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Is teaching Textbooks Algebra I challenging enough? What DON'T you like about it? n

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AGHHH. I don't like posts like this. We're just starting TT Algebra.

I can tell you the pre-algebra has saved our days and my sanity!

My son wanted to reply - "I love it."

Good enough for me for now.

We're on lesson 2 so I'll let you know when we finish.

 

Also, I won't be reading the replies in this thread :p.

 

I'm soooo glad we switched. HOpe it stays this way through Algebra.

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We have nothing bad to say about TT here. We're using Algebra and pre-Algebra and Grade 5 and it's going great.

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I didn't find it very challenging. My daughter completed the Math Relief Algebra I (and, in fact, didn't even complete the last phase), and went directly into TT Algebra II. She didn't learn anything new until after lesson 100. This is after not even really completing the FULL Algebra I. If she had completed that last phase of Algebra I, I don't believe she would have gotten anything from TT at all. With that in mind, it's almost possible to do the Math Relief Algebra I and call it I and II (obviously not really, but technically you could do so if you counted TT Algebra I and II as two complete courses).

 

I wanted to use TT SO badly. I really like the program. However, for kids that are college bound (and NEED math for their higher education), I think you need to take another route.

 

After much headache over which program to use, I have decided to go with Math Relief for Algebra I and II with the rest of my gang! My cosmetology school-bound daughter will only be made to complete the Algebra I along with Geometry and a Business Math, but math is her weakest subject and, like I said, I feel Math Relief covers in Algebra I what some don't until II anyway so I think this will give her a good enough foundation.

 

If I were to use TT, I would definitely use it ahead of the normal grade levels (ie Algebra in 7th or 8th for SURE), and make sure to get through at least the pre-calculus to consider my child having had a strong Algebra II program.

 

I hope this makes sense. I've been eating raw garlic all morning because I'm sick and my head is just loopy!!

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I was very suspicious of this program because everyone says that their kids are doing so well after struggling with other programs. It made me wonder if TT is just too easy. So, after looking at the online samples (which were VERY simple and basic) I have determined that TT is not challenging enough for a college-bound math student. I'm probably bursting some bubbles, but you have to honestly ask yourself why your student is all of a sudden having such an easy time with Algebra.

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I've been following the math postings since asking my own question about Saxon versus other options. I liked what I saw on TT website, but read posts that stated it was not challenging enough. Has anyone done TT with another program (like Saxon) or would that be just too time consuming or frustrating for a student (I have a soon-to-be 7th grader). If anyone has merged two programs - what kind of schedule do you follow?

Thanks - and TIA for letting me tack on a question already posted! :)

Julie

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my dd was using Jacobs Algebra. She was doing ok with the Jacobs program, but found that because neither she or I are strong in math that we would get stumped. Then we would have to wait for my Engineer husband to come home and help solve the problem. The aspect of TT I liked was that each problem has a solution worked out step by step. So, whenever you are stuck or the child gets an answer wrong, they can watch the CD and see how the problem should be solved. That is worth a great deal to me. We will have enough time for her to work through to Calculus so hopefully she will be fine.

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IF TT is working for the child, and there are no days of crying through math, then it works.

IF your child is college bound in the math/science fields they probably should be working a year ahead in ANY math curriculum that you use. I have one dc working a grade level ahead in Saxon because they can and I have one working a year ahead in TT because they can.

Homeschooling allows us to have a variety of curriculum styles available and the ability to advance the dc as needed in any subject.

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:p (Just kidding!)

 

Sometimes it seems like TT is the one curriculum that can't be criticized.

 

As for me, I won't use it for either of my boys who have even a remote chance of going on to anything harder than bare minimum math requirements in college. I have to decide soon if my artist son will use it, but even then I wonder, because I think a rigorous geometry with proofs is a must, and he will need to be able to use the mental exercise in his art and logic and life in general. This artist son can make A's in (Saxon) math when he decides to do it, and math is nothing if not a mental exercise. I would feel better if I knew of more TT students were able to go on to higher college math, but the numbers are just not there yet... the program is just too new.

 

I'm also skeptical about starting it because I've heard from several people that it just seems easy (or further behind), and you just need to stick with it for the whole sequence. I am afraid of sticking with a sequence for 3 or 4 years waiting for it to get more rigorous, and having three years of regret at the end. I like the freedom I now have to cut bait if a program isn't working. Because of this just-give-it-more-time reasoning, TT has the potential of crippling a student. I'd rather plan on spending more time on a tried-and-true solid math program, and hiring a tutor, than taking a chance on an easier math program that didn't prepare my kids sufficiently.

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We used Pre-Algebra and Algebra II here last year and my math-hater loved Pre-Algebra and understood math finally, and the other child had no complaints, but used ALEKS all summer to prepare for the PSAT/SAT. This fall when my math-hater started Algebra I (with Chalkdust) we discovered that she had learned/retained nothing from Pre-Algebra, so we have put aside Algebra for now and she is working through Pre-Algebra again using ALEKS and plans to try to complete Algebra I this summer so that she is still on schedule with her math and science. If you are planning on college, I would not recommend using TT.

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I don't think it is the criticism that is the problem, it is the seeming (and I may be wrong) tone of condescension of those who feel it is beneath them to use for their child(ren).

I'm glad we all have options that work for our children. I will continue to choose my curriculum based on the individual needs of mine.

I will continue to keep one dc in Saxon, one in TT and one in Horizons. Each curriculum serves their individual needs. :)

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It helps to see both the negative and the positive aspects of a curriculum. She asked for negatives in order to make a more well-informed choice, and fans were posting the opposite. :)

 

It is good for us here to be able to give our opinions about curricula. I didn't care for English for the Thoughtful Child at all when my children were young enough to use it, even though SWB herself gave it a thumbs-up (this was back before her own substitute was published). Back when I posted negative comments about that program, I don't remember any real discussion about it. I could be blocking, though. :)

 

If I sounded condescending to those who use it because they use it, I certainly didn't mean to at all. I intended only to criticize the program based on several years of thinking about it.

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It helps to see both the negative and the positive aspects of a curriculum. She asked for negatives in order to make a more well-informed choice, and fans were posting the opposite. :)

 

It is good for us here to be able to give our opinions about curricula. I didn't care for English for the Thoughtful Child at all when my children were young enough to use it, even though SWB herself gave it a thumbs-up (this was back before her own substitute was published). Back when I posted negative comments about that program, I don't remember any real discussion about it. I could be blocking, though. :)

 

If I sounded condescending to those who use it because they use it, I certainly didn't mean to at all. I intended only to criticize the program based on several years of thinking about it.

 

Gotcha! :D

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I was very suspicious of this program because everyone says that their kids are doing so well after struggling with other programs. It made me wonder if TT is just too easy. So, after looking at the online samples (which were VERY simple and basic) I have determined that TT is not challenging enough for a college-bound math student. I'm probably bursting some bubbles, but you have to honestly ask yourself why your student is all of a sudden having such an easy time with Algebra.

 

 

Yeah, I looked through their website some time ago and a few times since. Basically, I think the program sucks, too. But, in all fairness, it sucks just like every other program out there. If you home school your kid with it, I bet they wouldn't fair any worse than your average public schooled child -- that's about the level of it from what I can tell. It's probably no worse than Every Day Math. If you don't want to think too hard about program choices or are just not confident in your own ability to devise a program of study on your own, then just do Singapore up through NEM 4 and then put them in community college for calculus. (Personally, I also think just about every sort of calculus sucks, too, but that's another matter.)

 

That said, though, I would probably use it if I didn't care much about math. For instance, we probably do that sort of thing with art or something (which we don't care much about). We just "box check" it.

 

It's all a question of priorities. Maybe you just want to do more Latin and Greek or maybe you just want your kids to have an easier time of it.....

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and we use TT. His opinion is not that it's easier, but the explanations are much clearer, which is why it might seem to click with more kids. Our son did Algebra 1 in 8th grade, and he's very math minded, and will go on to higher maths. I don't think very highly of the pre-algebra program, but, like most other pre-algebra programs I've looked at, if you've had a solid foundation of math in the early/mid years, it's all review anyway.

 

My husband thinks it's a very thorough program for late middle/early high school. and because he makes good money working with numbers all day, I trust him.

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I've heard the question -"why are people doing well on this program that didn't do well on others?". I think that could be answered by their format. I've got a very mathy son. He's doing Alg. 1 in 7th. Some of it he finds simple to do and some not. The instruction is so complete and the answer CD's are invaluable for following up on concepts he didn't quite get the first time. I haven't found anything comparable. I believe that's the reason people are doing well on it - not because it's not difficult enough. I do agree that any college bound child should be working ahead of schedule. That's hard to do unless you jump levels early. Don't know if this helps - just our experience. :)

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After TT 7 (6th grade general math) we opted for CD PreAlg because it closely resembles the math that our local private schools are doing (mainly Prentice Hall) as well as elite private schools nationwide. I needed the dvd component and just fell in love w/ Prof. Mosely in the demo.

 

I sought lots of advice here from the mathy parents. I had my nuclear engineer dad look at TT & CD to help me choose. But what sealed the deal was I made an Excel spreadsheet w/ the table of contents of 4 leading programs. TT was behind in scope and sequence and I would have needed to supplement w/ Aleks (which sounded like a headache) to keep w/ a traditional sequence.

 

My son also wanted a math program that seemed more like traditional school -- w/ a teacher, real textbook, etc.

 

TT was great to help in my transition from private to home school. But it doesn't have what I felt we needed to keep competitive w/ the rest of the students in the nation's top schools.

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there's evidence that college bound kids who have used TT have trouble? I would like to read about that.

 

I have a hard time believing that any child who wants to go to college but may be (*gasp*) average in ability is shooting himself or herself in the foot by using this program. Average children get into college, too, and do just fine. :)

 

Accelerated children looking to study in hard sciences/math? Sure, TT is probably not rigorous enough. But goodness, the generalizations that it's a waste of time for ALL college bound kids seems unfounded maybe? And I'm not even in love with the program... LOL

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No one knows how a math/science kid will do after completing the TT sequence because it is not complete. They only released pre-Calc this year and without the DVD/CD backup. Next year is the date for the full release of Pre-Calc. Don't know what the plans are for Calc release. BTW I have seen recommendations from colleges that engineering student have calc. completed before they start there Freshman semester. They even have programs that allow them to take Calc the summer before freshman year if they have not completed it in high school.

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We switched to TT when my oldest was in Saxon Alg 1 and having a hard time. She did wonderful with TT and I was thrilled. She went from D's and F;s in Saxon to A's with TT. That alone made me wonder about TT. Her first college Alg class was a disaster and she ended up dropping it. She was not ready at all.

 

In the meantime, after all the negative reviews I was reading, we decided to switch again. One of my sons at the time was in 8th and had just finished TT Alg 1. I had him take the Saxon Alg 1 placement test to see where I'd place him. He absolutely bombed the Saxon Alg 1 placement test after finishing TT Alg 1!

 

We spent the summer doing Aleks to catch up and this year he is using Saxon Alg 1 and is scoring 90's consistantly.

 

So, in my limited experience TT is not only not rigorous enough it is far behind other curriculum in scope and sequence. My 11th grader is still using TT though because we didn't have time to start over using another program. He is going to have to take some math next year at the CC to get him ready for college math.

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I have used Saxon, Jacob's, and TT. with my 3 older children.

 

I've discovered that it is easy to score well with TT, but there is insufficient practice for long term retention.

 

Saxon is excellent at drilling processes for long term retention, but I feel is weak in the problem solving area. also weak in geometry.

 

My son who is using Jacob's Algebra now is having problems retaining what he has learned, so he'll probably benefit from doing Saxon Alg1 next year.

 

There is no one best program, and it's difficult to supplement.

 

I would not use TT for a student who is going into the Math/Science track.

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and we use TT. His opinion is not that it's easier, but the explanations are much clearer, which is why it might seem to click with more kids. Our son did Algebra 1 in 8th grade, and he's very math minded, and will go on to higher maths. I don't think very highly of the pre-algebra program, but, like most other pre-algebra programs I've looked at, if you've had a solid foundation of math in the early/mid years, it's all review anyway.

 

My husband thinks it's a very thorough program for late middle/early high school. and because he makes good money working with numbers all day, I trust him.

Thank you! My son is coming from Saxon, and Saxon was frustrating him so much, doing TT Algebra is so much easier and yes the explanations are so much better!!

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It's good to know, though. I have 2 dc that will take the easy route and finish with Consumer and Business Math, so I'm not so concerned there. My 6th grader is completing MUS Pre-algebra and I'm looking for something for him-he is the math/science guy... I thought I had it all planned out with using TT! :confused: Oh well... off to do more research!

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I've been following the math postings since asking my own question about Saxon versus other options. I liked what I saw on TT website, but read posts that stated it was not challenging enough. Has anyone done TT with another program (like Saxon) or would that be just too time consuming or frustrating for a student (I have a soon-to-be 7th grader). If anyone has merged two programs - what kind of schedule do you follow?

Thanks - and TIA for letting me tack on a question already posted! :)

Julie

 

We haven't used another TT program other than Geometry, but dd started off using Jacob's Geometry and was reduced to tears because the explanations weren't clear enough. We switched to TT Geometry and dd is also doing Saxon Algebra II. I don't understand why some people say there's not enough proofs in TT Geometry. My dd just completed the 11th test of the TT program and on EVERY test there have been proofs (some very long). She's even doing Trigonometry in the program right now. I've been very pleased with TT Geometry. She's doing the geometry sections of Saxon, too, with the Dive CD's, but using TT to explain the concepts. She's done very well on the Saxon geometry components as a result.

 

I cannot comment on TT Algebra as we haven't used it, perhaps there's a big difference.

 

Just my $.02

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The Pre-Calc text has been released but not the supporting videos--what supposedly 'makes the program'.

 

TT admits to purposely deferring concepts until its Pre-Calc text. Concepts that are expected to be covered in standard Algebra 2 programs--what colleges think were covered when you list Algebra 2 on a transcript.

 

When you compare TT's Algebra 2 to most other standard (state and national) Algebra 2 programs you will find about HALF of the material in the standard program is being covered.

 

Most Pre-Calc programs are BIG texts--College Algebra, Trig and an introduction to Calculus combined. TT's Pre-Calc text is pretty small. It supposedly covers the Algebra 2 concepts and all of the above....well it remains to be seen as very few have used this program as it is not complete. As a certified math teacher I can tell you that the sample lessons TT provides are certainly NOT up to par with standard Pre-Calc texts. Pre-Calc is a COLLEGE LEVEL course for most majors. This concerns me.

 

Independent publishers need to be VERY careful when they decide to label their products--they get to set their own standards and what appears to be an 'Algebra 2' text by THEIR label is really closer to a standard Algebra 1 text--and maybe a one semester more (closer to 9 weeks more).

 

Will using TT 'hurt' a student. NO! But it may DELAY the student as VERY FEW who use TT's Algebra 2 will be able to succeed in a standard (college level) Pre-Calc program. Will TT's Pre-Calc prepare students for college level Calculus--this remains to be seen.

 

Will TT help a student to make an AVERAGE grade on the SAT test. Yes, because it was specifically designed for this text...and not much above the test. For students who will take above Algebra 2 the information tested on the SAT in just not adequate (well rounded) to be considered complete knowledge of the subject in preparation for future maths.

 

I nearly used TT for my oldest dd who has learning differences. I'm glad that I did not as she will need College Algebra for her community college program/certification. TT's Algebra 2 would not have been enough for her to place into College Algebra (half of a Pre-Calc program)--she would have had to take Intermediate Algebra (Algebra 2) loosing one semester of prerequisites and at an additional cost of over $500--for a NON_CREDIT course.

DD is finishing up Lial's Intermediate Algebra. She has been taking sample tests and I have no doubts that she will place into College Algebra at the community college next fall (her Sr year). Our investment in the Lial's course was less than $50--text, solutions and video lessons (which she has not used). That is over $650 dollars difference--plus the additional semester lost... Lial's was the best option for us.

 

Also this same dd with learning differences was able to complete lesson 100 in TT's Algebra 2 program without a single error--this after only completing Lial's Introductory Algebra (Algebra 1). This left only 30 lessons of 'Algebra 2 material... TT's explanations may be good--but the content is just not there--AND the depth is just not there.

 

The credentials of TT's authors may seem impressive to some uneducated people--BUT they PALE in comparison to the background of the teams of authors programs like Lial's, Foerster's, Jacobs, and Larson (and many others including regular PS texts) have.

 

Do I 'hate' TT--NO! Have I ever recommended TT--YES! TT is a great program (notice I said GREAT) for younger (7th grade and below) Algebra students who have the luxury of time to work an additional Algebra 2 program (to bring them up to standard). I always suggest stopping TT after Algebra 2 because the foundation of Algebra is VERY important to the understanding of Pre-Calc and higher levels. It is much easier to go back and review/retake Algebra 2 than to go back and retake a Pre-Calc program having a weak background/foundation.

 

This is just my opinion--and I know that there will be a FEW exceptions---students scoring stellar on the SAT after using TT... I taught from a weak program (ABeka) at a private school--I had one student score near perfect on the SAT--was it because he used ABeka---NO!--it was because he had taught himself math 'on the side' in order to write computer programs. He was a natural at math. The majority of students are not.

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Guest Katia

These math discussions have been so very helpful for me. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I am so thankful for all the math people on here, and even those who aren't but can still see when a program isn't as advertised, and then let the rest of us know so that we can adjust our choices accordingly.

 

It has helped me to see that, yes, I really do need my dd to take Algebra 2 again, but that it's ok to count TT Algebra 2 has her Algebra 1 course. That is really, really good. She hasn't lost any ground since we did TT Algebra 1 in 8th grade. So what if she took pre-algebra in both 7th and 8th grade. It didn't hurt her a bit.

 

I have ordered a set of Lials Intermediate math from half.com and can't wait to see how it looks and works for us. I'm still interested in finding out more about Math Relief Algebra 2 (see my post below!) if anyone can enlighten me about that.

 

Thanks again, everyone!!:)

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To directly answer your question:

1. Not meaty or challenging enough for my eldest SCIENCE bound dd (at least so far.) SHE said it was too easy.

 

2. Not enough mathematical thinking to satisfy us, but we're big fans of Gelfand's Algebra, just took a break from it as my dd was ready for Algebra before she was ready for long problems. We've tried a few programs to keep her going.

 

You didn't ask what we liked about it, but I'll throw that in for free. The real life problems are a lot of fun for kids.

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Do I 'hate' TT--NO! Have I ever recommended TT--YES! TT is a great program (notice I said GREAT) for younger (7th grade and below) Algebra students who have the luxury of time to work an additional Algebra 2 program (to bring them up to standard). I always suggest stopping TT after Algebra 2 because the foundation of Algebra is VERY important to the understanding of Pre-Calc and higher levels. It is much easier to go back and review/retake Algebra 2 than to go back and retake a Pre-Calc program having a weak background/foundation.

 

t.

 

Thank you Jann. My 11 yo finished Singapore 6A/B and Saxon 8/7 when he was at the end of fourth grade. We spent last year attempting to start algebra with the more rigorous programs because he is hoping to become an engineer. It was a disaster!!! He kept hitting walls that we just couldn't jump. He really floundered and I feel like we wasted an entire year.

 

This year I decided to try TT for him. It has totally changed his outlook on math and increased his confidence. Yes, it's definately not as rigorous as Lial's or Jacobs, but it certainly has its place.

 

I'm planning on having my ds do TTAlgebra 1, geometry and possibly Algebra 2. Then I think we'll do another year of Algebra 2 with a more traditional text (Lial's?) and hopefully on to pre-calc and calculus before he graduates high school (we have PLENTY of time! LOL).

 

Anyway, I think that TT definately has its place and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone else with a young algebra student.

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my dd15 (14 when she began using Alg. 1 is doing much better with TT. Yes, it is presented in such a way that it seems easy, but she still has days when she misses several problems. She corrects, watches the cd's, and UNDERSTANDS why she missed it.

 

Just from experience...I have an older dd19 who graduated last May from ps. She took all AP classes and was a year ahead of her sister in math. She graduated with a great gpa, fairly highly ranked in her class with merit scholarship money. Guess what??? When she took the accuplacer to determine her math course at college, she placed into Beginning Algebra!!!

Yeah, she took advanced classes, used textbooks by some of the authors mentioned in previous posts and from the best publishers, but guess what...she didn't get much out of it. She says she really never "got" it.

 

I'd rather my dd15 understand all of a "less rigorous" program not just a small percentage of a more rigorous program just to have bragging rights.

 

Of course I am only speaking for those of us who are so uneducated that we can be swindled by the credentials of the authors of TT. Yes, this comment offended me. It was unnecessary.

 

Robin

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I'd rather my dd15 understand all of a "less rigorous" program not just a small percentage of a more rigorous program just to have bragging rights.

 

Of course I am only speaking for those of us who are so uneducated that we can be swindled by the credentials of the authors of TT. Yes, this comment offended me. It was unnecessary.

 

Robin

 

Pretty much my thoughts.

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Just from experience...I have an older dd19 who graduated last May from ps. She took all AP classes and was a year ahead of her sister in math. She graduated with a great gpa, fairly highly ranked in her class with merit scholarship money. Guess what??? When she took the accuplacer to determine her math course at college, she placed into Beginning Algebra!!!

Yeah, she took advanced classes, used textbooks by some of the authors mentioned in previous posts and from the best publishers, but guess what...she didn't get much out of it. She says she really never "got" it.

 

 

 

 

 

Same story, except my daughter tested high enough to be in the next level up of math.

 

She did not perform well in that class because she never "got" it either. Her full tuition scholarship is in jeopardy because she skated through math in high school and knew just enough to get by, but never really understood what was being taught.

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I'm sorry if my 'uneducated' statement offended you. I was responding to many past threads where posters have stated that if the authors were Harvard math tutors and had master's degrees they had the credentials to write a math text. I REALLY REALLY like the way that TT is set up. This is the new trend for future math series--and I think it is a good one! I also like the way the authors gently break down the lessons--and the built in review.

 

I know I always seem to come across as being anti-TT. If you read my posts all the way you will notice that I often recommend TT...but it needs to be supplemented if a full credit for Algebra 2 is to be given--especially since their Pre-Calc text (program) is not complete yet--I'm sure if you would use their Pre-Calc program you would complete the Algebra 2 credit--but I have serious reservations about the rest of the course being strong enough for even a basic Pre-Calc credit. This is why I state over and over again that the outcome of this program remains to be seen.

 

I do have a STRONG opinion about giving credit for a course that has only been half-way completed. There is NO DOUBT that the Algebra 2 program by TT is missing close to half of the concepts that standardized Algebra 2 textbooks contain.

 

Again, I'm sorry if I offended you, but the original poster of this thread was asking specifically for what people DID NOT LIKE about TT and I, as a parent and certified-experienced math teacher responded to her question.

 

 

______

 

You might be interested to know that I will be 'graduating' my dd with learning differences next year. She will NOT have 4 credits of Language Arts/English. This is an area where she struggles and her progression is slow but there. I'm grateful for the FREEDOM home schooling brings us. I am making every effort to enable my dd to succeed in her Community College writing course that she will have to take for the certification she is seeking. DD is NOT working on grade level in this subject area --and I will NOT be giving her credit for 4 years of moving slowly. When she is prepared to enter Community College her time in 'high school' with be complete (she will be close to 19 years old at that time).

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:) :) I don't necessarily have an issue with folks not liking...or loving TT!!! I guess the generalization that uneducated people have been "taken in" really got under my skin. Educated or not, I feel people should choose programs that provide the best education for their kids under their circumstances. Also, I can't say that programs used in school are all that great considering our experience (as well as others that responded). The books may look impressive, but only a fraction of those books is really used...and the skipping around is unreal...nothing orderly on the part of the teacher. All my kids have been in ps...one through 7th grade and the other all the way through high school. Some years they didn't even get a textbook...who knows what they learned that year!!!

 

I appreciated that some moms/dads are education professionals. I have gained tons of information from reading their posts. I just don't like being categorized as uneducated because I also appreciate the credentials of the TT author...and his presentation/methods. Most of us use other subject products that rarely get the scrutiny of the TT author. Some of the authors of these homeschool products are moms/dads that are not professionals in that field, but we use their products without blinking an eye.

 

Like I stated before...my very intelligent daughter did awesome in high school math all the way through pre-calc...but bombed the math placement test...twice! She is now taking Beginning Algebra and understanding like never before...well worth the CC tuition and the slight delay in her "required" math classes needed for nursing.

 

Just wanted to clarify.

 

Thanks,

Robin :) :)

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Guest Katia

Oh, dear Jann.......wait just a minute!! I am so excited after reading your last post I can hardly STAND it! (jumping up and down) :)

 

Did I read your post correctly?? Did you actually say:

 

TT Trig/PreCalc could be counted as an Algebra 2 course????

 

Oh, please say that you did! My dd LOVES TT. She doesn't care what the title of the book is or what label I give it on her transcript. She understands math with TT. :)

 

Here I have been struggling to find another algebra 2 text for her (she has completed TT algebra 1 for pre-algebra, TT algebra 2 for Algebra 1 and is finishing up TT Geometry).

 

I know she needs "more" for algebra 2. Can we use TT Trig/PreCalc and will it be all she needs for a good, solid Algebra 2 course?

 

This would solve ALL our problems. Please, oh please, say I read your post correctly. :)

 

PS: Jann, I willingly admit I am uneducated when it comes to math and/or choosing advanced math curriculum. I appreciate all your posts and I do understand where you are coming from. That is why I ask you for advice.

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:) :) I don't necessarily have an issue with folks not liking...or loving TT!!! I guess the generalization that uneducated people have been "taken in" really got under my skin. Educated or not, I feel people should choose programs that provide the best education for their kids under their circumstances. Also, I can't say that programs used in school are all that great considering our experience (as well as others that responded). The books may look impressive, but only a fraction of those books is really used...and the skipping around is unreal...nothing orderly on the part of the teacher. All my kids have been in ps...one through 7th grade and the other all the way through high school. Some years they didn't even get a textbook...who knows what they learned that year!!!

 

I appreciated that some moms/dads are education professionals. I have gained tons of information from reading their posts. I just don't like being categorized as uneducated because I also appreciate the credentials of the TT author...and his presentation/methods. Most of us use other subject products that rarely get the scrutiny of the TT author. Some of the authors of these homeschool products are moms/dads that are not professionals in that field, but we use their products without blinking an eye.

 

Like I stated before...my very intelligent daughter did awesome in high school math all the way through pre-calc...but bombed the math placement test...twice! She is now taking Beginning Algebra and understanding like never before...well worth the CC tuition and the slight delay in her "required" math classes needed for nursing.

 

Just wanted to clarify.

 

Thanks,

Robin :) :)

 

 

Incidentally, and I don't want to rile anyone up any further, but why do you think it will be different with TT? That's the point of saying that it isn't "rigorous" -- that students will have precisely the experience your daughter did. They wil go through the program, ostensibly have covered things like the quadratic formula or solving a system of two equations with two unkowns or whatever, but when they get to college, they'll start flunking placement tests, not knowing how to do the algebra they need to do in their calculus class and stuff like that. That's what people mean -- they specifically mean that the problems in TT are not hard enough, for instance.

 

So, while it may also be true that their Algebra II has a lousy table of contents -- that is, they only cover half the topics of a standard Algebra II -- I am saying that, based on what I have seen, they have a pretty mediocre problem set. Frankly, I don't care about the table of contents -- that can, indeed, be made up for by just accelerating through the program. In other words, so it's covered in Algebra III, then -- big deal. The problem is how well it is covered when it is covered. Does the student have to solve some hard problems on their own or don't they? I think that if your daughter ended up this way with a PS curriculum, then the odds are extremely likely this exact same outcome would have happened with TT and homeschooling.

 

And, I am basing this on my own purusal of their material online, the reports of others on WTM both positive and negative as well as everything else I have seen about this program. And, I am also speaking, here, purely from the perspective of going on to college algebra or calculus in college. (In other words, I am not saying any of this from a perspective of "but they don't learn to prove theorems...," or something like that. I am just talking about the practical reality and outcome of working within the normal system.)

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I didn't really want to cause a debate...I just took offense at the "uneducated" comment.

 

As for the response regarding my dd19...I never said her lack of understanding was a product of her being in ps or not being homeschooled or not using TT. I was not blaming the system or coming to a conclusion that if she had used TT she would have passed the placement tests. I was merely commenting that although she used what would be deemed by most as a "rigorous" AP math program and made good grades (which would imply that she understood what she was doing) that in reality she didn't get much out of it at all.

 

I'm not arguing that TT may not be as "rigorous" as other programs or that it doesn't cover as many topics. But, for us, and I repeat...for us...it is better to understand everything from the TT series than to NOT understand anything from another program. This was the path we were on...not understanding ANYTHING from another "rigorous" program (I really hate that word). Also understand that my husband would rather our dd use another program...he's an engineer. He's looked at our TT and thinks is looks too simplistic, but he understands the need for dd to have the thorough teaching cd's and for me to have the peace of mind that she is learning something not just vacantly wandering around a textbook with no understanding.

 

Maybe my dd15 is just not math oriented. Maybe I just don't like to see the tears and dejected look on her face because she doesn't understand. Maybe I'm a softie...maybe I remember NOT getting math in high school and how miserable I was...

 

Anyway, I think my time on these boards has come to an end. I always feel inadequate and feel that I am failing my dc because we don't do school 10 hours a day (I'm NOT criticizing doing school for 10 hours a day...we just don't).

 

I wish everyone here a lovely homeschooling journey regardless of what math program you choose for your dc!!! Freedom to choose what works best for MY family...that's what homeschooling is all about.

 

Good luck to everyone.

Robin in DFW

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When I was comparing TT to other Algebra programs that were designed around 'standards' I was referring to text book standards. Teaching standards are a completely different thing!

 

Thanks to the 'No child left behind' act, the states are now required to give students content based tests that the students must pass or the district/state looses money. I will refer to this content as state objectives.

 

These content-based tests have NOTHING to do with the standards that are mandated for textbooks. Most textbook publishers have recently made the school's/teacher's job easier by labeling the 'state objectives' that are included within their texts. Unfortunately too many school districts are choosing to have their teachers teach ONLY those objectives that are on the state test--so many important concepts/parts of the text are too often skipped.

 

I have a dd (15) in PS and while she has sailed through with A's in Algebra and now Geometry she has actually learned very little! Her texts have been VERY GOOD--but the teachers were restricted in their use!!! Funny enough, if the teachers were allowed to teach the whole book then the students would easily be able to pass the state objective on the content mastery tests. Instead the teachers piece together the state objectives before the spring testing (our district tests next week) leaving the students will lots of unfilled gaps.

 

Example. I substituted for my dd's Geometry teacher this past Monday. I had many students who came into the classroom before school for help on their homework. It only took me a brief moment to figure out their trouble. Chapter 9 has problems that will be on the state test next week, Chapter 8 does not have any problems that will be on the test, so while the teacher said she hoped to go back at the end of the year and cover Chapter 8 they were going to 'skip' it for now. WELL... in order to work the problems in Chapter 9 the students needed the background in Chapter 8 (trig functions in right triangles!). Needless to say I left a polite note and my dd informed me yesterday that her teacher decided to go back and work Chapter 8 and delayed Chapter 9 until next week before the test.

 

I will be reviewing/reteaching my dd(15) Algebra 1 this summer.

 

Also note--our district uses Larson texts for Algebra and Pre-Calc. The majority of students who complete Algebra 2 in our district --even in the pre-AP classes, will test INTO Intermediate Algebra at the community college level! The Larson texts are excellent--but the teachers just are not allowed to teach enough of the material for it to be mastered!

 

----

Katia,

TT's Pre-Calc does cover many of the concepts left out of standard Algebra 2 texts. There are still missing concepts/depth--but it would meet basic Algebra 2 requirements--and also provide an intro to more advanced topice. You 'might' be able to call it Algebra 2 and then give credit for '1 semester' of Advanced Math. Something to think about--but until I see more of the Pre-Calc program I really can't be 100% sure.

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That's what people mean -- they specifically mean that the problems in TT are not hard enough, for instance.

 

QUOTE]

 

Okay, I put in a quote so people can see where this post goes in the line up.

 

If it were just Charon saying the things he's said about who is qualified to write math books, the rigour of math programs, I might just take his post with a grain of salt and pass the bean dip. But I've heard his exact same points from two post-secondary math instructors. I've also heard similar from my brother who teaches post-secondary physics. IF your dc is going to have to take Algebra or math in college/university, you need to seriously consider what type of math they take. I mean no offense, but facts are facts.

 

As for his opinions on Calculus vs math now neglected, I really can't say much on it. But I also know that kids are smart in different ways. I choose to take his comments about taking courses such as TT if your emphasis is in different areas at face value--make your decision by what your goals are and what your children need in order to succeed in college/university.

 

When it comes to math for math oriented and science oriented kids, I think Charon and Myrtle have some intelligent things to say. Whether or not I always follow their suggestions remains up to me, and I feel free to mix and match programs they feel aren't so good with ones they've suggested. So my dd is going back to Gelfand's Algebra, but she's tried Jacob's, TT and done a lot of one of Lial's Algebra books, too. But I know only too well from several sources that if she doesn't get a meaty math program she's going to have to either do a lot of remedial math in college or else change her goals to some of her other passions, such as art.

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I didn't really want to cause a debate...I just took offense at the "uneducated" comment.

 

Robin, you're not the only one who felt that the comment you referenced was rather harsh and abrasive. I really get what Jann is saying, yet, that particular comment felt more like a flame than not.

 

 

Maybe my dd15 is just not math oriented. Maybe I just don't like to see the tears and dejected look on her face because she doesn't understand. Maybe I'm a softie...maybe I remember NOT getting math in high school and how miserable I was...

 

If your dd IS getting math using TT, then that's where she should stay. And just keep on keeping on. Our philosophy is to find a program that works for the student and keep going with it. We happen to require math throughout all the high school years, and where the student ends up at the end of 12th grade is dependent on how quickly he/she grasps concepts. It is always better for the student to use the material they understand, even if it means they move a bit more slowly.

 

Anyway, I think my time on these boards has come to an end. I always feel inadequate and feel that I am failing my dc because we don't do school 10 hours a day (I'm NOT criticizing doing school for 10 hours a day...we just don't).

 

I wish everyone here a lovely homeschooling journey regardless of what math program you choose for your dc!!! Freedom to choose what works best for MY family...that's what homeschooling is all about.

 

Good luck to everyone.

Robin in DFW

 

Robin, there ARE quite a few people on these boards who are schooling extremely bright/gifted children. They themselves are extremely bright, but because they are, sometimes their perspective on what will work best for a more typical child is fairly limited. I, myself, have schooled a student who is a globally gifted learner. She was a National Merit Scholar. If I had only ever had that child, my perspective on what constitutes a good curriculum and what is necessary for college admission would be seriously limited. Fortunately, God gave me two more very different students who learn differently from their sister. It's sure made me a lot more humble in the last few years as I have struggled to find materials that address their particular needs.

 

If we only have the perspective of the academically gifted teaching the academically gifted, this board will not have all the voices it needs. All homeschoolers trying to give their children a strong education which allows their children to soar in their strengths, while continuing to grow in their weaker areas, need to be here.

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Robin, you're not the only one who felt that the comment you referenced was rather harsh and abrasive. I really get what Jann is saying, yet, that particular comment felt more like a flame than not.

 

 

 

 

If your dd IS getting math using TT, then that's where she should stay. And just keep on keeping on. Our philosophy is to find a program that works for the student and keep going with it. We happen to require math throughout all the high school years, and where the student ends up at the end of 12th grade is dependent on how quickly he/she grasps concepts. It is always better for the student to use the material they understand, even if it means they move a bit more slowly.

 

 

 

Robin, there ARE quite a few people on these boards who are schooling extremely bright/gifted children. They themselves are extremely bright, but because they are, sometimes their perspective on what will work best for a more typical child is fairly limited. I, myself, have schooled a student who is a globally gifted learner. She was a National Merit Scholar. If I had only ever had that child, my perspective on what constitutes a good curriculum and what is necessary for college admission would be seriously limited. Fortunately, God gave me two more very different students who learn differently from their sister. It's sure made me a lot more humble in the last few years as I have struggled to find materials that address their particular needs.

 

If we only have the perspective of the academically gifted teaching the academically gifted, this board will not have all the voices it needs. All homeschoolers trying to give their children a strong education which allows their children to soar in their strengths, while continuing to grow in their weaker areas, need to be here.

 

That was very nicely said--and very accurately reflects my thinking as well.

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It really depends on what one means by "challenging enough." There is less material in each course than a typical course by the same name. I commented under Robin in DFW to agree that Jann's comment seemed rather abrasive, but I do feel that the authors' integrity is compromised by advertising an Algebra I or Algebra II course as such when the scope of the course doesn't come close to the usual Algebra I or Algebra II course. What a family calls the course on a transcript probably needs to be different from what the authors label it.

 

If you can get around that, many students will benefit by the style of instruction in TT. I agree with Jann that young students starting Algebra would likely do well with this presentation. It may be enough for the more typical college-bound student as long as the student completes the series all the way through Pre-calc. but count it as Alg I & II. In the Alg. I, Alg. II, Pre-Calc books, there are a total of about 350 lessons plus 45 or so tests. An above average student who works *daily* on math for about 200 school days per year could potentially cover all three books in two school years, or just slightly more. The Geometry book has 110 lessons, so a diligent worker who is able to complete one lesson a day for 60-90 minutes per day could complete all 4 books in three years. In that case, the student could still get a solid Alg. I, Alg. II, Geo. scope in 3 school years.

 

Those students who are aiming for a math/science intensive career and are starting Alg. I in 8th grade or later, and/or are applying to colleges that are usually rated in the top 100 or so should plan to use a math series that moves more quickly and covers material in more depth.

 

ETA: I used TT Alg. II and Geometry for my second daughter who is not a math/science person. She is now a music major. She did struggle with understanding algebraic concepts and we muddled through a variety of materials that included Singapore NEM, Key to Algebra, Hands on Equations, and other more traditional curricula until we started using TT. She completed Alg. II and Geometry using TT. Since Pre-calc wasn't out yet, we used ALEKS to add additional topics to round out her Alg. II course, but TT is what finally made more sense to her than any traditional curriculum. She was accepted to several universities. The Big 10 state U that accepted her was given a list of course descriptions that listed the materials we used. Her math ACT/SAT was well within their averages. She was fine for admission. She attends a more regional state U and did well enough on the placement test to place into the second semester of a college algrebra. Not calc, but not remedial math either.

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It just really goes to show you that what works for one family will not always work for another, which is why all of us home school!! :D

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Robin, there ARE quite a few people on these boards who are schooling extremely bright/gifted children.

 

I agree, but my ds 12 is not gifted and/or bright. He's your average kid who wants to get done w/ school so he can go shoot hoops or terrorize his little sisters :)

 

TT only took him about 25 minutes to complete a day's lesson. I didn't want this average kid to think that this is the way the real world works. My dh and I feel that math is a minimum of a 1 hour/day commitment. Thankfully CD Pre-Alg takes him about 90 min/day to complete a half-section, which is on par w/ his school'ed peers.

 

I've been thinking a lot about this discussion and I feel terrible that Robin doesn't think this is a good venue for her to share ideas/experiences. Its such a slippery slope. We all want to share our experiences but we risk offending someone. I'm not quite sure about the solution.

 

I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about potential programs that I might purchase for our homeschool. As a newbie, I need all the help I can get. Thanks to those who take time away from laundry, dishes and correcting papers to share your thoughts w/ us.

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I've been thinking a lot about this discussion and I feel terrible that Robin doesn't think this is a good venue for her to share ideas/experiences. Its such a slippery slope. We all want to share our experiences but we risk offending someone. I'm not quite sure about the solution.

 

I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about potential programs that I might purchase for our homeschool. As a newbie, I need all the help I can get. Thanks to those who take time away from laundry, dishes and correcting papers to share your thoughts w/ us.

 

I agree with this. Writing exactly what you think in a way that will offend no one seems to be virtually impossible. I've been sick all week, too, and have been making a few dumb mistakes. Like thinking someone was offended by the wrong person. Many of us write when we're ill or distracted by children.

 

Also, we're all different. To illustrate with a RL eg, my sister and mother took a personality test. The results were very accurate. If my sister is wearing a blue shirt and you happen to say that you don't like blue, she simply thinks that you don't like blue and no more about it. My mother, to a comment said with exactly the same tone of voice, etc, thinks more along the lines of, "They don't like blue. They must not like my shirt. Maybe they don't like me." (this was just the eg given after the test.)

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Guest kacifl

if my daughter were in a public/private school, I wouldn't have a choice in what they use and they do ok.

 

PS: Daughter LOVES TT Algebra 1. That works for me. KaciFL

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Sometimes it seems like TT is the one curriculum that can't be criticized. /QUOTE]

 

It seems the opposite to me. TT has been criticized often and repeatedly on these boards. Of course, the criticism may be justified; I'm just saying that I don't think TT is The Curriculum That Must Not Be Criticized here.

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I am going to answer your question as it is asked and throw in one more thing. I am not going to tell you what I like about Teaching Textbooks, since you did not ask for that.

 

I don't think TT offers anywhere close to enough practice to solidify concepts. It is pretty easy to "fake" understanding and fool mom because there are so few problems to work. The overall math score can be very good, but key concepts have been missed. Since math skills build on themselves, this is bad.

 

Our solution is to have an Aleks subscription for each TT user. This increases the amount of practice for each concept.

 

ETA:I am sorry I posted again! I just realized that this is an old thread that got pushed back up and I had already responded to it. I did not read through the whole thing, I just responded to the OP, thinking it was a brand new thread. That's what I get for checking the boards during school.

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We used TT Algebra after singapore 6B with my 6th grader. She is bright but more of a language kid. She did fine with Singapore but it wasn't easy. She loved TT Algebra. I thought to use it for 2 years slowly and skip pre-algrebra (TT had no Algebra at that time). She enjoyed it so much she finished the whole book in a year. She giggled at the problems and sailed through. I am thinking I have a math whiz.

 

We went to Geometry the next year. We kept trying to use a non-usable book all fall before giving up on it at Christmas. During the fall we took the IOWA basic test. She did ok on the math part...but...2 years before when we took it (on Singapore) the comments were she is doing well above her apptitude in math. This time when all her scores were graphed all subjects increased about 1/2 inch. Math however, only increased 1/4 inch. In other words she didn't learn as much in Math as her other subjects. This however may not be TT. It could be that we sent all fall floundering in Geometry and she was out of practice.

 

All this long post to say. My second daughter is doing TT and Singapore NME. THe TT is so nice to explain it for you. It is definately worth a lot there!

 

Hope this helps.

 

Now I have to figure what to do after Abeka Geometry. The ease of TT explanations or finding something else!

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