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TrigO Review by Cindy West

San-Deb-Bar-Nan-Ric-Way Corporation
PO Box 727
Goddard, KS 67052
http://members.aol.com/dickwlewis/index.html

Trigonometry for kids eight and older? Yes! In this board game, you can introduce children (or yourself) to the basics of trigonometry. With six levels of play, the game is suitable for novices as well as more advanced players.

I have to admit, never having had any form of trigonometry in high school or college, I found some aspects of this game to be very challenging. Even figuring out level one of the game took reading through the directions a few times! But, we finally figured out the first few levels of play and had fun. Um, I'll admit that we're still working on advancing to the higher levels of the game!

Each player receives six playing pieces. Each playing piece has an abbreviation for one of the trigonometric functions on it: SIN, COS, TAN, COT, SEC, CSC. The beginning levels of play simply ask you to use your pieces in going around the board in certain fashions. It isn't until the higher levels that the names of the pieces become useful.

In the Beginner's level of play, you are essentially just learning what a right triangle is and choosing triangle paths to follow. In the Direction Game (level 2), you learn the difference between clockwise and counterclockwise. The third level is called the Function Game. In it you must start using the names of the pieces to start at their proper locations on the board. The fourth level is the Many Triangles Game. This level allows you to choose triangle paths in order to take the shortest route. The Quadrant Game is the fifth level. Here, you learn the four quadrants on the board as they relate to the trigonometric signs. Finally, the Function Signs Game makes use of all the previously learned concepts while adding a new rule for positive and negative signs.

Whew! Did you understand all that? If you did, you might have more luck figuring out the harder levels of the game than I did. Even though our family will be working on mastering this game for a while longer, I still find it to be of great value in our homeschool. Where else are you going to have fun learning trigonometry concepts? I haven't run across many other materials in the world of curriculum and teaching aides that even begin to tackle such a concept with children as young as eight. By continuing to play this game and getting better at understanding the concepts, my children may not find trigonometry quite so baffling when/if they run across it later in our homeschool journey.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2008

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