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Why does it get such a bad rap for high school math? If I followed their sequence all the way through, wouldn't I cover the same material as any other curriculum?

 

Please help me understand why everyone seems to be so negative about using it in the upper grades.

 

Smiles,

Shalynn

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Hi Shalynn,

 

I saw a recent thread which confirmed exactly what you're asking, but I can't find it now. But I did find these:

 

Here is an extensive thread about TT:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8913&highlight=Teaching+textbooks

 

And another recent one comparing to LOF & Saxon:

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72633&highlight=Teaching+textbooks

 

Here is a review of TT from a high school student:

http://www.ourlosbanos.com/homeschool/reviewteachingtextbooks.html

 

TT seems to be the most frequently (and positively) reviewed curriculum on Christianbook.com. Many families love it and use it successfully.

 

I've been researching this extensively and though I haven't used TT yet, based on my research I'm planning to use it based on these assumptions:

 

1) TT is not that great to teach from. Mom's who like to teach math would prefer to use Jacobs or Foerster or other more rigorous high school math texts.

 

2) TT is about a year (or more) behind. I've tested my current 3rd grader and she will be using their Math 6 program for 4th grade. Some complaints I read on this forum seem to stem from incorrect placement (it moves too slowly, child is bored, etc...). If you read Cathy Duffy's review on her website, she doesn't come right out and say it, but she seems to be hinting students who do well in TT Math 7 or who are strong in Math might skip Pre-Algebra and go onto Algebra 1. http://cathyduffyreviews.com/math/teaching-textbooks.htm

Placement should be made accordingly.

 

I believe it is widely accepted that TT Algebra 2 is more like Algebra 1 1/2 and the rest of Algebra 2 is covered in TT Pre-Calc. So yes, my understanding is that if you use TT through Pre-Calc you will have covered everything at least through Algebra 2 and then some.

 

I personally will be supplementing TT with Life of Fred to make sure everything gets covered as my non-mathy DD wants to go into Science.

 

My 2 cents,

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My personal conclusion is that many classical homeschoolers want to use texts that are so rigorous and challenging that they are nearly impossible for most students to understand, therefore they condemn anything "fun" and "easy." Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but this seems to be the general idea.

 

I have found TT (I have used Geometry and researched their other materials) to be kid-friendly and fun. While I have some doubts about their elementary software, I'm all for their secondary books.They help kids enjoy math and really understand the necessary concepts. They are also less demanding, meaning that they can be done in less time than other books. So it is quite feasible to do Alg. 1&2, Geometry, and Pre-Calc and still have two or three years of high left for rigorous books. I'd probably do arithmetic through sixth grade and then jump right into Algebra without their pre-algebra book.

 

Any questions?

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Why does it get such a bad rap for high school math? If I followed their sequence all the way through, wouldn't I cover the same material as any other curriculum?

 

Please help me understand why everyone seems to be so negative about using it in the upper grades.

 

Smiles,

Shalynn

 

Because you *wouldn't* cover the same material. Algebra I and II are like a normal curriculum's Algebra I.

 

The company CLAIMS that you'll magically make up for being years behind other programs in the very last year. But I can call a Dachshund a Great Dane, and it won't make it so.

 

If you want a curriculum that is at least comparable to a mediocre public school, TT would not be it.

 

Now there's going to be the usual exchange over how some people are math snobs, etc., etc. If you want to use the program, then use it. Just don't pretend it's something that it's not just because they like it.

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We don't use TT in the lower grades, but my ds went through TT Alg 1, Geometry and Alg 2 before going into Saxon Advanced math. He didn't have any trouble with the Advanced math, which we used because we already owned it and I didn't have extra cash to buy TT pre-calc. I also gave him the tests from the Saxon Alg 2 when he was working through TT Alg 2. The order is different, but he scored a 94 on the Saxon Alg 2 final, so if there is a large amount of difference I'm not seeing it. The lost points were calculation errors. We used Saxon, Jacob and Forester with the older children--different books with different children. I won't be going back to those.

 

I would like to see a side by side comparison from the people who have never used TT but are so quick to put it down. List what you are seeing in the other books at the same level that is missing from TT.

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"If you want a curriculum that is at least comparable to a mediocre public school, TT would not be it."

 

I don't get this statement....are you saying it is better or worse than PS math?? From the previous statements, I would say you not for TT, but this statement is confusing.

 

If you were to follow TT from early middle school and finish all the way through, you will have covered EVERYTHING your child needs to go to colleg emath. If you start with this math and then change to that math, and then change to another math, yes, you will have gaps that will need to be made up.

 

I think too many parents get "worried" if the math is easy for the child, like it is not hard enough or teaching them enough.....could it be that they are actually learning it in a such a way that makes math easy? Is that a bad thing????

 

Okay, so say it is a year behind...move your child up a grade level and boost their self-esteem. What's the harm?

 

Please, when you give a review of the program, how about stating if you actually used the program?

 

I am using it with my son, who is mathematically inclined, and we love it so far. We plan on using it all the way through.

 

Check the High school boards....talk to people who used it through high school and see what their outcome has been.

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Well... I can tell you our experiences. We've used it for 6th and now 7th. It has eliminated all weeping and gnashing of teeth in our home. We love this program. I don't think that a program needs to be "hard" to be effective. Is she understanding percents and decimals really well now? Absolutely. Is it giving her confidence in math skills? Definitely. I wish we could have used it from very early elementary on. That's how much we like it. It's fun too. The buddy icons do cute/annoying things when you get problems right/wrong. My SIL who is a former math teacher, with a Master's Degree, liked it a lot. Especially for non mathy kids. Now, if your dc is super in math, you may want to go up a grade level, but for us it's perfect.

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I've seen two posts on the Sonlight board where the poster's children got 1/2 - 3/4 of the way through TT Alg 2 and placed into College Algebra. I too would prefer that prolific internet users would post their specific experience, rather than referencing the Table of Contents or a child's placement test results, which are not the same as using the program in question. It leads to others making "generally accepted consensus" statements, which aren't actually first-hand at all.

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I've seen two posts on the Sonlight board where the poster's children got 1/2 - 3/4 of the way through TT Alg 2 and placed into College Algebra. I too would prefer that prolific internet users would post their specific experience, rather than referencing the Table of Contents or a child's placement test results, which are not the same as using the program in question. It leads to others making "generally accepted consensus" statements, which aren't actually first-hand at all.

 

I don't use TT now, although I did order and used it for several weeks. I'll keep my opinions to myself because I do believe that there are different programs for different kids, it only matters to me what my kids use:D

I did want to make a comment about the above statement.

 

As far as I remember, I took Alg, 1 & 2 in HS and I tested out of College Algebra. College Algebra is VERY similar to Alg 2, I found very little difference, when I tutored it in College, and I by no means am a math brainiac:D In College algebra they covered most of the same topics, it had a little more depth with applications.

 

Cathy Duffy put it this way ( she was talking about a different math program, I am just referencing her insight on Algebra 2 verses College Algebra)

 

" I might add that the Algebra 2 course is one of the few courses that actually work well for homeschoolers at that level. College Algebra actually reviews much of the same material as in Algebra 2 (as occurs in most College Algebra courses), although it takes concepts to a deeper level. Bright students might skip Algebra 2 and go directly into College Algebra. (Highschoolers who complete this course ( Algebra 2) might be able to test out of College Algebra when they go to college.)"

 

So with that said, I would actually EXPECT my kiddo to place out of College Algebra if they did fine with TT2, not place into it. But like I said, I have never used the upper levels, so take it with a grain of salt:)

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I might regret this, but I will jump in here.

 

We have used TT for TT5, 7, and pre-algebra. In my humble opinion, it is behind what other curriculum houses are teaching.

 

In fact, we stopped TT5 and picked up BJU 4 this year. My dd tested into TT 5 at the end of 3rd grade. She, EASILY tested into TT 5. She found the program to be fun (she loves the butterfly and penguin) but boring. So, after a couple months of TT5 when I realized she had not learned anything new, we made the switch. BJU has been a major challenge for her. It is covering concepts TT5 does not.

 

TT7 was okay - it challenged dd when she did it in 6th grade. But, pre-algebra was basically review up until page 334. Hello!!! That is a bunch of review. If you have a dc who would benefit from that much review - then great. But if not, then it becomes too repetitious.

 

TT is not an inexpensive program. It is pricey. Some dc do very well with it. We have several local families who think very highly of it. Other have labeled it "convenient" rather than effective.

 

Personally, I wonder if another less expensive program would be a better option. The old - "more bang for your buck" principle.

 

Also, you might consider what your goals are. Do you have a dc who will need to be very well versed in calculus prior to college so they can take engineering type maths? Then, you really might want to look elsewhere. Or, do you have a dc who would benefit from a slower pace and the cdrom instruction? I dont think math is something to rush. Sometimes a slower pace is a good thing.

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Well, we used 3/4 of TT Math 5 and dropped it. We might revisit TT for high school since I need help in teaching upper maths. My son, did BJU Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 on BJU DVD's and it was a very rigorous program. My thought, is that BJU is more of a College bound Math program then TT is.

 

For a child who really struggles in Math, TT is an excellent choice. But for a child who just loves numbers, it is going to bore them to tears.

 

We are now in Math Mammoth and LoF Fractions, and my 10 yo is ALOT happier:)(YAY for Fred)

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I previously posted that we were doing great with TT algebra (Dd was doing very well), but 3/4 through the program, I had a "light bulb on" moment.

Simply, the program uses its own language. It occasionally uses a math term correctly, and then it is "lets get the "x" out of the bottom of the fraction.

If you were to scan the chapter topics/subtopics, you will find more of the same "baby talk".

We switched to Lials and it is great! It doesn't beat around the bush. The terms are clear, and definitions are complete. I wouldn't settle for anything less. So thats our story (yep, used it and switched).:) HTH

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We've only used TT6 at this point, but I plan to continue with it. It has helped my ds rediscover his love of numbers. When he was four and five he went through this big negative numbers phase--place value and basic addition and subtraction were easier for him than learning to walk. He loved negative numbers. He loved numbers in general. He was starting to do basic multiplication just for the joy of finding a new way to play with numbers. And then he went to public school for four years, and by the end of third grade he HATED math. He hated anything to DO with math. Math was boring. It was confusing. It was hateful. He would not DO math. Just the mention of math would send him under the nearest piece of furniture not to be budged. It was heartbreaking. Singapore was a battle for us. Teaching textbooks broke through all that and started teasing out the fun math kid he'd buried so deep. He's not quite back where he was with the bliss of numbers, but he says, "Oh boy!" when it's time for math now instead of hiding. He giggles enthusiastically when it's time for long division--ESPECIALLY if there are decimal points involved. Fractions are a bit dicier, but ok.

 

It is a bit slow paced, but one of the great things about homeschooling is that you can adjust the pace of the material. We usually do at least 2 and often 3 lessons a day, though we only work the problems for the last lesson we do--it incorporates enough review from previous lessons that this particular kid gets plenty of practice on all the concepts covered. At this rate we can either do math fewer days a week, or go through the programs more quickly. If we get to the end of TT before we hit the end of high school, I have no problem with the idea of picking up a more "rigorous" program for a while, or starting in with a community college class or something. But it sure is nice to see numbers dancing through that boy's brain again. It's like he's really coming back to himself.

 

But I'm the kind of mom who would rather see her children develop a love of learning, and a hunger for knowledge than push them through the biggest possible pile of material so that they'll be farther along than the kid in the next desk over when college hits. College is flexible. If he needs an extra college math class at some point, well that's likely to fit into an elective slot on whatever course of study he chooses. Life will not end if he's not ready for advanced calculus by his freshman year of college. I don't really care if he places into or out of college Algebra. I want him to be a happy and productive citizen of our society, doing something with his life that he finds fulfilling and rewarding, whether or not that involves high level mathematics. He needs to find his own dreams, not have mine forced on him. Not that I don't push him to do his best, I do. And he's doing better all the time. I want him to be solidly prepared to follow whatever dream he comes up with between now and then. But "rigorous" is not the number one consideration for me in choosing a math program. I want one that teaches solid math concepts in an order and manner that works for my child, and that fosters a love of math. And for us, TT does that job well.

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We did Saxon from first grade till DD hit Algebra and then we had all we could stand of the tears. She was having a hard time understanding the concept and since it has been so long since I have had any algebra, I couldn't help her without spending time to relearn it myself. If she was the only child I was teaching this may work for us but, I have two other dc an extremely busy 2 yr old and a new baby in the house so there is no way I have time to relearn algebra with my dd as much as I would love to. LOL! Actually, the explanations in saxon prealgebra problems were very confusing to me and I needed more help to figure out where they were going with the problems. I reluctantly spent the big bucks for TT algebra for dd thinking I am ruining my childs future after all the bad reviews I read about it being too easy but I have to say it has been a LIFESAVER. Oh my goodness!! She is very challenged by the algebra and the explanations are actually helping her learn concepts that saxon confused her on before in their prealgebra. Many times during her lessons she yells out wow THAT'S how you do that! She is thrilled to finally be understanding how to solve for x and other concepts she was very confused about. It really discouraged her doing saxon because the explanations were so vague and confusing. It made her dread her math lessons and she felt very lost since she is the type of child who wants to completely grasp a concept before moving on. She was extremely reluctant to try algebra at all thinking she was one of those kids who just doesn't get math. Now she has her confidence back and is really grasping the concepts in algebra. Plus, it is such a wonderful thing knowing if she gets any wrong we can go right to that problem on the cd and watch it reworked step by step and figure out where exactly she went wrong. That is really key for her to really grasp the concepts and it helps me as her teacher.

 

I don't have any answers about whether this is rigorous enough or not but one thing we have learned is this...... No matter how awesome the curriculum is, if your child shuts down on you and feels they are a failure, it isn't going to do anyone a bit of good. We learned this the hard way through so many, many tears.

 

I still get nightmares about giving my dd a "watered down" math program but if it challenges her, I think that makes it good enough. Plus, we aren't spending 3 hours a day on math. We had no time to do anything fun. I was ready to throw in the towel on Homeschooling and send them to PS because math was taking all morning. Now it is done within an hour.

 

I still think the elementary saxon is best but by the time they hit jr. high math, I think we will switch to TT for the rest of my dc.

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Moki4, you hit on something important with the language issue. Several folks locally have mentioned the terminology issue. They said it slowed their dc down on standardized tests. Their dc commented that they needed to "translate" the problem. In other words, the test might say something like "evaluate the equation" and TT has been saying "find the answer". That is an overly simplified example, but there is a difference in word choices.

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"But I'm the kind of mom who would rather see her children develop a love of learning, and a hunger for knowledge than push them through the biggest possible pile of material so that they'll be farther along than the kid in the next desk over when college hits. College is flexible. If he needs an extra college math class at some point, well that's likely to fit into an elective slot on whatever course of study he chooses. Life will not end if he's not ready for advanced calculus by his freshman year of college. I don't really care if he places into or out of college Algebra. I want him to be a happy and productive citizen of our society, doing something with his life that he finds fulfilling and rewarding, whether or not that involves high level mathematics. He needs to find his own dreams, not have mine forced on him. Not that I don't push him to do his best, I do. And he's doing better all the time. I want him to be solidly prepared to follow whatever dream he comes up with between now and then. But "rigorous" is not the number one consideration for me in choosing a math program. I want one that teaches solid math concepts in an order and manner that works for my child, and that fosters a love of math. And for us, TT does that job well"

 

:iagree:Nan

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But I'm the kind of mom who would rather see her children develop a love of learning, and a hunger for knowledge than push them through the biggest possible pile of material so that they'll be farther along than the kid in the next desk over when college hits.

 

I can bet most of use feel this way, using or not using a particular math program does not imply one way or the other.

 

 

I don't really care if he places into or out of college Algebra. I want him to be a happy and productive citizen of our society, doing something with his life that he finds fulfilling and rewarding, whether or not that involves high level mathematics.

 

I am only addressing this because I did mention about placing into College Alg. It's not about caring or not caring, it's about finding the track that best suits the individual child. In NO way was I implying, that placing a child into college Algebra would be at the cost of ,"a happy and productive citizen of our society, doing something with his life that he finds fulfilling and rewarding, whether or not that involves high level mathematics". I was referring to another poster that said children placed from TT2 into College Algebra, and I thought that they SHOULD be placing into at least that, it had NOTHING to do with being a good citizen.

 

 

 

He needs to find his own dreams, not have mine forced on him. Not that I don't push him to do his best, I do. And he's doing better all the time. I want him to be solidly prepared to follow whatever dream he comes up with between now and then. But "rigorous" is not the number one consideration for me in choosing a math program. I want one that teaches solid math concepts in an order and manner that works for my child, and that fosters a love of math. And for us, TT does that job well.

 

Ouch! This got WAY off topic, rigorous may not be how you measure a good math program, but because I DO doesn't mean I don't foster a love of math for my child. I think there are a number of programs that can do that for a number of children and one not being better than the other ...just plain ole different. :)

 

I had a feeling I should have grazed over this post.

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I don't understand the negative comments either.

 

We used TT alg 1, alg 2 and geometry. Neither of my children had any trouble with the math portion of their college entrance exams.

 

The mood of our home GREATLY improved once we stopped trying to complete highschool math with Saxon and switched to TT!

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I don't understand the negative comments either.

 

We used TT alg 1, alg 2 and geometry. Neither of my children had any trouble with the math portion of their college entrance exams.

 

The mood of our home GREATLY improved once we stopped trying to complete highschool math with Saxon and switched to TT!

 

We have only used TT with one student to completion thus far. She is currently pulling a B in college precalculus. She has not struggled in the class at all.

 

Okay, that is not entirely true. She does struggle with the fact that it is an 8AM class and she is NOT a morning person, but I don't think a different math curriculum would have changed that.

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Because you *wouldn't* cover the same material. Algebra I and II are like a normal curriculum's Algebra I.

 

The company CLAIMS that you'll magically make up for being years behind other programs in the very last year. But I can call a Dachshund a Great Dane, and it won't make it so.

 

If you want a curriculum that is at least comparable to a mediocre public school, TT would not be it.

 

Now there's going to be the usual exchange over how some people are math snobs, etc., etc. If you want to use the program, then use it. Just don't pretend it's something that it's not just because they like it.

 

Have you used it? Or even seen it firsthand?

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Why does it get such a bad rap for high school math? If I followed their sequence all the way through, wouldn't I cover the same material as any other curriculum?

 

Please help me understand why everyone seems to be so negative about using it in the upper grades.

 

Smiles,

Shalynn

 

I can only speak to the upper levels of Teaching Textbooks, pre-alg and up.

 

It is not a very rigorous math. If you have a child that seems headed in a math or science direction I would not think that Teaching Textbooks is a good fit. If one of my children seems headed in that direction then I will instead employ a private tutor.

 

But for a child that you are quite sure will be majoring in humanities, then I do believe that Teaching Textbooks can be a reasonable choice. My daughter used Teaching Textbooks and her ACT score, as well as her ability to understand and do well in an actual college precalc class did not seem to be harmed by using this less rigorous math.

 

The high school board would be a good place for this discussion. There you can hear from people on both sides who have high school students and can actually answer your questions from a position of experience with the curriculum. Evaluating the actual experiences from parents on both sides of the issue might help you settle the question of whether Teaching Textbooks is appropriate for your family.

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Frankly I get a little tired of the attitude that those who choose TT are doing their kids a disservice. The facts of the matter are that TT is adequate prep for many/ most kids.

 

If you child doesnt love it then find something else. But for me and my family (using TT5 with an 8 yo and 6 with an 11 yo) its been a lifesaver.

 

Any program you choose will have holes and many texts are not going to be finished, so just bc you choose some algebra text which includes concept X doesnt mean it will be covered. If TT moves too slowly move more quickly through it. Big deal.

 

The attitudes toward this curriculum (which consistantly earns rave reviews from reviewers like Duffy, Sonlight and etc) are off putting and smack of intellectual snobbery.

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The high school board would be a good place for this discussion. There you can hear from people on both sides who have high school students and can actually answer your questions from a position of experience with the curriculum. Evaluating the actual experiences from parents on both sides of the issue might help you settle the question of whether Teaching Textbooks is appropriate for your family.

 

But people that haven't schooled a high schooler give advice on the high school board too. Fair warning.:D

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Lots of curriculums get negative words here - that is true. Besides TT, I can think of a few latin, history, and science programs that tend to get negative reviews or out and out bashing. LNST comes to my mind.

 

Okay - chose the program you like and your dc like. Chose what is best for your dc's learning style, goals, temperment,etc. Not which program gets the most positive spin from the board. I have chosen curriculum based on positive reviews here and not been happy.

 

What works great for family A, will fail completely for family B, be luke warm for family C, hated by family D, work for only half of family E, be celebrated as the triumph on the century by family F, and so on and so forth.

 

Personally, I prefer reviews that tell what and why a program was not liked. Why it worked, why it failed. The pros, cons and the reasons for it.

 

TT is not a bad program. It has good points as well as bad points, as any other program. It costs more than some and less than some. Look at the scope and sequence. Look at examples, evaluate the course compared to what ever else you are considering and pick one. Adapt it if necessary to make it work for your situation. Then, relax and enjoy the learning process.

 

Whew!! I feel better anyway!!

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Hi Pongo. I am truly sorry if what I said offended you, that was really not my intention. I may not have expressed myself in the best way possible, and for that I am sorry.

 

I mainly intended to say that while TT has worked well for us, part of the reason for this is because of the way we have arranged our goals and priorities for our kids, and people who have different goals or priorities will probably not find it as good a fit as we do.

 

I can bet most of use feel this way, using or not using a particular math program does not imply one way or the other.

...

I am only addressing this because I did mention about placing into College Alg. It's not about caring or not caring, it's about finding the track that best suits the individual child. In NO way was I implying, that placing a child into college Algebra would be at the cost of ,"a happy and productive citizen of our society, doing something with his life that he finds fulfilling and rewarding, whether or not that involves high level mathematics". I was referring to another poster that said children placed from TT2 into College Algebra, and I thought that they SHOULD be placing into at least that, it had NOTHING to do with being a good citizen.

 

 

Right, this is pretty much the point I was attempting (with limited success it would seem) to make. To me, it is not critical that my child reach a particular level of math before college because I don't think that what level of math you enter in college has any bearing on whether you're a good citizen, or have a good character, or can succeed in college or in life.

 

For some people it might be a critical issue--not because they think it has anything to do with good citizenship, but because of other reasons that do not exist for us. So I was trying to say that to me it's not critical that he reach a certain level of accomplishment before he hits college. I don't feel strongly about whether he has to take extra math in college or not. As long as he's making steady progress and not making all of us miserable as he does it, I'm good with any reasonably responsible math program. But this might not be the case for everyone. I just wanted to make it clear that I'm ok with a less rigorous program, so that people would not think that I was arguing that TT is as rigorous as other programs. Only that in its less rigorous form, it works for us based on our preferences and priorities.

 

Ouch! This got WAY off topic, rigorous may not be how you measure a good math program, but because I DO doesn't mean I don't foster a love of math for my child. I think there are a number of programs that can do that for a number of children and one not being better than the other ...just plain ole different. :)

 

I had a feeling I should have grazed over this post.

 

Oh heavens! I didn't mean to imply anything of the sort. I was only trying to make it clear that in our particular little world, enjoyment of learning trumps rigor. And that I think this is one reason TT is a good fit for us. IF we had to choose between enjoyable learning at a lesser level, and more rigorous learning that was less "fun", at this point in our lives, with the specific children we're raising, and in our particular circumstances, OUR preference would lean to "fun" learning over "rigorous" learning. And just because we DON'T choose math based primarily on rigor, that doesn't make us bad parents and it doesn't mean that academics are not important. Only that we find a DIFFERENT balance than someone who might measure a math program based primarily on rigor.

 

That doesn't mean that I don't appreciate or respect other people and THEIR circumstances, preferences, and priorities. I can certainly understand why a parent would feel that it was more important for a child to learn the material than to have "fun" at it. Fun can be had in other ways, and kids do need to learn to WORK hard and do their best, even when it is not fun. (We teach this lesson at our house too, in other ways). I get that, and I totally respect it.

 

I didn't mean any disrespect or judgment to people who make other choices in their own circumstances for their own very good reasons. I only meant to say that TT would probably be a more suitable program for someone like me, who prefers for her children to 'enjoy' the experience of learning (at least at this stage in the game) at the expense of rigor, and may not be a suitable program for parents who would prioritize rigor first, and enjoyment second (but still important).

 

At any rate, I am sorry if my words offended you or seemed critical of people who choose differently than I do. It was unintentional and I hope you'll forgive me.

Edited by MamaSheep
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Of course, forgiven and forgotten;) I am sorry for snapping, I need to :chillpill:, I should have not taken it so personal.

 

TT is one of those programs that gets bashed hard and defended harder. It is almost a guarantee that it ruffles feathers. I tried to be careful about making a general statement and not putting the program down in any way. I use MUS for 1 of my children and MUS used to get the same treatment years ago.

 

 

Like you, I want the best and sometimes the best in the eyes of others is not the best. The best curricula is the kind that is individualized to the child, they learn , grow and achieve to their measure of success. I agree that depending on the child and family that measure varies.

 

Hey, thanks for the apology...we're good....

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Of course, forgiven and forgotten;) I am sorry for snapping, I need to :chillpill:, I should have not taken it so personal.

 

TT is one of those programs that gets bashed hard and defended harder. It is almost a guarantee that it ruffles feathers. I tried to be careful about making a general statement and not putting the program down in any way. I use MUS for 1 of my children and MUS used to get the same treatment years ago.

 

 

Like you, I want the best and sometimes the best in the eyes of others is not the best. The best curricula is the kind that is individualized to the child, they learn , grow and achieve to their measure of success. I agree that depending on the child and family that measure varies.

 

Hey, thanks for the apology...we're good....

 

Thanks. Good here too. I know how it is sometimes, and I can't say I've never snapped myself. I'm glad we agree on the important stuff, even if we choose different programs for different reasons. ;)

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Specific experience to relate...my 7th grader who has never liked math is doing TT Algebra 1 this year, and likes TT better than any math he's ever done before. It's a good challenge for him, he gets to work independently, and he has learned a lot without much help from me. When I looked at his friend's 8th grade Algebra 1 book from public school, I notice that there are things that TT doesn't cover yet. However, for us, TT Algebra 1 is just right for 7th grade math.

 

After years of homeschooling, I think what I like best is how little labels matter. If it's not "really" Algebra 1, but it works well for my child this year, then what it's called doesn't ultimately make a difference to me.

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TT is one of those programs that gets bashed hard and defended harder. It is almost a guarantee that it ruffles feathers. I tried to be careful about making a general statement and not putting the program down in any way. I use MUS for 1 of my children and MUS used to get the same treatment years ago.

 

 

For some reason this forum is the only place where I see this kind of bashing and defense. I don't see it in my general experience.

 

Jennie

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The ugly truth about Liza Q and how we approach Math!

 

So you know, we have used TT Prealg, Alg1, Al2 and Geometry.

 

OK. For me it has to do with goals. My goals for math for my High Schoolers are not impressive at all:

 

Independence. I cannot help them (bad at math myself) and don't want to take the time to learn it myself. I have two younger children that keep me busy and I do not want to give any of my time to relearning Algebra.

 

Fulfill my state requirements. NY only requires 2 years of Math and they do not have to be Algebra or Geometry. If my girls were in Public School they could do Dummy Math (what everyone call it around here) and Algebra 1 and graduate.

 

Do well enough on the SAT. What is well enough? My oldest got a 540 - just above average. That is a good score for this child as far as we are concerned. She did well enough on the Verbal and Writing that the colleges she applied to were pleased. She will probably take only College Algebra and never get to Calculus unless she wants to.

 

We want our children to go to college but we are not looking at *Top* colleges, if you kwim. My oldest wants to be a children's librarian or a reading specialist and she does not want to leave the city. The commute to Columbia is dreadful and she does not want the pressure, anyway. NYU - she has no desire to go there.

 

Our second daughter thinks differently so she is using LOF to supplement her TT math and she is happy with the combination. She is halfway through Alg2 and has started Geometry early so she will have a better shot at doing well on the PSAT. She plans to use the Chalkdust SAT Math prep after she finishes Geometry to maximize her chances at a good score on the SAT. And then she thinks she will do TT Pre-Calc as a senior. She wants to be an FBI agent (!!!!) after becoming a Psychologist so she knows she will need to do Statistics. BUT - she still needs the gentle TT approach! She is not naturally good at math and, at this point, she would rather do it this way that switch to something that does not have a clear explanation for every single problem!

 

Did this make sense?

 

One more thing. I view using TT sort of like using BJU (or ABeka or whatever) Literature and History dvds instead of using a Great Books approach. If a family needs the extra handholding and the child gets to college without ever reading The Aeneid or Crime and Punishment, well, they can read it in college, yes? Not all of us are good at teaching everything and not all of our children are going to be equally good at everything. So, for us the reality is TT and The Brothers K!

 

ETA: My 5th grader is doing TT5 and it is exactly right for her. My 3rd grade son is dying to use it, but he will use it in the 4th grade.

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One more thing. I view using TT sort of like using BJU (or ABeka or whatever) Literature and History dvds instead of using a Great Books approach. If a family needs the extra handholding and the child gets to college without ever reading The Aeneid or Crime and Punishment, well, they can read it in college, yes? Not all of us are good at teaching everything and not all of our children are going to be equally good at everything. So, for us the reality is TT and The Brothers K!

 

.

 

I never thought of it that way, but you know? I think I agree with you. My daughter DID read those books. And her history was a chronological, interdisciplinary course weaving together great literature, 1 high school history text, 2 college history texts and various appropriate non-fiction books. It was hard work. But I don't look down my nose at anyone who says "The one required world history is enough for me. We'll just use this Notgrass book and call it good." I don't know the goals for that family.

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Okay, well, thanks for all of the responses. It certainly gives a gal plenty to think about. Gratefully, the reason we all homeschool is so that we can do what we feel is best for our needs and the needs of our children. I certainly would never condemn a person for using a curriculum that suits their needs.

 

I have lots to ponder now, and am grateful for all of the thoughts shared.

 

Smiles,

Shalynn

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The fine art of curriculum bashing is the only way I can get a decent review of anything. When someone hates something, they usually are quite specific about what bothered them about it. When someone adores something, they get quite specific about what they love so much about the curriculum. I can read their criticisms and passionate defenses and decide for myself whether the book/program in question will meet my family's expectations/goals. If everybody tried to be all polite and just gave vanilla, generally positive reviews with no criticisms.....well I would have to buy everything and see it for myself. And then what would be the point of coming to a homeschooling messageboard...

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I would really love to know the specifics of what is left out of TT and why it is not deemed as rigourous. We have used Singapore all the way from Pre-K through 6 and then my son went right into TT Algebra 1. He is my oldest, so it is my first exposure to this level (other than when I had it many years ago). I considered NEM, which I will probably do with ds #2 because he likes the interaction with me rather than the computer.

Ds #1 likes TT Algebra 1 and is doing great with it.

 

I have read on the Singapore forums that TT is not as rigorous as NEM. I guess I will find out when I start NEM with ds#2, but would love to hear more specifics if anyone has specifics.

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My 11yo dd has been using TT7 this year. In the beginning she loved it. Except for 1 year of Horizons, we have always used Saxon. She saw the samples of it online and HAD to try it. She has always done well in math. A few months ago she started complaining that she felt she needed more practice than it allowed. I think she is just so use to all of the practice that Saxon offered her. In addition, it explains things in a non-traditional way which is informative but yet confusing to her. She has requested to go back to Saxon for next fall. I do feel that it is a good program, just not for everyone. I hope I have helped.

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Algebra 2 review by Cathy Duffy:

http://cathyduffyreviews.com/math/teaching-textbooks.htm

"It gets into functions at the end of the book, but matrices and determinants aren’t covered. More advanced programs include all these topics. While Teaching Textbooks algebra courses are not as advanced as some, they do include practical applications in areas such as banking and physics that make them more practical than others. Word problems in all lessons also help students grasp how they might actually use algebra in real life. [Note that advanced topics such as matrices and determinants are covered in Teaching Textbook's Pre-calculus course...."

 

Back to the original question...if a student uses TT from Algebra 1 to Pre-Calc they will eventually cover everything needed for at least Algebra 2.

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I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her.... here is the thread for the full scoop: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35062&highlight=teaching

 

..... TT Algebra covers in simpler form, Dolciani's first 4-5 chapters, but not with as rigorous a problem set. TT2 covers the remainder of Dolciani's Algebra and maybe the first 4 chapters of Dolciani's Algebra II. For a child in my dd's situation, we could struggle through Dolciani's or take an interesting "intro" and move on when Storm's mentally prepared. We chose the later. I know if Storm decides on a science major, which is greatly possible, it will be in biology or chemistry, and at the current rate she's mastering concepts, she still will enter 10th grade ready for pre-calculus, which we may study leisurely over two years.

 

I also plan to take the same route with my youngest, not because he's as proficient in mathematics as my eldest two children, but because Blaze is not. He'll begin TT 7 next fall in 5th grade, followed by a TT pre-algebra, and Algebra I & II. Many may find this approach redundant, but I believe in giving a child not on the skills to succeed, but also the confidence to succeed. TT will give my youngest the confidence and skill to do well in a traditional algebra program beginning in 8th grade. My youngest most likely will remain in a school setting through high school, and by us using TT, as a supplement, he'll master high school level maths.

 

I know so many children that I tutor that if they had the chance to use TT, they'd be much better at mathematics. TT may not teach at the rigor that many of us homeschooling parents expect, but it is of a higher caliber than many of the fuzzy math texts that is producing a generation of math illiterate high school graduates not even prepared for college algebra. If an average, or below average student can get through the whole TT series by completing the pre-calculus and future calculus course, the sstudent will at least be prepared for College Algebra and Calculus I in a college setting. If one could bump the series up by one grade--two would be ideal, the student can take college algebra and or calculus at the LCC or U during 11th &12 grades. I know many either love or loath TT, but we must realize it is only a tool that is as good as the parent teaching. If one can supplement TT with more rigorous problems from a traditional text, then a student will have the gift of easy to understand explanations to introduce algorithms along with the challenge of rigorous problems from a text such as Dolciani, Larson or Jacob's Algebra.

 

I love TT for the independence it fosters in children and the fact that the program prepares students for listening to math lectures. I plan to recommend TT to those with math challenged children and also to those whose children take to mathematics like fish to water.

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Well, during a time of extended exhaustion, I resorted to this program. First mistake: lack of supervision.

My boys either didn't watch the teacher, or they cheated. I had to have them repeat the entire year.

Not a fault of the curriculum, but I learned that I can't just turn them loose to try to learn on their own just because there is a teacher.

I regret it.

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We used SM through 6B, then ds spent a few months in a small private school doing Saxon 7/6, then we decided to try NEM 1 at home this year. I had heard that there is a big leap from 6B to NEM 1, and there was. NEM was doable, but hard. I only gave ds selected problems from each set, and it still took him forever. I have never been a math person and it became easier and easier just to push math aside. A few weeks ago I realized that NEM is just not working for us, even though I think it is extremely high quality stuff. I talked to dh about everything I read about TT, the pros and the cons. He said that a program which gets done consistently will inevitably be more effective that one that doesn't, no matter the relative quality of the programs. This ds is a motivated self-starter and likes to be able to work independently. He is also a perfectionist and gets frustrated easily. I had dh look over the website for TT and he basically told me to stop agonizing and just get TT Algebra I. Ds is only a few lessons in, but so far he seems to like it. He says it is a LOT easier than NEM, but he still feels like he is learning. I do trust him to completely take ownership of it. This is an individual child thing. I know I will never be able to hand a subject over to his younger brother like this. He is in 6th grade and my plan right now is to try to finish TT Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II before ninth grade, then have him go through Algebra II and possibly Geometry again with a more rigorous program at the traditional grade levels for these subjects. We still have NEM 1 and I will continue to use it when we get around to it, but when we don't do it for long periods of time I don't feel like I'm completely dropping the ball on math.

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The fine art of curriculum bashing is the only way I can get a decent review of anything. When someone hates something, they usually are quite specific about what bothered them about it. When someone adores something, they get quite specific about what they love so much about the curriculum. I can read their criticisms and passionate defenses and decide for myself whether the book/program in question will meet my family's expectations/goals. If everybody tried to be all polite and just gave vanilla, generally positive reviews with no criticisms.....well I would have to buy everything and see it for myself. And then what would be the point of coming to a homeschooling messageboard...

 

I don't disagree with you. When someone has actually used something and can say, specifically, what it was about it that did not work for their family, I sit up and take notice. I might still use the course, I might not. If I do you can bet I am going to be watching for the pitfalls pointed out by the person with the complaint. I am all for experienced homeschool parents saying "Oh watch out for that. We did that and it affected us this way or that" I don't consider that curriculum bashing. I just consider that sharing experiences and knowledge.

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Very interesting thread! I have had the HARDEST time deciding math for my math intelligent son! I will not pay the exhorbitant fee for Chalkdust---it is just way too overpriced. VT was way too confusing---I have never seen Algebra taught that way. TT does use "baby talk"---there truly is no getting around that fact. DS is just finishing up TT Pre-alg and I thought I had decided to switch to Saxon for a more rigorous program through Calc. I have the Alg 1/2 book---and really, really took a good hard look at it and all the problem sets etc. Perhaps the problems "look" more complicated and there are certainly a few more per problems per set compared to TT---but honestly----except for the additional topics portion of Alg 1/2---ALL the same topics are covered in TT Pre-Alg compared to Alg 1/2! Well, except for integration of geometry. Yes---the scope and sequence then of TT Alg 1-2 is definitely slower and uses "baby talk" for mathematical terms. But then again, ds is going to use TT Alg 1 in 7th grade and I think it is fine, especially since we are going to supplement with Life of Fred that will really cement in the real mathematical terms and include lots of great practical applications and word problems. TT alg 1, though, did NOT work for dd in 10th. She really has had a tough time with math, and I really thought the TT method would work for her. But what I found is that she really needed clear cut, brief explanations and real mathematical terms to understand Algebra--and we have found that with Ace school of tomorrow Algebra 1.

 

I don't understand, though, the allegation that TT through PreCalc would give solid Alg 1,2 and Geom and that's it. When comparing the TOC of TT PreCalc to MUS PreCalc---they are pretty much identical! So, I am now going to take the chance with ds who is set to finish Calc before ending high school that TT through PreCalc will prepare him for starting Calc in the middle of 11th grade. Especially supplementing with LOF.

 

FWIW---I LOVED Algebra and math in high school and got all the way through PreCalc---but honestly never, ever understood uses for the math. It was just fun to use algorithms and solve problems---the problem solving was just a fun puzzle for me. Even in college. I think a math program that offers explanations of why algorithms work or where the math originated and then shows practical, real-life applications of that math---even if it takes an extra year to reach the topics of more rigorous programs---can't hurt. It certainly is interesting.

 

I still have very mixed feelings about TT---but since I have the Alg 1 program (it is $$), I will go ahead and use it, but supplement with LOF and perhaps some Zaccaro books. At least ds will finish PreCalc by the end of 10th. I guess at that time when we will have to change to another program we will find out if it is seriously "behind" or not. I will bet at this time after researching my brains out for the last 2 weeks that he will be right on par to start any Calc program.

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He said that a program which gets done consistently will inevitably be more effective that one that doesn't, no matter the relative quality of the programs.

 

Smart DH! I need to file that tidbit away.

 

I have nothing to add, just reading and observing for future use. :) Way future use!

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I respectfully disagree. You get what you pay for.

 

CD has a high value retention/resale value.

 

The price of Chalkdust is worth it -- to have Prof. Mosely in your living room. Nobody better, imho.

 

Probably---but for us for ONE subject, it is way too much $$. If my kids were math whizzes, really advancing far faster than I could provide otherwise, I guess I could justify the cost, but I swear---my jaw hit the floor the first time I went to the CD site and looked at the prices :001_huh:

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