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Derek Owens vs Saxon/Dive for Physics 1?


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Hello all!

I have a rising junior I'm trying to prepare for calc-based physics in 12th at the Community college. The professor for Alg-based physics at the cc didn't get good reviews by past students, so I'm planning to teach it at home through the year. This would be his first physics course. He has other tough courses at the cc this year (including calc 1 and college chem 2) so I'm not being naive. I know that "Mom's" physics at home would feel like a low priority for him. It's just the reality.  :-(     I'm looking for a course that will be good preparation and also will GET DONE.  Here are the 2 I'm looking at:

1.   Saxon/Dive:   

PROS:   We're familiar with Saxon. We completed the math sequence up through 1/2 of Advanced math in middle school. I also have all the books!!!  I don't remember where I picked them up, but somewhere along the line someone gave me the whole set! I would have to purchase the DIVE videos but they're not too pricey. I feel that Saxon is a strong program that would prepare him well.

CONS:  There's nothing keeping us on pace. This makes it easy to "fall off the wagon" and put other priorities ahead of physics. In other words, I'm not sure it would "get done".

 

2. Derek Owens:

PROS:  This program has structure to it. Videos that he would watch, homework that he would "turn in" to be "graded" and returned. Tests to take and turn in. With me, he would likely want to do only the odds!  Ugh. DS might be annoyed by this "extra pressure" but I think it would help in the "get done" column.

 

CONS:   The program has a monthly fee ($58) which isn't a big deal but still. Saxon would cost $60 total (for the dive videos). Also, I'm not familiar with Derek Owens programs so I don't know about how well prepared he would be. Does anyone have feedback here?

 

Also open to other suggestions....

 

Thanks, Brett

 

 

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I am using GPB's Physics Fundamentals alongside a physics textbook with my dd.  I did the GPB videos several yrs ago with another dd alongside a different program.  The videos offer clear explanations and the program includes a decent incorporation of applied problems.  The teacher's materials for the course are only something like $20 and includes day-by-day plans, assignments/keys, review work, and tests.  https://www.gpb.org/physics-fundamentals

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I have used DO for Algebra 1 and am we will be using it for Geometry again. The response time is excellent for questions, and the grading turn around is also generally very fast. We did have a few times when it took longer than 24 hours but those were rare and usually because the email went to the wrong box. The videos are better than Dive (we used this when my son used Saxon two years ago), and the teacher grading is beneficial for the times when you need to stay on pace. I am sure we will use DO for all of high school math and then for physics as well. HTH

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I am a physics instructor with twenty years teaching experience. I cannot recommend Saxon. The sequence of topics is completely disjointed; the program jumps between unrelated topics and does not build a cohesive systematic foundation. I would choose any other program over this.

Edited by regentrude
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20 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I am using GPB's Physics Fundamentals alongside a physics textbook with my dd.  I did the GPB videos several yrs ago with another dd alongside a different program.  The videos offer clear explanations and the program includes a decent incorporation of applied problems.  The teacher's materials for the course are only something like $20 and includes day-by-day plans, assignments/keys, review work, and tests.  https://www.gpb.org/physics-fundamentals

 

Do the day by day plans include the instruction to read the physics textbook?  Do they recommend a text?  If not, did you have to line up the scope and sequence of the text with their sequence? Thank you!

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3 hours ago, cintinative said:

Do the day by day plans include the instruction to read the physics textbook?  Do they recommend a text?  If not, did you have to line up the scope and sequence of the text with their sequence? Thank you!

No.  There is no reference to a text at all.  My older dd used the videos alongside Kinetic Books physics.  This dd is currently using it with Hewitt's Conceptual Physics, but she really dislikes the text bc he glosses over the math whereas the videos are math focused.  So, I'm thinking about switching texts.  The videos are all labeled on the link I shared, so it should be pretty easy to see how well they align with a text.  (They aligned decently well with KBs, but that was actually overkill and not an approach I would recommend.)

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10 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

nm.....still thinking

 

I own both Conceptual Physics and Giancoli. I know Giancoli is more math-based but I think it is a college text possibly.  

CloverCreek Physics uses Conceptual Physics but I *thought* I heard she supplements with Giancoli for problems.  

I had given some thought to doing this for us if we can't afford her class/can't make it work.  We wouldn't be doing Physics until fall 2021 so I have some time.  

@regentrude have you seen something like a conceptual physics/math-based physics merger that you can share? Like a syllabus or course website?

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If you aren't looking for math per se, I really enjoyed Louis Bloomfield's How Things Work lectures.  At the time, I was teaching a physics-based lab to upper elementary kids and it really helped me to be able to explain the concepts in language they could understand, and it very much helped me to grasp things better. 

https://1050.bloomfieldweb.com//2015/schedule.html

https://1060.bloomfieldweb.com//2015/schedule.html

ETA: this is a physics course for non-science majors. 

Edited by cintinative
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5 hours ago, cintinative said:

 

@regentrude have you seen something like a conceptual physics/math-based physics merger that you can share? Like a syllabus or course website?

I don't know that is supposed to mean. There are conceptual courses that use very limited math, and there are algebra based courses which of course teach the concepts as well. If the student has algebra and some trig, just do algebra based physics. 

Careful on the Giancoli: there are two different texts, an algebra and a calculus based one. Good book, well written.

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5 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

@regentrude I was wondering if you knew how to purchase an answer key or TM for Knight's physics text.   Dd finds the conceptual physics text annoying, so I'm looking for an alternative text to use with GPB's videos.  

Sorry, no idea unless you have an instructor account with the publisher.
But  nowadays all solution manuals are available pirated online.

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22 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I don't know that is supposed to mean. There are conceptual courses that use very limited math, and there are algebra based courses which of course teach the concepts as well. If the student has algebra and some trig, just do algebra based physics. 

Careful on the Giancoli: there are two different texts, an algebra and a calculus based one. Good book, well written.

 

Is there a title difference? How can I tell? Can you help finding the right one? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130606200?pldnSite=1

ETA: I think I have a mix. Thank you for noting this. I think I need the algebra based one. The text I have has calculus.

Edited by cintinative
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10 minutes ago, cintinative said:

 

Is there a title difference? How can I tell? Can you help finding the right one?

ETA: I think I have a mix. Thank you for noting this. I think I need the algebra based one. The text I have has calculus.

Physics for Scientists and Engineers is calculus based. Physics: Principles with Applications is algebra based.

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On 8/12/2020 at 2:32 PM, cintinative said:

 

Do the day by day plans include the instruction to read the physics textbook?  Do they recommend a text?  If not, did you have to line up the scope and sequence of the text with their sequence? Thank you!

We just ended up grabbing a cheap copy this one at HPB. It didn't take much to line it up with the GPB sections, and there are lots of problems in the chapters that have solutions. Dd thought is was easy to read and follow. We used the GPB course as our spine, but you could reverse it. ETA- Dd did this in middle school, so regentrude's suggestions may be more relevant for you.

https://www.amazon.com/Glencoe-Physics-Principles-Problems-PROBLEMS/dp/0078458137?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_11

 

Edited by MamaSprout
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54 minutes ago, regentrude said:

If you are open to using a different book, I can have a look whether I have a copy of an algebra based textbook to give away. I can check at the office tomorrow.

I was wrong. I do have the algebra -based text.  I looked too quickly. Thanks for the offer.

I am still not sure what I will do next year. When I flipped through Giancoli, I saw a lot of problems and math-based discussions and not as much of the practical explanation of concepts.  I am concerned that what I really want is something that is a merge of practically explaining the concepts while also explaining the math behind them. So I might feel the need to supplement it with something that explains the concepts in simple terms.   I guess I have a year to figure this out?

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13 minutes ago, cintinative said:

When I flipped through Giancoli, I saw a lot of problems and math-based discussions and not as much of the practical explanation of concepts.  I am concerned that what I really want is something that is a merge of practically explaining the concepts while also explaining the math behind them. So I might feel the need to supplement it with something that explains the concepts in simple terms.   I guess I have a year to figure this out?

Can you give an explanation what you mean? I think Giancoli does an excellent job of explaining the concepts. It is much easier to understand the concept with the help of math - the hardest physics to teach is the one that is purely conceptual, because so many things can be explained much more concisely with the help of math. It has been my experience that the in-depth conceptual understanding develops as a byproduct of problem solving.

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Just now, regentrude said:

Can you give an explanation what you mean? I think Giancoli does an excellent job of explaining the concepts. It is much easier to understand the concept with the help of math - the hardest physics to teach is the one that is purely conceptual, because so many things can be explained much more concisely with the help of math. It has been my experience that the in-depth conceptual understanding develops as a byproduct of problem solving.

 

I think I need to do more than just flip through the book. Actually reading it would help. 😃 Maybe I am totally wrong in my impression.  I will give it another shot.  My only other recent physics text read has been the Bloomfield How Things Work book and that is very, very different in terms of audience and approach.

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14 minutes ago, cintinative said:

 

I think I need to do more than just flip through the book. Actually reading it would help. 😃 Maybe I am totally wrong in my impression.  I will give it another shot.  My only other recent physics text read has been the Bloomfield How Things Work book and that is very, very different in terms of audience and approach.

yes, the Blomfield is a nice VERY conceptual introduction. Completely different from an algebra based course. If you want Bloomfield, there's a Coursera course.

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12 hours ago, regentrude said:

Can you give an explanation what you mean? I think Giancoli does an excellent job of explaining the concepts. It is much easier to understand the concept with the help of math - the hardest physics to teach is the one that is purely conceptual, because so many things can be explained much more concisely with the help of math. It has been my experience that the in-depth conceptual understanding develops as a byproduct of problem solving.

This is my 9th grader's complaint about Hewitt.  She says that it seems to make everything so generalized that it is just easier for her to understand when they just come out and explain it with math and graphs. I had hoped that the Hewitt book would reinforce the videos, but she understands the videos and Hewitt isn't adding anything of value.

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Since he has already taken calculus, and college level chemistry, i am curious as to why you are looking at  an algebra based physics as prep for  calculus based physic? I thought the best prep for physics was completion of calculus, or a least concurrently. Can't he just take calc based class at the c.c.   Anyway, if you looking to take the class outside of the cc,, you might consder an online class. Hands free for you,.   My new 10th grader is taking Thinkwell calculus based physics. I wanted him to do Physics Prep https://www.physics-prep.com/   Physic Prep is the core material for Pennsylvania Homeschool.  But, my kid  wanted a full college class, not an AP class, so we went with Thinkwell. 

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59 minutes ago, gstharr said:

Since he has already taken calculus, and college level chemistry, i am curious as to why you are looking at  an algebra based physics as prep for  calculus based physic? I thought the best prep for physics was completion of calculus, or a least concurrently.

In my experience, taking an algebra based physics class first is a valuable preparation for a calc based physics course at college.

The completion of calculus is necessary, but really does not play such an important role. The students who struggle in calc based physics because of math typically do so because their algebra is not solid.

It is possible to take a calc based physics course at college as the first ever physics class; about 20% of my students do. However, these courses are fast paced with a high work load, and a student with prior physics exposure will feel more comfortable and be better positioned to succeed.

Edited by regentrude
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My son used Derek Owens' physics course.  The one data point I have about its effectiveness is that a year later, he took the physics subject test without studying and got a 700, which I thought was pretty good.  If you are looking for secular, there is one mention of religion/God that I know of in the videos for the course.  Here is a thread that discusses this.  It is several years old, and I don't know if the course has changed since then.

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  • 3 weeks later...
11 hours ago, Vida Winter said:

Weighing in late...but my daughter took DO physics (years ago) and really enjoyed it... she even considered majoring in physics. Another daughter took Clover Creek Physics and loved it. This is one course where a good instructor can make a huge difference.

Do you have any sense of what course is good for which kid? Thanks in advance!

Also, is DO asynchronous or at your own pace?

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