Reviews of HSC Algebra 1 and HSC Geometry on the mathmammoth.com web site
Reviews of Algebra 1 through Precalculus on the CathyDuffyReviews.com web site
(Any prices quoted in the reviews may be out of date. See the purchase page for current pricing.)
A family using the Algebra 1 course
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. [Note: This family used an earlier version of the material. The video format I am using now (mp4) video format is independent of operating system and works with almost any media player. — D.C.] 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.
Another family using the Algebra 1 course
Dear Mr. Chandler,
I want to thank you for the absolutely delightful year we have spent studying Algebra 1. I personally have found enjoyment in relearning Algebra by way of your DVD and the Foerster text, as well as watching my 13-year-old son have fun with every lesson. In fact, he has renamed your course “Math without Boredom!” He so enjoyed the lesson on the Pythagorean Theorem that he is doing his end-of-year honors project using it to create a board game. Needless to say, he is looking forward to Geometry, which I will order soon.
Thank you again for your wonderful product.
A large family with several students who have used nearly all of my courses over several years.
The way David teaches, is the way my college professors taught, back in the day when they were really vested in making sure students understood clearly what was happening.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. My college age students have been so ill served by online math courses that leave it up to a teaching videos that barely demonstrate how to solve problems, that don’t describe in detail why the steps work. Or in class sessions where they simply don’t spend time teaching, and are resentful of their office hours.
There’s no way I would have been as successful a math major if I hadn’t had teachers that were so passionate about students learning. I remember one particular professor that loved office hours. We’d sit in his office and he’d work problems the entire time, so very patient with us.
So, David has that same gift.
Another family who worked through the Algebra 1 course
We have highly recommended the Home Study Companion for Algebra 1 to many families. Self-motivated students are able to follow along with the lectures and assignments easily by themselves, and students needing more help are served well by a parent going through the course with them. The teaching, content, and structure provide an easy way for the parent with or without a strong math background to learn right along with the student. With David Chandler as the teacher, I can rest assured that my student is getting excellent algebra instruction right in my home at a fraction of the cost of a tutor or other virtual classroom options.
[Note: I always recommend that a parent who does not know the subject well commit to learning it along with the student, whenever possible. You will find times when your child may have to explain things to you, which forces them to articulate their knowledge. Teaching is the best way to really learn a subject well. — D.C.]
A family using the Calculus course.
My son, _____, has finished David Chandler’s calculus course this week, and he couldn’t be more satisfied with the quality of instruction he received. [He] took the AP Calculus AB exam last year and was fortunate to score a 5 as a self-studying, homeschooled freshman. For that course of study, he used a Dover Books title by Morris Kline, Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach and some AP prep books by Dr. Chung. He was very nervous and did not feel very prepared for the exam despite scoring a 5.
This year taking the AP Calculus BC exam in May, he was very relaxed and felt like he knew the calculus so much better than last year thanks to the Math Without Borders Calculus beta group he was privy to courtesy of David’s hard work and dedication to quality math instruction. We are still waiting on the BC exam score, but whatever he scores this time, we know he was given excellent and expert math instruction and was well-prepared. This course is a homeschooler’s calculus dream come true at an affordable price.
A family using the Algebra 2 / Trig course.
We homeschool and my son is using Foerster’s Algebra and Trig book (and these awesome videos) for a two year course. I taught the first half and he is taking the second half online. When I took math, I did well, but finished up at Algebra II. As we got into this book, it was a little more advanced and more detailed than what I had learned!! Mr. Chandler’s teaching has helped us immensely! He is affectionately referred to as “the guy”. Even though he is now taking the second half with a live teacher, he still needs “the guy” to help him understand things. My 15 year old son says that the videos are: “ridiculously amazing, informative, explanatory, and easy to follow” Thank you Math Without Borders for making math so understandable–one student at a time! You are “The Guy”! Needless to say we highly recommend these!!!
An Adult Learner Returning to Fill In the Gaps
I have been working my way through the Math Without Borders curriculum in order to refresh my memory about what I was supposed to learn in high math classes, but didn’t retain, and I hope to eventually work my way through Calculus. I’ve had this goal for many years, but wouldn’t have dared to even attempt it if I hadn’t found Math Without Borders.
One thing I remember reading when I was looking into Math Without Borders was that David Chandler brings a mathematician’s insight into his teaching, in a way that explains and enriches a topic beyond how it is presented in the typical math textbook. I was a little skeptical about that, as I consider myself a motivated “self-studier” who has had success with textbooks and library books in other disciplines. But that claim was truly an understatement. Mr. Chandler takes his time to not only explain the concept in detail, working from the intuitive aspects to the more deductive, but he gives some insight into HOW mathematicians discovered that reality, and the PROCESS OF THINKING for which a formula may be a shortcut. I can almost feel new neural pathways being created in my brain. What I especially like is how he works example problems with every lesson. Also very beneficial is his intensive use of Geogebra, Graphmatica, and other educational software that help me visualize math concepts in a 3D sort of way.
I’ve never liked math, and only learned the “tricks” and formulae to do okay for the next test. But now, there are enough “aha!” moments keep me inspired to persevere. I can’t recommend MWB highly enough, not only for homeschoolers and their parents, but adult learners who wish to fill in gaps in their own education.