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Math Without Borders
by David Chandler

Grades: 9-11       Math Without Borders    

Math Without Borders provides Home Study Companions to supplement some of the best high school math textbooks. These Home Study Companions consist of video lessons and other materials that aid a homeschooled or any student to study the course with the textbook.

As of this writing, the company provides the following Home Study Companions:

Since regular mathematics textbooks are not designed to be used alone, these Home Study Companions "teach" the material in the video lessons, and show how to solve lots of example problems. Chandler is an experienced teacher, and models the thinking skills and strategies that go into analysis and problem solving. He illustrates, demonstrates, and clarifies the underlying concepts, and also points out links between different parts of the subject and applications beyond what is in the text.

Website: Math Without Borders. Prices: $69 for each CD (each course). You will also need to acquire the textbook (can buy used at Amazon or elsewhere), and preferably Geometer's Sketchpad program for the geometry course.



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Reviews of Math Without Borders Home Study Companion products

Time: 3 years

Your situation: Purchased Algebra 1 and Geometry programs for high school student that is college-bound.

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: The Algebra I course was excellent. The Foerster text is one of the most well written math books I have encountered. David Chandler's white board presentations were excellent and we had very few problems completing the program though it took us a year and a half to finish.

The Geometry course was a different matter. My son is a spatial thinker and I thought he would enjoy Geometry more than Algebra. However, the text was too discovery-based in its methodology for us and at times downright maddening. Instead of using simple numbers to allow the student to practice the new material, it would throw in square roots and problems requiring the quadratic formula. If your student is highly math inclined and likes challenge, then this is your text. If you have an average student, then they probably will be frustrated. In addition, the Geometry program was the first one David Chandler produced so he does not have the whiteboard presentations for the main lesson, only the review problems. My son is dyslexic and he struggled with having to read everything on the PDF files and in the text to understand what he was supposed to be doing. We completed all but the last two chapters of the text and then switched to Videotext Geometry. My son feels the incremental and visual presentation of Videotext is much clearer for him.

Any other helpful hints: The Algebra I program is excellent and well worth considering. Be aware that this is an in-depth treatment of Algebra and may take more than one school year to finish. I would look for other programs for Geometry or wait until Mr. Chandler updates his Geometry DVD with whiteboard lessons.

J Gaffney

Review left August 9, 2014

Note: The geometry curriculum has been revised in 2014. Chandler added video introductions to each chapter, a video solution guide to the Review section of each chapter, mini-tutorials on the Geogebra, and an activity sheet with each demonstration or cluster of demonstrations.
Special review by Maria Miller

David Chandler has put together A Home Study Companion - Algebra 1, which consists of whiteboard video lessons to accompany every lesson in Foerster's Algebra 1 book. You can fast forward or rewind these lessons at will, to find the exact spot you're looking for.

In these lessons, he usually presents the concept at hand, just like a normal teacher would do in class. He then goes through and explains in detail several examples from the corresponding lesson in Foerster's book.

In essence, you get to listen to an excellent, experienced math teacher explain the complete Algebra 1 class: the concepts and solved examples

Continue reading my review of Algebra 1 and its Home Study Companion.
Special review by Maria Miller

Home Study Companion - Geometry (HSC) by David Chandler really makes this book a home run for homeschoolers, because it provides complete, worked out solutions (not just answers) to all problems in the Central (the main worktext) and Project sections of the Geometry: A Guided Inquiry textbook. The book itself contains answers to its various review and self-test sections. With the Home Study Companion, you will always have help available should you get stuck while doing the problems from the worktext or the "projects".

Not only that, but the Home Study Companion includes a collection of nearly 300 interactive demonstrations using The Geometer's Sketchpad. These demonstrations cover most of the main concepts and many additional explorations of the Central and Projects sections of each chapter.

How do these demonstrations work? For example, let's say you're asked to prove that the diagonals of a parallelogram bisect each other. A demonstration of that would have a parallelogram and its diagonals, and then measurements of the two parts of each diagonal (in centimeters or inches). You would then change the shape of the parallelogram in Sketchpad and see those measurements stay equal to each other. That is not a proof, but it is an interactive demo that helps you understand the matter.

Here are some example screenshots. Click to enlarge. Remember the screenshots are static; in reality the demonstrations are dynamic..

Continue reading my review of Geometry: A Guided Inquiry with Home Study Companion by David Chandler.


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