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bluebonnetgirl

Does this math program exist?

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Looking for a lighter math program starting with prealgebra for a teen with special needs who is likely not college bound, but want to keep doors open just in case, and allow him to continue to make progress in Math which is his favorite and strongest subject, while also having a lot of time to work in remediating language and comprehension skills:

 

Does this math curriculum exist?

 

1. Lighter, not too rigorous

2. Not verbose. Needs visual, explicit, step by step, straightforward instruction.

3. Needs more mastery style. Slow learner, but once he gets it, he seldom forgets it.

4. Audio-visual presentation with a book or written materials he can refer back to.

5. Bonus if materials include practical consumer based application (ha, lol, probably impossible to find that with higher math)

6. Doesn't take all day. Maybe 1 hour a day, tops. (He has lots else to work on)

 

Thank you for any/all ideas!

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

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It's not light by any means, but we have found that Video Text is excellent for both my mathy older DS and my non-mathy younger DS. It's explicit, visual, and mastery based (also pretty pricey if you're not going to use it for any younger sibs, if that matters). It starts with Pre-Algebra and covers standard topics in both Algebra I and II. My older DS spent much more than an hour a day on it because he wanted to finish the whole thing in 1 year, but my younger DS has kept it to an hour or less per day and is still making steady progress and will likely finish it up in a little less than 2 years. It does have a lot of word problems, but not really consumer based application.

 

Perhaps if you went more slowly it would be a good fit?

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Thank you. I will have to look into Video Text prealgebra. Is there a written component for reference? How would you say it compares to Teaching Textbooks?  Thank you so much!

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

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I think you just described Math-U-See. It is very popular among special needs students because it is very clear, mastery based, and sticks to short lessons and practice pages. It hits every one of your points. They have consumer math as one of the options - it is separate, but available.

Edited by Momto2Ns

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Thank you all. I'm now debating between Math U See and Teaching Textbooks prealgebra. I know I said my son seems to do well with mastery but I've never really tried a spiral program alone with him, so he might do fine. Teaching Textbooks seems more interactive and less boring than Math U See. Thoughts between these two, any tiebreaker considerations?

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Teaching textbooks is spiral and MUS is mastery. The MUS videos are not boring. Steve has a corny sense of humor and is really a good teacher. My kids though TT was too childish. TT is a little more challenging than MUS and TT Geometry is significantly more challenging than MUS.

 

MUS has very boring pages, no color, no pictures, no distractions. For many with kids with attention issues, that really works. Some kids do find the pages boring though. 

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Thank you. I did not realize Math U See was easier than Teaching Textbooks.

 

I wonder how the word problems compare between the two.

 

DS really needs to work on word problems. I will likely have to supplement with word problems unless one of the two programs are especially strong in word problems.

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TT version 2.0 accelerated their scope and sequence to a more standard high school course (good news for most). MUS has maintained their slower path through algebra. Both have a very gentle Pre-Algebra, but MUS's is a bit of a hodgepodge covering a lot of random topics that are often covered earlier. It is really a fill in the gaps program for kids who have used MUS in elementary. It is a good place to start though. MUS really mixes in pre-algebra type equation solving into earlier levels, so there is less of that and more gap plugging in pre-algebra.

 

As far as word problems, MUS has very few, although their honors pages are often word problems. You would probably have to supplement. It has been too long since I tried TT, so I can't speak to the quality of their word problems, but I read a lot of complaints about them being weak so I wouldn't be surprised if you had to supplement there too.

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Thank you. I will have to look at the scope and sequence of both MUS and TT to compare. I want a light prealgebra (and up) program because in addition to all the reading comprehension remediation he will be doing, he will have to do a separate program just for word problems and likely I will have to back him up several grades for word problems. He's very good with calculation and algorithms but word problems are a totally different story.

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Thank you. I will have to look at the scope and sequence of both MUS and TT to compare. I want a light prealgebra (and up) program because in addition to all the reading comprehension remediation he will be doing, he will have to do a separate program just for word problems and likely I will have to back him up several grades for word problems. He's very good with calculation and algorithms but word problems are a totally different story.

 

There are so few word problems in MUS, that if he skips the honors pages, it won't give him any trouble. Of course, you will still want to remediate, but it might be nice to not have word problems that he can't do staring at him every day. (from the mom of a 2E kid that understand uneven learning)

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After reading some reviews here, I just had to look at Derek Owens Prealgebra, and wow, I really like it!  I think my ds would do well with this class, the videos are very clear and well done.    Most of the Prealgebra from Derek Owens look like it would be review for him (coming from ACE 7th grade Math which is pretty challenging).  It seems that Derek Owens would be a better choice than Teaching Textbooks, which I don't think offers enough practice and spirals around too much. I think my son would enjoy the grown up feel of an online or video based class, though he has done well with the paces of ACE Math.

 

Can anyone think of a reason not to try Derek Owens? 

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

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Derek Owens is good. He breaks down the concepts with short videos. He also does practice problems in a video and then there are more problems in the workbook. My dd has done pre-calc and physics but I think the setup is the same.

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Try Principles of Mathematics books 1 and 2. These are sold by Master Books and many use them for students you just described. Book 1 is more of a 7th grade book but I wouldn't do book 2 without doing it first. Book 2 is a pre-algebra book and from what I have seen is solid.

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Wishes:  Thank you for the suggestion of Hands on Equations.  I thought that HOE was more of a supplement, no?

 

Mosaicmind:  Thanks for the suggestion of Principles of Mathematics.  I had not heard of it.   I just looked at it, and though it looks interesting with the abacus and all, it does not appear to have a video presentation.  I think ds will really benefit from an audio visual presentation in addition to using written materials.   Also, ds will balk at a textbook saying 7th grade. He does not want to go back in grades, and any hint that we are backtracking will not go over well with him.  If I decide to do soley written materials, I would stay with ACE Math (proceeding to 8th grade), since he has done well with the mastery style, topical bite size chunks, nice use of color, and use of visuals.  I was just looking for a more multisensory (audio-visual) presentation.

 

mckive6:  I appreciate the confirmation about Derek Owens program.  I really like what I see and think ds will do well with it.  It is very visual and concrete (from what I have seen from the sample videos).  He really breaks things down for a visual learner it seems. 

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

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Just wanted to add, that after further research, Math Relief seems like it also would be a really good program for my ds.  That teacher really knows how to break it down into incremental super easy to follow steps with no extra chatter to distract.    I like that he just goes right to the white board walking through every step visually, without a whole lot of "pre" talking first.  I like that all the practice problems are all typed out and that there are full solutions to every problem and that the parents can grade it.  Going to give this program some serious consideration.  I think my ds could skip prealgebra and move right into Algebra I with Math Relief.

 

Thoughts on Math Relief anyone?

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TT version 2.0 accelerated their scope and sequence to a more standard high school course (good news for most). MUS has maintained their slower path through algebra. Both have a very gentle Pre-Algebra, but MUS's is a bit of a hodgepodge covering a lot of random topics that are often covered earlier. It is really a fill in the gaps program for kids who have used MUS in elementary. It is a good place to start though. MUS really mixes in pre-algebra type equation solving into earlier levels, so there is less of that and more gap plugging in pre-algebra.

 

As far as word problems, MUS has very few, although their honors pages are often word problems. You would probably have to supplement. It has been too long since I tried TT, so I can't speak to the quality of their word problems, but I read a lot of complaints about them being weak so I wouldn't be surprised if you had to supplement there too.

 

I am not he OP, but wanted to thank you for your response. I have been wondering if I'm making the right decision with my 8/9th grade DD this year by choosing TT after her getting to a certain point in CLE and really struggling. We backed up and redid half way through 800's back to the end of the 700's a couple times and she just gets stuck when we hit a certain point. It was suggested by her end of year test administrator this year that I try MUS for her. I don't want to go back to MUS. I used it for the younger years and she doesn't do well with mastery. I have read so many negative reviews for TT that I have been afraid to purchase quite yet and we are getting closer and closer to the beginning of the new year. It's time for me to make a decision. Finding your post made me feel much more self-assured that TT will be okay. I didn't realize the scope & sequence was accelerated in their 2.0 version. I also didn't realize that TT was more difficult than MUS. I just assumed MUS had a different style of teaching as well as it being mastery. My 12yr DS also wants to do their TT Algebra and I was holding back from that because he is extremely mathy. He needs to focus on language arts this year so maybe TT will give him a bit of a break. Thank you again for helping me to think this through. :)

Edited by parias1126
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