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AOPS or Teaching Textbooks for Algebra I?

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Do you recommend AOPS or Teaching Textbooks for Algebra I? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? We are currently using AOPS for Prealgebra and love it. I am strong in math and don't mind teaching it. A friend of mine loves Teaching Textbooks, so I was curious about how it compares with AOPS.

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You couldn't possibly have picked two more different curricula.


I have firsthand experience wiht both.


TT is very gentle, very easy. YOu can use it and score well on SAT's if you finish the series, and your student has good retention in general.   But it doesn't go deeply into challenging word problems, at any stage.


AOPS Algebra is REALLy hard, especially the last 5 chapters of the first book, and parts of the second book.  It is for extremely talented and gifted, and motivated math students.  It's a LOT harder than Pre-Alg and we did both.


If you are a very confident math teacher (as in you can explain and teach math competition level problems such as high school MOEMS and AMC) and your student has no difficulties with AOPS pre-Algebra, then you should try AOPS Algebra.  Because, if you guys can do it, it's far superior and will mean that your child is even ready for math competitions.


However, if that is not the case, and your student has struggled or or you do not feel confident teaching at the high school math competition level, then I would suggest something other than TT.  There are probably many options which are a middle road between TT and AOPS such as Chalkdust, or even just getting a textbook such as Foerster's.

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I used both with my kids. TT is nice and easy and works well for kids who struggle with math. If your child has been using AOPS, well then TT is definitely not for you. AOPS is MUCH more rigorous and a far better preparation for college - and ACT / SAT. My one son who used TT got 100% on all their tests and then did not do well at all on ACT math. 

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