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Foersters w/Chandler OR Derek Owens Algebra I

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How do Foerster and Derek Owens classes compare in rigor? My ds has a STEM focus so I want to make sure I give him a good foundation.


I like the idea of DO's class and the fact that he would be the one grading and assigning homework and such. I just have heard people raving about Foerster's Algebra and how wonderful it is for STEM type kids. Is Foerster as wordy as Jacob's? Ds will not have the patience to wade through paragraphs of explanations.

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Disclaimer: I have experience with Jacobs Algebra, Derek Owens Prealgebra and Precalculus (and Physics), and Foerster's Algebra II with David Chandler's lectures. So I haven't actually had experience with either Algebra I product that you're asking about.


Foerster uses words in an effort to communicate, if that's what you mean by wordy. He doesn't have the stories and cartoons that Jacobs has. (I don't find Jacobs to be particularly wordy. In fact, most of the time there is very little explanation at all and most of the instruction is contained in the problem sets.) The Foerster books are very good and have good applications problems though we found that there tended to be a bit of a disconnect between the instruction provided in the book and the level of reasoning required to do them.


David Chandler is a competent lecturer, but he doesn't do grading and he is not available for questions. From what I remember, his lectures were to the point without a lot of wasted time.


Derek Owens is very clear and is obviously interested in communicating. He tends to go on and on--which is helpful when the student doesn't understand something but somewhat tedious when he does. He provides notes with blank spaces in them that end up serving as a reference for the student. This is helpful for kids who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with note taking. Also the going on and on thing makes it so there is time to write everything down. His tests and quizzes (what he calls homework) are fair and align with the practice problems (what I call homework) well. Mr. Owens is also available for questions.


I think that both are good options and will give your son a solid foundation in math.

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Disclaimer: I have experience with Foerster's Algebra 1 (without Chandler), Derek Owens Physics, and a failed attempt at Jacob's Geometry. So, again, not exactly what you're asking about.


Out of curiosity, what Jacob's text are you familiar with?


We used Foerster's Algebra 1 in 8th grade. You may read my review here. I found the text very clear, not wordy, unlike Jacob's Geometry which quickly confused the both of us. The solutions manual for Foerster's saves time in checking homework.


Derek Owen's Algebra is based on the Dolciani textbook which gets consistently positive reviews from math people on the boards. Derek Owen's Physics class was very worthwhile, professional, rigorous, etc. You may read my review here.


I think that both are good options and will give your son a solid foundation in math.


:iagree: You may want to decide based upon how much time you want to spend on Algebra. <wink>




ETA: You may want to see if you can borrow the Algebra books from your library and/or inter-library loan to check them out in person.

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