HappyGrace Posted August 28, 2014 Share Posted August 28, 2014 I have a struggling math student-it's always been so difficult for her (although she is extremely advanced in other academics). Even TT Algebra 1 was hard for her, so we dropped it. I am looking at Math Relief Algebra 1 and it looks really great-the teacher on the dvd explains it thoroughly and I like that it has all the solutions, etc. But I want her to have a solid and thorough algebra base, as she is an aspiring nurse and they use LOTS of algebra, plus for the SATs, etc. I really need to get her through Algebra 1 in a painless but thorough way this year so I can't afford another flopped algebra program. Is Math Relief frowned upon by most WTM'ers, and if so, why? Is it not thorough enough, do kids not test well with it, etc? Thanks! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

AK_Mom4 Posted August 28, 2014 Share Posted August 28, 2014 I don't have any hesitation about the content - I just didn't like the price. $200 is pretty high for Algebra 1,even with DVDs IMO. Since she has struggled with math in the past, you might consider buying only the first phase to make sure it actually works. That's just $80 invested (in case of another flop). Something inexpensive that might help would be to work thru some of the "Key to..." books before trying algebra 1. Especially the Decimals and Fractions books. These are weak areas for many struggling students. Making sure she has decimals and fractions down solid before moving into algebra 1 might be helpful. The Key To books are cheap ($4-$5) with very clear explanations. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

HappyGrace Posted August 29, 2014 Author Share Posted August 29, 2014 It is a high price, but I don't even care-lol-if it would help her get through and understand Algebra, it's worth it to me! It is a great idea to just try the first module. Keys to is a good idea too to shore up those areas, thanks! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

deeinfl Posted August 30, 2014 Share Posted August 30, 2014 I have used Math Relief Algebra 1 with 3 students and am saving it for my last student. With my oldest son, I used both the Algebra 1 and the Algebra 2 from Math Relief. He found Algebra 2 to not be as good/thorough as Algebra 1. He ended up using MUS Algebra 2 right after to cement all the topics well. The only place we found Algebra 1 to be lacking was in practical application/word problems. It definitely has word problems, I would just supplement with more if I could the next time around. We love Math Relief Algebra over here. It's just a teacher and a white board, but the beauty of this program is in the worksheets. Don't let the simple looking homespun worksheets fool you! Mr. Firebaugh has found a way to make something that seems so difficult come across as almost easy by separating each function into a step by step process. Even this non-math mom found Algebra to be fun and easy! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Lori D. Posted August 30, 2014 Share Posted August 30, 2014 Don't know about frowning or what the majority of WTMers use for high school maths, but I do know a real-life family who very happily found and used Math Relief for all 3 students. It was a real turning point in their struggles to find a math that worked for their oldest. Agreeing with previous poster -- who cares what people on this board smile or frown upon, if it fits and works for YOUR student and helps them complete the math and successfully launch into the college/career of their choice! :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

HappyGrace Posted August 30, 2014 Author Share Posted August 30, 2014 Thanks for chiming in-helps to hear of others who have used it! Deeinfl-that is a great post-good to know it works well! I'm happy to know about the word probs so we can supplement. Did your kids feel they tested well after using it? I wasn't really worried about people frowning on *me* using it, I was wondering if there is some fatal flaw in the program that I don't know about that is the reason more people here don't use it! Like it is missing major topics or whatever. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted August 30, 2014 Share Posted August 30, 2014 I have heard reviews from people who used to who say that it was a lifesaver and the only thing that finally helped their dc understand math. Alas, nobody knows if it's going to do that for your dd until you try it. Given that your DD wants to be a nursing major and struggles with math, I would worry most about getting her a sound foundation in basic algebra rather than making sure it is rigorous. My developmental math classes are full of students who want to be nurses, and quite honestly most of them are so far behind in pre-algebra and algebra 1 skills that they never get there -- they end up changing majors. This is also likely to be the best strategy for the SAT. Remember, the best program for your dd is going to be the program that helps her finally understand basic algebra. Not a more rigorous program that is over her head. Math relief doesn't seem to cover functions, trigonometry, and some graphing (of non-linear functions). These are covered in many algebra 2 courses. I would say that this might make moving directly to pre-calculus challenging -- your dd may be able to handle it, but it might be a wiser idea to give her 4 years of HS math where they look like alg 1, alg 2, geom (and for geometry I would not worry much about proofs, but rather informal geometry and reasoning -- during the geometry year I would continue reviewing algebra), and then do college algebra (half of precalculus) rather than precalculus. College algebra is usually a 3-credit college-credit course and thus I would definitely consider it worthy of one high school credit for a non-mathematically inclined student. If she improves at math and finishes early, I would consider a semester of statistics rather than moving on to the trigonometry half of pre-calculus. Many nursing programs require statistics now. I think either Fresh Approach or Math Relief has a reasonable chance of working for your dd. I have heard more positive reviews of Math Relief, but that is quite probably because it has been around longer. I think the big thing I'd be guided by is whether your DD would rather learn (and whether YOU think she would learn BETTER) from a DVD or from a chatty textbook with everything a teacher would say written down. ETA: (btw, I'm not stalking you -- I just click on all the threads that say "math" :) ) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

deeinfl Posted August 31, 2014 Share Posted August 31, 2014 Thanks for chiming in-helps to hear of others who have used it! Deeinfl-that is a great post-good to know it works well! I'm happy to know about the word probs so we can supplement. Did your kids feel they tested well after using it? I wasn't really worried about people frowning on *me* using it, I was wondering if there is some fatal flaw in the program that I don't know about that is the reason more people here don't use it! Like it is missing major topics or whatever. My girls didn't have college plans so didn't go any further than Algebra 1 and basic Geometry--though they are both in college now. My son that used both Math Relief Algebra 1 and 2 tested very well, but he is just naturally inclined to math. His math sequence went like this, Math Relief Algebra 1 and 2, Math U See Algebra 2, Math U See Geometry, and Math U See Pre-Calculus. I can't really say which program benefitted him the most. He just loves math. He was able to skip college algebra and start at College Level Pre-Calculus, then College Trigonometry, and is now enjoying College Calculus. He's never gotten anything lower than an A in his classes. So yes, I feel that he was well prepared, though I wouldn't know which program gave him the upper hand. He definitely had a good fearless base to start with using Math Relief Algebra 1. One more note...he probably didn't really need to repeat Algebra 2 with MUS, but upon looking at the examples at the Math U See website, he felt he wanted a better grasp (especially at graphing) at the way Mr. Demme taught Algebra 2 as we knew he would be using MUS Geometry and MUS Pre-Calculus. Because he finished Math Relief's Algebra 2 in only 4 months, I knew that he could handle it, so I obliged his request. It turned out to be a win-win for us. HTH, Dee ps He didn't get any of that math inclination from me, that's for sure. ;) That's why I loved Math Relief Algebra 1! I felt that I could do it. It made me realize that I wasn't math dumb, I just hadn't found a teacher to break it all down properly for me. Our children are so blessed that we moms move heaven and earth to find something that fits them! Okay, I'm rambling now...:) Blessings! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

HappyGrace Posted September 1, 2014 Author Share Posted September 1, 2014 Thanks, Dee-yes, I can see how it would be hard to tell which program(s) actually contributed to his success! MR is still one of my top choices-still deciding. Hi kiana! No, I didn't think you were stalking me-lol-in fact, I appreciate your input so much! I like your ideas for math progression. I never planned to have her *just* do Alg 1-she will do Geom and Alg 2 and then we'll see where we're at after that-how it's going and what other math after that seems best. I ordered Fresh Approach to take a look at it, mainly bcuz it was cheaper. She needs a little refreshing after the summer on fractions and such, so we'll prbly do those lessons and see how she likes the format. After that, if she likes it, we may just keep doing that. I do think FA looks like it may include more topics than MR. Also, dd is saying she wants to continue w/ Foerster's, but I think she will likely hit a wall in that before long, so I think we'd be better off w/ MR or FA. We'll have to see what clicks with her best so she can get a solid grounding in Alg this year. Thanks for your help! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

1Togo Posted September 1, 2014 Share Posted September 1, 2014 We used Math Relief Algebra I in 10th grade, and it was a life saver because dc couldn't make progress with any other algebra curriculum. MR did not cover all the topics on a yearly Algebra I assessment required by our cover, so dc's score was low. Even so, I would still use MR with a frustrated and struggling student because it does an excellent job of teaching core algebra concepts. We did not forward with Math Relief to Algebra 2 because of the topic gaps mentioned in another post. I do wish we had found MR sooner. I would have used Algebra I in 7th or 8th grade and Algebra 2 in 8th or 9th. The teaching is so clear that I am sure dc could have done well with it at a younger age. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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