Guest Katia Posted February 21, 2008 Share Posted February 21, 2008 I noticed in another post you recommended Life of Fred as a good supplement after Teaching Textbooks or maybe you recommended it as a regular algebra course for a younger student. Anyway.....what I wanted to know is: have you reviewed these texts for content at all? What do you think? Here is my question/dilemma: dd has done TT algebra 1 and algebra 2. I am counting these as Algebra 1 on her transcript. You have said before that TT Algebra 2 has actual algebra 2 content in only the last 30 lessons....SO.....can I count the last 30 lessons of TT Algebra 2 plus LOF Advanced Algebra book as Algebra 2 on her transcript? Will that be "enough" or have enough content for an algebra 2 course? OR, would it be better for us to switch back to Saxon Algebra 2 (which we have done all levels 'except' algebra in the past)? I need to make a decision "now" as dd doesn't have that much more time as she is a current 10th grader. Edit part: She is doing TT Geometry now concurrently with LOF Advanced Algebra. Going the Saxon route she will need to work the next two summers in math to 'catch up'. Going the LOF route she will finish the Advanced Algebra this summer and then go into TT Trig/PreCalc next year and then follow it up with LOF Trig for reinforcment. Opinions: #1- Saxon Algebra 2 then on to Saxon Advanced Math OR #2 - LOF Advanced Algebra then on to TT Trig/PreCalc with LOF Trig. I might add that I'm still looking at TT for Trig because dd really likes and understands it. Personally, I like that it teaches how to use a graphing calculator. I know Saxon does not. So.....??? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jann in TX Posted February 21, 2008 Share Posted February 21, 2008 Supplementing would be optional if you will be staying with TT for Pre-Calc...it won't hurt though! TT's Pre-Calc is pretty fluid with it's Algebra 2 course. I've only seen the online samples of TT's Pre-Calc but what I have seen is not as challenging as a college level Pre-Calc course...and Pre-Calc is a college level course for most majors. I would NOT recommed looking at Saxon's Algebra 2 without the student having worked Saxon's Algebra 1...their methods and scope/sequence are unique too. I'm not completely familiar with LOF's Advanced Algebra and Trig contents so I can't comment on it being a full course or not. Hopefully a mom with experience using this level LOF will speak up. Unless your dd is going on to college and majoring in an area that requires higher maths I would just stick with TT and the LOF supplements... If your dd is going to need higher maths (Calculus and such) then now may be a good time to switch to a more traditional 'college prep' program. It would probably take 15-20 weeks of work to complete a 'standard' college prep Algebra 2 program (filling in gaps and moving on to deffered material)--programs I'm considering 'standard' are Foerster's, Larson and Lial (our local PS uses Larson). Soooooo-option 2 is probably the best choice. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Katia Posted February 22, 2008 Share Posted February 22, 2008 Thanks, Jann. That was sort of the way I was leaning, but you know, Saxon is the "king" of homeschool maths. I think dd may be looking at a biology major, but I need a math that has a teacher and solutions. That is why we used TT as it has both. Now that Saxon is coming out with the same type of CDs I thought we could switch back to that. Deciding math is never easy. I just know nothing about it at all and I know she needs it. Are you 'sure' Saxon 2 wouldn't work? Even with having done both levels of TT and most of LOF's Adv. Algebra? I thought it would be sort of a review, but that she could pick up any gaps and then move on to the Adv. Math. What happens in public and private schools that use Saxon and new students come in and start on algebra 2? Are they just....lost? Don't get what they need? Don't score well on ACT/SAT or don't get into colleges? Just wondering out loud. Thanks for your advice; I appreciate it. Anyone else?? Anyone able to evaluate the content/rigor of Life of Fred? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Kathy in MD Posted February 22, 2008 Share Posted February 22, 2008 have you considered Chalk Dust? There are other video programs, but I don't know if they include a solution book. I would imagine they do, though. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Katia Posted February 22, 2008 Share Posted February 22, 2008 We looked at Chalkdust, but when I say we need solutions, I mean we need them explained and worked out. Other than Teaching Textbooks, I haven't seen that any place else. Most solution books are just lines with the answers to each step on them; no explanations of how you get from one step to the next. These don't help us at all. This is the reason we stopped using Saxon. We simply couldn't figure out how they got from one step to the next using the solution manual and there was no one to explain it to us. That is why we have been using TT with so much success. When we hit a wall, it is explained and, voila!, we can move on. The solution book for Chalkdust was more confusing to us than the Saxon solution book. But now that Saxon is coming out with CDs where each problem is worked out and each test problem is worked out, I think we could use it again. We never had a problem with Saxon's format or how it was set up or the review, etc. We just got lost in those solutions. The only two options for us now are TT or Saxon. They are the only ones with the lessons taught, all problems in the book worked out and explained, and all test problems worked out and explained. Yes, we need all that hand-holding. I do good to keep the check-book balanced. That is the extent of my math skills :o Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jann in TX Posted February 22, 2008 Share Posted February 22, 2008 Saxon, like TT, is an independent publisher (or at least Saxon was designed by one)--the scope and sequence of Saxon is VERY different. The division between Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 is not the same from program to program--unless the program was designed to meet state/national standards. Saxon is closer to standard than TT is--but it has not been adopted by all states. Saxon Algebra 2 will EXPECT the student to know their 'quirky' way of working out and even wording problems (taught in the Algebra 1 text). Students who transfer into schools that use Saxon often have to backtrack a level--or they need the assistance of a private tutor to 'interpret' the text. I have personally tutored several students in this situation--I did not see much success...I did see LOTS of frustration. I also would NOT consider Saxon to be the 'King' of homeschool math programs--currently they are a minority. Saxon was one of the first available options (other than 'Christian' curriculum) and it has been around for a while so it is 'known'. Not all students who use Saxon will test high. I've known several students who were strong in Saxon who did poorly on the SAT/ACT...I've known some who scored near perfect---it has more to do with the individual students math ability than the text used. Because Saxon is so unique it is NOT a good fit for many students. I saw this personally with my oldest dd--she was NOT retaining the information with Saxon---once we switched to a more traditional curriculum where she could see the 'big picture' she started sailing through math--and even enjoying it again! Also, if you are needing to see that many problems worked out with details explained--other than the ones in the lesson--you may not be getting as much out of your program as you think. Solution manuals can be a good OCCASIONAL reference--but they should NOT be used daily. It is too easy for the video solutions to become a crutch...the student 'looks' at them and then says "Now I understand" --but the next time the same type of problem (or similar) comes along they cannot work it on their own--they have not developed THEIR OWN LOGICAL process for that application. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Katia Posted February 23, 2008 Share Posted February 23, 2008 Thanks Jann. I do think Saxon would not be "do-able" for us after reading your explanation. Thanks so much for the detail. I feel sorry for ps kids coming into this program. Just wanted to let know you we don't use the video solutions all the time, but dd is a perfectionist and wants every. single. problem. in the book to be worked out perfectly. So, when she gets stuck, she needs that video solution. Since I have zero math ability, it has been very helpful to her. LOF does not have solutions worked out, and it has been good for her to figure them out by working backward with the solutions given. She is on lesson 40 in Advanced Algebra and thought she wasn't understanding it because so far, in the ENTIRE book, she has not been able to work THREE problems. I thought that was a riot!! And, it ended up to be only one problem, because she used the graphing calculator to work two of the log problems and she thought she was "cheating". I told her that is what that calculator was for and it was 'ok', but she still wondered :) She still had to work the problems to get the correct answers (which she did). So....all that to say: Thanks. I think we'll stick with TT and LOF. If it's 'not enough' she will simply have to backtrack in college. I'm sort-of interested to see how she'll do on the math portions of PSAT and ACT. That should tell the story of how well TT and LOF perform. Guess I'll find out next year in Oct for PSAT and at the end of the year for ACT. I'll let everyone know how she does (as in: excellent / good / or simply adequate) next year. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Michelle in MO Posted February 23, 2008 Share Posted February 23, 2008 We looked at Chalkdust, but when I say we need solutions, I mean we need them explained and worked out. Other than Teaching Textbooks, I haven't seen that any place else. Most solution books are just lines with the answers to each step on them; no explanations of how you get from one step to the next. These don't help us at all. This is the reason we stopped using Saxon. We simply couldn't figure out how they got from one step to the next using the solution manual and there was no one to explain it to us. That is why we have been using TT with so much success. When we hit a wall, it is explained and, voila!, we can move on. The solution book for Chalkdust was more confusing to us than the Saxon solution book. But now that Saxon is coming out with CDs where each problem is worked out and each test problem is worked out, I think we could use it again. We never had a problem with Saxon's format or how it was set up or the review, etc. We just got lost in those solutions. The only two options for us now are TT or Saxon. They are the only ones with the lessons taught, all problems in the book worked out and explained, and all test problems worked out and explained. Yes, we need all that hand-holding. I do good to keep the check-book balanced. That is the extent of my math skills :o I'm not sure exactly what you mean that the only two options for your family now are TT or Saxon. Lial's has a Student Solutions Manual that has every odd problem (which is all you really need to assign) completely worked out----all the review exercises are thoroughly worked out, as well as all the test problems. Plus, they have DVT's (digital video tutors---like a DVD) that give a decent explanation of the lesson. The actual lesson itself is taught very, very clearly, with numerous examples. I personally like the format better than Saxon---at least, Saxon did not work for our dc, because of its incremental approach. I would say that Lial's has more of a mastery approach when it comes to math. Really, it's an excellent program. I suggest that you at least take a serious look at it before purchasing another program. Many of the math-savvy (and not-so-math savvy) moms on these boards recommend it, and it's worked well for my dc. My oldest is using Chalkdust geometry, mostly because Lial's has what they call something like "College Geometry." Although I think Dana Moseley's actual instruction for Chalkdust is excellent, I personally prefer the layout of the Lial's books---they are very thorough, including the solutions manuals. And, if you should ever feel a need to have the solutions for the even problems, there is also a Teacher's Solution manual that covers those. HTH! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Katia Posted February 23, 2008 Share Posted February 23, 2008 Silly me. I thought that Lial's solution manual would read like Saxon or Chalkdust's: just line after line of the 'correct' way to arrive at the answer. Does Lial's solution book actually tell how to get from one step to the next in each problem? And, how you arrived at that process? The closest book that I found to actually telling how the problem was worked out, was Math U See. And, Steve Demme had just put notes with arrows drawn here and there.....I couldn't make it out and neither could my ds. I just enrolled my ds in cc for his maths. Actually, I'm considering doing this with youngest dd when she has completed TT Trig/PreCalc. Going the cc route. That way, we'll just know where she is at (they do an evaluation before they place them in math classes here), and she will have a knowledgeable teacher to answer her questions and fill any gaps before college. But, I would definitely look a Lials again if their solution manual was that explanatory. Thanks for the heads up! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Michelle in MO Posted February 24, 2008 Share Posted February 24, 2008 Silly me. I thought that Lial's solution manual would read like Saxon or Chalkdust's: just line after line of the 'correct' way to arrive at the answer. Does Lial's solution book actually tell how to get from one step to the next in each problem? And, how you arrived at that process? The closest book that I found to actually telling how the problem was worked out, was Math U See. And, Steve Demme had just put notes with arrows drawn here and there.....I couldn't make it out and neither could my ds. I just enrolled my ds in cc for his maths. Actually, I'm considering doing this with youngest dd when she has completed TT Trig/PreCalc. Going the cc route. That way, we'll just know where she is at (they do an evaluation before they place them in math classes here), and she will have a knowledgeable teacher to answer her questions and fill any gaps before college. But, I would definitely look a Lials again if their solution manual was that explanatory. Thanks for the heads up! I find that it gives very thorough explanations, and I'm not a math-savvy mom myself! It has helped me tremendously with going from one step to the next in helping my dd's solve a math problem. As I go through the solutions manual, I feel like it gives me the education in algebra that I've forgotten! If I can find a link which could post a sample page to it, I'll do so. I haven't figured out the "link" thing on these new boards yet, though! I'll try to be right back . . . Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Michelle in MO Posted February 24, 2008 Share Posted February 24, 2008 Amazon for Lial's Introductory Algebra---but only the book, not the solutions manual. Nevertheless, it might give you a slight idea of the pages: http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Algebra-7th-Margaret-Lial/dp/0321064585/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203818202&sr=1-7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Michelle in MO Posted February 24, 2008 Share Posted February 24, 2008 website, which they've recently redesigned (and I find the new pages very annoying, because it's harder to find what you need!). Anyway, here's one place you could order it---or at least get the ISBN's and order it someplace cheaper (i.e., addall.com or e-campus.com): http://www.mypearsonstore.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0321279212 I still can't find a page to show you, but I'll try, in my own clumsy way, to type up a sample solution as it shows it in the book. I'm doing one without squares because I don't know how to do that with this format! Here goes---from Section 2.3, More on Solving Linear Equations, from the solutions manual (2.3 Section Exercises): 1. 5m + 8 = 7 + 4m For this equations, step 1 is not needed. Step 2 5m + 8 - 8 = + 7 + 4m - 8 Subtract 8 5m = 4m - 1 5m - 4m = 4m - 1 - 4m Subtract 4m m = -1 For this equation, step 3 is not needed since the coefficient of m is already 1. Step 4 Substitute -1 for m in the original equation 5m + 8 = 7 + 4m 5(-1) + 8 = 7 + 4(-1) ? Let m = -1 -5 + 8 = 7 + (-4) ? 3 = 3 True The solution is -1 Now---the solutions manual here says they're listing all the steps just for the first 4-5 exercises, but they still show all the steps for the rest of the exercises. In other words, in the first 4-5 problems in this section they're showing all the proofs, I guess you would say. But, they still show the question for every odd exercise, how to work out every single step, and if you follow it along, you can see how they came to the answer. Do you have a local community college? Our cc uses Lial's, and if your cc or another school uses it, you might ask to look at a copy and peruse it for yourself. The DVT's are pretty good; the explanations are fairly clear. Now, if they had a teacher whose "style" and explanations came across as clearly as Dana Moseley, you'd have an unbeatable program! Nevertheless, the DVT's are pretty clear, the book explanations are very thorough, and the solutions manual is, in my opinion, very good. This is all the opinion of a non-math minded mom, though, so maybe some of the math moms can chime in? :D Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Katia Posted February 25, 2008 Share Posted February 25, 2008 Michelle, thank you SO much. This has been very, very helpful. I'll keep researching Lials, and I'll check and see what our community college uses as well. Thanks especially for typing all that out. It really helps to "see" it. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jann in TX Posted February 25, 2008 Share Posted February 25, 2008 Lial's solutions manuals do provide each step worked out--but they do not explain 'how' and 'why'--just the math is listed. With Lial the text provides EXCELLENT support on this issue--the steps are worked out in detail in the examples. Again, if you need that much hand-holding, you may need to rethink your program--is it really teaching you that well--and you may also think about finding a tutor for support--some students think just differently enough that the text/video lessons do not answer their OWN logical questions. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Jann in TX Posted February 25, 2008 Share Posted February 25, 2008 The new 10th edition of Lial's has a video/cd where a teacher will work out all of the test problems showing all steps and talking about it... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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