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Why can I NOT decide what Algebra to purchase for my son???

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Just choose one.


If you choose a text that is not 'standard' (used in actual schools) then make sure you know the program's goals and limitations.


If your son is an average to above average student then just about any of the texts routinely mentioned on this board should work out just fine. All programs can be tweaked if needed.


Video and or tutorial help is nice--but a good teaching text makes this part optional.


My advice,

Choose one you are fairly confident in (you know it will prepare him for the next level) and then ORDER IT if you do not already have it! Seek out help if you need it but do not regret your choice...what works for Sally may not work for George...but a good text can be adapted for both!

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Have you looked at sample lessons online of all the programs you are considering? When I started checking out algebra courses, I found that it was really helpful to look at sample pages and lessons. I knew I would be the one helping ds with his work and I realized that I needed a program that had a book and a video component so we went with teaching textbooks and now we are using videotext. For me, once I decided that we couldn't do it with textbooks alone, it was just a matter of picking which program to use. I agree with the other posters, just pick one that seems to suit you and your dc's learning style and it will most likely be okay. There probably isn't one perfect program that you will never have any complaints with, so you just choose the one that looks best to you.

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I hand them over to the dc to decide. It gives them more ownership of the course. Can you get the texts at the library or borrow them from a homeschooling friend? I was so desperate when picking a Latin program for ds that I bought three, had him choose one, and then resold the other two.

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It's not like I've never done this before. It's just that my girls were always anti-math, so I have never had one doing Algebra in 8th grade. And I never sought out a tough course for them since they weren't going that route.


I want a good, thorough course, but I need aids. I just don't do well explaining the hows and whys.


Now, any suggestions? I really wanted to do Foerster with the MWB cd's, then I read about Jacob's being good (but no good support materials - blah), and I am reading about Chalkdust (which I wouldn't have paid the money for in the past, but can now if I need to).



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So, as kind of a piggyback question, how do you know what to look for in an Algebra program? I'm comfortable with Algebra, but don't have enough knowledge to know what makes a good program, and what doesn't.


We've used Saxon Algebra 1, and are currently using New Elementary Mathematics. I like both books, and know that both have their critics. We only really looked at those because I was familiar with them. But what about others? (Fred, Forrester's, Jacob's, etc.) How do you evaluate and judge a program?

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I'll offer my $.02 since I was just taking a ride in this boat recently!!!


I would say that it depends on the type of student you have -- and they're all different!!


My oldest dd uses Teaching Textbooks. She loves the computer, so it's easier for her to pop a CD in when she's stuck on a problem than to come to us for help or watch a DVD lesson (she doesn't care much for television). She's used all the levels, from Prealgebra on up -- she's currently working her way through the Precalculus text now.


Does she love it? No. But, she doesn't enjoy math. (She's my history / literature gal) Does it do the job? Yes.


My oldest son, however, doesn't like Teaching Textbooks. He trudged his way through the Prealgebra book last year, but retained very, very little. As soon as he popped the CD into the computer, his brain went to lunch. So I knew that I needed something else, but I wasn't sure what. I was reluctant to purchase another curriculum, when I already owned all the TT upper level texts, but I knew that TT just wasn't working for him.


Then, someone posted some ISBN numbers on the K-8 Curriculum board for Chalkdust and I was able to purchase the entire Prealgebra curriculum, used, on Amazon.com for $85, and I thought, "Why not?"


WOW! Does he love it! I've had the books for less than a week and he's almost finished with the first chapter. He LOVES Dr. Moseley. He's definitely a visual learner and he retains a great deal from every lesson. So we're sold on Chalkdust and he'll be able to move into the Algebra I book next year. (It's not pace I would recommend for most college students, because he'll be in the 10th grade and just starting Algebra I, but my son has autism and dyslexia. He's planning on attending the community college after completing his high school studies, so he only needs math through Algebra II. Algebra I in 10th, Geometry in 11th, and Algebra II in 12th will satisfy this requirement).


And, just as an aside, my 4th grader also watches the Chalkdust DVDs! He's not ready to leave Teaching Textbooks, however, and he wants to use TT Math 6 for next year, but he's already said that he wants to use Chalkdust, too, when he's ready for Prealgebra.


I would see if you can order samples -- I know there's a free CD you can order for Chalkdust. Maybe list some pros and cons and present them to your student(s). See which one they would prefer.

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