Teaching Textbooks

Teaching Textbooks work on a multi-sensory base and follow the "spiral" method to encourage long-term mastery. Teaching Textbooks is unique among math curricula because of its practical, application-oriented "story" problems that focus on the kinds of things that business people, scientists, and regular citizens face every day.

Finally! A math program designed from the ground up for homeschoolers...

Teaching Textbooks is so strong that, for 7th grade and up, we have decided to forego listing any other program (where they compete) in our print catalog.

Why? Because you are virtually guaranteed success with minimal knowledge, skill or oversight on the part of mom or dad.

Each Teaching Textbooks course (Pre-Algebra and up) offers:

  • A remarkably clear, non-consumable 8 1/2" x 11" spiral-bound textbook (complete with all necessary instruction, plus practice problems and "homework" exercises);
  • 8 1/2" x 11" perfect-bound collection of reproducible chapter tests and a "final-answer-only" answer key (for all textbook practice and exercise problems plus chapter tests);
  • CD-ROM based "whiteboard" lectures and step-by-step explanation of how to solve every practice problem—taught by a tutor who has been teaching homeschoolers for years, since the days he tutored probability and statistics at Harvard, and...
  • CD-ROM based "whiteboard" solutions guide that works every step in every homework problem, so you see exactly how to solve each problem... and why you want to use the methods your instructor (or, more accurately, personal tutor) uses.

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Due to restrictions by the publisher, Teaching Textbooks materials do not qualify for any discounts.

Strengths

  • Having been developed from the ground up for homeschoolers, and as a result of the authors' years of experience teaching homeschoolers...
    • Teaching Textbooks include far more and far more effective explanations than any other programs on the market (bar none). [No other program on the market provides even half the explanation that Teaching Textbooks do. Even DIVE CDs provide explanations for only some of their practice problems, not full explanations to all the homework problems.]
    • The text and CD tutorials are presented in an exceptionally friendly, conversational style that is sensitive to the concerns of conservative homeschoolers.
    • The authors include the kind of friendly, light humor that homeschooled students (and parents!) appreciate. Makes the program more enjoyable and "invites you in."
  • Teaching Textbooks ensure that all students who have any capacity to learn will succeed, because the programs...
    • Explain every principle and problem beginning from its rudimentary foundations to its ultimate conclusion.
    • Work on a multi-sensory base: You'll follow the "spiral" or "review" method in which problems associated with principles taught in one lesson show up many times over in future lessons. You don't "learn it and forget it." You're encouraged to gain long-term mastery.
  • They appeal to all types of students, advanced as well as struggling.
  • The print textbooks teach each lesson clearly and succinctly. If you "get" it, you move on. But if anything is unclear, or if you think you might like some dynamic visuals and auditory input to help you understand better: slide in the CD, watch and listen. And no one will think the worse of you if you replay a portion of a lecture or study a problem solution several times over.
  • The CD lectures cover the exact same lesson content as taught in the textbooks, plus they provide detailed solutions to all practice problems. That means students who strongly prefer written text can skip the audio-visual recorded lectures if they understand the concepts from the written text alone, but "the rest of us" can get as much help as we need, as well.
  • Unlike any classroom teacher I have ever seen, the CD lecturer demonstrates, in writing, exactly what he is doing in entirety. Thus, for example, when first explaining how to solve an equation in which there are x's on both sides:
    2x +10=1.5x+15
    He doesn't merely "explain" that he will subtract (or is subtracting) 10 from both sides of the equation. No. He shows exactly what he is doing as he does it: "We have to subtract the same value from both sides of the equation. Therefore . . .
    2x +10-10=1.5x+15-10
    "Ten minus ten is zero. Therefore . . ."
    2x=1.5x+15-10
    "And fifteen minus ten is five. Therefore . . ."
    2x=1.5x+5
    And he does this for all new problem types. He writes everything out completely, explaining along the way. And he doesn't do this just once, but he does it numerous times . . . before he begins to show "shortcuts" and "easier ways." (The textbook includes all the same problems, but does not go into as much of the rudimentary detail each time.) Beyond the fact that the lecturer's explanations are unusually thorough,
  • The dynamic visual and auditory presentation permits you to both see and hear all instructions plus observe changes to equations as they are being made, thus appealing to visual and auditory learners. Moreover,
  • I found it fascinating how minor side-comments the lecturer gave added depth of understanding.
    • Just one simple example: When working with the equation 7x +15=8x+14, he said, "Since 8 is bigger than 7, if I move the 7x to the right, it will become negative, and if I combine the x's, I'll have a positive x [8x-7x=1x] instead of a negative x [7x-8x=-1x]. That's one of the good ways to figure out which side you want to move an x to: figure out which side will make the x positive. If you don't like to work with negative numbers, that makes it a little easier."
  • With its nifty Macromedia interface, the program is set up for fast, easy, and flawless use.
  • Instead of "Fast Forward" and "Rewind" buttons, the lectures come with a slider bar control so you can get to absolutely any point in a lecture in a matter of seconds. [Totally different from competitive programs' DVD-based lectures designed to be shown on your TV screen.]
  • Because the lectures are produced in "whiteboard" form, where you see every step of the problem; and because the lecturer presents every highlighted phrase from the printed text itself onscreen; as you drag the slider bar through the lecture, you can immediately identify at what point in the lecture you want to break in. None of that frustration you experience with competitive programs where you have to fast-forward and rewind and, based on a slightly unique gesture the lecturer may have made, hope to guess where in the lecture you want to begin playing again.
  • Unlike one of the longtime favorite homeschool programs that is touted for helping students get good scores on standardized tests, not only can you be sure Teaching Textbooks will give you the good scores, but it will actually teach you to think mathematically, to pursue strategic solutions to difficult, multi-faceted problems, the kinds of practical problems you bump into in everyday life.
  • The thorough animated "whiteboard" explanations for every problem means students have the opportunity to get a better education than they could receive in any other way:
  • With its slider-bar controller, you can fast-forward the explanation to the exact spot where you got stumped, then listen to the explanation.
  • You can back up (of course) and play it again.
  • You always have your (CD) "tutor" available at the exact time and place when you most need him, when you've tried your hand at a problem and failed, i.e., when you're frustrated and most ready to learn.
  • Teaching Textbooks is unique among the math curricula you're going to find because of its practical, application-oriented teaching concerning the kinds of problems business people, scientists, and regular citizens face every day. Put another way, this program is filled with practical "word" or "story" problems.
  • Teaching Textbooks gives you 30 days from the date you receive their program to try it out. If it does not work for your family, return it for a full refund.

Weaknesses

  • The programs have no glossaries or indexes and no search function to locate whatever subjects you may want to find. Beyond that one glaring deficiency, there are only two additional potentially negative observations I'd want to make.
  • If your children are absolute whizzes at math, they may find some portions of the lectures move "too slowly" and spend "too much time" in the basics. For these kids, of course, there is a simple "solution": "fast forward" through the "extraneous" material (but just be sure it really is extraneous! Don't let them think so highly of themselves that they skip sections from which they would really benefit). "But what if they always understand everything upon first written presentation and really don't want to listen to a whiteboard presentation?" We strongly urge you to buy the entire program anyway. Even your whiz kid will benefit from the thorough, step-by-step explanations of the solutions to each chapter's sample problems (available only with the lectures) and at least the occasional step-by-step solution to various "homework" problems. Think of the CDs as your inexpensive tutorial backup. You won't have to worry that your son or daughter will demand something of you for which you will be unprepared. Don't hesitate: pay the money and get the complete program. You will not be sorry!

Placement Tests for Teaching Textbooks