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My older ds finished AoPS PreAlgebra this past school year. He and I worked on it together with the videos (which we loved!) I’ve been considering putting him in an online class to free me up for my younger kids and a new baby coming this fall. I looked into AoPS online classes for Algebra 1, but didn’t care for the setup and thought the pace would be too much for my ds. I’ve since looked into other options and am wondering if anyone here has advice on which direction to take.

1) Dolciani Algebra 1 through Wilson Hill. Is Dolciani a decent choice for Algebra 1? I have heard Foersters get good reviews, as well as Jacobs. Any feedback on WHA Algebra 1? Is the digital writing tablet and the graphing calculator really necessary?

2) WTMA Algebra 1. Haven’t looked into this a lot, but they do offer an AoPS Algebra 1, I believe.

3) Do AoPS Algebra 1 ourselves. With the videos only covering through ch. 13, I believe. This makes me a little hesitant. We enjoyed AoPS a bunch, but it also took a lot of time.

4) Do Foersters or Jacobs Algebra 1 ourselves. Not familiar with these texts, but doubt they’d take as much time as AoPS. Or take the Jacobs course through Veritas Press Academy online school. 

Thoughts?

 

Also, another thread got me thinking of my ds2. Regentrude mentioned making sure students write out their math work. I’m waffling on whether or not to do PreA with my ds2, and it’s precisely because of this issue. He is very intelligent and does so much math in his head. But he hates to write things down, which of course leads to silly mistakes. (Side note: he’s always struggled with the act of writing, and was “unofficially” diagnosed with dysgraphia by a special ed evaluator.) And when he does write things down, it doesn’t make sense to me. He likes to erase work he wrote, as if it’s clutter he doesn’t need anymore. It also is difficult sometimes in trying to follow his line of thinking- which is usually different, but nonetheless correct and rather creative. He has done Singapore Math Standards Ed. and Beast Academy and done very well in both. I’ve debated entering him in an online class for the same reasons for ds1, but the “won’t write things down” issue is making me think twice. Would an online class help him in this area? 

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4 hours ago, specialkmom said:

Also, another thread got me thinking of my ds2. Regentrude mentioned making sure students write out their math work. I’m waffling on whether or not to do PreA with my ds2, and it’s precisely because of this issue. He is very intelligent and does so much math in his head. But he hates to write things down, which of course leads to silly mistakes. (Side note: he’s always struggled with the act of writing, and was “unofficially” diagnosed with dysgraphia by a special ed evaluator.) And when he does write things down, it doesn’t make sense to me. He likes to erase work he wrote, as if it’s clutter he doesn’t need anymore. It also is difficult sometimes in trying to follow his line of thinking- which is usually different, but nonetheless correct and rather creative. He has done Singapore Math Standards Ed. and Beast Academy and done very well in both. I’ve debated entering him in an online class for the same reasons for ds1, but the “won’t write things down” issue is making me think twice. Would an online class help him in this area? 

It depends on the format of the online class. If students are required to type out their entire solution and document their thought process, it will be very valuable. If, OTOH, the grading system just requires students to punch a final numerical answer into the computer, this will cement the sloppy habits and be very detrimental in the long term. I have seen this with college students; it is the biggest drawback of computerized homework systems that it encourages students to be imprecise with notation and sloppy in their process, because no human evaluates the solution in its entirety.

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7 hours ago, specialkmom said:

I’ve debated entering him in an online class for the same reasons for ds1, but the “won’t write things down” issue is making me think twice. Would an online class help him in this area? 

Dolciani is a great Alg 1. There are many editions & some people like some of them better than others. Wilson-Hill's is solid & boys tend to like the teacher (Reini). He's a nice guy. (I'm not saying girls don't like him. The only kids I personally know who took his classes are boys.) I don't know the other teacher listed.

I've only had one kid take a WHA math class (Pre-Calc). We didn't use the graphing tablet at all, so if you go in that direction, I'd email the teacher AND ask on here specifically in a WHA Alg 1 thread. I have yet to see someone say they had to have the tablet. My kid did need a graphing calculator for pre-calc. It looks like the graphing calculator is "strongly recommended" but not required, so I'd likely not buy one -- but I'm anti-calculator in general.

I think any of the option you list would be fine, but he might be frustrated with the different approach (vs AoPS), so I'd be prepared to be flexible!

ETA: Forgot to address the online class thing quoted above. WHA doesn't check homework directly, so it would be of no help in what you wrote. I think WTMA has you scan in homework, doesn't it? Not sure if that would help get him to write things down or not.

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On writing:  You can scribe for him as he dictates his solution to you.  That gives you time to bring get him the therapy he needs for his dysgraphia.  

Or you can teach him Latex and have him type out his solutions if you think that would be easier for him.  

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