Wouldn't it be nice to have your very own algebra tutor to teach this often-confusing topic? David Chandler has developed a creative approach to teaching algebra in a computer program called Home
Study Companion: Algebra I ($59). His course is based on the textbook Algebra
I: Expressions, Equations, and Applications by Paul Foerster, published by Prentice Hall (which is easily available online). Mr. Chandler provides the "classroom presentation" portion of the topics as he works through 126 sections that cover standard first-year algebra topics, with each section set up as approximately one day's worth of work. He utilizes whiteboard technology so that he can both talk through the lessons and at the same time illustrate anything on the computer just as he would on a chalkboard. This interactive method enhances the learning by utilizing visual and auditory input at the same time. A handy calculator pops up to help with calculations as Mr. Chandler works through the problems with the student. Each lesson is approximately 15 minutes long each. The program is designed as a self-study for both homeschooled students and adults who want to brush up on this important topic.
There were many things we really liked about this program. Perhaps most importantly,
while Mr. Chandler is not trying to make a flashy program, he is very enthusiastic
and knowledgeable about his topic, which makes it more engaging. We liked the
way the use of auditory and visual instruction, which gives auditory learners
a great way to absorb algebra. While we found the explanations to be clear
and understandable, it's great to be able to pause or replay any section as
needed. The program would not work well as a stand-alone product because of
the limited number of problems to work, but it would be great as a supplement
to Paul Foerster's book. Or it could be used as additional instruction for
your chosen textbook. A glossary and index of terms would be a very helpful
addition so that students could reference confusing terms or jump directly
to the sections they need. I would love to see an updated version that allows
the student to work through practice problems on their own and check their
answers or that has some interactive problems. Sample lessons are available
to view on the website (www.MathWithoutBorders.com),
so you can see the advantages of this product for yourself. My family recommends Math
Without Borders: Algebra I as a great supplement for your algebra students!
Please Note: Some people initially have trouble with the audio if using Quicktime
on a Mac. This is an easily fixed problem and Mr. Chandler willingly walks
customers through the simple fix to the problem: downloading and using the
VLC media player.
This product needs to be purchased along with Paul
Foerster's textbook, Algebra I: Expressions, Equations,
and Applications (Copyright 2006 by Pearson Education,
Inc.). This DVD gives the demonstration portion of
the lessons in the textbook. Since I was not provided
with both the DVD and the textbook, it made reviewing
this product a bit challenging. However, my granddaughter
is doing Algebra I this year, and I can say that
the explanation portion is very comparable to other
leading products that are of a similar nature. I
actually prefer this method of math instruction,
because it is easier on the teacher (me), and when
it is done this way, the students seem to really
I was never able to get the sound part of this video
to work, so I could only watch a silent demo. Still,
I believe that it is very helpful to add this step
alongside the written explanations and examples found
in the textbook.
This would be an excellent way to learn your Algebra
I. In fact, if I hadn't already purchased the entire
course from another company, I would certainly have
purchased the textbook that goes with this, and we
would have used the aforesaid product this year.
Please Note: Some people initially have trouble with the audio if using Quicktime on a Mac. This is an easily fixed problem and Mr. Chandler willingly walks customers through the simple fix to the problem: downloading and using the VLC media player.