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# High school math options

Tagged: HIgh School math

- This topic has 11 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 6 months ago by
Bookworm.

- AuthorPosts
Rachel White ParticipantI’m planning on using Developmental Mathematics thorugh level 16 (should be either 7th or 8th grade level). It will be early geometry and pre-algebra. I’ve looked at Teaching Textbooks, but 1) it’s very expensive and 2)I’ve read that it is somewhat on the ‘easy’ side.

What can ya’ll recommend as good, challenging math curricula for that transition? I am not good at math, so it will need to be self-directed; mastery based, not spiral.

Thanks,

Rachel

primrose mother MemberI have also heard that Teaching Textbooks is not as challenging or college-preparing as others, although I’m only saying what I’ve read some others say. I see that SCM recommends Math-U-See for highschool. (Correct me if I’m wrong, other SCM-ers.) You can check on the site’s free curriculum guide, and click on math. I’m looking to change, too (not from any of these mentioned). (I was going to look into Math-U-See again.) So I am interested in what others might recommend for a good, challenging curriculum for a bright high-schooler. God bless you in your search!

primrose mother MemberHi again, Rachel. I just saw that there is a new discussion on Teaching Textbooks on the forum. Maybe you would like to look at their posts, or even ask them questions about it. God Bless!

Rachel White ParticipantYes, I started that Teaching Textbook’s discussion.

I believe people are very pleased with it, that’s very clear; but I’m concerned about the many references I’ve found regarding it’s easiness. I need more info., but that is my concern; I’m not a curriculum hopper. I like that it is self-directed and has a tutor because I won’t be useful in teaching high school math, but my son especially needs a challenging curricula and I definitely see him going into a science/math based field-it’s just he way he thinks. The thing that veers me away from MAth-u-see is that it is more teacher intensive, from my understanding. I saw SAxon has some new teaching DVD”s (DIVE) from Pre-alg to Calculus; however, it’s an incremental spiral and I don’t know how well that will will work. I’m not a fan of spiral; but maybe incremental spiral is a slower one? I don’t know-need more info.

Then there’s Singapore, which is along the same lines as Dev. Math., as it’s mastery oriented and mental math, but I don’t know how much I’ll be needed, so I need to check more into that one, too. It’s supposed to be able to followed by the child, I think.

Any views on anything I said from anyone? Personal experience? Extend the Teaching Textbooks discussion?

Thank you,

Rachel

primrose mother MemberWish I could help you more. You migh ask some Math-U-See-ers if they let their highschoolers do it on their own. I’m thinking I’ve heard that this works fine. They watch the cd rom, and do the work!

Polly ParticipantWe used Teaching Textbooks but it is not a college prep program. What about Jacobs? I know a lot of people who have been very happy with it.

Scherger5 ParticipantMy daughter is going to be in ninth grade in the fall and we are sticking with Saxon. I like the program from the 5/4 book on up. I just modify the number of problems I assign as needed. We have the Dive CD’s for 8/7 and up, but haven’t needed them yet. I guess they’re for my piece of mind

Heather

Karen Smith ModeratorWe use Math-U-See through the high school years. My kids work independently on it. They watch the video and then do the work. If they have a question, which is rare because the videos do a good job, they can watch the video again or read the lesson instruction section in the parent book to refresh their memories on how to work a particular type of problem. The answer key usually shows how to work the problem which is helpful for a parent who isn’t strong in math. Also, MUS has online chat support and a number you can call if you need help beyond what is in the video and parent book.

MUS’ algebra and pre-calculus courses are excellent. In my opinion the geometry course is adequate. My daughter completed MUS geometry and it was just right for her. However, for my boys, we use Jacobs’

*Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding*. Jacobs’ is much more in-depth than Math-U-See for geometry. The text is written to the student and the material is learned by working the problems. Because of this, it is difficult to assign only part of the problems as most of them are needed to learn the concepts. It is not unusual for a lesson to have 40 to 50 problems.Jacobs’ geometry worked for us because I have a strong math background. Jacobs’ is probably not a good fit for a family if neither parent is strong in math. If your child gets stuck on a concept or can’t solve a problem, you will need to help him figure it out. In geometry, the answer key usually has just the final answer. The steps for how to get the answer are usually not given. I don’t know if Jacobs’ algebra course is the same or not as I have only used the geometry course.

Rachel White ParticipantOn the MUS, are the manipulatives required for the Algebra and up? My son will be completely uninterested in that. If they could watch the video and do the work, that’s what I’m looking for, with or without the manipulatives.

Also, what about the transition from Dev. Mth. to MUS? Karen, has your children used MUS in the early years?

I saw the Jacob’s and it has a good recommendation; but what you said about it would be a problem. My husband is very strong in math, and if he’s feeling ok, he can help; but I have to decide things without depending on him (he suffers from frequent seizures and other chronic health problems that keeps me from depending on his consistent input).

Rachel

primrose mother MemberI think with MUS (we had it for a short time, and I have friends who use it), Steve will demonstrate with the manipulitives, and then the student, with that picture in his head, can just work the problems.

Karen Smith ModeratorWe started using Math-U-See with the fractions book (Epsilon) for my third child because he was struggling with the curriculum I had been using. He had no problem transitioning to MUS. Another child started with decimals (Zeta) and my two oldest started with pre-algebra and algebra. None of them had any problems transitioning to MUS.

The manipulatives are not necessary for algebra and up. Some kids might like to use them with algebra at first. But if your son wouldn’t use them, save yourself some money and don’t buy them.

Bookworm ParticipantMy high schoolers rarely use the MUS manipulatives anymore–watching the video is usually enough for them to “see” it. We have had good success with MUS in the upper grades. I really have no idea what the oldest (Algebra II) is doing anymore, but that’s OK. I wanted to put in a plug for the MUS help center. Whenever we run into a problem, I’m certainly not going to be able to figure it out, so my son just goes to the online help center. He’s ALWAYS been pleased with the help and been able to move on afterwards.

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