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wehave8

Geometry- Derek Owens (DO) or Math without Borders (MwoB)

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Could you compare these?

Pros/cons? 

I am looking for 13 & 15 yo dss.  13 yo is very good in math and used Saxon Alg.1 (likes it, but wants to do a separate geometry...didn't like the looks of Saxon Geom.).  15 yo is not as good in math, and he did TT Alg.1.  He is not excited about TT Geom. (He reviewed the CDs we have.)

They both looked at sample videos of MwoB and DO Geometry courses.  They can't decide by just viewing them.

 

Pam

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Well, are you planning on grading yourself? If you want an outside grader, go with DO. If you plan on grading yourself, how comfortable are you with grading proofs? There could be more than one correct way to do the proof, so you have to follow the logic your student put down in order to see if the proof is "correct." The only one of Derek Owens' classes that I've seen more than just a smattering of negatives on would be Geometry just because he uses an edition of Jacobs Geometry that isn't necessarily as easy for all kids to learn from. (Some kids do great with it. DO, of course, puts his own teaching style in there, so it could work just fine.)

I think both providers offer help if the student gets stuck. I haven't used either program for geometry, so I couldn't speak to that. Hopefully, this will provide an extra bump so someone else will chime in that has had a kid use one or both for geometry.

But, it would help if you gave a little more info on what exactly you are looking for to differentiate them. Like, which one is harder? Which one teaches more strategies? Does one teach lots of proofs & the other one doesn't? (Or, which one teaches two column proofs vs paragraph proofs?)

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FWIW, I chose DO for geometry for the reason the pp mentioned above.  I didn’t want to grade proofs! 

Dd did use MWOB for algebra I and liked it well enough. 

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10 hours ago, hopeistheword said:

I chose DO for geometry for the reason the pp mentioned above.  I didn’t want to grade proofs

Rootann has me worried now, can you tell me what kind of proofs DO uses? I have been naively skipping along assuming that ds will continue from mom-graded algebra I into mom-graded geometry, but now I'm wondering if I can cut it! I think 2-column proofs would be ok, but paragraph format would be a challenge for both of us. Are there a lot of proofs?

Separately, he and I have been wondering how to keep his algebra skills "fresh" does DO have any review of those topics over the course of the year?

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11 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Separately, he and I have been wondering how to keep his algebra skills "fresh" does DO have any review of those topics over the course of the year?

 

I've got my kiddo ready to start DO geometry next week. The syllabus lists algebra review pretty regularly. Here's a link to it: https://derekowens.com/CourseSyllabuses2.aspx?Location=Online&Day=Monday&Year=2018-2019&Course=Geometry&Teacher=Mr. Owens

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37 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Rootann has me worried now, can you tell me what kind of proofs DO uses? I have been naively skipping along assuming that ds will continue from mom-graded algebra I into mom-graded geometry, but now I'm wondering if I can cut it! I think 2-column proofs would be ok, but paragraph format would be a challenge for both of us. Are there a lot of proofs?

Separately, he and I have been wondering how to keep his algebra skills "fresh" does DO have any review of those topics over the course of the year?

Yes, I believe algebra is reviewed as the pp mentioned. 

My concern with the proofs is that I would not know alternate solutions, etc.  Also, my dd is unexpectedly homeschooling again after being in ps for one semester, so I literally do not have the time to teach her anything right now due to other commitments, and even keeping up with grading would be a real struggle.  She did spend one month in geometry in ps, and fwiw, she says that sometimes she misses things because “they’re called something different in this class.” I don’t know how much of that is her frustration speaking (her grades in DO are lower than in any of her ps classes due to all the extra work ps teachers gave, etc.) and how much of it might be the truth.

Geometry is the one math class I always said I’d personally never teach my own children (well, maybe that and pre-cal/cal) because it was the hardest one for me. I’m happy to hand it off. 

 

ETA: I don’t think I actually answered your question.  As far as I can tell from my very cursory following of her work, it is just two-column proofs. 

Edited by hopeistheword
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I do math, and I have to say, I hate two column proofs... They are very hard to read and don't prepare you for what proofs look like at any other point in mathematics. 

Just to demystify a bit, a "proof" is simply an airtight mathematical argument that you write with a mixture of equations and words. You could think of a lot of algebraic manipulations as proofs, if you wrote them out in a very detailed way and with words. For example: 

 

Problem: find all solutions to x^2 - 4x + 3 = 0. 

Proof: Since we are setting an expression to 0, it would be convenient to factor it. Testing factorizations, we see that  x^2 - 4x + 3 factors as (x-3)(x-1), which makes our equation

(x-3)(x-1) = 0.

We know that a product of two numbers is 0 precisely when one of the numbers is 0. Therefore, we must either have x - 3 = 0 or x - 1 = 0. This gives the solutions 

x = 1, 3. 

 

This really is an example of a (very short and rather tediously written out) proof. A proof is correct if all the steps are logical, no unjustified leaps are made, etc. Writing proofs in words is actually a really helpful endeavor because it teaches you how to structure arguments, about how to check your steps, about how to avoid fallacies, and so on. And proofs (when written out in words) also make math come alive, because they enable you to talk about the concepts you're using. 

So I guess I'd encourage you to figure out what proofs are about and talk about them with your daughter, whatever path you choose. They aren't as intimidating as they seem, and in my opinion, they make math cooler and more approachable. 

Edited by square_25
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We used Math without Borders for algebra (in 7th... my daughter came from AoPS BA but didn't want to do their algebra yet) but followed it with AoPS algebra in 8th, and now in 9th we're using DO for geometry. My daughter really didn't like the Math without Borders and after we evaluated everything else, she decided she was fine with the DO ones. (Truthfully, she adores the AoPS videos but they don't extend to geometry).

Just FYI, DO has a half-price self-grading option where he gives you the answers for all the assignments and tests that he gives. You still have to buy the Jacob's solution guide for the book exercises if you don't want to do the calculations.

We chose the self grading option, and most of DO proofs are 2 column but he occasionally demonstrates the paragraph style. 

Grading has been really easy for me because DD rarely gets anything wrong. I don't know if it's because it seemed so easy compared to AoPS or she's just exceptionally good at geometry, but after her initial fear of test taking, she rarely gets anything wrong on the homework or tests. If she does, it's something minor and as soon as I show her the correct answer, she gets what she did wrong.

ETA: Every chapter in Jacobs includes algebra review for a specific topic and Derek includes videos for that review too. Also, I watch all the videos with her so that I know how he's teaching something in case she does have any questions. 

So, I'd say that DO has been really successful for us, but also very easy. That being said, she doesn't want to go back to the challenges of AoPS because math is far from her love even though she's strong at it so we're continuing with DO for algebra 2.

Edited by deerforest
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17 hours ago, RootAnn said:

But, it would help if you gave a little more info on what exactly you are looking for to differentiate them. Like, which one is harder? Which one teaches more strategies? Does one teach lots of proofs & the other one doesn't? (Or, which one teaches two column proofs vs paragraph proofs?)

That's just it.  I'm not sure what to ask.  I am hoping reviews will bring points out that I haven't thought of.  🙂

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19 minutes ago, deerforest said:

We used Math without Borders for algebra (in 7th... my daughter came from AoPS BA but didn't want to do their algebra yet) but followed it with AoPS algebra in 8th, and now in 9th we're using DO for geometry. My daughter really didn't like the Math without Borders and after we evaluated everything else, she decided she was fine with the DO ones. (Truthfully, she adores the AoPS videos but they don't extend to geometry).

Just FYI, DO has a half-price self-grading option where he gives you the answers for all the assignments and tests that he gives. You still have to buy the Jacob's solution guide for the book exercises if you don't want to do the calculations.

We chose the self grading option, and most of DO proofs are 2 column but he occasionally demonstrates the paragraph style. 

Grading has been really easy for me because DD rarely gets anything wrong. I don't know if it's because it seemed so easy compared to AoPS or she's just exceptionally good at geometry, but after her initial fear of test taking, she rarely gets anything wrong on the homework or tests. If she does, it's something minor and as soon as I show her the correct answer, she gets what she did wrong.

ETA: Every chapter in Jacobs includes algebra review for a specific topic and Derek includes videos for that review too. Also, I watch all the videos with her so that I know how he's teaching something in case she does have any questions. 

So, I'd say that DO has been really successful for us, but also very easy. That being said, she doesn't want to go back to the challenges of AoPS because math is far from her love even though she's strong at it so we're continuing with DO for algebra 2.

Actually, I was hoping to do the grading myself.  I have people at our church who are mathy, and they said they could help if we got stuck.  

This is exactly the review I needed.  After more video samples, both boys like DO better, but I was a little nervous with some reviews of how difficult it could be.  You have given me hope.  🙂

 

Pam

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As I continued to research, I found this....

"The only course that I wasn't thrilled with was the geometry course.  There is a disconnect between the instruction, the practice problems (from the Jacobs 3rd edition book), and the HW and test problems.  For that course, I ended up listening to the lectures myself and then teaching the material to my son.  I had to supplement heavily with problems from the Jacobs 2nd edition book, which has a much more scaffolded approach to proofs.  In the end, my son did very well in the course and learned a lot, but it was a huge amount of work for both of us." 

Quoted from:

 

 

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I don't see a disconnect at all so I'm just not sure what that refers to. My daughter reads the book, we watch the videos together (and she often comments on the repetition between the book and DO), and then she does the homework he assigns (book and additional assignments). We've found it to be completely aligned with the book.

I certainly can't guarantee that your child will be successful. I'm just sharing that from our experience coming from AoPS, my daughter has found the course to be easy. From AoPS as a comparison, we did have a big increase in the number of problems because AoPS opts for fewer, more challenging ones, and she had to learn how to take math tests.

We're finishing the full course in 1 academic year without a problem and without additional teaching from me, like I mentioned.

Good luck!

Edited by deerforest
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On 4/13/2019 at 8:50 AM, 2Peanuts said:

 

I've got my kiddo ready to start DO geometry next week. The syllabus lists algebra review pretty regularly. Here's a link to it: https://derekowens.com/CourseSyllabuses2.aspx?Location=Online&Day=Monday&Year=2018-2019&Course=Geometry&Teacher=Mr. Owens

Are you doing the grading, or is DO doing it?  What did you do for Alg. 1?

 

Pam

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3 hours ago, wehave8 said:

Are you doing the grading, or is DO doing it?  What did you do for Alg. 1?

I didn't know that grading the work myself was an option until after we signed up. While I could grade the work myself, I'm opting to let DO's folks do it because I'm still deeply involved with teaching DS10, who is on the spectrum. DD14 is a very responsible kid and responds well to external expectations so having DO grade her work will keep her on track.

As for Algebra 1, I taught her using Jacobs' Elementary Algebra, which worked very well for both of us. She also took Algebra A through AOPS to see if their teaching style was a good fit for her. It wasn't.

I have high hopes for DO, after all the comments I've read on these boards. We just started it yesterday and so far, DD likes his lecture style. We plan to continue working on geometry through the summer --- DD's choice! She enjoys having just 1 subject to focus on over the summer. She says the days are otherwise too boring. 🙂 

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10 hours ago, wehave8 said:

Are you doing the grading, or is DO doing it?  What did you do for Alg. 1?

 

Pam

 

I answered all of this in my initial response up thread...

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