Monday, October 1, 2007

Teaching Textbooks

I was reorganizing my labels for older posts recently, and realized that I didn't have any posts dealing directly with homeschooling. So here is my first one. Today I am going to do a plug for Teaching Textbooks which is some of the pricier yet best curriculum we buy. It is a Math curriculum specifically designed for homeschoolers, and it began with the high school Maths, but now includes junior high levels as well. The first text we bought was Algebra 1, because another curriculum we had purchased just wasn't cutting it. With this other curriculum, our daughter took a whole year of Algebra, passed, but learned little. She frequently found herself lost and confused...looking at an answer key, knowing her answer was incorrect, but unsure why. I read a review of Teaching Textbooks and although it was more than I would normally spend for a single subject, I decided to take the risk.

The package includes a textbook with each day's lesson written out, with practice problems and homework problems. There is also a test book and answer key. But the best part is a set of CD's for your computer, that "teach" the lesson each day. It is put together by the Sabouri brothers, Greg and Shawn, and although I'm not sure who does the teaching, I feel like I know him after hearing his voice almost daily for the last two years. The guy teaches this stuff in a way that makes me wish I could have learned Math from him. I might have actually learned something! His manner is engaging and even entertaining at times...but always clear as a bell when it comes to the concept. At the same time he lectures, the lesson is written out on your computer screen, step by step, like a teacher at the board. In addition, the CD's also have a full breakdown and explanation of every practice problem, homework problem, and even test problem, done in the same manner. So there will never be a time your student can say, "I know I got this wrong, but I don't know why."

I am convinced it is a nearly no-fail curriculum if it is done faithfully, the way it was designed to be used. Best of all, it does not require Mom or Dad to relearn the higher Maths just to limp through with their scholar, though you my find yourself relearning them alongside your student! Our son, who would be an eighth grader this year, has completed Algebra 1 and 2, and is currently doing the Geometry curriculum. He has found all three to be excellent, and plans to continue to use this program. And although the material is not cheap, this quality program is well worth the cost, plus the material is nonconsumable and may be reused with any number of students.

Finally, I would mention that the approach the Sabouri brothers take is holistic, in that they teach the history and philosophy attached to Math, plus they teach much about real life application of the principles being learned. This may engage a student who would not otherwise be enamored with Math. The materials are user friendly, even for the computer challenged. The lessons run directly from the CD's, thus you can work from virtually any computer, and you are not required to load huge "space eating" programs on your computer. This offers flexibility and portability that homeschoolers just love. In every way, it is an excellent program, well worth the money, and I can't even think of a way to improve it!

1 comment:

blondie said...

Thanks for posting about home schooling - I am very interested in how you look after the educational needs of your kids at home. In Australia, home schooling is fairly rare and I have never heard of anyone who actually does it. Love to know more...