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#59961  11/01/09 11:03 AM
Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations

Member
Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679

S/O of my other thread...Could I have some recommendations for Math books, especially those used successfully with younger students? I will probably look to AoP in the future. I am not as pleased with the Holt books I have and am giving in to letting my DD9 go forward with math. She will continue with EPGY but we need some textbook material. Someone on another board mentioned Jacobs but then a review mentioned the answers aren't very well written. We have LOF up to the Algebra I. I definately need good teacher materials to go with anything. Any advice? If there is a thread on this please let me know...
Edited by melmichigan (11/01/09 11:05 AM)
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#59966  11/01/09 11:52 AM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: melmichigan]

Member
Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 1134

I'm actually interested in info on prealgebra or algebra too. Specifically from any home schoolers, who have transitioned from the elementary Singapore series.

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#59976  11/01/09 01:45 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: kimck]

Member
Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 902

I'm actually interested in info on prealgebra or algebra too. Specifically from any home schoolers, who have transitioned from the elementary Singapore series. Me too. We will be done with Singapore in a few months. While I see AOPS in our future I don't think it's the right time for it yet. Just this week I ordered the first part of the New Elementary Math (covers Singapore grades 710) to see if it's something I like. I know that most of the people stop using Singapore math once they are done with 6B but I at the very least want to see what it is all about.
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#59980  11/01/09 02:39 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: LMom]

Member
Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 1134

You'll have to post what you think of the New Elementary Math!

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#59982  11/01/09 03:25 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: kimck]

Member
Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679

Has anyone used Jacobs, or Lial's BCM for prealgebra? Those were also mentioned on the high school board on another forum.
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#59984  11/01/09 03:31 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: melmichigan]

Member
Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 1167
Loc: NM

Life of Fred has an Algebra book. I was told awhile back that he was in the process of writing a pre algebra book. He told me it was scheduled to be released at the end of September so it might be out. We use Alek's primarily but supplement with LOF
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#59986  11/01/09 04:02 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: BWBShari]

Member
Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 902

LOF are good books. They are entertaining and teach math concepts in a fun way, but IMHO they cannot replace a math curriculum. I am definitely looking for something more challenging and complete.
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#59987  11/01/09 04:12 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: BWBShari]

Member
Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 302

We went from Singapore 6 almost directly to NEM.... Almost, because we spent a summer playing with a free Kinetic Books algebra download, which was cute but not really one I'd recommend if it weren't free. Also we had dabbled in Gelfand's Algebra, which I would love to have used straight through only it's challenging to the point of being almost harsh... and DS was only 7almost8. So we ended up with NEM.
The way we did it was to do the first two books, Algebra topics only, in one year. Then we took a year "off" (last year) to do Statistics... And this year we're back with NEM for Geometry. At this point it's almost too light, but we're adding in a separate book of Mathematical Logic which beefs it up a bit, and we're doing just about a whole curriculum's worth of problem solving, pieced together from AoPS books, Jacobs' Mathematics A Human Endeavor, online sources, MathCounts and Math Olympiad materials, old AMC tests, and two groups of kids... which comes to what, triple math? LOL
We're oddities in this, not just for the acceleration  also for really excessive interest... But NEM isn't as scary as people make it out to be. The first four chapters are trying to kill you with a comprehensive review of arithmetic (LOL), but after that I think it's very reasonable.
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#59988  11/01/09 05:25 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: KAR120C]

Member
Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 864

We're using Thinkwell prealgebra and DS loves it. First math he's liked in years. It was the math evolver game that got him excited about prealgebra.
I've also heard people mention Teaching Textbooks as a good curriculum for younger students.

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#59989  11/01/09 05:35 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: questions]

Member
Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 902

Thank you, Erica. That sounds like a good plan. If I like NEM we would most likely end up following the book and not going for algebra only. That's the way I was taught math and since it worked pretty well ... Do you know why people find NEM too hard? Till now I thought that most of them didn't like the format. I selected NEM for review because it's supposedly the most difficult one out of the 4 Singapore curricula available. I am definitely not looking for anything easy. I am also considering spending a few months on logic once we are done with 6B.
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#59991  11/01/09 06:08 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: LMom]

Member
Registered: 03/29/08
Posts: 302

I think the difficulty is mainly in the lack of teacher support materials. If you found algebra overwhelming yourself, NEM would not be the series for you, but that doesn't sound like it will be a problem! As long you don't need a full solutions manual or extra teaching hints, you'll be fine. It is stylistically different from PM, just in being more textbooky, but we haven't found it dull. It just looks different. I was originally planning to work through as written except DS asked if we could just finish Algebra instead of switching, and that was fine with me. In retrospect I think it worked out well with our long term plan, because after Algebra we could go off on our rabbit trail of Statistics  which depends on algebra much more than on geometry. Not that we couldn't have found a different rabbit trail, but that's the one we wanted to do and it worked out perfectly.
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#59992  11/01/09 06:14 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: LMom]

Member
Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 6145
Loc: Midwest

DS8 likes the "Key to" series. He did "Key to Decimals," "KtPercentages" and "KtFractions" last year for a class he took, and he loved it. He's on "Key to Algebra" now. The first booklet is integers and order of operations, so it's really starting with prealgebra. There are 10 booklets in the algebra series, if memory serves. The caveats: > This is not creative problem solving. It's basic. > We tend to skip a lot. It looks like he's going to finish the first booklet after only about 68 days of school workmaybe 3 or 4 hours of work, if that much. He's flying through it. The pros: > Visually, they are black and white and free of distractions, which seems to appeal to him for some reason. (This might be a con for some kids, so be warned.) > They're cheap, similarly priced to Singapore. > They limit new things inroduced per page, so that I can feel confident that if he can do the last 4 problems on the page, he really hasn't missed anything. > It's very nutsandbolts, which suits him. Sometimes I feel like I have the same problem with math curricula for him that I have with fiction for him: he can read the book and understand it, but it's not really made for him and it seems somehow inappropriate. This feels like it fits his age and his intellect. I can't really explain why, but that's the "mom gut" feel that I have. And he often does more math than I assign just because it's fun for him. So I think there's something to this, at least for his case. > I'm using "Key to Algebra" as a preface to AoPS. I think it's vital that he get the problem solving eventually. But he's not a speedy processor and I'm afraid if we went straight to AoPS, it would overwhelm him. Hopefully if he gets the basics down enough with the "Key to" series, then he can make better use of the deeper thinking required of him in AoPS. > Taking both "Key to" and AoPS also means he'll spend longer on algebra. If it goes well, I'll do the same with geometry. That means I can slow him down some. Wahoo! That works for me! HTH!
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#59994  11/01/09 06:38 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: Kriston]

Junior Member
Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 24

DD13 12 at the time used and liked Forresters. She did it during her free time at school and didn't need any help. (She is PG though we didn't discover that until last year.) It had many more problems then we ever needed and all the odd# answers were in the back of the book so we didn't bother with a teachers manual. I don't know though if it would be the best for younger kids. It is probably more of an extended algebra though as it includes trig..

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#60053  11/02/09 10:52 AM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: genosnickers]

Member
Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679

Well, I went online to our ILL and ordered some Jacobs, Lial, and Foerster books to look at and get a feel for, they didn't always have the level I was looking for but hopefully it will give me a feel for the author and the way things are presented. I also ordered the first 4 books in the Key to Algebra series to see how those go over. We will continue with EPGY in the meantime. Since my DD9 hasn't had a lot of experience with Singapore, but was PS'd for her early math I don't think it would be a good idea to throw her into any of their secondary books. It might be a good options for her sisters since they started with Singapore. I also sent for sample DVD's of MUS, Chalkdust, and VideoText. We have some experience with Thinkwell on the Holt online tools. So hopefully somewhere in all that I will find something that will work. AoP said they might be doing daytime classes for their Intro to Algebra book next year so maybe she will be ready by then. Who knows?
Edited by melmichigan (11/02/09 10:53 AM)
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#60063  11/02/09 12:44 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: melmichigan]

Member
Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 6145
Loc: Midwest

Would you mind letting me/us know how everything goes? I'd love to get your impressions of the stuff you're trying if you don't mind comparing notes.
Thanks in advance!
Kriston
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#60065  11/02/09 12:57 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: Kriston]

Member
Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679

I sure will let everyone know how things go, and anyone else with ideas or experiences please let me know. I have talked to people on other boards but many of their children aren't necessarily GT and experience things in a different way. So while Foerster's might be great for some older students it might not be great for my DD10 (today!), Jacobs might be a better fit, you get the idea. She doesn't like humor with her AS, so Jacobs might not be the answer either. We shall see. Hopefully it won't be to long to get all the books and samples, now that I've conceded to higher math I'd like to get a plan in place for after Christmas if possible.
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#60679  11/08/09 07:47 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: melmichigan]

Member
Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 902

I received my shipment of the 1st and 2nd year of NEM (New Elementary Math, Singapore) and I am very pleased with what I've seen.
I am pretty sure this is what we will use or at least try once DS7 finishes the Singapore Primary Series. While DS7 has covered part of the NEM 1 material during our dinner conversations, I still believe it will be a good match for him with enough challenging problems to choose from. The text is for sure not watered down.
I think it's only logical for us to continue with the Singapore math books at this point.
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#60708  11/09/09 07:07 AM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: CFK]

Member
Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 6145
Loc: Midwest

No, not for my child.
He's not a fast kid. His processing speed is on the high end of average. He needs time. AoPS doesn't give much time. So if he is to take AoPS classes that offer critical thinking that I think DS8 needs and would enjoyif he is able to keep upthen I need to find ways to support his particular learning bottleneck.
It's a tricky balance, because he does need challenge and he doesn't need loads of repetition to understand concepts. But I feel confident that he is not going to be ready for calculus in 3 or 4 years. He'll be 11 or 12, and his processing speed won't be sufficient to keep up with any calculus class. His speed is improving as he gets older, just as it does for all kids, but he is not gifted in terms of speed. That's not going to change. He will need to be older to be able to process the problems fast enough to keep up.
Giving him "the basics" of algebra and geometry first will hopefully give him a leg up on the critical thinking needed for the AoPS classes. I think of it as his doing the onedigit addition problems before he does the 2digit problems.
I have considered buying the AoPS book and just moving more slowly through it on our own, but I think this way is better for my particular child.
With that said, I am always secondguessing myself! But I think I know my child well enough to have a pretty good handle on his needs.
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#60714  11/09/09 07:37 AM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: Kriston]

Member
Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 902

AoPS is in a different category. It's my understanding that lots of kids were exposed to some algebra before participating in AoPS classes. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
I too plan on having DS7 take AoPS classes at some point or using their textbooks and teaching him myself but I think he could benefit from a regular algebra class first. I may change my mind half a year from now but that's the plan right now. Either way I need to have one more look at the AoPS books.
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#60717  11/09/09 07:53 AM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: LMom]

Member
Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 6145
Loc: Midwest

I have a friend whose child used the "Key to" booklets and then took AoPS, and it worked for them. I really get the sense that AoPS is rather a different animal than most of the math that's out there. But most of that impression comes from this forum, so if I'm wrong, I'd love to be corrected...
I should add to my previous post that one of the reasons we're homeschooling *IS* to slow DS8 down a bit. I am choosing to try to go deeper and broader (with things he wouldn't get in our schools, like foreign language studies) rather than just faster through the standard curriculum.
Perhaps this is not a choice everyone would make, and that's fine. All kids are different, and the only one I'm choosing for is my child. But I am not in a hurry to have my child go off to college. I'm not sure his bottleneck would allow him to succeed if he went really early. And, of course, I'm not sure *I'm* comfortable with sending my young child off to college.
So I am doing what I can to keep him challenged and yet still keep him reasonably close to his age peers for the core courses. As I said, it is a delicate balance that I don't always hit. But I don't think that multigradeskipping would work for my particular child with his particular speed challenge if he were in a bricksandmortar school. Since he may someday return to a traditional school, I'm doing what I can to slow him down and still challenge him. Two rounds of algebraone basic, one advancedseems like it might fit that rubric.
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Kriston Mom to DS13 and DS10

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#60753  11/09/09 12:06 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: CFK]

Member
Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 6145
Loc: Midwest

Oooh. That does make a difference. Hmmm...Must go rethink my strategy now...
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Kriston Mom to DS13 and DS10

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#60773  11/09/09 01:59 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: Kriston]

Member
Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 207

Jumping in late... Ds9 learned abt Alegbra not through textbooks. He loves his Edward Zaccoro's Real World Algebra. He started reading them when he was 7. One of the Murderous Math books "Phantom X" is on Algebra too. Now he does his Algebra with Thinkwell. He likes it enough to do it daily (2030 mins).

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#60774  11/09/09 02:04 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: ST]

Member
Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 207

I think "deeper and broader" is good. This is actually what some gifted programs do. They do not accelerate the kids but they get more exposure by doing more research/ projects/ presentation/ social service etc. However, not all schools / parents know how to do that. I think it comes with experience too .

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#60775  11/09/09 02:17 PM
Re: Prealgebra and Algebra book recommendations
[Re: ST]

Member
Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 679

Well I broke down an bought Lial's Basic College Mathematics. Many on another board are using this for prealgebra. I'm hoping that with the Key to books will get us started. The comments about the AoP courses being slower paced is very reassuring, that was a concern for us also.
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