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I am trying to decide what direction to go in with my ds who will be 10th grade in the fall.

 

The backstory- ds is a bright kid but not wired in a mathy/ engineering kind of way. He generally scored well on standardized tests in math when he was younger but was never a kid who was interested in math/ not great at word problems, etc. He wouldn't ever be able to intuitively figure things out but he would be able to proficiently execute the steps taught to him. He does not plan on any kind of a STEM career. So, he is a generally bright and competent student but not a kid who needs the most rigorous math program. He did Algebra 1 in 8th grade (Larson text but without Chalkdust lectures). My dh, who is a former public school math teacher, helped him through that. He did okay. He probably finished with a high B or low A but it took a long time to get through it and he was often frustrated. I think he probably could use a review. I think he was just too young but there is pressure to do Algebra 1 in 8th here and I did cave to wanting to keep him on track with what all the college bound kids do in public school in case he were to go.

 

In 9th we tried Jacobs Geometry with the Kolbe lesson plans and dh teaching but it was a failure. My husband didn't like the text and ds just didn't get it. I researched extensively and came to the conclusion that TT Geometry would be a good fit for him. I was convinced that it was "enough" to be a standard high school geometry course while allowing him to get caught up. It was also important to me that he be able to build up some confidence. TT Geometry has been a success. I realize it is not the most challenging program but he does appear to be learning. He is taking a test prep class and he feels pretty prepared on the geometry. I'm happy that TT worked well for him this year. He seems to have learned, regained some confidence, and the course was not too overwhelming to complete even though we just started it in October.

 

Which brings us to Algebra 2 for 10th grade. I've researched the issues with TT extensively. I feel like I "get" both sides of the argument and why it is a good choice for some and not for others. I do feel like I would not be comfortable with the Algebra 2 course alone. I would have to get him through the big chunk of Pre Cal that includes standard Algebra 2 topics.

 

I am considering TT for next year. I'm not 100% comfortable with that choice, though. I am not sure what other curriculum I would even look at now. Any suggestions for an Algebra 2 course that could be picked up without having done Algebra 1 from the same publisher? I want something adequate for college prep and SAT/ ACTs but not something too hard. He doesn't need an honors level course, just a solid high school Algebra 2.

 

Any suggestions for an average student who needs things spelled out for him step by step?

 

He got a 52 on the math section of the PSAT as a 9th grader. So, while not a math whiz, he isn't totally incompetent. I am willing to outsource but we don't have local options and I'm not sure how he would do with the format of an online class. I would be willing to hire a tutor. In which case I would still like some suggestions on a good text.

 

If you read through all that, I appreciate it! I thought I had settled on doing TT Algebra 2/ PreCal next year but I am having doubts. I just want to make sure I'm considering all the options.

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Have you looked into Derek Owens' courses? www.derekowens.com

 

I have never used his math program, but my son has been working through his Physical Science program and it has been a huge success. Mr. Owens seems very responsive... I am sure you can pose this question directly to him.

 

Here's a direct link to the Algebra 2 course:

http://www.lucideducation.com/?p=Algebra2.php

 

I believe you can sign up to do a course online and work at your own pace; the benefit being you only pay for the months you use.

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I am a fan of math relief and have used it with a mathy kid and a struggling kid. It's at MathRelief. Com

 

I also wondered if you are trying to squeeze Algebra 2 and Precalc into one year? I know you often have a little extra time at the end of Algebra 2, but that might be needed for a student who needed extra time for Algebra 1.

 

Julie

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I wasn't going to try to squeeze a full Algebra 2 and PreCal into one year. What I was thinking was that TT doesn't cover what is in a traditional Algebra 2 text so I would have him do some of the TT PreCal to compensate for that. I would have probably started TT Algebra 2 in the summer and hoped he could move through the beginning quickly so he would have time to get into the first part of the TT PreCal and cover what Algebra 2 typically includes.

 

But, I'm not totally comfortable with that and I think I would be much more comfortable with an Algebra 2 text that is more standard.

 

I will look at Math Relief. Thank you.

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If you hire a tutur he might have a text that he likes to use. My daughter is finishing up Alg 2 now with a tutor - we used Life of Fred and then he used material from the local public high school that LOF did not cover. We are going back to TT next year for geometry.

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Teachermom, when you read your post, my thought was TT for you even before you mentioned it. Since you have used it and it's working, keep going. You're on the right track and shouldn't feel bad about using it AT ALL. The main thing is, because he is bright and does have that extra potential, to supplement it a bit. Pick up a Foerster text or Dolciani or BJU (I'm using the newest edition) and use that alongside. Since his dad will help, he can do the TT lessons during the day and then do 15 minutes with dad doing just some of the harder problems from the other text. It will be a great combo, and you'll get that balance you're wanting of consistent doable and challenge to fit his brightness. :)

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I wasn't going to try to squeeze a full Algebra 2 and PreCal into one year. What I was thinking was that TT doesn't cover what is in a traditional Algebra 2 text so I would have him do some of the TT PreCal to compensate for that. I would have probably started TT Algebra 2 in the summer and hoped he could move through the beginning quickly so he would have time to get into the first part of the TT PreCal and cover what Algebra 2 typically includes.

 

But, I'm not totally comfortable with that and I think I would be much more comfortable with an Algebra 2 text that is more standard.

 

I will look at Math Relief. Thank you.

 

Well, Math Relief is "nontraditional" also, in that Algebra 2 is just that... Algebra 2. If you have a student who needed extra time for Algebra 1, then I would think this would be ideal. And since most kids have at least 1 and sometimes 2 years of math between Algebra 2 and Calculus now, I don't think the "standard" route looks like it used to. (Our local college-prep high school does Functions/Stats/Trig, then Precalc. My son did college algebra 3 and now he's doing college precalc, which only took 2 semesters but that's because they're college paced.)

 

I agree Algebra 2 is a shorter year on its own, mostly because it goes faster. So, my son was able to fit in a bit of AOPS Probability at the end of his Algebra 2 year (which he didn't care for). You could plug something in there as needed, too. But it might be nice if he needs the extra time to leave room to just focus on Algebra that year. Being fast and flexible with Algebra will take you a long way in math.

 

Julie

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