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Hi all,

 

After searching the forums I came across Kinetic books. I went to the website and it has peeked my interest. I had a few questions for anyone who uses KB or has gone to the website and perhaps knows the ins & outs of the program.

- I'm thinking if I purchase KB I would also buy the text, are all the problems done on the computer? Is the only purpose of having the text is to look back on previous material?

- Is it a complete stand alone program?

- How does it work? Do you watch the lesson and do the problems online or on paper then check the answers online?

- Does KB online keep track of where you left off?

- How long do you have access to KB once you purchase?

- If dc understands a concept, does she still have to sit thru' the entire lesson?

- I am also considering Lials Introductory Algebra (thanks Jann), but came across KB tonight, and it looks like my dd would enjoy the idea of doing math online. Sorry if I'm asking questions that are answered on their website, it's late and perhaps I didn't look hard enough! LOL!

 

THanks so much everyone...

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Hi,

 

I chose the Lial series of Algebra books for Regina Coeli Academy' math program up thru Algebra II. The layout and scope and sequence are so logical. We get amazing results with it. I like the fact that the kids also enjoy the book.

 

We use it for Prealgebra through algebra II (her intermediate algebra). The book itself is terrific. If you do it on your own I would get the student solutions manual.

 

Our online classes use the online interface (I am pretty sure its only available to schools) which I, and the students, absolutely love. feedback on the homework is instant, and students can click to get step-wise help. They can attempt problems three times, then the answer and how it is worked is given.

 

Then they can click to do a similar problem. What happens is a new problem with the same parameters but different numbers gets generated algorithmically. I especially like the feature with the testing. We assign a practice test/quiz before each chapter test. After completing that, the student has a customized study plan of problems assigned based on missed problems and objectives not mastered. more about the class. If you already have the book, a subscription to the Math Lab is 57.00 and is for one calendar year.

 

You can also read more about mymathlab at http://www.mymathlab.com

 

God Bless,

Sandy Harrison

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Thanks for the info,

 

I clicked on the "class" link and saw the book used- Lials Beginning Algebra. Jann in TX recommended Lial's Introductory Algebra. Do you what the difference is between the two books?

 

Thanks!

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My middle dd has been using Kinetic Books Algebra for the past year. At first, she was also using Jacobs because she finds immediate feedback very stressful, but she decided to drop Jacobs and use only Kinetic Books a few months ago.

 

- I'm thinking if I purchase KB I would also buy the text, are all the problems done on the computer? Is the only purpose of having the text is to look back on previous material?

 

I don't have the text and don't see much use for it except that you can do the end of unit problems away from the computer. They don't have an option to print out the end of unit problems, so if you don't have a paper copy of the text, you have to sit in front of the computer to read them. This is what my dd has been doing all year, so it hasn't been a problem here.

 

- Is it a complete stand alone program?

 

Yes. My dd was also doing Jacobs at first because she has Asperger's and finds it very stressful to be told that she is wrong immediately. She handles it a lot better when she finds out an hour or so after working the problem that she did it wrong. However, she finally decided that finding out immediate that you've done something wrong so you can fix it and do the other problems right is a lot better than working through a whole exercise incorrectly (which she did a few times with Jacobs). That stressed her out a whole lot more.

 

Kinetic Books goes a lot further than Jacobs does and has better and more comprehensive instruction.

 

- How does it work? Do you watch the lesson and do the problems online or on paper then check the answers online?

 

KB doesn't have video lessons. It has text on the screen just like you'd see in a textbook, but it also has a lot of sections where you can click on a symbol to have it talk you through an explanation. When it's giving a verbal explanation, the steps appear on the computer screen as the verbal explanation talks about them.

 

Most of the problems are done online with immediate feedback and often have stepped help. The problems with stepped help will walk you through to the solution step-by-step. At any point in the stepped help, you can type the final answer in the box to skip the rest of the stepped help if you don't need it anymore.

 

The end of unit problems are done with pencil and paper. All the other problems are done on the computer. Only the odd answers are provided for end of unit, but there are so many end of unit problems that the odds are plenty. My dd does only the odds. Sometimes there are so many problems that I have her do every other odd. The challenge section of end of unit is extremely challenging. I consider those problems optional. My dd sometimes does them for fun because they are interesting. I wouldn't require them.

 

For the end of unit problems, I just click on view answers to see the answers to the odds and check my dd's work. If you have the paper copy of the text, you can have your dc do the odd problems from the text and then check the answers online afterward. There isn't a solution manual for end-of-unit.

 

You don't need a solution manual for the problems with immediate feedback, because if there are steps to work through, stepped help is available.

 

- Does KB online keep track of where you left off?

 

It keeps track of which problems you have worked and what your scores are, but it always starts you at the table of contents page and then you have to go to where you left off yourself. I have my dd do all her work in a spiral and she just writes down which unit she was one (like 9.32) at the end of each day so she can quickly go there. Otherwise, you click on the chapter you're on and then click on the scores button at the bottom of the page. Click on the section title where it shows you haven't finished.

 

- How long do you have access to KB once you purchase?

 

Purchasing gives you one calendar year of access.

 

- If dc understands a concept, does she still have to sit thru' the entire lesson?

 

No. You can skip over sections. It will give you a score of 0 for any problems in the section you skip over. Mostly if we're going to skip something, we skip it in the end of unit problems.

 

You can sign up for their three-day free trial. The website says that teachers at educational institutions can do the free trial, but actually homeschoolers can do it too. Just click on homeschool under title.

 

They are working on Algebra II and that's what I want to use for my oldest, but I'm not sure it's going to be available in time. In June, they told me that they were hoping to release it for fall 2008, but they haven't responded to the email I sent them yesterday asking about their projected due date. They are generally very responsive to email and I usually get a response within a few hours. I've only had to wait until the next day a few times.

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I was writing an answer that seemed familiar, and realized I had already said it somewhere!

 

So here is an old, small thread about Kinetic books.

 

I am still kicking around the idea of their physics program because dd liked the algebra program so much, but we are on a chemistry year, so it will have to wait!

 

 

HTH!

 

 

 

ETA:

- Does KB online keep track of where you left off?

 

You can make ourself little sticky notes at the end of the day that reminds you where you are. I thought that was a really neat thing!

 

 

Also, one of the things that I did like about it was that you were required to do the tests on paper. I really feel that writing algebra problems really helps in the learning of them (but that is just my opinion!).

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