A Family Using the Algebra 1 Course
[Posted on the Yahoo MathWithoutBorders forum. This forum is a good place to share experiences and questions with other homeschool families using Math Without Borders curriculum.]
I am a homeschool parent of twin boys. I have a degree in mathematics and an MBA while my wife is a physician that taught high school math in “an earlier life” – so we like math and emphasize it in our curriculum.
I was so happy to find David Chandler’s Math Without Borders Home Study Companion for Algebra 1. I knew I wanted to use Mr. Foerster’s Algebra 1 text – there are other good texts out there but David’s supplement convinced me to go with Foerster.
I firmly believe that Algebra should NOT be taught by giving the student the book and walking away. The student must actually SEE the problems worked out and hear the description of the mental process of solving the problem. Better math teachers will show their work very carefully and talk slowly while they are solving the problem – describing every step. David Chandler does EXACTLY this on every example he works – in fact, as I watch the lessons David says exactly what I am thinking almost as if he’s reading my mind – kinda spooky!
Each lesson section begins with an overview of the material and then ends with a few problems worked out as examples. David’s speech is clear and to the point – he is careful not to use too many words that might confuse the student. His handwriting is very clear – better than seeing the solution typed using a font – you see him writing the solution just like the student will do on paper. He lays out the problem very nicely and this acts as a pattern for your students to mimic in their own work – very important as problems become more complex.
The computerized video lessons work well – we use PC’s so I can’t comment on running on Macs. We have it running on a 10 year old PC with minimum resources and it works fine – there are no drops in frames or audio.
There are no tests or problem sets with David’s Algebra 1 product – so think of this Home Study Companion as just that – a companion to the text. A test bank and solution manual are available from the text book publisher (Pearson) web site. The industrious teacher could certainly make up tests and solutions on their own.
I highly recommend this product. This is a classic approach to Algebra 1 by 2 very talented teachers – Foerster and Chandler.
A family using the HSC Geometry course.
My son is using the Geometry course. He seems to have done well with it. The course, with the demos and PDF’s, appears to have enough information for the student to actually ‘self teach’.
It seems a little lengthy but it is thorough. The previous math course that we tried was not thorough enough. In addition, the other course wanted to charge a tutoring fee in order to provide enough information for the student to understand how to work the problem. I love the fact that this course attempts to eliminate the need to pay for so-called ‘tutoring’. I would much rather have a thorough course, such as this one, and adjust the material to my time frame, than like the previous course we used.
One of my favorite things is that I am able to send an email, regarding anything in the course, and I get a response. I get a complete answer, with all the information I need, instead of an offer to charge me for tutoring.