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Teaching Textbooks — Math 3, Math 4, Math 5, Math 6, Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus

Publisher: Teaching Textbooks
Author: Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri
Review last updated: November 2014

This is one of my 102 Top Picks!

Instant KeyPublishers InfoPricing

Teaching Textbooks

See the complete review in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

I knew that the Teaching Textbooks series was going to be added to my Top Picks next time around as soon as I reviewed the first few courses. These fantastic courses were designed specifically for homeschoolers to solve some of the issues that make math challenging for them.
CD-ROMs for each course actually teach the lessons. (CD-ROMs will run on either Windows or Mac systems.) Lectures on the CD-ROMs are audio presentations accompanied by step-by-step written explanations showing how to work each problem. Lectures are interactive, requiring students to answers questions from time to time, both to keep them engaged and to test their understanding. The screen designs are colorful and nicely illustrated without being too busy.
While it is possible to work only with the CD-ROMs, most students are likely to prefer having the print textbook as well. As students encounter more difficult problems on the CD-ROM presentations, such as with long division, they will then need to copy problems and work them on paper. The text saves the copying step, and it also provides an easy way for either student or parent to review a lesson.
Even when students use the textbooks, they need to enter their answers on the computer since each course tracks and grades student work. Students can try again if they miss a problem, but the program will report this.
This automatic gradebook feature generates reports for practice problems (which are optional), assigned problems, and quizzes. The final score (expressed as a percentage) does not include the practice problems. The program also reports whether or not students view the step-by-step solutions to problems....
Textbooks are written directly to the student and do not assume the presence of a teacher. Explanations are clear and complete, with plenty of practical examples. In the textbooks, a light-hearted touch gives the texts a user-friendly feeling while avoiding silliness. This is evident in all of the courses in everything from the layout of the books and the program's interface design and style of type through the occasional cartoon illustration and the wording of the text itself.
Lessons are taught in a traditional fashion. The new concept is presented, followed by examples then practice problems. Next, students work through a set of problems on their own (about 18-25 problems per lesson). Problem sets include continual review of previously-learned concepts. In addition, key points are highlighted for quick student review. There are 95 to 142 lessons per course, with lessons grouped into chapters that concentrate on different topics. In all of these texts, students should aim to complete approximately one lesson per day. Adding in test days still should leave you at least 20 days in the school year for extra work on troublesome concepts, review, or “mathless” school days.
The soft-cover textbooks have plastic-spiral bindings and range from 612 to 872 pages in length. The paper is a bit thin for textbooks, but the books are already more than an inch thick. (Pre-Calculus is two inches thick!) Durability might be a concern. I know that is a lot of pages for each course, but there are two obvious reasons: each page is less crowded than pages in many other courses, and expanded explanations that make the material much more understandable take up extra space, particularly in high school level books.
Problem sets in each lesson are laid out so that students can actually do some of their work directly in the textbook. However, in high school level books it is not practical for students to solve lengthy problems in the textbook. You might skip the textbook entirely and have students solve and answer problems in separate notebooks. Whether or not you purchase the printed textbooks, I would encourage the use of a separate notebook because you really want to see the work showing how a student arrives at his or her answer.
Indexes have been added to the newest editions of printed textbooks except Pre-Calculus. (Those who have texts without indexes can access indexes on the publisher's website.)....
The Teaching Textbooks series is a college prep curriculum even though it is not as rigorous as some other courses. However, textbooks for the elementary grades move at a slower pace than other series such as Horizons Math and Saxon Math. Of course, you can always move ahead more quickly with a child who excels. You might even select a grade level higher than the student’s actual grade level. Placement tests on the publisher’s website will help you select the correct level.
The Math 3 through Math 7 courses each come with a set of four CD-ROMs. Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 each have ten. Algebra 2 and Geometry each have 12, and Pre-Calculus has 16. CD-ROMs include lectures, problems, quizzes, and complete solutions.
Significantly, students begin by watching a lecture on a CD-ROM then they might read the summary in the textbook. Next, they work the practice problems, mostly likely in the textbook, before entering their answers in the computer. For incorrect answers, they should watch the solutions on the CD-ROM. Then they are ready to tackle the problem set, entering answers on the computer. They can still view solutions if they continue to make errors. Voice hints are available for the hardest problems. Parents should review progress before students go on to the next lesson. Each chapter concludes with a quiz. Note that courses also come with an answer booklet that is strictly an answer key for practice problems, lesson problems, and quizzes....
Families are given permission to install the CD-ROMs on as many computers as they like, which means that two or more students might be working in the same course at the same time. Even better, each time a student completes a course, you can simply reinstall for a new student. That means that all of your children can use the course over subsequent years. (Note: after two installations, you will have to contact the publisher for new activation codes.) You can access free demos and samples at the publisher’s website.

Details on individual courses are in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

If you have a high speed connection to the internet, you can access a free demo at the publisher’s website: www.teachingtextbooks.com.

Pricing

  • All prices are provided for comparison only and are subject to change. Click on prices to verify their accuracy.
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    Instant Key

    • Learning Styles: best for Perfect Paula and Competent Carl, but good for all
      Suitable for: independent study
      Audience:
      grades 2-12
      Need for parent/teacher instruction:
      minimal
      Prep time needed:
      0
      Educational Philosophy: traditional
      Religious perspective: secular

    Publisher's Info

    Teaching Textbooks

    PO Box 60529
    Oklahoma City, OK 73146
    866-TOP-MATH
    www.teachingtextbooks.com