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I am a homeschooling mother who is now in the process of teaching one class in algebra and one class in geometry. I did take these classes in high school myself but it has been over 30 years and I barely passed both classes. I had never really grasped some of the basic concepts and now I had to somehow get these concepts across to my children. I do have regular school books to teach from and have been able to do an adequate job but it has been a struggle until I found this book. The basic ideas of algebra are clearly laid out without alot of extra words that are sometimes found in regular texts. You are led step-by-step with tests throughout each chapter to make sure you understand each idea before you go on. A wonderful supplement to the regular text book.
This is indeed a good algebra primer, though not without its failings. First the positive. The authors avoid the use of math jargon and long winded explanations that many other academic types use primarily for self-aggrandizement purposes. There are plenty of practice problems, and the lessons are laid out in a logical order. Now the negative. Some of the more difficult concepts are given little attention, while the very simple are given far too much attention. Also, the book should have been edited more closely (there are several typos and at least one repeated paragraph, but these errors are, for the most part, easily recognizable). I have found that books written by teachers are quite often rubberstamped by the people checking for accuracy, but this book avoids one of the worst failings of teacher/authors--the apparent practice of an author simply handing class notes to a publisher, believing their work is infallible. The authors of this book obviously put much thought into this work, and have succeeded admirably. Oh, by the way, "...In 20 Minutes A Day" means absolutely nothing.
I am planning to go to College as a mature student in Spring and really and truly needed to fully understand Algebra. Well this book is perfect. Step by Step. If you don't understand Algebra after studying this book, you really weren't paying attention. That and it's actually enjoyable. I also bought learn Geometry in 20 minutes a day. And I also feel the same way about that book.
There are a lot of errors in the answer key (I have the 2nd edition); since this is a self-study book, the errors can be quite frustrating. The book is also a little bit watered-down, and doesn't cover some topics standard in most algebra texts. For example, factoring cubes is completely uncovered, and the section on graphing is very limited. It's excellent at teaching the basics and building confidence, but the errors are annoying, and if you are planning on going on to pre-calculus with only this book as preparation , you will probably find yourself a little behind most of the other students.
My daughter is a struggling 8th grade reader getting ready for high school. We have been going through this workbook together during the summer months. Not only does this book have a good plan and layout for her to use but we also have opportunities for talking time with her. I really recommend this workbook for parents of kids who don't like school, smile.
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I took Algebra over the summer and before taking the class I read this book. It helped me alot. This book gets down to the facts and helps you understand them with practice and examples. For me this book was better than a teacher teaching me Algebra. It was great and helped me alot. I think this should be a required material for all algebra classes; it is better than any textbook. I am taking Geometry next year and I am soon to order Geometry Success in 20 Minutes a Day!
This practice book is really good for improving comprehension skills. A great way to keep kids occupied in a constructive way that greatly improves their overall learning experience. Additionally, it will also help to promote discipline and build a routine that will structure their study time. Kids enjoy the passages as they are very informative and interesting. A great buy.
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and this one has a LOT! The word problems are usually poorly written- i.e., "Write an equality and then solve each word problem ... You ordinarily get paid $5 an hour at your part time job. You can earn $10 an hour if you work on a holiday. How many hours would you have to work on Christmas to earn at least $100? Let x = the number of hours of regular hours worked and let y = the number of hours worked on a holiday". Isn't the answer, let's see- y is greater than or equal to 10 (hours)? According to the book though, the setup is actually 5x + 10y is greater than or equal to $100 and the answer is y is greater than or equal to -1/2 x + 10. Unfortunately, sloppy wording is typical of the word problems in this book.
Having said that though, the book explains most concepts carefully and in detail. It has potential in a future edition if someone cleans it up and adds the missing concepts and details.