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Algebra I: A Teaching Textbook Review by TOS Publisher

Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri Teaching Textbooks, Inc.
1510 E Spencer Lake Rd
Shelton, WA 98584
800-478-0672
http://www.timberdoodle.com

Teaching Textbooks is a unique program created by two brothers, one a Harvard graduate and the other a former Harvard math tutor. TT is comprised of a large spiral-bound Teaching Textbook, the Answer Key and Test Bank, the four CD-ROM set of Solutions for all the problems in the Textbook, the three CD-ROM set of Lecture and Practice, and the Test Solutions CD-ROM. This is a complete set and is all you need for one year of Algebra I.

The 654 page textbook is thorough and methodical with complete explanations for instruction both inside as well as on the CD. The textbook begins with a Letter to Homeschooling Parents, Suggestions on How to Use This Product and then the chapters, comprising 129 lessons, begin. The complete list of all lessons is as follows:

Simple Equations:
Advanced Arithmetic, The Purpose of Algebra, Undoing and the Golden Rule of Algebra, Undoing Multiplication and Division, Switching Around, Dumping x and y, Percent Problems, Banking and Business, Moon Vacation, Extending the Concept of Speed

Negative Numbers:
Less than Zero, Negatives in Action, Adding with Negatives, Subtracting with Negatives, Multiplying Negatives, Dividing Negatives, Undoing Equations with Negatives, Negatives and Fractions, Changing -x to x

Longer Equations:
Getting the Order Right, Equations Too, Help from the Fraction Bar, Undoing in Reverse Order, Undoing with Division, More than Two Operations, Simplify First, More Simplifying First

Combining x's:
Combining x's, More on Rates, Invisible Coefficients, Getting Bigger/Getting Smaller, Two Unknowns

Freeing the Trapped x:
Freeing x from Parentheses, More Distributing, Minus Sign Outside, Clashing Knights, Parentheses within Parentheses, Freeing x from a fraction (Part 1), Freeing x from a fraction (Part 2)

x's on Both Sides:
From One Side to the Other, Moving Shortcuts, Chase Scene, Mixing It All Up, Mixture Problems Again, Solving Freestyle, False Equations and Identities

Fractions with x's:
Reducing Fractions, Factoring into Prime Numbers, Reducing Fractions with x's, Fractions and Parentheses, Distributing in Reverse (Part 1), Distributing in Reverse (Part 2), Multiplying Fractions with x's, Dividing Fractions with x's, Adding Fractions with x's, Subtracting Fractions with x's

Getting x out of the Bottom:
Removing x from a Denominator, More than x in the Bottom, Ratios and Proportions, Clearing More than One Fraction, When the Denominators Are Different, Finding the Lowest Common Denominator, Clearing Fractions with Complicated Denominators

Powers:
Raising a Number to a Power, Scientific Notation, Order of Operations and Powers, Combining Powers, Multiplying Powers, Advanced Distributing, Dividing Powers, More Scientific Notation, Harder Fractions, Combining Harder Fractions

Roots:
Root: The Inverse of a Power, Undoing Powers and Roots, Irrational Roots, Estimating Irrationals, The Pythagorean Theorem

Second-Degree Equations:
Two Solutions, Undoing Several Operations, The Uncombinables, More Solving by Factoring, Advanced Reverse Distributing, Equations That Won't Factor Easily, Completing the Square, Building a Pool Deck

Relationships and Equations:
Relationships, Tables, and Equations, Solving for the Other Variable, Calculating Profits, Galileo Analyzes Motion, Kepler Tracks the Planets, Equations with Several Variables, Newton's Equation of the Universe

Working with Several Variables:
Adding and Subtracting with Several Variables, Multiplying with Several Variables, Distributing with Several Variables, Reducing Fractions with Several Variables, More Reducing with Several Variables, Finding the Right Pair with Several Variables, Difference of Two Squares, Multiplying and Dividing Fractions with Several Variables, Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Several Variables, Equation-Solving Strategies, Curved Mirrors and Headlights

Graphing:
Drawing a Picture, Graphing Linear Equations, Graphing Higher-Degree Equations, Graphing Shortcuts, Graphing Equations with Three Variables

Measuring Change:
Change in y over Change in x, Different Kinds of Rates, Horizontal and Vertical Lines, Using the Slope and y-Intercept to Graph, Using Rate to Write Linear Equations, What Makes a Line Straight and a Curve Curved?

Systems of Equations:
Solving Systems, Solving by Subtraction, More on the Addition and Subtraction Methods, Solving by Substitution, Graphing Systems, Special Types of Systems, Complicated Systems

Inequalities:
Inequalities, Undoing Inequalities, Undoing Inequalities in Reverse Order

Additional Topics:
Multiplying Irrationals, Dividing Irrationals, Adding and Subtracting Irrationals, Simplifying Irrationals

Each and every one of these lessons has a corresponding CD-ROM lesson and practice attached to it. You open up the CD and a notebook-like page will pop up. The lessons are all listed in a scroll-bar on the left. You will click on the Lesson and then click on the Lecture. At this point an easy-to-understand gentleman explains to you the lesson in comprehensible language, step by step. You will have five practice problems to go through with your children after the lesson presented in the same manner, and then the actual lesson your child will do from the textbook. There is a corresponding solution CD that shows you how to solve each one of the textbook questions should your child miss any. There are also tests and corresponding solutions on the CD as well. 

They use traditional mathematical terminology, but also incorporate their own terminology to explain processes at times (as you probably already guessed from reading the above lesson list). This may or may not sit well with you mathematically oriented folks. I have also not found anything in the way of peer review either-which may be of concern to some of you since this program is relatively new on the market. However, from the feedback I have been hearing regarding this program, there are a lot of satisfied parents out there. They have shared that the program is practical, understandable, and that it makes Algebra come alive for their students. I was impressed with the time and effort put into the program, as well as the homeschool focus. I was also impressed with their consistent quest for quality as well as their willingness to give the knowledge to those who did not have it, for free. I was notified, after receiving this product for review, that they had found some errors and that a free CD was available to correct the errors if I would only contact them. This shows a commitment to quality control and correct knowledge, and that is always impressive. 

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive, but clear presentation of Algebra for your student, that they might even enjoy, I suggest you check out Teaching Textbooks from Timberdoodle.com

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2006

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