Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teaching Textbooks

Recommending a particular homeschool curriculum is something I hesitate to do, because I feel every family is different, and even every student is different, and so one curriculum will not fit every student's learning style or needs.  But I highly recommend everyone at least look into this one!

Founded by two Harvard educated brothers, Greg and Shawn Sabouri, Teaching Textbooks is self-explanatory for independent learners, and there are hundreds of hours of CD-ROM teaching, which allows your student to work through problems with a private tutor.  It is one of the most popular math programs available.  

The "lectures" are fun and interesting.  The student listens to the audio and reads corresponding notes on a virtual notepad which is displayed on their computer screen.  The teacher explains each and every practice problem IN DETAIL, so it is almost impossible to not understand the math concepts.  In addition, he offers extensive explanations for each homework problem set.  This is a huge plus, because when the student gets a homework problem wrong, she can listen to and watch on the computer screen the explanation of the entire solution, step-by-step, and can easily figure out where and why she's made any mistakes.  It is far superior to watch each problem be solved with all of its steps, rather than to try and decode how a problem was solved from only the answers in a solution book.

Something interesting about the Geometry program is that it is not only a math program, but also feels like a logic and history course.  It teaches deductive and inductive reasoning, premises, and other terms that are found in logic courses.  The student learns how to think through problems, not just use rote memorization to solve them.  The student also learns about ancient peoples and more recent historical figures, and how they played a part in the world of geometry and thinking.  Teaching Textbooks challenges the student to think of math as not simply manipulating numbers, but a way of coming to logical conclusions.

There are many excellent math courses, but we have found Teaching Textbooks to be the best choice for our family.  Be sure to check it out!

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