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Pre-Algebra Recommendations?


Bay Lake Mom
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My 12 yo daughter is working through Saxon 7/6, and she's doing well.  I am trying to figure out what her next math is.  I don't want to stick with Saxon.  We tried it this year, but I don't like their progression through high school.

I have seen many recommend Dolciani for Pre-Algebra.  I can't locate it online anywhere to see samples or even purchase (at a reasonable price).  However, when I searched, I immediately recognized it!  It was the Pre-Algebra book that I used in the early 90's!  I don't really remember much about it though.

I am curious to hear if any of you transitioned from Saxon 7/6 to Pre-Algebra, and what curriculum you chose?  My daughter does not like math, or school for that matter.  I don't want something that will be super challenging, but simply to introduce concepts of Algebra.

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We used Math Mammoth and then went on to Video Text, but I don't have any experience with Saxon to know if that would be a good transition or not. (Well, there was that one year we tried Saxon, but that was The Year Of Tears and we don't like to talk about it 😜) Only my oldest particularly likes math, but even my math haters have a good conceptual understanding after having gone through these programs.

I hope you get some more responses with people who have used Saxon!

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51 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

We used Math Mammoth and then went on to Video Text, but I don't have any experience with Saxon to know if that would be a good transition or not. (Well, there was that one year we tried Saxon, but that was The Year Of Tears and we don't like to talk about it 😜) Only my oldest particularly likes math, but even my math haters have a good conceptual understanding after having gone through these programs.

I hope you get some more responses with people who have used Saxon!

How far up does Math Mammoth go? I've heard good things about it. 

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Dolciani Pre-A is good --very good. The C level problems are especially challenging and great for application of concepts.  I spread Dolciani Pre-A over 18 months (with some other rabbit trails) for one of mine who was quick with math and needed more of a challenge; he had previously done R&S 7, and then BJU Press Fundamentals of Math, and he was BORED.   Overall Dolciani was a great experience for him.

BUT

Finding the Teacher's Edition was an expensive hunt for the holy grail.  I needed the answers, especially for those C level problems.  🙂 I did find the TE, but it still remains the single most expensive book I have bought for school-- and I've been schooling for 15 years.   Also know that the TE has the answers, but *not* the solutions to the problems. 

Student book ISBN: 039543050x (copyright 1988) -- has answers to the odds in the back of the book.

Teacher's Edition ISBN: 0395430518 (copyright 1988) 

Solutions Manual ISBN:  0395359899

 

 

 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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A few questions for you, OP:

Why do you not want Saxon?  Is the integrated, incremental bits?  Would you prefer something more topical? 

Does your daughter like Saxon?  Is she putting the pieces together well and wants to keep going?

How are *you* in teaching/understanding math?  Do you need/want more hand-holding?  Are able/available to teach or talk through things? Or do you need to be more hands off? 

All these things affect what curricula I would suggest.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, I am NOT a math minded person.  Just someone who has been using lots of books to try to self teach and then teach pre algebra and above for seven years now. 

A good middle of the road series I like for pre-algebra and algebra is by Tobey & Slater. It is a community college text, very similar to Lials (Lials would a great choice as well).  Older editions are fine and much cheaper. 

 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

How far up does Math Mammoth go? I've heard good things about it. 

 

41 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Just to Pre-A, sadly.

Math Mammoth does offer algebra 1 worksheets, but they are not a course like the earlier ones.  They are just worksheets (in the same style/format as the earlier courses) on all the typical algebra concepts...but no instruction/teaching boxes included. We used them to supplement AOPS Algebra because sometimes DS just needed more incremental practice of a skill before he was ready to dive into the more complex AOPS problems...and incremental is something Math Mammoth excels at. However, this only worked because I could match up the proper worksheets to the topic he was working on and provide all the additional instruction he might need. I expect the worksheets could also be used as a supplement to Khan or Teaching Textbooks to add additional challenge, practice and word problems.

Math Mammoth also offers Real Life Math workbooks with activities up through Calculus. Again, very little instruction, mostly just a short introduction to one way a math concept is used in "real life" (ie scaling is sometimes used to design toys as scale models of real life objects) and then problems to go along with the topic. We have not used these yet, but I am strongly considering having DS try the one on quadratics as reinforcement because that is the topic he most struggled with in algebra.

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My one big HS fail, that turned around, fortunately, was ditching Saxon for Pre-algebra.  

We went to Teaching Textbooks for pre-algebra, then to Lial’s for Algebra.  Lial’s was.not.working for us, so I went desperate and tried Life of Fred toward the end of that year to fill in holes (I am not ashamed to admit this now that things turned around=).  Then over summer between 8-9, I had DS do Keys to Algebra to finish filling in the holes that weren’t filled in by Life of Fred.  Then, 9th grade, gave in to Saxon geometry (with Saxon Teacher DVD), thinking to follow the IMO silly advice to take Alg 1/geometry/Alg 2 sequence.   Well, Saxon Teacher was no more than reading the textbook examples to DS (for $80), and he was recuperating from a bad/crazy former year in math.  This was a seriously math loving/read math for fun child...but we were in trouble in my department...curriculum choice.  

By the grace of God, I did what I always do: read on WTM.  Saw something about Art Reed, looked him up, called him that day.  He kindly took my call, spent 45 minutes discussing math with DS, and told him gently that he would have to repeat Alg I with Saxon, how to progress, and convinced him that the sequence would not mess up his chances of being a math major!  (DS has gone on to study and excel at math as an undergrad and graduate student)

We used Art Reed DVD’s along side the text, DS was able to do this all independently, emailing/calling Mr. Reed for the occasional problem.  Art Reed has the children begin each day reading the text book then watch his DVD with Mr. Reed explaining the concept from a slightly different angle than the text, then do a few practice problems before doing the day’s lesson.  Mr. Reed is actually there, in front of camera, teaching the concepts/discussing things on screen.  Other children here, not math loving, prospered with Art Reed DVDs in high school as well.  He now offers streaming.  For calculus and physics, we used Derek Owens...I could go on and on about his greatness, as well!

https://teachingsaxon.com/

Edited by Familia
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My daughter is almost done with Dolciani Pre-Algebra. There was a lot that she knew already (since Pre-Algebra does have a lot of review), but she liked it a lot better than AoPS (which we tried first, since she did well with BA). She's quick with math and hates repetition, so we found that doing odds worked well for her, and the answers to most of the odds are in the back of the book. 

As far as price, keep an eye out, because I got my copy for $1.45 (well, almost $7 after shipping and tax) back in May of this year. I bought from this listing on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0395359872

Edited by silver
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  • 6 months later...
On 11/13/2020 at 5:49 PM, ScoutTN said:

I have a Dolciani PreA and a solutions manual that I would sell. PM me if you are interested.

My daughter used it and it was a good fit. 

@ScoutTN Do you still have these for sale?  If so, I'm interested!  

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On 5/30/2021 at 4:19 AM, ScoutTN said:

Yes, I think so. Not home to check right now. I’ll PM you early next week.

Thank you!  I'll keep an eye out! 🙂

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