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Teaching Textbooks Math w/o CD

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Has anyone used Teaching textbooks math without the accompanying CDs? how did it work out?

post #2 of 4

Yes. My kids preferred not to use the CD. I was surprised, because they loved using the computer and I thought getting their academics via the computer might appeal to them. But I guess it was a little bit like hiding spinach in their smoothies. They preferred to just eat their spinach as spinach, and not have it sneaked into another food that was considered a treat. From my perspective, the beauty of the program was in the electronic presentation format. But they didn't see it that way.

 

So they used the program without the CDs. And I guess it worked. My two eldest did parts of Algebra I and Algebra II. They were able to understand it and to progress through it.

 

But we really didn't like the program. Not because it was incomplete without the CDs. Just because it was too spirally, formulaic, slow-paced and repetitious for them. It seemed mostly about training students to do well on standardized tests, rather than building mathematical competence and higher reasoning. At least at the high school level. My kids find math pretty easy and do well at it, so they didn't need all the repetition and the tiny steps reinforced multiple times. One of my kids eventually finished one year. The other gave up and moved to something more challenging mid-way.

 

But all kids are different. It probably works very well for some learners.

 

Miranda

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Can I ask what your kids did end up liking?

 

This is our first year, my son is coming from 3rd grade, entering 4th.  I did a placement test and he tested into 4th so that's good I guess at least he wasn't "behind" given that he was coming from a failing school.

 

I only spent 20 on the textbook / answer key.  So if it doesn't work out I am not out a ton.... unless I splurge on the CDs.  My only concern about not having the CDs is learning the new concepts.  My son is on the autism spectrum, and isn't always... whats a good work... cooperative.  And I wonder if he would do better with the lessons instead of me trying to show him....

post #4 of 4

In the early years we used Singapore Primary. They all loved it. It's fast-paced, conceptual, unintimidating and challenging. But maybe because of that it would require more oversight and teaching from you, which might not be such a great thing given the dynamics between you and your ds.

 

In the high school years, which was where we tried Life of Fred, we really struggled to find something we liked. But I think that's because of two issues. First, my kids were at an 8th or 9th grade level at age 9 or 10, but at that age they weren't ready for the more college-like format of programs that were interesting and challenging. Second, we live in Canada, where math at the high school level isn't separated out into sub-subjects, and I much prefer that. I wanted them to be learning probability, statistics, trig, geometry and algebra all the way through, not waiting until they'd been through a year or two of an algebra mono-diet to get to the other stuff. And there weren't very many curriculums set up to allow that.

 

We eventually ended up with a combination of Singapore New Math Counts and a Canadian school textbook (Mathpower) for my middle kids, and I think with my youngest this fall we'll be trying Singapore's New Syllabus Math.

 

An on-line supplement which might help if your ds responds better to teaching from someone else might be www.khanacademy.org. It's remarkably good, particularly for middle school and beyond, but there's a bit there at earlier levels. It might be a useful thing to have in your back pocket if he gets bogged down somewhere and isn't keen on getting help from you.

 

Miranda

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