Topic | Richele – how did Jacobs Algebra work out?

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  • Rebekah
    Participant

    Hi Richele,

    I was wondering how your year with Jacob’s Algebra went?  What was your opinion of the DVD’s?

    My daughter is currently in MUS Pre algebra.  Although it’s going well, I would like to challenge her a little more.  I don’t want to add to Math U See as I think that would be too time consuming, so I was looking into Jacobs.  I’ve read reviews saying it’s gentle, yet challenging.

    I would love to hear about your experience.

    heatherma
    Participant

    I’m curious too. Because it is pricey, and I’ve noticed most math curriculums are, any tips on how to use it well in a CM fashio, what type of learners/personalities benefit from the approach and do well with it?

    After extensive research I keep coming back to this option and the DVDs to use once my child is ready (based on brain maturation/ability for abstract thinking in a couple more years).  I actually got to look it over in person at my local homeschool conference. It doesn’t look to be super dry, it seems to the point (older ds would appreciate that aspect), pages aren’t overly busy or crowded with problems. Teaching Textbooks is appealing just so it’s more off my plate  than on, but I think it would drive this child mad.

     

    He will be continuing to use Math on the Level to finish to/thru pre algebra level over the next 2 years. (7th/8th. 12.5 yrs now).

    Richele
    Participant

    Hi Rebekah and heatherma,

    We have really liked Jacobs’ Algebra and I’ve found it to work well with CM’s methods and philosophy.  The use of the Ask Dr. Callahan dvd may be dependent on the comfort level of the mother/educator.  There are lessons where we don’t watch the dvds as Jacobs’ books are so well graduated.  If there is a concept that my son is having a harder time figuring out then it has been really good to be able to see the video instruction.   If you purchase the dvd, you are getting 12 hours of instruction while also receiving unlimited “homework help”.  Dr. Callahan also honors that if you have purchased used from another home educator.

    I’ll be back when I get to wifi to tell you a bit more about how I adapt it.  Have you listened to my interview on A Delectable Education’s podcast regarding higher maths?  This will help you see further why I’ve chosen Jacobs and some of CM’s thoughts on the teaching of algebra.

    Best,

    Richele

    Rebekah
    Participant

    Thanks. Richele.

    Looking forward to hearing more!  Also, thanks for the link.

    Richele
    Participant

    Hi Rebekah,

    If you listened to the podcasts you will have heard why I believe in a CM education it is important to be with your older student for at least a portion of their algebra lesson.

    Each lesson is a mix of oral and written. A beautiful thing with CM’s applied philosophy is that many methods are like a golden thread that run through many areas of study. When you provide oral work in these older forms you continue nurturing habits developed in the earlier forms across the spectrum of subjects: attention, concentration, clear thinking, readiness, etc.

    We do use Jacobs’ Algebra and Geometry books which provides me with a history of captain thinkers, interesting problems linked to real life, review work and work in new concepts in different sets for each lesson along with fun challenges to kindle the imagination. What does that tend to look like in our home? I read the introduction to the lesson aloud taking care to stop and see if my son can suggest himself how to work the illustration before any steps are spelled out. If we need to go onto the steps then I will read it and he will narrate it back (the only case when pure “narration” is given in CM math rather than digesting/assimilating info in other ways). I use Ask Dr. Callahan’s scope & sequence –which is free on his website– but have found that since I “know” my student I can further adjust this so his time isn’t spent doing a myriad of exercises when he already has a secure understanding of something.  I have the 3rd edition so Set I is review, Set II and III are work in the newest concept/s and Set IV is a fascinating challenge question.  For example, my snowboarding son recently worked out the slope of an actual run on Mount Blanc.  The textbook was never meant for all the problems to be worked.

    I keep the lesson to 30 minutes. I am probably with him for the first 10 to 15 and then stay available for him.  Don’t think I’m a math superstar as I’ve learned for the most part alongside.

    Many problems I do give him orally which not only saves time but allows me to really know my student and, again, nurtures those good habits. He graphs anything that needs to be graphed and has problems to finish on his own in his notebook. We have a term exams which fit the 30 minutes of class time.

    I do hope this helps.  Our 7th grader has began his elementary introduction to algebra via the Strayer-Upton blue book which I really like as well.  With our older son he moved straight from the second book (newer releases terminology) of Strayer-Upton (beige book).

    Best,

    Richele

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