sure how much earlier-sorry! But I think CLE is quite advanced.

 

I didn't stick with CLE because they consider both 700 AND 800 to be pre-algebra, and I wanted to do pre-alg in one year. I still felt dd needed more practice with arithmetic, so we went with Saxon 8/7 instead of 1/2-I looked at both tables of content and it went a little more slowly. Dd does well with spiral too.

 

I think CLE into Saxon is a great fit, if you like CLE, because it's pretty similar.

 

I'm still not totally thrilled w/ Saxon because I wanted more conceptual than it offers, but I'm adding that in myself from other sources.

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