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Derek Owens Prealgebra - speeding it up?


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I have one kiddo whose natural gifting is NOT math.  We have taken a PreAlgebra class this year at a university model school, but I think we need to do some review before starting Algebra.  I am looking at Derek Owens for this summer.  Some of the topics she definitely knows and should breeze through.  Others, though, she is shaky on. 

How easy is it to personalize DO PreAlgebra to speed through some topics and really focus on others?  I am having a hard time figuring out what exactly the course looks like.  You watch a bunch of short videos, then do the week's work?  Is she going to need to watch all the videos, even if she already knows that material?  Can she test out of some areas and skip the videos and homework on those topics?

 

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My son struggles with math and was not doing well with another PreAlgebra curriculum.  He started Derek Owens PreAlgebra in January and will finish the first semester next week.  I thought it would take until the end of summer to complete the curriculum, but my son is flying through it and not complaining at all.  They have a workbook of notes and practice problems the student completes while watching the videos.  After each section, the student completes a one page assignment, and then there is a chapter test.  The assignments and tests are graded by DO's staff, but I have heard they will give you a discount if you want to grade them yourself.  I'm not letting my son skip anything because I think he needs the review before starting Algebra.  You could skip some of the material your daughter already knows by having her take the chapter test before starting each chapter.  Then, if she does well on the test, you could let her skip the chapter.  I would email DO and see what he advises.  We have been really happy with the course. 

Edited by TessaM
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We sped up DO prealgebra because I found a lot was material that had been already taught and learned and I wanted to be able to focus on new material without slowing the overall schedule.  It was easy to do, but required me to watch the videos in advance since you really can't pick up everything from the notes outline.  You could also review the homework to see if you need to skip whole sections. I was mostly pulling videos since they were the most time consuming and crossing out some homework problems which allowed me to combine lessons.

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I think they provide two versions of each chapter test. You could use one as a pretest, and still have one in reserve if she ends up needing to work through the chapter.

A few providers have summer "bootcamps" if she just needs a brief, overall review. Myhomeschoolmathclass and somebody else, maybe Mr. D.

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  • 2 months later...

My daughter did half of AoPS Intro to Algebra before we decided it wasn't for us. We got in touch with Derek Owens and explained the situation. I sent them a copy of the TOC from our AoPS textbook and they let me know what chapters of the Derek Owens material that they thought she needed to cover. She just took the tests for some of the chapters after skimming through the material. If she wasn't sure she understood a topic, she watched the videos and took the test. When we finally got to material she didn't know, she began to do the full program. They awarded a grade based solely on the work she submitted, not the material she skipped. I would just explain the situation and get their advice. They are very responsive to questions. We've been very happy with them.

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