Ladies,

I have been waiting to post about the math for the new World Geography guide for awhile, because we have been really pondering what we wanted to do in this very key area!

I am so thankful that we have a strong math path to encourage families to take for the early years, as we dearly love Singapore Primary Math, U.S. Edition. After trying pretty much every other math program out there, it was a true relief for me to find success and joy with the Singapore series through 6A/6B. While you can easily use any math you prefer with HOD, we are glad to be able to discuss how to make Singapore math work for you if you do decide to give it try.

After the Singapore Primary Math series ends at 6A/6B, we were very excited to use Singapore's Discovering Mathematics Series next. The Discovering Mathematics series was originally numbered 1A/1B, 2A/2B, 3A/3B, and 4A/4B. So after exiting Singapore Primary Math 6B, you would head into Discovering Mathematics 1A (if you desired to stay with a Singapore-based program). With our second oldest son, who has only ever used Singapore math, we did Discovering Mathematics 1A/1B. It was well-done, with a good amount of challenge. The 'A' book was a jolt at the beginning (as all of the 'A' books seem to be in the Singapore series, because they do not review previous material but just jump right in with the new things)! However, we settled into it and liked it quite well. We did find that the explanations took some leaps that required us to "leap" too, and there were more problems to solve than in the Primary Math series meaning we had to pick and choose more what to do. We would have been fine recommending Discovering Mathematics 1A/1B, but then the Singapore company decided to redesign 1A/1B to become CCSS 7A/7B.

After waiting quite a bit of time for the redesign to see how much it had changed, it finally came out (only to be pulled back) due to so many errors in the answer key. When it was re-released, we were surprised at how much it had changed in its layout, explanations, number of problems, and overall design. My sister jumped into the new DM 7A/7B anyway with her son (who had only been through Singapore math in the past) and found that in contrast to the 1A/1B it was much less user-friendly. The sheer number of problems and the new two-column format made the pages look more overwhelming and the lessons became very long. The lack of clear explanations frustrated her at times and the answer key remained riddled with errors. Since that time, a sheet of adjustments to the answer key has been added to the Singapore math website, yet by then our feelings about the direction the new Discovering Mathematics series was taking became less than enthusiastic.

We decided at long length to keep the Discovering Mathematics 7A/7B part of the series for those students who are mathy and who are also too young to head into a formal Algebra I program. For those students who have completed Singapore 6A/6B and fall in the "mathy/yet too young for formal Algebra I" category, the program will be a very good fit (with the schedule from HOD that helps cut back the number of problems each day). 7A/7B is mainly pre-algebra, with some Algebra I, some geometry, and even a bit of Algebra II.

As far as the rest of the Discovering Mathematics series goes, since 8A/8B is not out yet (which will replace DM 2A/2B) and the Singapore company is not yet sure what they will do with DM 3A/3B, and 4A/4B; we decided that it was time to take another look at math options for Algebra I.

With this in mind, we went back to the drawing board and took a good look at all of the main Algebra I options out there. We ended up, after much comparing of texts, with Foerster's Algebra I as our recommendation for a text-based program. So, now we have 3 different options that we recommend for Algebra I. These include Foerster's Algebra I (for a textbook-based option with clear examples), No-Nonsense Algebra I (for students who have struggled with math in the past or who might find Algebra I very challenging), or VideoText Algebra (for a strong video-based option). The description for each program is found below.

Foerster's Algebra I:

The Prentice Hall Classics line brings back some bestselling programs with an updated copyright. With Classics you can count on solid traditional instruction, a proven approach and sequence to the content, a return to your favorite program, and more value!

Using a highly motivational approach to concepts, the texts include imaginative applications and clear problems derived from the real world. These classic texts are perfect for honors-level classes or for anyone needing solid step-by-step instruction taken to the next level.

We are currently using this program with our second oldest son and are really enjoying the step-by-step explanations and the throughness of the text. It is written directly to the student and provides plenty of practice problems rising in difficulty throughout the assignment. Students who have come up through Heart of Dakota’s recommended math successfully through Singapore 6A/6B should be able to transition into Foerster’s Algebra I well.

For those families who have come up through a different math path, you will want to be sure to have had the equivalent of Pre-Algebra prior to entering Foerster’s Algebra I text. This text is the best “teaching” textbook in written form that we’ve found after looking at all of the currently available options for Algebra I. If you like the textbook approach, and enjoy the benefit of excellent examples worked for your student (and explained) this text is one of the best.

If you hit a roadblock with the text, there are also DVD lessons available from Math Without Borders that teach each lesson in the text. We recommend beginning without the DVD’s (and then seeing if you need them later). The text also includes answers to the odd numbered problems in its Appendix. A fully worked solutions manual for all problems is also available for purchase through Heart of Dakota, but only if you have also purchased the Student Text from us as well or have purchased a Heart of Dakota guide to use in teaching your students. This is due to the Publisher’s regulations for proving that Solutions Manuals are purchased for homeschool use by homeschool families.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Expressions and Equations

Chapter 2 Operations with Negative Numbers

Chapter 3 Distributing: Axioms and Other Properties

Chapter 4 Harder Equations

Chapter 5 Some Operations with Polynomials and Radicals

Chapter 6 Quadratic Equations

Chapter 7 Expressions and Equations Containing Two Variables

Chapter 8 Linear Functions, Scattered Data, and Probability

Chapter 9 Properties of Exponents

Chapter 10 More Operations with Polynomials

Chapter 11 Rational Algebraic Expressions

Chapter 12 Radical Algebraic Expressions

Chapter 13 Inequalities

Chapter 14 Functions and Advanced Topics

No-Nonsense Algebra:

No-Nonsense Algebra uses short, concise lessons to explain each topic in Algebra I in a way that is easy to understand. Multiple examples with fully explained step-by-step solutions, ample reviews built into each of the lessons, and chapter tests help students measure their progress and improve their test scores. Each lesson in the book has a corresponding online video lesson taught by award-winning math teacher and author Richard W. Fisher.

This math program works well for students who have struggled with math in the past and who are likely to find Algebra a challenge. It does not have nearly the depth of Foerster’s Algebra I, but it does cover needed Algebra I concepts in a plain, no-frills fashion.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Necessary Tools for Algebra

Chapter 2 Solving Equations

Chapter 3 Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations

Chapter 4 Solving and Graphing Inequalities

Chapter 5 Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

Chapter 6 Polynomials

Chapter 7 Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)

Chapter 8 Radical Expressions and Geometry

Chapter 9 Quadratic Equations

Chapter 10 Algebra Word Problems

Each Easy-To-Understand Lesson Includes:

Each topic is clearly explained

Helpful Hints

Examples with fully explained, simple step-by-step solutions

Written exercises

Review built into each lesson to ensure mastery

Chapter tests and a final exam allow students to measure progress

Free online access to video instruction (Each lesson in the book has a corresponding video lesson taught by Rick Fisher)

No Fluff!

No Distractions!

Improves Test Scores!

VideoText Algebra:

VideoText Algebra is an interactive, video-based program that teaches Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II in an integrated manner. Due to the integrated manner in which VideoText teaches algebra, once you begin VideoText it is best to complete the course because all modules work together to teach Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Algebra II. Therefore, to claim credit for both Algebra I and Algebra II all modules must be completed. All students must begin VideoText Algebra with Module A, regardless of previous math experience with Algebra.

The main components of VideoText are the video lessons and the worktext.

However, unlike textbooks that may use a video supplement, in this case the video lessons “are” the textbook. With each module of the course, you receive the video lessons (each 5-10 minutes in length, either on DVD or online), course notes, worktext, solutions manual, progress tests, and an instructor’s guide with detailed solutions to all quizzes and test problems. Students will love the brief lessons and the clear explanations of concepts in VideoText Algebra. To view samples and purchase VideoText Algebra visit http://www.videotext.com

Our own oldest son used this program mainly on his own very successfully for Algebra I and II. If you desire a video-based Algebra I and Algebra II course, this is an excellent option to consider.

Blessings,

Carrie