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Is Teaching Textbooks all through high school acceptable for good SAT scores and college prep?


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Dd is just about done with Saxon 87 and we just need a better way to get math done-she hates math and has always hated it (we do feel she has made good progress in 87 and remediated some areas). She may go into physical therapy (very competitive) so she needs good math SAT scores.

 

I was set to do Foerster's Algebra I after the Saxon but honestly, math is just so hard to get through for both of us (to the point we're not getting it done every day :() I know she'd be happier and get some confidence back if she just did TT (she loved the samples today).

 

I can't quite bring myself to give up and go the "easier" TT route because it feels like we're majorly compromising her math education based on reviews I've read on here. What are your thoughts about TT through high school?

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Many here do not consider TT rigorous enough.

I like what someone here (I have forgotten her name) said about exposing her dc to a few authors of math texts. I got the impression that they didn't complete more than one book per subject,but just did some work out of a few books. I don't think she uses TT, but I have used TT for a season and my dc was no worse for it. This child is not a STEM student, however. My dc have had exposure to different authors of math texts, so when I read about that other poster, I felt smart for 5 whole minutes, lol, even though she is intentional and I happened upon that practice.

All that said (well, rambled), I don't know what he used in the lower levels, but I know a boy who used Teaching Textbooks all through high school and got a perfect score on the ACT.

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We haven't taken SAT yet, but this is dd's 3rd year with TT, and each year her ITBS math score has gone higher. I know ITBS isn't super rigorous, but she was at 98th percentile last year.

 

We don't plan on changing!

 

Eta, it changed math from most hated subject to one of her favorites.

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Happy, she's 8th gr this year?  Then you should get TT, USE it, and decide for yourself.  The question, as you're finding, is not whether TT was the right choice for Jane's kid or 8's kid or anyone else's.  The real question is whether it's the right choice for YOUR kid.  It has very gentle spiral and humor.  It uses short lessons.  It combines modalities.  I think, and this is just my personal opinion from watching these threads, is that how the kids score with it is somewhat connected to their IQ and the potential they had to score with ANY program.  So if you have a dc of rather high potential who sits down and does a bang-up job with TT, they're going to have the ability to apply it to new situations and may do quite well on testing.  It's NOT the most aggressive, rigorous program with long 50 question assignments and arduous problems.  On the other hand, it's ENOUGH, and enough really is ENOUGH for some kids. Creekland made a post on this concept of ENOUGH years ago, and it really touched my heart, the idea that not everything has to be insanely hard and that sometimes good enough is best for our kids and helps us to create balance between things where we put more energy and things where we do what's good enough.  Good enough can be OK.

 

And frankly, there comes a point where if it's NOT enough, we'll add.  With TT, math gets done EVERY DAY at our house, every single day.  What you're describing is THE REASON I finally moved over.  We were having conflicts, math wasn't getting done, blah blah.  I delayed for much longer than I should have because I listened to the general wave on the boards at the time that made it sound like using TT was akin to putting your kid in diapers and consigning them to a bad life.  Sorry, it isn't.  I didn't say it's as great as BJU (it's not).  But it's not bad, and done diligently and actually DONE, your kid can get to where she needs to be.  So you get whatever she tests into now, you USE it, then you TEST in the spring.  Then you decide FOR YOURSELF whether when she does it she's getting test scores that fit her ability level.  

 

Using TT defused our situation enough that then we could come back in and do some work together supplementing with harder problems.  I can be a math snob with the best of them, and I know what math thought should like like.  We can make that happen, but it's not our reality to work together for everything every day.  So I get the best of BOTH worlds this way.  TT gets done every day.  Then when I have time I come in with the BJU and do some of the Dominion Math, do some of the C level problems.  And you know what?  My kid has NO issue with the C level problems coming from TT.  But that's who she is.  C level problems in BJU, as in Dolciani, are for the top students and require more thought process.  I'm not saying the scope & sequence in their books is exactly the same, because it's not.  But to me I'm staying in their track, backing it up with harder problems from another curriculum, and I'm not worrying about it.  

 

TT does an exceptional job of clicking with how she thinks.  I don't need to teach someone else's child, and if I were I might pull off the Dolciani, Foerster, and other things I HAVE ON MY SHELVES.  I'm teaching this child, and it really fits her.  Her scores are fine.  If they're not what I could have dreamed of, well frankly I don't dream about that.  They don't matter to me.  I'm teaching her the best I can right now, and this is it.  It gets done.  

 

So whatever.  Nobody is saying anybody else on the board is wrong in their criticism.  It wouldn't take much rocket science to criticize TT.  But the point is for a certain segment of kids it works VERY well.  If your kid is in that segment, you might find it a huge relief.  If you just order it and try it for a couple months, they have a money back guarantee.  If it doesn't work, return it.  You've been wondering about this for a year.  End the misery, buy it, and decide for yourself.  Sometimes you have to buck the crowd.   :)

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Happy, she's 8th gr this year?  Then you should get TT, USE it, and decide for yourself.  The question, as you're finding, is not whether TT was the right choice for Jane's kid or 8's kid or anyone else's.  The real question is whether it's the right choice for YOUR kid.  It has very gentle spiral and humor.  It uses short lessons.  It combines modalities.  I think, and this is just my personal opinion from watching these threads, is that how the kids score with it is somewhat connected to their IQ and the potential they had to score with ANY program.  So if you have a dc of rather high potential who sits down and does a bang-up job with TT, they're going to have the ability to apply it to new situations and may do quite well on testing.  It's NOT the most aggressive, rigorous program with long 50 question assignments and arduous problems.  On the other hand, it's ENOUGH, and enough really is ENOUGH for some kids. Creekland made a post on this concept of ENOUGH years ago, and it really touched my heart, the idea that not everything has to be insanely hard and that sometimes good enough is best for our kids and helps us to create balance between things where we put more energy and things where we do what's good enough.  Good enough can be OK.

 

And frankly, there comes a point where if it's NOT enough, we'll add.  With TT, math gets done EVERY DAY at our house, every single day.  What you're describing is THE REASON I finally moved over.  We were having conflicts, math wasn't getting done, blah blah.  I delayed for much longer than I should have because I listened to the general wave on the boards at the time that made it sound like using TT was akin to putting your kid in diapers and consigning them to a bad life.  Sorry, it isn't.  I didn't say it's as great as BJU (it's not).  But it's not bad, and done diligently and actually DONE, your kid can get to where she needs to be.  So you get whatever she tests into now, you USE it, then you TEST in the spring.  Then you decide FOR YOURSELF whether when she does it she's getting test scores that fit her ability level.  

 

Using TT defused our situation enough that then we could come back in and do some work together supplementing with harder problems.  I can be a math snob with the best of them, and I know what math thought should like like.  We can make that happen, but it's not our reality to work together for everything every day.  So I get the best of BOTH worlds this way.  TT gets done every day.  Then when I have time I come in with the BJU and do some of the Dominion Math, do some of the C level problems.  And you know what?  My kid has NO issue with the C level problems coming from TT.  But that's who she is.  C level problems in BJU, as in Dolciani, are for the top students and require more thought process.  I'm not saying the scope & sequence in their books is exactly the same, because it's not.  But to me I'm staying in their track, backing it up with harder problems from another curriculum, and I'm not worrying about it.  

 

TT does an exceptional job of clicking with how she thinks.  I don't need to teach someone else's child, and if I were I might pull off the Dolciani, Foerster, and other things I HAVE ON MY SHELVES.  I'm teaching this child, and it really fits her.  Her scores are fine.  If they're not what I could have dreamed of, well frankly I don't dream about that.  They don't matter to me.  I'm teaching her the best I can right now, and this is it.  It gets done.  

 

So whatever.  Nobody is saying anybody else on the board is wrong in their criticism.  It wouldn't take much rocket science to criticize TT.  But the point is for a certain segment of kids it works VERY well.  If your kid is in that segment, you might find it a huge relief.  If you just order it and try it for a couple months, they have a money back guarantee.  If it doesn't work, return it.  You've been wondering about this for a year.  End the misery, buy it, and decide for yourself.  Sometimes you have to buck the crowd.   :)

Awesome post, Elizabeth.  One simple "Like" from me was not sufficient.  I agree 100%.

 

Parents need to find the math program that works for their students (double checking that it does work).  Students differ.  Their learning styles and preferences differ.  Homeschooling allows the ability to tailor an education to the student - not just follow the masses.  That's the beauty of it.  My TT users are in the same Calc classes as students who used many other texts.  If they have the foundation and understanding of math, they do well.  If not, they don't.  There really isn't a correlation with any particular text.

 

I wish in our ps we could offer math with different texts to help more kids rather than just forcing all to learn via one style.

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Yep.

 

Furthermore -- if she will understand the math better and have a better attitude with TT, this is much better than working through a more rigorous (on paper) program with lesser understanding, both for her grades in hs/college and her SAT scores.

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My mathy dd scored well. My eh math student scored eh. My ugh math student scored ugh. I found scores were more dependent on the personality and individual ability of the student than what book was used for math. TT is fine. Proceed.

 

 

So you use it with your "mathy" kid and it works out well?  Mine is very good at math but hates it (??) so I am intrigued.

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So you use it with your "mathy" kid and it works out well?  Mine is very good at math but hates it (??) so I am intrigued.

My two olders are as mathy as a kid can get (more or less - middle was showing his TA in college how to do some problems...).  TT didn't hurt either of them a bit.  High As in Calc for both.

 

Youngest is not mathy - more average.  TT gave him a much better foundation than the fuzzy math curricula our school uses.  When he went back to ps for high school (after TT Alg 1) he was constantly showing his peers how to do things and loved being considered a genius.  He still has a better foundation than they do, but his skills have slipped a little since switching from TT.  Calc would not be a breeze for him.

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Thanks, everyone. Usually this wouldn't be as big a deal but Algebra 1 is a scary place to switch into something that has a poor reputation-kwim? I really want her to have a great foundation in Algebra, and I'm not great with math in general, but I am good with Algebra so I know I could teach it well.

 

It's also hard because I know that the Saxon is working-I see that her skills are getting better and she is understanding-but it takes forever (2 hrs) and is like pulling teeth and she doesn't *feel* like she's doing well. Even she could see on the TT samples that they don't explain it as thoroughly and conceptually as I do w/ the Saxon.

 

At this point, I think she just needs to get her math confidence back. She'd be doing Algebra in 8th grade (the rest of this yr), so if worse came to worst and TT didn't work out, we could always redo Algebra next yr in 9th grade, I guess. Also, I have Foerster's here so I could double-check her understanding periodically w/ some problems from there.

 

I agree with Elizabeth, though, that the kids who get math would get it with any program, including TT. One of the huge reasons I hesitate to get TT is that this child skated through CLE math (very formulaic) for 5 or 6 years with perfect scores, with me thinking she was doing great, and then I realized she was doing it all with NO CLUE of what she was doing-she could NOT do any math outside of CLE type work. She couldn't figure out a simple percentage in the grocery store, etc. This year we have been remediating all that with the Saxon-with me teaching every lesson and making sure she understands completely. It has been a ton of work but it is working, as far as her understanding. It is nearly unbearable pushing through it, and takes forever though.

 

I feel if I put her in TT, she will be right back to where she was with CLE-doing it at face value and not really understanding. Because that is the direction she tends with math and always has. Even when she herself did the samples, she said, "This is like CLE." Which was easy for her and independent and got done and she liked it and was happy doing it for 6 years, with no fruit.

 

So that's where I'm coming from with my questioning!

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So you use it with your "mathy" kid and it works out well?  Mine is very good at math but hates it (??) so I am intrigued.

 

 

Actually, my mathiest kid is the "eh" one. But, she does not test well on multiple choice tests on any subject. Not sure how that can make any difference in math, but it does... She also is my only one to not use TT past Alg 1 and Geometry. She placed into College Alg. to start. She has made high A's in every math class she has taken in college. She really did not put any effort into math in high school. (She put no effort into anything at that point.) She is actually disappointed now that she has no more math to take. She found herself switching to math homework to relax in college....She is truly a 

"math natural". 

 

The one I described as mathy is more science bent, but is good at math. It takes more effort on her though. She used TT through precalc and placed into calculus for college. She dropped back a math level on her own choice before classes started. (Registered for Calc at recommendation of advisor, but changed classes soon after.) I do not push my kids to start out in high level classes for college. I think they are in college to learn and see no reason whatsoever to feel the need to start out as high as possible. She realizes now that she could have handled calc, but is much more relaxed her first semester having gone with the lower level class.I feel it is a much better decision to keep things a little easier in progression and come out with a really high gpa as a result. So far, it has worked quite well with the desired results and absolutely no negative repercussions.

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I was careful to try to look past people bashing the program in my extensive research of the program. Especially because I really, really want it to work for us, I tried to look for the positives. I looked all over the internet, not just on these boards (where people do tend to bash it more). I also tried to look at people whose kids have tested after using the program, etc. Even this was difficult to ascertain whether TT was the cause for poor or good testing, because it hasn't been out for a long time and the assumption is that most kids who use it in high school have used something else for their younger years' math and therefore would all have different math foundations going into TT. I looked at what people I respect that know math say about it (Jan in TX, etc).

 

It probably ultimately comes down to, as OhE says, just having to try it, because there are just so many variables.

 

But I really didn't listen only to the bashers and have tried to be as impartial as possible.

 

 

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Thanks, everyone. Usually this wouldn't be as big a deal but Algebra 1 is a scary place to switch into something that has a poor reputation-kwim? I really want her to have a great foundation in Algebra, and I'm not great with math in general, but I am good with Algebra so I know I could teach it well.

 

It's also hard because I know that the Saxon is working-I see that her skills are getting better and she is understanding-but it takes forever (2 hrs) and is like pulling teeth and she doesn't *feel* like she's doing well. Even she could see on the TT samples that they don't explain it as thoroughly and conceptually as I do w/ the Saxon.

 

At this point, I think she just needs to get her math confidence back. She'd be doing Algebra in 8th grade (the rest of this yr), so if worse came to worst and TT didn't work out, we could always redo Algebra next yr in 9th grade, I guess. Also, I have Foerster's here so I could double-check her understanding periodically w/ some problems from there.

 

I agree with Elizabeth, though, that the kids who get math would get it with any program, including TT. One of the huge reasons I hesitate to get TT is that this child skated through CLE math (very formulaic) for 5 or 6 years with perfect scores, with me thinking she was doing great, and then I realized she was doing it all with NO CLUE of what she was doing-she could NOT do any math outside of CLE type work. She couldn't figure out a simple percentage in the grocery store, etc. This year we have been remediating all that with the Saxon-with me teaching every lesson and making sure she understands completely. It has been a ton of work but it is working, as far as her understanding. It is nearly unbearable pushing through it, and takes forever though.

 

I know if I put her in TT, she will be right back to where she was with CLE-doing it at face value and not really understanding. Because that is the direction she tends with math and always has.

 

The thing is that this board is the only place where TT has a poor reputation. Everywhere else I have seen reviews, they are glowing. As calandal says, most of the people are giving false information. I have taken the TT book and listed the page numbers for concepts they claim it does not teach before. I switched one dd out of it for alg 2 based on the reviews here of it not covering concepts, only to find that everything had been covered. (alg 2 does leave one concept to precalc to teach).

 

I will say that I did not care much for the precalc setup. And, they have changed over to computer scoring for the algebra (I believe). THe precalc is set up to where it could easily be changed. I have a feeling I would much prefer the old books to the new ones. I am not a fan of computerized math.

 

Also, I DO personally teach every lesson with TT. I do not believe kids should be trying to teach themselves high school math. 

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I was careful to try to look past people bashing the program in my extensive research of the program. Especially because I really, really want it to work for us, I tried to look for the positives. I looked all over the internet, not just on these boards (where people do tend to bash it more). I also tried to look at people whose kids have tested after using the program, etc. Even this was difficult to ascertain whether TT was the cause for poor or good testing, because it hasn't been out for a long time and the assumption is that most kids who use it in high school have used something else for their younger years' math and therefore would all have different math foundations going into TT. I looked at what people I respect that know math say about it (Jan in TX, etc).

 

It probably ultimately comes down to, as OhE says, just having to try it, because there are just so many variables.

 

But I really didn't listen only to the bashers and have tried to be as impartial as possible.

 

 

And, this is still true. When I first used TT, it was extremely new. None of my dc started using it until they reached high school. The lower levels were not available until very recently (in my frame of time).

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Lolly, when you say you teach every lesson with TT, can you please give me a picture of what that looks like in your house? Maybe me teaching TT to her is the way to do it that would make TT work for us- it would be easier for her than the Saxon or Foerster's but make me feel better that she is getting it fully and not just taking it at face value and not understanding. Thank you so much.

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OhE, I remember that your dd can get math ok-I remember you saying she was doing Math Olympiad problems,etc, My dd could never even attempt a MO problem-she would look at it and melt into tears. And your E has had a good math foundation, with BJU, etc., over the yrs and she at least gets things conceptually to some degree. So you are right when you say that kids going into TT already strong are going to do well with it anyway.

 

I just have to make sure we are not walking into another CLE situation for my dd. Which, as you say, I won't know til I try it. But the fact that she is already saying that it seems like CLE is code to me for "wow, this is great-I can whip through it and get done and be happy but not know how to figure out the tax in a restaurant". I'm seriously considering what Lolly said though-sit alongside during TT and add in my own stuff to make sure she's solid. At least TT as a BASE would be easier and not crushing her, as you mentioned, then add in.

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Lolly, when you say you teach every lesson with TT, can you please give me a picture of what that looks like in your house? Maybe me teaching TT to her is the way to do it that would make TT work for us- it would be easier for her than the Saxon or Foerster's but make me feel better that she is getting it fully and not just taking it at face value and not understanding. Thank you so much.

 

aRgggh! I typed out a long, detailed response to have it lost!!!

 

 

Basically, I read over the lesson for the day and teach it to them instead of having them watch the video or just read the lesson themselves. I check their work and find where mistakes occur. They rework missed problems with me watching and pointing out where mistake occurs (if they make it again). 

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Another idea, my definitely not a math kid used TT through alg 2. Our state requires another year of math past that...So, I had her rework alg 2 using Lial's Intermediate Alg. Basically, she redid alg 2. (I listed it as College Alg for her transcript.) She was able to breeze through the Lial's book because she had already covered the material well in TT. It made a good solid math progression for a kid who doesn't naturally get math. She still is having to take remedial math due to ACT scores to start college, but that is okay. Even after passing her college math classes, this kid would probably still not do well on the math section of testing. It is just who/how she is.

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Lolly's comment reminded me of something I wanted to share.  Our local community college offers Intermediate Algebra I and II over 2 semesters, just as if it were a high school course.  If a student is transferring, he'll earn 4 credits for the whole year (instead of the 6 cc credits).  Something to consider, if you want to try dual enrollment but are concerned about the pace.  

 

As for TT, the rule here is to watch the lecture, DO THE PRACTICE PROBLEMS, do the regular problems, watch solutions.  The next day, redo all missed problems (including practice problems) before starting the next lesson.  Any still missed are redone the next day. 

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Awesome post, Elizabeth.  One simple "Like" from me was not sufficient.  I agree 100%.

 

Parents need to find the math program that works for their students (double checking that it does work).  Students differ.  Their learning styles and preferences differ.  Homeschooling allows the ability to tailor an education to the student - not just follow the masses.  That's the beauty of it.  My TT users are in the same Calc classes as students who used many other texts.  If they have the foundation and understanding of math, they do well.  If not, they don't.  There really isn't a correlation with any particular text.

 

I wish in our ps we could offer math with different texts to help more kids rather than just forcing all to learn via one style.

 

My middle child used TT Geometry and Algebra II after struggling with  more "rigorous" Algebra I curricula. Well, actually, we ditched the rigorous Algebra I curriculum and went to a combination of Borenson's Hands On Equations and Keys to Algebra to solidify some Algebra I basics before moving on to TT.  

 

She only managed to finish Algebra II before graduating but demonstrated a solid readiness to take pre-calculus level math when she took her university's math placement test. At the time, I had been reading reports here on the board of students who had to go back and repeat a level of math after TT. That was not our experience. Our daughter was ready to move on in sequence.

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She only managed to finish Algebra II before graduating but demonstrated a solid readiness to take pre-calculus level math when she took her university's math placement test. At the time, I had been reading reports here on the board of students who had to go back and repeat a level of math after TT. That was not our experience. Our daughter was ready to move on in sequence.

 

Furthermore, even if it had been -- many students repeat one level of math, and this is not a disaster.

 

A disaster is when a student who has completed precalculus needs to take algebra 1 or lower.

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Furthermore, even if it had been -- many students repeat one level of math, and this is not a disaster.

 

A disaster is when a student who has completed precalculus needs to take algebra 1 or lower.

 

In fact, I highly recommend repeating the last high school level of math at the college level. To me, it is a smart thing to do!

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In fact, I highly recommend repeating the last high school level of math at the college level. To me, it is a smart thing to do!

 

Why do you highly recommend repeating the last high school math in college?

 

If my first child had been made to do that she would have gone absolutely bonkers at the thought of doing something over that she had already learned quite well enough, thank you very much. She was more than ready for calculus.

 

My son did repeat the last math he did in homeschool when he started his middle college program but that was only because a) it was the highest level math offered in the self-contained high school classes, so he would have had to go directly to the college class to take the next level and b ) he was lacking in the executive function/study skills needed to succeed at that point in the CC class. It wasn't the end of the world for him to repeat the material because he could focus on the study skills aspect of classroom math but he did get bored sometimes because he wasn't learning anything new.

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My nephew used TT Algebra last year.  He actually isn't quite finished (like 10 lessons to go but he hasn't got back to them).  He is doing geometry at the local high school this year.  He's getting A's and completely feels like he knows and understands Algebra better than the public school kids he's taking the class with. 

 

I'm confident that TT will be better than fine for my kids. 

 

I do enjoy using some different math however, just because I like to.  So mine will have dabbled in Fred, as well as the Key to Series for extra practice if they need it.

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Happy, just because something has spiral doesn't mean it has no emphasis on understanding.  TT has a very different approach to conceptual understanding, with their use of humor, narrative.  They might talk about King George while leading up to unit conversions.  Me, I'd kinda go "HUH?" at that, because that's not my cuppa.  But my kid thinks it's awesome.  Add narrative and suddenly her brain thinks it's very relevant and engaging.  You also have a HUMAN voice speaking to you; it's not just text on a page.  When she did CLE, she was young and trying to learn exclusively through print from a program that admittedly was about as rote as you could possibly get.  I bought CLE and quickly moved on, because I could see the writing on the wall for us (lots of repetition that my dd would do mindlessly and immediately forget).  Might be great for someone else's kid, but for my kid it was going to be mindless and lead to no true understanding or retention.  

 

TT has not been that way for us AT ALL.  Like I said, for ANY CONCEPT TT has covered, I can open to the page in BJU, go to the C level problems, and she's right there.  

 

Your resale value will be awesome with TT.  Get the 2.0 btw.  I wouldn't advise you try to teach her yourself, for the simple reason that you already have a negative dynamic going.  If you didn't have that, it would be an option.  Let her start with the full program, as they mean it to be done, and see how it goes.  I know people who've taught it using the books, and that's awesome.  If you end up wanting to do it that way, super awesome.  I'm just saying for us, having had a similar dynamic, the full thing with the interactive computer course was wise, really wise.  It gives you multiple types of input, is funny, is immediate, is short, gives you a gradebook.  She's going to love it.  It's OK to love math.  

 

Ok, now someone is going to pop up with the stats on kids who have high self-esteem about math and don't test well, lol.  Whatever, can't win.  I just know it's not healthy if the dynamic is all negative every day and math isn't getting done.  My dd knows she's not brilliant, because I tell her.  I finally decided I should, after she kindly informed me that she was sure there was nothing she couldn't do!  What a hoot!  Tossed out a few options to her, hehe...   :lol:   Pudewa has this mantra he uses in his convention talks, something to the effect that kids enjoy doing what they can do well.  That's what we're talking about, that it's possible to get in a zone where things work acceptably.  I don't know your girl, and I agree the things you described would concern me.  However we're talking 8th grade here.  Nothing you do is the end of the world.  Try something new, see what happens.  The math may still be hard for her.  She may NEED you to go through the lessons with her.  She may need you to *sit* in the room with her and not so much help her but be there to keep her on track, remind her to look at explanations, encourage her to work till she understands, encourage her to use her notebook neatly, point out when she can use a calculator and when she can't, etc.  It would give you a fresh curriculum/approach to use if you end up realizing you want to do it together yourself, kwim?  You're going to have options.  All you have to do is buy the cds along with the book, and you have all your options.   :)

 

 

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If there are tears everyday with math and they last two hours everyday, it is not working in my opinion and that was us with Saxon. We switched to TT and my kids have never complained about math since and have taken ownership of learning it.  I no longer have to spend hours listening to whining and seeing tears.  It was wearing me out and I had reached the point I didn't want to do math either.  We are in our 4th year with TT and are very happy and will continue into precalc next year.  My only concern with the new versions of Algebra I and II is that they have gone to multiple choice problems so it all can be scored by the computer.  I would avoid edition 2 and buy used edition 1.  My kids learned enough with the second version to make an educated guess but didn't know how they got there. 

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If there are tears everyday with math and they last two hours everyday, it is not working in my opinion and that was us with Saxon. We switched to TT and my kids have never complained about math since and have taken ownership of learning it.  I no longer have to spend hours listening to whining and seeing tears.  It was wearing me out and I had reached the point I didn't want to do math either.  We are in our 4th year with TT and are very happy and will continue into precalc next year.  My only concern with the new versions of Algebra I and II is that they have gone to multiple choice problems so it all can be scored by the computer.  I would avoid edition 2 and buy used edition 1.  My kids learned enough with the second version to make an educated guess but didn't know how they got there. 

 

 

 

As for TT, the rule here is to watch the lecture, DO THE PRACTICE PROBLEMS, do the regular problems, watch solutions.  The next day, redo all missed problems (including practice problems) before starting the next lesson.  Any still missed are redone the next day. 

Happy, it's possible to work within edition 2 and have it work, but like klmama is saying, you have to have some ground rules and structure.  If they're not working out the problems, yes that's an issue.  

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When you are saying editions 1 and 2, does that mean the original TT Alg 1 vs. the TT Alg. 1  2.0? Or are there two editions of the 2.0? What do I want, edition 2 of the 2.0?

 

We can't afford the TT til after Christmas. She is fine with and wants to continue Saxon until then and we agreed we would commit to doing 1 lesson per day (instead of spreading 1 lesson over two days or not doing a lesson some days) and not miss any days. (That actually should get us almost to the end of the Saxon book.) I wish we could just take the placement test now and switch right over to TT, but at least knowing that relief is in sight should help both of us to carry on until we can get it.

 

As soon as we get the money (2nd wk of Jan) we're going to order the TT. I do plan to be checking occasionally if she can do the problems in Foerster's, just for my own piece of mind!

 

OhE, your post about CLE vs. TT was really helpful, thank you so much! Thanks to everyone for their input, and feel free to keep it coming!

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My oldest used Saxon all the way through.  It fit her learning style.  We did use TT for 7 and pre-algebra but she did not like computer based learning.  TT was not a good fit for her.  She did very well with Saxon.  It was not by any means easy for her.  She struggled at some places and took longer on some lessons than others.  But, she learned and did very well on the Saxon tests.  The SAT was very challenging for her.  I was surprised she could do so well in Saxon, score so well on the Iowa, but struggle through the SAT math.  We did quite a bit of prep for the first SAT.  The 2nd one, we targeted math specifically to bring that score up. 

 

Based on the problems oldest faced with the SAT, we took a long hard look at math for youngest dd.  Youngest likes computer based learning.  She liked Horizon's pre-algebra but I was hesitant to use a program that did not have geometry and algebra 2 publication timelines.  I thought we would use Lial's for high school.  In fact, I bought Lial's algebra 1 and 2, and College Algebra with Trig from a used book sale.  Then youngest tried TT at the homeschool curriculum.  She loved it.  Looking at the scope and sequence, I thought TT would be a good fit and would prepare her for the SAT.  Oldest dd took a look at the TT high school courses and also commented it looked like it would be a good course with the SAT in mind.

 

TT is going well at our house.  When I started homeschool, I wanted the most rigorous, most challenging programs out there.  I was schooling for excellence and I thought excellence meant ambitious, rigorous, and demanding.  Sometimes it does.  But, not every dc has the same learning style.  And not every dc will respond the same to programs.  Individuality is another reason we homeschool.  IRL, I know many families whose dc have used TT and done very well at college.  I know an engineering major who will graduate this winter.  One dc is pre-med.  Another is majoring in economics.  It has worked quite well for them. 

 

By the way, I know other dc who have used Saxon and BJU and also gone on to do great things in college. 

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  • 5 months later...

I was careful to try to look past people bashing the program in my extensive research of the program. Especially because I really, really want it to work for us, I tried to look for the positives. I looked all over the internet, not just on these boards (where people do tend to bash it more). I also tried to look at people whose kids have tested after using the program, etc. Even this was difficult to ascertain whether TT was the cause for poor or good testing, because it hasn't been out for a long time and the assumption is that most kids who use it in high school have used something else for their younger years' math and therefore would all have different math foundations going into TT. I looked at what people I respect that know math say about it (Jan in TX, etc).

 

It probably ultimately comes down to, as OhE says, just having to try it, because there are just so many variables.

 

But I really didn't listen only to the bashers and have tried to be as impartial as possible.

 

HappyGrace, If you dont' mind me asking, I'm wondering if you decided to go with TT, and, if so, how did it work out for your dd?  

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Keep in mind that the only math you need for the SAT is algebra and geometry.  So there is a vast difference between what's needed to do well on the SAT and what is needed for college prep (when you say college prep, I'm assuming you mean preparation for college level math courses).

 

My son used TT geometry many years ago and it was fine.  Not honors level, but adequate.  It was obvious from the algebra required in the geometry problems, though, that they didn't expect nearly the level of mastery of algebra that other programs (such as Jacobs) do.

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For what it is worth, my 11th grade ds has used Teaching Textbooks from Math 7 through Precalculus. He scored well enough on the ACT and the SAT to qualify for the honors program and merit scholarships at the colleges he is looking at. And he is definitely a non-mathy kid. Like other posters have stated, TT is the curriculum that allowed math to happen at our house every day and without a battle. If I had it to do all over again, I would still choose Teaching Textbooks.

 

Aug. 2015 update - ds was accepted at all four universities he applied to, and is heading off to college in a few weeks with four academic scholarships. I'm still a Teaching Textbooks fan.

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I think it is fine.  It does not go far enough for us to be able to use it all through high school, but my daughters were very successful with it for the times they did use it (through Alg 2 for both.)  Ended up with great test scores.  One is not doing math in college, but the other one certainly will.

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Since this thread has popped back up, I'll give an update.  Dd finished Algebra 1 a couple weeks ago.  We are planning to start TT Geometry in a couple weeks.  It is my hope that she will finish Geometry before the winter break and pick TT Algebra 2 up in January 2015.  That should put her in a good position for SATs and ACTs.  We will also use TT pre-Calculus starting in her 11th grade year.  IF she needs additional math, then we can consider what course to do her 12th grade year.

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  • 1 year later...

I had bought it for a keep-skills-fresh sort of scenario when we were not doing mama-taught school because of transitioning from city apartment to a working homestead, but when I saw my kids' end-of-year test results (required by our state), I decided to switch. They'd always scored in the 70% percentile in math before. After completing TT (three different levels, three different kids), they did better in math than anything else, getting above the 95% percentile. Maybe it was the fresh country air?
 

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We've just started TT for the first time, using Geometry 2.0.  Ds11th is scoring in the 80's typically on lessons and tests.  He tells me that he gets problems wrong for the first day or two they are introduced, then starts getting them right once he watches the correction video and starts to get the hang of it.  So the new concepts are what trip him up for a couple of days, then improve while the next newest problems trip him up. This does not seem to be a good cycle, but wondering how to handle it with 2.0 since I don't have access to anything to read over with him.  He doesn't seem to care too much about it... even after the ed consultant we talked to told him he has to get his math scores up.  He is also doing some ACT prep, but that is minimal, about 30 minutes a day total.  But, it is getting done everyday and it absolutely would not be getting done without tooth pulling and tears (mine) if we were to go back to Saxon.  Suggestions on helping him with the new concepts?  Without a text?  Thanks. 

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My daughter used TT all the way through Algebra 2 (which she took in 8th grade, and got a 76 on her PSAT math score that fall in 9th grade.) Moved to Derek Owens for precalc only because we were going to have to go to him for Calc AB, and I thought it would be good to transition with precalc. So Teaching Textbooks thru Alg 2, followed by Derek Owens, followed by university classes.  She earned high "A"s from Derek O and both her profs, and got an 800 on the math portion of her SAT in the fall of her junior year.  I think Teaching Textbooks works just fine as a precursor to higher math.

 

Editing to add, I see I replied to this before!  I always jump in to defend the poor maligned TT!  ;-)

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We've just started TT for the first time, using Geometry 2.0.  Ds11th is scoring in the 80's typically on lessons and tests.  He tells me that he gets problems wrong for the first day or two they are introduced, then starts getting them right once he watches the correction video and starts to get the hang of it.  So the new concepts are what trip him up for a couple of days, then improve while the next newest problems trip him up. This does not seem to be a good cycle, but wondering how to handle it with 2.0 since I don't have access to anything to read over with him.  He doesn't seem to care too much about it... even after the ed consultant we talked to told him he has to get his math scores up.  He is also doing some ACT prep, but that is minimal, about 30 minutes a day total.  But, it is getting done everyday and it absolutely would not be getting done without tooth pulling and tears (mine) if we were to go back to Saxon.  Suggestions on helping him with the new concepts?  Without a text?  Thanks. 

You need to call TT and order the text to have it on hand.  Honestly, I pulled my dd out of the TT Geometry.  It wasn't clicking for her, and I think it was her ADHD.  She's crazy good at spatial stuff, but she couldn't think through steps in order.  I used the BJU Geometry (which I can't really recommend) and went through it painfully with her.  She was having issues holding the steps in her mind, but even more than that somehow the idea of a logical proof just had not CLICKED for her.  Once we got it to click, she was greased lightning.  But it took probably 1/2 the BJU text for it finally to click.

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My one daughter who used TT through high school did fine with it.  When she took the math placement test at college last year, she passed exactly through the point where we had studied with TT.  So, TT brought her right where she should have been.

 

(Unfortunately, she transferred schools and now has to take yet another math placement test!)

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think TT is great if your child is a math person. From the samples I've seen, there is very little repetitive work. So if you don't understand their initial explanations or example problems, you may have some issues. The examples I've seen explains the problem once in a lecture-type format, then your student goes through maybe 15-20 exercises before moving one. On harder topics, this just may not be enough. The actual video type lessons are great...but I'm just not sure if there is enough practice. Also, the more advanced lessons build on the previous ones, so it's quite important to have a thorough understanding before moving on.

 

An option similar to TT is called CTC Math (https://ctcmath.com/purchase/homeschool/) I like it slightly better because you get access to all grade level with one subscription. They also have a demo you could check out. That program might also be considered light though. I plan on using it and supplementing with the free stuff from CIMT (http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm). I like CTC because it has a lot of tests and stats to help the parent know what's going on. Also, you can print lesson summaries, tests, and worksheets.

 

Another idea, is to get a SAT math guide so you understand the topic requirements. Once the required topics come along in the curriculum, maybe spend extra time on them. Several months before the SAT, do a few practice tests and see where the trouble topics are. This way you can concentrate on these areas.  

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My mathy kid used Teaching Textbooks all the way through Alg 2 (which she did in 8th grade); she took the PSAT the following fall/9th grade, and scored a 76 on the math portion.  We switched to Derek Owens for pre-calc, ONLY because TT didn't offer Calc, and we wanted her to do the "pre" from the same system in which she would do Calc.  Anyway, she went on to get high "A"s from Derek Owens for two years, and then high "A"s for two years in Calc 2 and 3 at the local university.  She got an 800 for the path portion of the SAT her junior year. 

 

I really think TT is fine preparation for higher math.

 

Editing to add, TT was great for my non-mathy kid too, because it did not overwhelm her with busywork, which she really can't handle.  She went on to do fine in pre-calc and calc...an "A" or a "B" if I recall correctly (she is my oldset and it has been a few years!)

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I think TT is great if your child is a math person. From the samples I've seen, there is very little repetitive work. So if you don't understand their initial explanations or example problems, you may have some issues. The examples I've seen explains the problem once in a lecture-type format, then your student goes through maybe 15-20 exercises before moving one. On harder topics, this just may not be enough. The actual video type lessons are great...but I'm just not sure if there is enough practice. Also, the more advanced lessons build on the previous ones, so it's quite important to have a thorough understanding before moving on.

 

An option similar to TT is called CTC Math (https://ctcmath.com/purchase/homeschool/) I like it slightly better because you get access to all grade level with one subscription. They also have a demo you could check out. That program might also be considered light though. I plan on using it and supplementing with the free stuff from CIMT (http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm). I like CTC because it has a lot of tests and stats to help the parent know what's going on. Also, you can print lesson summaries, tests, and worksheets.

 

Another idea, is to get a SAT math guide so you understand the topic requirements. Once the required topics come along in the curriculum, maybe spend extra time on them. Several months before the SAT, do a few practice tests and see where the trouble topics are. This way you can concentrate on these areas.  

 

Plenty of repetition. Lesson after lesson of it. Chapter after chapter. There are a large number of review problems from previous lessons in each lesson. From my experience, TT works well for mathy, and even more so for non-mathy. I don't think it is going to be a turn around kind of thing that will make a non-mathy suddenly score stellar on tests, but I have seen plenty of personal evidence that it works quite well. (And in actuallity, my most mathy did not like TT as much.)

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