Ladies,

After much time spent pondering the varying math needs of students at the high school level, for our new American History guide we have chosen 3 different options to recommend for Algebra II. These include Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry (for a textbook-based option with clear examples), Mathhelp.com (formerly Algebra Classmate and Yourteacher.com - an online program for students who have struggled with math in the past, or for those who need a very time-conscious option, or for those who might find Algebra II very challenging), or VideoText Algebra or Geometry (for a strong video-based option). The description for each program is found below. At Heart of Dakota, we will carry the textbook option which includes Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry text and the corresponding Math Without Borders flash drive.

Description of Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry from David Chandler (of Math Without Borders):

“Paul A. Foerster has taught mathematics at Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas since 1961. In that same year he received his teaching certificate from Texas A&M University. His B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and M.A. degree in Mathematics are from the University of Texas. Among many honors, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 1983. He brings to his teaching and textbook writing the insights from his engineering background. His textbooks contain some of the best collections of real-world applications to be found in any algebra textbooks.

The topics covered in this course include Functions and Relations, Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities, Quadratic Functions and Relations, Higher Degree Polynomials, Complex Numbers, Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, Rational Algebraic Functions, Irrational Algebraic Functions, Sequence and Series, Probability, Data Analysis, and an Introduction to Trigonometry. The text is a true classic!"

Cathy Duffy says, "Foerster’s books, in particular, have long been recognized as among the best high school math texts."

Description of Math Without Borders: Algebra II and Trigonometry Flash Drive: (This program is in Cathy Duffy Top 102 Picks)

The Home Study Companion Algebra II and Trigonometry Flash Drive supplements the textbook in several important ways. Each lesson section begins with an overview of the material and then ends with a few problems worked out as examples. Using Foerster’s textbook, experienced teacher David Chandler talks students through each of the key concepts in each section of the textbook using a whiteboard to teach the concepts. He follows the text, occasionally teaching in a slightly different fashion for the sake of clarity. After he’s taught the concept, he typically works through a fair number of examples before he leaves students to work through problems on their own. Chandler sometimes expands on a topic that he knows is particularly troublesome to students.

Whether or not parents feel comfortable with this material themselves, students benefit from being introduced to these topics by an experienced teacher. That is what these video lessons provide. The lessons cover not only new techniques, but new levels of problem solving skills and new models for thinking about practical problems mathematically. All the topics learned in Algebra 1 are deepened and put into an expanded context. This level of material is not “presented," it is taught.

Where appropriate the text introduces computer programming problems to extend pencil and paper solutions and to better approximate real-world scale problems. The Math Without Borders course illustrates solutions of the programming problems using spreadsheet programming. Spreadsheets are a good, transparent way to lay out many kinds of programming solutions. The spreadsheet programs covered here can be created using Microsoft Excel (available commercially) or equally well using the spreadsheet component of the free, open source program suite, Libre Office. (The programming solutions shown on the disk are done in Libre Office, but saved in a format that can be opened with either Libre Office or Excel.)

View sample lessons here: http://mwb.mathwithoutborders.com

Note: Heart of Dakota will also be carrying the solutions manual with all problems worked out for Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry. So, you can choose which components to use for Foerster's Algebra II in your own home. The fully worked solutions manual is available through Heart of Dakota 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.

VideoText Algebra and VideoText Geometry Descriptions: (This course was one of Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks.)

Visit http://www.videotext.com to purchase

Bibliographic Data – DVD, print copy, or online options

If your student began with VideoText Algebra, then he/she will need to complete the course prior to beginning Geometry. This is because 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 same is true for VideoText Geometry, which teaches Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus.

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 and VideoText Geometry.

For an overview of the algebra course, click here: http://videotext.com/algebra-a-complete-course/

For an overview of the geometry course, click here: http://videotext.com/geometry-a-complete-course/

To view samples and purchase VideoText Algebra or VideoText Geometry visit http://www.videotext.com

Mathhelp.com (formerly Yourteacher.com) Description: :D

List Price – Visit http://www.mathhelp.com to purchase

Author – Mike Maggart

Bibliographic Data – online options

*This program has been in Cathy Duffy’s Top 100, Top 101, and Top 102 Picks.

MathHelp's lessons replicate the entire math classroom experience, but you are the only student! Each lesson includes:

*Multiple Video Example Problems
(similar to how a teacher starts class at the board by explaining the examples from the textbook)

*Interactive Practice Problems with Built-in Explanations
(similar to how a teacher assigns practice and walks around the class providing math help)

*A Challenge Problem
(similar to how a teacher assigns a higher level problem which students must work on their own to prove mastery)

*Multiple-Choice Self-Tests
(similar to how a teacher assigns problems which you must work on your own to prove mastery of material)

*Extra Problem Worksheets
(similar to how a teacher assigns additional problems for homework)

*Review Notes
(similar to how a teacher provides summary handouts or refers you to your textbook for online math help)

This math program works well for students who have struggled with math in the past and who are likely to find Algebra II a challenge. It also works well for students who may have begun another Algebra II program that was not successful and need to switch to a different program mid-stream to finish the learning out, or for students who may not have a long period of time to complete Algebra II and need to get it done in a timely fashion, or for students who must do much of their work on math alone without help from a parent.

This Algebra II program does not have nearly the depth of Foerster's Algebra II and Trigonometry, but it does cover needed Algebra II concepts in a plain, no-frills fashion. We used it for Geometry with our own oldest son who needed to get Geometry done in a timely fashion after he took longer than expected to complete Video Text Algebra I and II. At that time, he had begun VideoText Geometry, but we could see it would take him longer than we desired for him to complete it. So, we switched him to MathHelp.com for Geometry due to time constraints. He really enjoyed the course and did very well with it! The next year he followed that course with College Algebra through Mathhelp.com too!

Of course, you may choose a different math path than those we have outlined above, but hopefully these options will give you some help as you search for the right math program for your child!

Blessings,

Carrie