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Can anyone compare and contrast Mr. D math and Derek Owens?

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My dd is taking Algebra 1 with Mr. D math this year. It is going well, and while I think it may not be as challenging as it could be . . . it is probably the right fit for her as she is not a natural math student, and I see her confidence building. 

I ask this question because I am looking ahead to next year already, and ds is not the same student. He is much more STEM oriented, and although he gets overwhelmed with math sometimes, he is much more math intuitive and it would not surprise me at all if he went into a STEM career. We like the set up, format, use of Mr. D . . . dd enjoys the live class, I like the format of the course . . . I just wonder about that "rigor" piece. Does anyone have any experience or insight here. Again, I think it is a good fit for dd, but is is rigorous (I know people here hate that word) enough for a STEM student? Is DO a stronger math option? It would be cheaper to have him get the sibling discount at Mr. D, but if DO is a better choice for him, I will happily see what I can do to make that happen. 


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I haven't actually used DO past Pre-Alg, but I will say that he offers Honors Levels in each course, by assigning more challenging problems.  He also chose books that are VERY solidly in the college prep (meaning straight to university) camp even for STEM majors.

The ONLY problem with DO and bright students is that he over-explains and talks very slowly, (he's from the south and also I think deliberately speaks slowly so kids can understand him) and he doesn't use the book anymore.  So my dd can't just read the book and skip the videos...Additionally there are several videos per day.  It just tries the patience sitting there listening, and listening aaannnnd listening.  It acrually gave my dd a little anxiety...and since it's mastery based the problem sets are very long.

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OP, I suggest you visit Derek Owens on YouTube to see what you think of his style.  DO is excellent, but he does talk a bit slowly.  To save time when he's working out problems dc understands, dc often jumps ahead to the end rather than watch him write each number.  The total length of lectures most days is actually fairly short, even if there are quite a few to watch for a particular section. It just depends on how many the dc watches, and you/your dc can decide the pace.  A section doesn't necessarily have to be completed in a single day.  Some weeks only three sections are scheduled in the syllabus.  The course syllabus schedules 32 weeks, not the usual 36 public schools use, and each semester there are two weeks scheduled for the student to review and take the semester exam;  it's easy to condense those two weeks into one each semester, reducing the overall course length to 30 weeks, which leaves plenty of extra time in the year to spread out the coursework, if you prefer that.  

My dc used DO for pre-algebra and now Algebra 1, and I don't think that DO's problem sets are long at all.  There are usually 10-20 ungraded problems for the student to work after watching the videos; the student can correct those himself with a key in the back of the book to verify understanding.  A couple of times a week there is a graded assignment of 4-12 additional problems. 

If cost is a concern, you can request the self-graded option for half price.  

If DO isn't a good fit, but you want something more rigorous than Mr. D, take a look at a syllabus on Unlock Math to see how it compares.  It has short videos, you can see the instructor, and if your student misses homework problems, the program generates new ones for additional practice until your dc can do it well.  I'm planning to have dc try it for geometry.  







Edited by klmama
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5 hours ago, klmama said:

but you want something more rigorous than Mr. D


Well, that is the question! ? We are at the beginning of Mr. D's Algebra 1 course, so I don't know if we want something more rigorous. . . .that is my question, is it rigorous enough? Perhaps I could ask it this way, would a student from Mr D's Algebra 1 class be prepared to take Algebra 2 from elsewhere? Is it college prep/ going to set my child up well for SAT's/ACT's?

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My son took DO Algebra 1 last year and my daughter is taking Mr. D's Algebra 1 this year. Based on what I've seen so far, DO is more rigorous. My daughter took Pre-Algebra last year with DO and is flying through Mr. D's class. It's too easy for her at this point, but I'm hoping that soon the lessons will become more challenging. 

I also think the pace is faster and the workload is heavier for DO when compared to Mr. D. 

I do like Mr. D's format and pricing, though, so we're sticking with it for now. My kids are not going to be STEM majors and they don't particularly like math, but they're very good at it. Otherwise, I probably would switch them back to DO. 

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One thing about Derek Owens math is that it is truly 100% the full homeschool solution if you get the outside grading.  So many online programs don't necessarily require a daily writen component, but DO encourages this with the notebooks (or you can print if you prefer) and the grading, of the worked problems.  If the students don't show their work the person grading will mention that and ask for it in the future. When My dd was using DO I had zero worries that she was indeed receiving a college prep, rigorous math program.  

Unfortunately as you can tell with my forty hundred posts about it I do NOT have that confidence with every program.

I would encourage you to check out DO but just keep in mind that the student may have to learn to adjust to the lectures/skip over the repetitious parts, etc. I was thinking if we go back to DO, my dd could listen to the lectures while she has a snack or something ?

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