Jump to content


Math: Chalk Dust vs VideoText combined with Gelfand's

Recommended Posts

We have now seen the sample videos for both Chalk Dust and VideoText and have quite the dilemna. For Algebra, dd liked Chalk Dust better, but for Geometry she found the instructor with VideoText more interesting and less confusing. However, the samples don't start off right at the beginning, and she hasn't done any geometry in a couple of years as I gave her 2 years for Algebra 1 since she had time. She liked the real life problems brought up in VideoText.


We are in a quandary now, because she has finished Algebra 1 but not with either of those. She will continue with Gelfand's as soon as she turns 13, but we really need something else for days when she is being ornery because I just don't have the patience at this point in my life to work with her those days. And there are plenty of those days at this point in her life--this isn't a discipline issue, but I don't wish to get into all of that here (and she is hormonal!!!!) Is she supposed to do Algebra 2 and then Geometry, or Geometry in between Algebra 1 & 2? The systems are different, and conical work is covered after Geometery in Chalk Dust, but all Geometry is in one course with Video Text, and all their Algebra can be bought as one course and it's cheaper this way.


I'm wondering what kind of results people have had with the 2 programs as far as SAT and ACT testing, how it relates to and helps other sciences, etc. I noticed that in one of the Geometry samples with VideoText it was Euclidean Geometry, but I'm not sure if it includes the same level of work as the Solomonivich book Adrian was recommending for a while on the old board. I haven't seen him here, but I know that Myrtle is here, so if you read this, Myrtle, please chime in on that part. There's no way my dd is going to listen to me teach from a book from the 1960s!! My dd doesn't like math, but wants to be a science major, so she needs all the math she can get in high school to reduce what she needs to take in college and also to be accepted into a science program.


If you've read this far and I've been confusing, please let me know. Sometimes I get into these situations and can't seem to simplify what I'm asking very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the age of your child, but if she is on the young side, I might look at Algebra for college students, or Beginning and Int. Algebra by any of the usual favorite authors. The algebra gets somewhat harder but is still comfortable I would say. I even buy the Worktexts, or study guides (sometimes they are on line) for some of the books (either Larson or Lial.) The student fills in the blanks for somewhat difficult processes, but they aren't totally on their own. (answers are usually in back or at bottom of page) They are able to take a swipe at a real math text in an informal manner. I supplement with the text if needed, but those practice sets of 150 problems are scarey to a young teenager! When they are able to get through that book, then the only thing left is College algebra (or precalculus) My older one did just fine in the first 1/2 of Algebra 2 because it was sort of a review, but the second half was a lot harder. I didn't know that she didn't understand it until I saw her test grades!! This time around I am pulling out those topics for extra lessons before we even start the book. I think if you are exposed to something, then you return to it, and then come back again if needed ,it's less stressful than trying to swallow it at one time (matrices, conics, logs etc)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We like Lial's, but it assumes a teacher. She can do much of it, but when she can't, she resists my explanations. I can relate, since I learned most of my Algebra from a book (but older since I was in ps). Do you mean the one with the lectures? I asked about all these before, and the strongest recommendations came for Chalk Dust and VideoText for those with DVDs. She did most of Algebra 1 with Lial's. However, I'm not sure if they have regular teaching DVDs and if they do if they also include technical support. I will gladly scrimp and save to pay for that--cheaper than a live tutor.


I almost always do the Algebra differently than it's being taught because I did it in a different era or something! I was in school when new math was introduced (that's what Myrtle likes in Algebra), but I'm not even sure if that's what we were still doing when I was doing Algebra in the 1970s. Since new math was introduced in many schools in 1970 (yes, I'm old enough to remember), at least in BC and CA (the parts I lived in), it may be what we did. She is young, and I am not so young, so we're dealing with hormones on both ends, kwim? I want something where on the challenging days all I have to do is grade. On the good days, we'll do Gelfand's because she and I both love the theory. :DGeeks, I know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha! If you want to trip down memory lane--I remember New Math (Experimental version) (are you 10 in 4th grade?) That would be 1964! It was workbooks in a binder-Mr. Nemo and his magic squares--My mom said it was a type of algebra where the squares were the variables. The squares were blue or green and you got in trouble if you erased. (then the color went away) I think that was the only color we had back then because I remember those squares vividly. The green and blue were similar and my dad said he wasn't interested in trying to tell them apart. That was the last help I got in school math. (wow!) I was in a college town in Oregon, that's probably why they chose there to pilot the program.


Continuing on- My jr high teacher was French Canadian with a heavy accent. He talked constantly about "Axioms" and I was wondering the whole year what they were. (I thought he was saying "actions" with his accent) Lo and behold, as I peruse the old Dolciani texts from the 70's, the Postulates were called Axioms. Ah nostalgia...


Anyway-for self teaching the UCSMP series is perfect for that. My daughter did OK in geometry (I wasn't real picky) when she was in 6 th grade. (not really able to do the proofs) You can buy solution manuals with all solutions easily...(yesss)

In fact, one of the local districts here (that uses that--) just has the kids work out of the books during their math period. (how tough is that for the teacher?) The only other thing to add is that Dana Mosely also makes the DVD's for the Larson series for Houghton-Mifflin. I bought them on ebay, but they are on the publishers website. They are excellent, and I wonder how they compare to the Chalk Dust which he sells directly. When I saw them on the website they were cheaper than I thought they would be, and a lot cheaper than chalkdust. (don't know if they are the same tape or what) We found the calculus and precalculus and hope to start next year. My husband was in awe of the clarity of Mr. Mosely. ( or what about teaching co. Algebra 2?) I have found that if kid gets tired of one parent then it's time the other parent takes a turn. They like a change, I think. HTH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! I started K in 1965 so I was a little behind you, but we did Old Math (okay, I'm not sure what it was really called). Actually, we did Arithmetic from Grades 1-4. My dd liked Dana Mosely in Chalk Dust, and I like the idea of the technical support, which is part of what you pay for if you buy it new. It sounded to me like the teachings he did for H-M directly were college level, but it sounds like he might do high school, too??? My dh is far more patient teaching Algebra than I am (no pre-menopause for him, lol!), but once his busy season starts he really can't help her much as he's self-employed and works mega-hours.


I may just go with Chalk Dust for Algebra and VideoText for Geometry because it was the same teacher on both samples (2 modules), she liked him and found him easier to understand. In Algebra, she found Dana Mosely easier than the 3 teachers in the samples.


Now my quest will be to see if she needs to do Algebra 2 before Geometry. She'd far prefer to do Geometry, but I'm not sure that she can yet. I missed Geometry as I changed schools a few times and somehow didn't need it to graduate (and did Trig, etc.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...