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Ok, so those who DO like Chalkdust, what do you like, and...

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is the DVD instructor, Dana Moseley. He really is a gifted teacher, and the lessons are very easy to watch and understand. He's very enthusiastic about math and makes the subject interesting.


The only thing I didn't like that much about Chalkdust was the Larson books; I don't find their explanations nearly as thorough as Lial's, which we used for Algebra I and Algebra II. Nevertheless, I was reassured that most of the instruction for the subjects comes through Mr. Moseley, and I will have to say that my oldest did learn geometry pretty well last year. She did have to repeat a chapter, but overall she did very well.



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for PreCalc after having used Saxon, and liked Chalkdust much better. Ds preferred the more topical presentation of the material, loved the on-screen instructor, and loved the more graphical approach to math. Chalkdust PreCalc teaches the use of the graphing calculator which helped my son understand functions much better than the black and white instruction in Saxon, which did not use the graphing calculator that much.


My oldest, who used Chalkdust, really benefited from the DVD instruction, but I'm not sure my younger one will use the DVDs when he gets to PreCalc. He's one that seems OK with just learning from the book with me explaining things he doesn't understand.


The thing I disliked the most about Chalkdust is that there was little guidance on which problems the dc should work from each section. I believe that the instructions said something like approx 25 per section, but which ones? If the program had come with some suggested schedules (e.g. light course, average course, maximum course) that would have been very helpful.


Despite these issues, ds is using the Larson book recommended by Chalkdust for Calculus along with the DVDs purchased from the book publisher. He still loves Dana Mosely, and I like the fact that the problems in each section approach the content in several different ways, which seems to really help my son with retention.




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We've used the CD Algebra I - Calculus. We like:


- That it's non-consumable. It's a good value for us as we have a large family and plan to use it with all of our children.

- Most of the texts (except Algebra I) are hardback and hold up well.

- Dana Moseley's video instruction. He is a very good teacher, not entertaining like Andrew Pudewa, but thorough and organized.

- There are many word problems. Great for application of concepts, especially for future math/engineering/science students.

- There are many problems. Our students do every 4th problem (1, 5, 9, 13, etc.), except Geometry in which they do all of them. It usually works out that the student does at least one problem in every group. It's great to have extra problems in case a student needs extra practice. Only rarely have I wished there were more.

- Calculator instruction (TI-83) is provided. It's pretty good, but I wish there was a bit more of this. The TI manual is not complete and we struggled to figure out how to do things sometimes.

- There is a complete Solutions Manual. This has been very good, although occasionally I wish there were more complete solutions and explanations, especially for probability. Also, I wish that when there is more than one answer possible they would say so!


We used an old Bob Jones Algebra I book for my oldest's 8th grade math. There was no solutions manual, so I needed to work out all of the tough problems myself. Ugh - that was not what I needed the year my twins were born.




Edited by MomsintheGarden
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He's waaaaay better than any math instructor I ever had in HS or college. He's oddly engaging--there's nothing odd about him, but I'll find myself sucked into watching lectures on something that's not really that interesting. Hard to explain, but that's what makes it worth the $$$. If you can't see CD at a curriculum fair, I think you can order a sample DVD from their website to get a better feel for whether it would work for your family.



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My ds is using the Calculus course and thus far we've been very happy with it.


I especially like that I don't have to try to keep up with him so that I can help him with his math. That became problematic last year. I can do it, but I can't do it fast enough and I topped out at Calculus I...so I was really worried about it.


I like the fact that he can email Dana Mosely for help....he has had to do that just three times, but it was really very helpful and a pretty quick turn around (heard by the next day)


I too dislike not have a suggested problem set. For Calculus there are usually over 100 problems per section. I went on line and searched for several hours and found a couple of AP syllabi that teachers had posted. We use that as a guide. I look at their assignments and then sometimes modify it slightly from there.


I wish there were written test so that I didn't have to make up my own from the chapter reviews....it is easy enough to pick out the problems, but I like it to look like a printed test for my portfolio....so I wind up re-writing the problems out using a math editor....but that is my personal picky quirk.


I also like the fact that it is non-consumable....I plan to take the course myself after ds is through with it....or perhaps start after Christmas. I'd really like to brush up my math and continue in it myself.




PS stacey, did you guys get snow last week?

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having used it for years at our house. Why?


First, Mosely is a talented teacher who is able to reach both the math gifted and math-avoiding students in our home. He is also able to refresh my math memory by just watching the video which I consider a bonus. We are so nerdy here that we actually enjoy sitting down and watching it together! haha And find ourselves repeating his favorite phrases - "Mosely-isms" - and laughing about the time our tv was going out and Mosely was green. Okay weird but a bonding experience for us!


Second, I have no beef with the Larson books. Love that they are full of application problems - isn't that why we learn math to start with? My basic strategy has been to start at #3 and work every 4th problem to the end of the section. But then again I am a mathie and will skip what I don't think my particular child really needs. The general plan is to do a section in 2 days but again that is flexible depending on child and what is being covered. I think that sometimes the planning is overcomplicated - keep it simple.


Third, I believe in using the tools of the trade. That means a graphing calculator to me and the Chalkdust series aids in this goal. Starting in Alg 1 the use of the graphing calculator is taught and built upon. IMHO, it is better to be a gradual thing as opposed to trying to figure out how to use it for a standardized test or a competition. A little calculator hand holding along the way has been nice.


And lastly, the results for my kids who have very different learning styles, giftedness, and interest. My math gifted one has been able to ace the Psat and sat math sections with no extra studying (CR/WR studying definitely took place), place in the top 10 at math competitions, and still love math specifically Chalkdust and Mosely. My second ds who previously struggled with math is now pretty successful with it. He will never love it like his brother does but neither does he hate it. His comprehension and understanding of how to approach problems has improved a 100 fold and I have previously sung praises on this board for his improvement via Chalkdust.


I am a very practical gal who has been able to find used Chalkdust packages at reasonable prices on the swapboards and then resell them when we are finished. So don't let price hold you back if you really feel like Chalkdust is the program for your student.


Ugh ... too long - sorry!


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As many other posters have said, Dana Mosely is a fantastic lecturer. He shows several ways to approach a problem. He "thinks" outloud, modeling for the student how to approach problems. He gives mini-reviews during the lectures so the student isn't scratching their head trying to remember why he did a certain math operation. His lectures are such that a struggling math student can learn and become adept at math. He's also easily available and has even called to speak to my ds and me in response to a question of mine.


I've used the Key to ..... series in the past and found that my ds didn't understand or retain anything. He'd also had Saxon in school.

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