Review of Paul A. Foerster’s Textbooks

Reviews of Chakerian, Crabill and Stein’s Geometry: A Guided Inquiry

Reviews of HSC Algebra 1 and HSC Geometry on the web site

Reviews of Algebra 1 through Precalculus on the web site:
See her list of  “Top Picks

Reviews of all of our courses on the How to Homeschool web site

(Note: any prices quoted in the reviews may be out of date. See the purchase page for current pricing.)

Math Without Borders Customer Comments

Recent correspondence from a college student

Dear Mr. Chandler,
I am a college student that used your Algebra II, PreCalculus, and Calculus courses in my Junior and Senior years of high school. I want to thank you for the thoroughness in which you taught all three of those courses. It prepared me extremely well for college level Calculus. Again thank you very much for putting together your lecture series!
I enjoyed them very much!
Thank you again!

Hi —–,
Thank you for your comments. This kind of teaching is like sowing seed: you hope some of it takes root. I feel good about these courses, from my end, so it is good to hear when they are effective and appreciated. Good luck in your further studies.
–David Chandler

Thank you and they are EXTREMELY effective.

Comment on improved parent-student interaction

I wanted to let you know that your course has been a relationship changer for us. As we homeschool, math became always a point of strife. I always loved and excelled at math but somehow my brain must work differently from other people so when I try to explain it, people don’t get me. But this method – to have an instructor in place that could say “This is how it’s done” enabled me to be the come-alongside-helper. I’m sure others have said similar things. But I just wanted to express that it definitely helped improve relations between my son and me. We are both thankful. We look forward to the journey into Geometry this year.

Various short comments

…Thank you! Also wanted to tell you what a strong math student my older daughter is from your course. She is in an early college program and each math teacher is amazed at how sharp she is. She stands out among the prior public school kids. So I’m doing the same course with my second daughter who is engineer-minded!

…This is our first year using your program. And math has gone from my daughter’s least to her favorite subject of school in the blink of an eye. It is nothing short of miraculous! I cannot even tell you how much she used to fight math.

…I wanted to say how much we are enjoying the use of your material. I am in my 6th year of coaching students in pre-algebra through geometry and algebra 2, and this is by far the most effective math textbook and companion that we’ve used. I can’t believe the difference in the lectures and explanations; the clarity in comparison to other homeschool texts is remarkable!

…I am very thankful to have a teacher like you who has real world experience teaching this course. You often give extra information about where equations come from or how they relate to real science problems. This is invaluable information that has helped both me and my students “understand” without having to memorize. I love those little nuggets of gold that you have added to the course!

…Thank you for publishing this series. I gave my kiddo the choice between your series and one that was significantly flashier, and the reason for choosing your series was that it seemed like there was “real information” in what you were presenting. We consider you to be our math teacher.

…We are enjoying your math programs. My daughter completed a different Algebra program last year, but after having her watch some of the videos from your program we discovered that yours is much more in depth. You not only teach how but why.

…Thanks David, we’re looking forward to another year of your exceptional teaching. Algebra 1 was one of our favorite homeschool courses over all the years! Warm regards, ——

…My sons and I call you respectfully “DC” when we watch your teachings. This is our 2nd year with you and we are very grateful for the thorough and simple teaching you give us each day to learn such hard subjects. Wow! If only we had found your teaching earlier!

…[A parent doing the curriculum along with her son] Superb Curriculum. The best high school math that I have seen/experienced after homeschooling for 16 years. So glad we found it.

…Math Without Borders has clicked for [my daughter] like no other math curriculum has — thank you for a solid, stellar program with fantastic customer support. We are very grateful, and look forward to moving into Geometry next year. I’ll continue to recommend your program to my homeschooling friends.

A student who took all of my math courses, Algebra 1 through Calculus

I just wanted to thank you for making such an excellent product available to home school students at an affordable price & making yourself easy to contact for questions. My daughter went through the Math Mammoth series, which suggested your material for high school. She then went through all of your math courses. She took the Calculus CLEP right after your Calculus (at age 16) & scored a perfect 80/80. I wasn’t able to find a school that would allow her to take the AP exam. I found a college that allowed her to take dual enrollment Calculus 2 & 3 this year, after looking at the table of contents of the text you used for Calculus & looking at some of her work. She received an A in both classes & also scored 100% in all the required material for both. Thanks again!

A family working on Geometry

Thank you so much for developing these Home Study Companions. My daughter is learning so much more with your selections than I ever did using strictly Saxon in high school (and I am learning much more now even with the brief exposure of simply checking her work). I also enjoy side notes and extra explanations you provide. In short, thank you, thank you, thank you for helping to make math interesting and understandable and fairly easy to check/correct/grade.

Families using the Algebra 1 course

I can’t say enough about your videos. I was very nervous about my daughter beginning her highschool math journey and whether I was qualified to instruct her. The detailed explanations you provide are perfection! I couldn’t do it without you!! She rarely misses a problem, and I know it’s because you are so thorough with your initial instruction on the unit, that when she gets to the problem set, she completely understands the process involved to find the solution. Thank you for all of the hours that went into this video series. I am so very grateful for your help.

Thank you for your Math Without Borders Algebra I program and for all the times you’ve promptly responded to any of my inquiries. I have recommended the program to others and will continue to do so, as it has successfully guided two of my sons through Algebra I. Using non-Common Core math curriculum is important. My youngest son -currently in 8th grade – took the Algebra I placement test at his incoming high school, and he scored high enough to go directly into Geometry next year instead of retaking Algebra. He actually taught himself most of the Algebra I topics using your book; he’d always refuse my help. A few times he got frustrated and listened to your video explanations which usually cleared things up for him. Once again, I am grateful for your program and all your assistance!

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.

I highly recommend this product. This is a classic approach to Algebra 1 by two very talented teachers – Foerster and Chandler.

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 young adult working through the entire curriculum on his own

I am almost finished with the Algebra 2 book and will move quickly to finish the Precalc book. I have done almost every problem in the book and the book has been absolutely amazing. It seems that the author sequences the sections where it seems that everything almost flows from one section to the next. But despite the book being amazing, there is simply no price one can put on the lessons and the problem solving. I read the book closely but there were still things that were not crystal clear. But by the time I viewed the lessons or the solved problems, it was clear.

Thanks a lot for the work you have done and made available.

Families who have used several of my courses

I have used Math Without Borders Resources for Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II Honors Courses, for a homeschool curriculum using Foerster’s Algebra I and II and Chakerian Geometry, at the honors level. The Math Without Borders resources allowed us to study these subjects at home, with a depth and thoroughness which would not have been possible without external tutors/classes. The videos very clearly explain the material in connection with each section of the textbooks, which allow for a very well organized and sequential study of the subjects. The videos and resources also present the solutions to many of the problems related to each section. We found that encouraging our students to solve the problems first, without help, and then watching the videos created the most effective learning approach. The subjects are studied from a theoretical perspective, and then they are used in very practical applications which led our students to several “aha!” moments in understanding mathematics. For students wishing greater challenges, the materials offer many opportunities to explore more difficult problems and applications. I found the Math Without Borders resources to be one of them most helpful tools in learning mathematics at home.

Mr. Chandler,

I am about to embark on teaching Algebra I using your videos for the 2nd time.  I have also taught both Geometry and Algebra II using your programs and have been very impressed. I have engineering-bound boys and feel secure in their math instruction. My oldest has also benefited from a solid math score on his SAT. I myself have an engineering degree/math minor plus a passion for math and find your videos helpful explaining concepts to boys who don’t love listening to the sound of their mom’s voice all of the time. Thank you for creating such useful products. They have been a highlight of our homeschooling journey.

A family who discovered Math Without Borders late in the game.

Hello Mr. Chandler,

You have been teaching my two sons Alg 2, Precalc and Calculus for the past three years.  We just wanted to thank you for being an excellent teacher! My oldest son did extremely well on the ACT test, received the highest scholarship from the University the Lord led him to and is well prepared for the Calculus class at the University.  He is an Engineering student and describes Calculus as “beautiful”.  Once when he was doing one of the problems you assigned, he was laying on the floor with a large whiteboard in front of him on which he was working the problem. When he finished he said, “Mom! Isn’t that beautifuL?!”

We found your program a bit late and so that older son wanting to be prepared for college took the Precalc and 6 chapters of Calculus his senior year and is not finding the class overwhelming or too difficult.

I truly cannot thank you enough for using the gifts and intelligence that God gave you to help us Homeschoolers. May the Lord bless you and the your work exceedingly and abundantly.

Gratefully and Warmly, …

A family with several students who have used nearly all of my courses over several years.

I have purchased Mr. Chandler’s teaching videos for Algebra 1 through Precalculus. Nothing beats the Foerster math programs accompanied by these video explanations. I owe it to Mr. Chandler for my children’s success in mathematics. My eldest daughter scored a 5 on her AP Calculus BC exam, she scored a perfect math score on her SAT and she was a National Merit Finalist. She was awarded a full scholarship to Texas A&M. My son also excelled in AP Calculus BC, scored a 760 on his SAT math section, and got a perfect SAT Math 2 score. He is an honors engineering student at Texas A&M and has already tutored several students in Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. He also was able to introduce his Physics professor to one of the suggested programs introduced by Mr. Chandler, GeoGebra. Surprisingly, his professor used it in class one day!! My third daughter is now taking Algebra 2. She struggles in math but the videos have given her the ability to take the time to grasp each concept by repeating the lessons that are challenging. Foerster Math is not for the faint hearted but it will give your student a thorough understanding of the subject and push the student to think more critically. These videos saved me. I homeschooled all my children from the start with only an associates degree in nursing. I was definitely not able to tutor or assist. These videos were all I used, coupled with the hard work my children poured into their studies. The program is wonderful. It’s the only product in homeschooling I consistently used for each child.  Thank you Mr. Chandler!!

Another family that has 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 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.

David has that same gift.

Another parent who worked through the Algebra 1 course with her child

I am very grateful for your program.  When the textbooks arrived, my stomach dropped…  As much as I have loved homeschooling, whenever I contemplated high school math, I felt inadequate to teach it – goodness, to even do the work!  But your course has been a wonderful experience.  My 14 year old and I have done all the lessons and work assignments together and we have both learned so much.  Wish I had felt this way in high school.  The whole experience surprised and delighted me 🙂  I’m even looking forward to geometry!

[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 highschool 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.

A parent who has been helping several other homeschooling families

I thought you might be pleased to know that I have yet another friend who is going to be using your algebra 1 course AFTER they spent all year in another course and got to the end only for her daughter to tell her that she doesn’t think she learned anything and I think she failed the final exam!  Now, the other course was  ——  and it is supposed to be a good book but even a good book needs a great teacher and an in tune parent/facilitator.   Your videos provide the excellent teacher!!  She didn’t have that and consequently it didn’t turn out well for her.  I am going to be helping her through Foersters book this year along with your videos.  Thank you again for such great teaching!

Oh and my son is one lesson away from being done with algebra 1!!!!  I got busy with school prep for this next year and I am still in chapter 12 but he has done great even moving ahead of me.  [I love it when parents take the course along with their kids! — DC]  I can tell he feels very accomplished and proud of himself and this would not have been possible without your videos.

Also, my other friend who stopped their current algebra 1 [using yet another text] with her son, who is not math minded at all, and started your course earlier this spring, is doing SO GOOD!  Her words were when I texted her the other day to ask how it was going, “We love our algebra. He’s doing so good!  Can’t thank you enough”

Anyways, just thought you’d enjoy hearing some success stories.

A school math department experimenting with a “flipped classroom”

The Algebra 2 Students needed to skip class a couple weeks ago due to the PSAT. This is significant since we only meet for class twice per week. So three lessons in a row were assigned to be completed without any in-class lecture or teacher assistance. The students followed the routine of watching the MWB videos and working the problems sets. When they returned to class, they had completed all assignments, understood the material, and were ready to engage in discussion. A complete flipped success!  Thanks for providing such great quality video lectures.