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Seeking honest opinions on Teaching Textbooks for Algebra I, help!

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Yes, I've read the pinned post on math programs and did a search for TT and Algebra.  What I need is some honest feedback at this point.

 

Our DS is interested in science and technology, and always did well in math.  Until algebra, where he's encountered some difficulty.  We're currently using Holt through publisher with online materials.  However, even with some repetition he's continuing to have difficulty with some of the concepts.  I'm wondering if something more straightforward would help.  I'm drawn to Teaching Textbooks because of the online gradebook and constant feedback.

 

Questions:

 

Would TT Algebra be a solid course?  He did the placement tests but I'd not be comfortable in placing him into Algebra 2 at this point.  (I'd thought TT was a year behind, but not sure about higher grades).  

 

He's currently between 1/2-2/3 done with Algebra in terms of going through book, but I don't think his skill level reflects this.  I'm thinking about starting him at beginning and testing through the TT Algebra I until he has difficulty, and then starting lessons at that point.  Is this a good approach?

 

Any other feedback on TT Algebra, good or bad?  This is a very intelligent kid but he does have some difficulty focusing.  We'd always thought he was geared to go the math/science route but we're off to a later start and he really is showing more strengths at this age in some other areas.

 

 

 

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I always chime in on these threads, lol. I say Teaching Textbooks is just fine. :-)

 

My sophomore electrical engineering major daughter at Princeton used Teaching Textbooks from prealgebra through Algebra 2. She switched to Derek Owens for precalc, since we wanted to use the same provider for precalc and Calc AB. Her SAT math score was an 800. She went on to make high "A"s in DE Calc 2 and 3, and the same in her math courses at Princeton.

 

She is obviously math-y, but TT also worked well for my daughter who struggled with math. If the setup works well for your family, I think it will provide an adequate foundation for a STEM kid.

 

As far as where to start, I would perhaps hit each chapter, but not do all the problems, until it gets to be challenging.

 

In the end, you may want to involve a tutor. Sometimes a bit of outside accountability can help focus the student.

Edited by GoodGrief
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I also suggest Derek Owens. Sounds like your son might benefit from having a teacher to ask questions of and DO is very thorough and responsive.

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I'll third Derek Owens. He's a gifted instructor who teaches with a very well developed curriculum. You can even save money through grading the assignments yourself if on a tight budget (1/2 off). Very few negative reviews. Whereas with TT you will find a lot of mixed reviews. Of course every curriculum has some fans and no one curriculum is best for every student. That said DO is widely regarded as one of the best.

 

We are also very happy with WHA's math courses. Our son went all the way through their program and is finishing up AP Calc currently. Both are highly recommended. WHA is live though so you'll  need to wait for the Fall unless you wanted to try to 'double up' this Spring. That requires special permission and coordination with the school and teacher. Doing that is only recommended for strong math students.

 

Edited by dereksurfs

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I'll third Derek Owens. He's a gifted instructor who teaches with a very well developed curriculum. You can even save money through grading the assignments yourself if on a tight budget (1/2 off). Very few negative reviews. Whereas with TT you will find a lot of mixed reviews. Of course every curriculum has some fans and no one curriculum is best for every student. That said DO is widely regarded as one of the best.

 

 

 

I didn't see the grade-yourself option the last time I was on his site!  Do you get the solutions (preferably worked) in order to do the grading?

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I didn't see the grade-yourself option the last time I was on his site!  Do you get the solutions (preferably worked) in order to do the grading?

It's not an advertised option but you can ask for it when you register. I'm only grading prealgebra so it's pretty easy at this point. I haven't seen the solutions for algebra so I'm not sure whether they're worked out. 

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My experience with TT has been good. It is not a year behind in the high school years. Neither of my college daughters is mathy, so neither went into a STEM field, but the one who has taken her pre-cal/trig/algebra class at her university, made a solid A. She said most of the kids who sat near her in class struggled. They would complain "this isn't the way we were taught". So I feel like TT had my girls well prepared for college math. YMMV

Edited by stephensgirls
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