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Potter's School - 2 year precalc?

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I'm still trying to figure out what to do next year for math...


Has anyone taken the TPS precalculus course(s)? Do you know why they have a 2 year course and what the benefit is for doing it that way? (I guess I'm thinking that they can master the material better by going more slowly and delving more deeply in a two year course vs. a one year course?)


Also, any sense of how much work outside of class? (I ask because my son is taking Anatomy & Physiology via TPS and it is very demanding.)


Any other info on the course would be appreciated!



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The reasoning here is that while many students are capable of working Algebra 1 in 8th grade, FEWER of them are ready for Pre-Calc in 11th... and if they rush through that course without the necessary maturity (making Bs and Cs) they will not be able to handle Calc in 12th... and many districts here require 4 years of high school math (ours does!).


By breaking Pre-Calc into smaller pieces the 'average' student will be able to handle the material--where just a few years ago only the 'cream of the crop' took Pre-Calc in high school.


The 2-year Pre-Calc in our district has quite a bit of Calc in the 4th semester--just not quite enough to count as Calc 1... but it gives a nice 'boost' and prepares the students for college Calc.

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and I think he has had a very good experience. He was ahead of his peers in math, like most hs students, but when we got to Alg. II/Trig he really was not getting it at home alone. So, I wanted him to be prepared for Calculus and have another year of pre-calc, so I enrolled him in FST with Potters School. He has done well and is now getting some of the comcepts that he wasn't getting last year. This fall will be his "senior" year and he will be on track to do Calc. at the cc.


Mrs. Crosby is the math instructor my ds had and she is a very good instructor.


I don't think there is any requirement to take both years. We only needed one.



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Our dc have taken many courses at TPS but not math. We've used Chalkdust for geometry, precalculus, and calculus. I have been thrilled with all three programs (wish I would have discovered them before we completed algebra).


The Larson precalculus book used by Chalkdust is a huge tomb. We did it over two years so that we could complete the whole book and not have to move too rapidly. Mr. Mosley said that to complete the whole book in one year the schools leave out some of the chapters. He also said that the precal book is a full combination of the Larson trigononmety text and college allegra text which you can see if you compare the table of contents. Our dc started algebra in middle school, so we had the luxury of spreading precal over two years. Mr. Mosley actually suggested that we do this given that we had the time to do so. I was very happy that we did this. On our hs transcripts, I called these courses Trigonometry and Advanced Algebra (not Precal 1 and 2) with no questions asked from any of the colleges dc have applied to.


I don't know TPS's reason for doing their precal over two years, but just wanted to let you know that they aren't the only ones that have done so.

Edited by Cynde
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DD finished algebra I in grade 7, but she appears to be on the 1.5 year plan for pre-calculus, finishing in the middle of grade 11. (I'm hoping it's not a full two years in pre-calculus.) I finally caught on that she feels more confident about math if she I let her move more slowly and do more problems. (We're using Foerster's Pre-Calc and we're not skipping any sections. I see steady progress and growing mathematical maturity, so I think we're on the right track.) Can I legitimately call this 1.5 or 2 credits, or would I be well-advised to just call it 1 credit, regardless of how long it takes? I do expect her to do calculus in high school--probably in a year and a half if she sticks to the current pace. Even if I only call it 1 credit, she will have 4 or 5 math credits (depending on whether we call algebra I a high school class). However, she's putting in more time than most 1 credit courses would require.

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Based on your responses, I feel much more comfortable with a 2 year precalc course. My oldest definitely will do better if he's not rushed, and it sounds in general as if a thorough precalc course has enough material to justify 2 years/credits. Also, I've gathered in the past from Jann and others that more prep before calculus and college level math, not less, is preferable.


Now I just have to decide between Potter's School (benefit: graded and taught elsewhere instead of by my husband since I'm not touching it with a ten foot pole!) and Chalkdust (benefit: more flexibility in scheduling and working with this particular student.)


I wish I knew more about how the two texts stack up. That may have to be another thread, though.


Thanks to all of you very much!!!!!

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