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We're likely bringing ds15 home for this coming year so we need to figure out math. He's a tricky one. He did the full AoPS Intro series online (so, quickly) without trouble and loved it. Then he got to Intermediate Algebra and found the book fine but the online Alcumus component broke him. He dropped the class at 8 weeks in after weeks of tears and refusing to drop. He went to school last year and carried a 99% in his "gifted" school math class. He and I are doing Intermediate Algebra together now because I'm trying to help him get over his dread of it. He has done fair-winning math research and spends most of his free time recreating in math via various math clubs and competition groups.

For the coming year, I'm trying to figure out a good path that honors his love for math but helps him make the progress he needs to do Calc the following year. Given the current mental block he has against the Intermediate AoPS books, I don't want to go that path. If there is a book that has some programming problems assigned, too, that'd be neat.

He'll probably be doing AP Chem and some sort of ornithology, too, this year.

UPDATE BELOW

Thanks, Emily

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I have heard good things about Exeter math program, but we never used it because nobody is knowledgeable in our house to teach it. It might be worth a look

https://www.exeter.edu/mathproblems

 

And I just want to say I can’t imagine Alcumus as an added homework in Intermediate class. My DS took it before Alcumus rolled out and we thought it was enough work without. I won’t put my younger boy in knowing that. 

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We used Derek Owens and supplemented with more interesting math (AMC prep/ EMF), but my dd really liked the Dolciani series. I really needed Derek Owens, though, lol.

Here is the TE for the PreCalc book: https://www.amazon.com/McDougal-Littell-Advanced-Math-Teachers/dp/0395771153/ref=pd_sbs_14_3/134-6387848-4701454?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0395771153&pd_rd_r=1c2084eb-5147-4bdf-895a-85890a13ef95&pd_rd_w=dqm5d&pd_rd_wg=sa01r&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=R2DDBJXQHVBZVYNVZQYP&psc=1&refRID=R2DDBJXQHVBZVYNVZQYP

I used to own them, and in that series, books with same cover will match up for student, TE, solutions, etc.

ETA the "C" level problems can be pretty challenging.

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15 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

Does the TE contain scheduling guidance and tests?

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I’m using Foerster. I really enjoy the explanations and I think his love for math really comes through in his book. It is very, very straightforward though. Not puzzley or anything. The difficulty comes in the word problems and applying the concepts to real world situations.

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8 hours ago, Syllieann said:

Does the TE contain scheduling guidance and tests?

Yes.

As I recall the scheduling was broken down by basic, regular and advanced. They schedule a lot of problems, so you could start there and cut back from it (like in half when I compared with some teacher schedules I found for the Algebra 2 book- although usually taken from the suggested schedules). There are tests, but as I recall, there were just answers to the tests, not solutions.

ETA- we are using BlueTent for Calc- but I don't think it's the same teacher as PreCalc. I think the Calc teacher used to teach for AoPS.

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On 7/14/2020 at 12:15 PM, Roadrunner said:

I have heard good things about Exeter math program, but we never used it because nobody is knowledgeable in our house to teach it. It might be worth a look

https://www.exeter.edu/mathproblems

 

And I just want to say I can’t imagine Alcumus as an added homework in Intermediate class. My DS took it before Alcumus rolled out and we thought it was enough work without. I won’t put my younger boy in knowing that. 

Glad it wasn't just my kiddo! I passed this comment on to him and he was greatly encouraged.

I think the Exeter book scares me! I will pass that on to my friend, though, who might enjoy that with her kiddo.

On 7/14/2020 at 11:26 PM, square_25 said:

So, for what it's worth, the online AoPS Precalc doesn't have Alcumus. But it also doesn't cover everything you might expect in precalc... do you know what he needs to cover? 

Once we make it through Intermediate Algebra together, maybe he'll get past his mental block and be able to do that. But he's pretty afraid of intermediate AoPS classes right now. I'm sure he could do very well in Counting and Probability, for instance, but he's too scared.

On 7/14/2020 at 8:16 PM, bensonduck said:

I’m using Foerster. I really enjoy the explanations and I think his love for math really comes through in his book. It is very, very straightforward though. Not puzzley or anything. The difficulty comes in the word problems and applying the concepts to real world situations.

I'm using Foerster Algebra II / Trig for dd13 right now and she really really likes it (something I've never said about her and math before....). I'll look into his precalc. DS always has some puzzle book going, so it might be OK not to have that in his math class.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Emily

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Have you considered Unlock Math?  We haven't used the precalculus level yet, but we are very impressed with the way the program works.  The instructor is very clear, and there's unlimited practice and built-in review to keep concepts fresh.  There is a 14-day free trial, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so your ds can try it to see if the level is the right fit; keep in mind that the first unit is review.  Click "Curriculum" at the top to see the scope and sequence.  FWIW, the instructor/course creator used to teach AP Calculus at a private school, so she knows what's needed in pre-calc to get someone ready for calculus.

Edited by klmama
correcting free trial and money-back info
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5 hours ago, EmilyGF said:

I'm using Foerster Algebra II / Trig for dd13 right now and she really really likes it (something I've never said about her and math before....). I'll look into his precalc. DS always has some puzzle book going, so it might be OK not to have that in his math class.

 

If you like the setup of his Algebra II / Trig in general, I think you will really like the precalculus. It’s really clear and I think he has improved on some of his explanations between the two texts. For example, we were recently working in a section on resolving an expression into partial fractions. We did this in his Algebra 2 and I found his explanation of how it works to be a little convoluted and hard to follow. In precalculus, not only is the explanation super clear, he also names the mathematician who came up with a shortcut, and there are extension/exploration problems assigned so the student fully understands why the shortcut doesn’t work in all cases and reinforces the understanding needed for how to deal with the expression if the shortcut can’t be used. DD and I are absolutely delighted with this book. She has proclaimed it her favorite of his texts (we also used Algebra 1 and 2). 

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A couple of textbook ideas, the first one quite new, the second a vintage text:

http://precalculus.axler.net/

https://www.amazon.com/Pre-Calculus-Mathematics-Merrill-Shanks/dp/0201076845/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=merrill+shanks+precalculus&qid=1594950062&s=books&sr=1-1

We ended up using the Shanks vintage book and really liking it (there were lots of nice hard problems!); we thought long and hard, though, about doing the Axler book instead--I loved the very readable prose.

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On 7/14/2020 at 9:57 AM, EmilyGF said:

We're likely bringing ds15 home for this coming year so we need to figure out math. He's a tricky one. He did the full AoPS Intro series online (so, quickly) without trouble and loved it. Then he got to Intermediate Algebra and found the book fine but the online Alcumus component broke him. He dropped the class at 8 weeks in after weeks of tears and refusing to drop. He went to school last year and carried a 99% in his "gifted" school math class. He and I are doing Intermediate Algebra together now because I'm trying to help him get over his dread of it. He has done fair-winning math research and spends most of his free time recreating in math via various math clubs and competition groups.

For the coming year, I'm trying to figure out a good path that honors his love for math but helps him make the progress he needs to do Calc the following year. Given the current mental block he has against the Intermediate AoPS books, I don't want to go that path. If there is a book that has some programming problems assigned, too, that'd be neat.

He'll probably be doing AP Chem and some sort of ornithology, too, this year.

Thanks, Emily

For what it's worth, AoPS intermediate algebra classes no longer have an Alcumus component. I'm sorry that your son got stuck with that version.

Personally, I've worked through both the AoPS Intermediate algebra and the Precalculus texts, and I found the latter to be easier.

I used a 1990 version of Dolciani Algebra and Trig with my son, and he enjoyed the occasional coding projects built into the exercises. I don't own Dolciani precalculus, though, so I'm not sure whether the follow up text does the same.

 

11 hours ago, Emerald Stoker said:

A couple of textbook ideas, the first one quite new, the second a vintage text:

http://precalculus.axler.net/

https://www.amazon.com/Pre-Calculus-Mathematics-Merrill-Shanks/dp/0201076845/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=merrill+shanks+precalculus&qid=1594950062&s=books&sr=1-1

We ended up using the Shanks vintage book and really liking it (there were lots of nice hard problems!); we thought long and hard, though, about doing the Axler book instead--I loved the very readable prose.

I own this version of the Shanks text, and yes, it's *very* challenging, akin to how I was taught back in the old days!  Odd-numbered exercises have answers in the back of the book, so it could be used by a motivated student.

And thank you for the info on the Axler book! I like his linear algebra and used it with dd, but I wasn't aware that he'd written other texts.

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On 7/16/2020 at 12:57 PM, klmama said:

Have you considered Unlock Math?  We haven't used the precalculus level yet, but we are very impressed with the way the program works.  The instructor is very clear, and there's unlimited practice and built-in review to keep concepts fresh.  There is a 30-day free trial, so your ds can try it to see if the level is the right fit; keep in mind that the first unit is review.  Click "Curriculum" at the top to see the scope and sequence.  FWIW, the instructor/course creator used to teach AP Calculus at a private school, so she knows what's needed in pre-calc to get someone ready for calculus.

On Unlock Math, the site says the student will spend an average of 30 min for each lesson. For Algebra 1 or any upper level math, is this really enough?  Is the course so well done that less time can be spent to master the material? And is it more rigorous than Saxon?

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On 7/17/2020 at 8:16 AM, Kathy in Richmond said:

For what it's worth, AoPS intermediate algebra classes no longer have an Alcumus component. I'm sorry that your son got stuck with that version.

Personally, I've worked through both the AoPS Intermediate algebra and the Precalculus texts, and I found the latter to be easier.

I used a 1990 version of Dolciani Algebra and Trig with my son, and he enjoyed the occasional coding projects built into the exercises. I don't own Dolciani precalculus, though, so I'm not sure whether the follow up text does the same.

 

I own this version of the Shanks text, and yes, it's *very* challenging, akin to how I was taught back in the old days!  Odd-numbered exercises have answers in the back of the book, so it could be used by a motivated student.

And thank you for the info on the Axler book! I like his linear algebra and used it with dd, but I wasn't aware that he'd written other texts.

I ordered the Shanks text just now. Thanks for pointing me towards it. I was able to look at a copy via archive and liked what I saw.

Emily

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43 minutes ago, Terra Beata said:

On Unlock Math, the site says the student will spend an average of 30 min for each lesson. For Algebra 1 or any upper level math, is this really enough?  Is the course so well done that less time can be spent to master the material? And is it more rigorous than Saxon?

I wish they didn't mention 30 minutes per lesson, because that depends on the difficulty of the concept and on the individual student's abilities and the desire for a particular score.  I expect my dc to repeat sections (with new problems) until able to get them all correct in one try, and sometimes that means doing 2-3 times as many problems as originally assigned, which takes longer.  Because of that, dc has spent 30 minutes on easy lessons and several hours on harder ones.  I can't speak to how it compares to Saxon; we never used that because it made my eyes glaze over.  This does have daily review built in, like Saxon, which is a nice change from our DO experience.  Dc is always actively engaged, because the solution to each problem is revealed as soon as the student finishes it, so he can continue to learn while doing the problems. If you're curious about the program, the trial is free; take a look for yourself.  

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This really helped thank you. I was concerned when I saw 30. It actually discredits the rigor of the program. Do you know if kids can do well on SAT with this program, that it covers all the necessary skills and topics?

Thank you so much!!

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3 hours ago, Terra Beata said:

This really helped thank you. I was concerned when I saw 30. It actually discredits the rigor of the program. Do you know if kids can do well on SAT with this program, that it covers all the necessary skills and topics?

Thank you so much!!

I can't speak from experience, but other posters compared topics covered in this thread.  

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Thank you! I spoke to Matthew Blackwood today and he said when they gave the 30 minute guideline in the FAQ, it was back when they only offered Pre-Algebra. He indicated he would remove that. So for the higher level maths it would be more. He said Algebra 1 would be more like 45-90 minutes. He also felt the course was one step below AoPS in rigor/intensity but higher than comparable programs out there. I'm planning to give it a shot beginning Aug 17 and see how it goes. I'm very excited to have it at less than private school price and relatively hands off for me. As an FYI, he called me within 5-10 minutes after filling out the online question submission form.

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I loved the Shanks textbook, but realized I couldn't spend the amount of time I needed to for DS15 to not be lonely. He was asking me to sit with him for an hour every afternoon to work problems with him and I just could not handle it with my other kids.

After telling DS15 that Intermediate Algebra no longer has Alcumus and working through a number of problems from that book with him with him, he reluctantly decided to try out the AOPS Precalc class. He's on week 6 (I think) and *really* likes it and feels quite successful. He says he appreciates the pace of the class. He is my kid who thrives with text-based classes.

Thanks, @Kathy in Richmond for updating me on that change.

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