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Home Study Companion: Geometry (USB Flashdrive with Textbook on the Drive) Review by Amanda HopkinsDavid Chandler
Math Without Borders
14805 SE Arista Dr.
Milwaukie OR 97267
Math—it has been one big struggle after another in our house. It can be easy for mom or dad to help out when the children are in the lower grades, but once you hit the high school levels, it makes it a tad bit harder to help your child learn. What do you do? We have been using the Geometry curriculum from Math Without Borders, and really love the different way of learning!
Math Without Borders takes the best textbooks and adds in supplements from a great teacher. Yes, you are just supervising, while someone else does the teaching for your child. This alone makes it a lot easier on you as the parent. I actually found myself enjoying learning with my son instead of being stressed out on the teaching aspect of the lesson.
Geometry: A Guided Inquiry Textbook, with Home Study Companion, by David Chandler, is a three-part curriculum. First, Geometry: A Guided Inquiry Textbook, is actually on the USB drive because the physical textbook is no longer in print. Next, the Home Study Companion is a companion to the text. This companion consists of video lessons, solutions and Geogebra demonstrations. Finally, Geogebra—this is a fun free software that I was easily able to find in the Windows Store on my computer.
The first thing I noticed with this textbook that was different than others I have used, is that this is a problem-centered book. What does this mean? Each chapter starts out with a problem. During the chapter, you will learn how to solve that problem. This works by leading you and your child through the steps it takes to solve the problem. No longer are you learning the steps, and then working on solving problems. Now, you see the problem and how these steps work to solve them. Each problem builds on what you have previously learned.
David Chandler takes this learning a step farther with the Home Study Companion in that he takes the time to completely work through each of the problems. This is great because we are not just reading an answer to see if we got it right, rather we are watching a video of HOW to do each problem. Mr. Chandler does not just pick one or two problems to work through, he shows us how to solve ALL of the problems. This is great when you don’t understand what you are doing. We are also shown interactive demonstrations on how to use the geometry program, Geogebra.
Now, Geogebra. This program is something that I wish I had when learning geometry! This software will allow you to actually construct the geometry problems so that you can visually see what the words are saying. This program is a great way to add a whole new level of learning to the subject of geometry.
After looking all over for a geometry curriculum that would work in our house, I am happy to say that we have found one. One where I am not in charge of teaching the lessons, rather I am an active participant in the learning process. We love the companion and the Geogebra program. This is overall a great program for homeschool families where the student will be working on most of the learning by themselves, or with the parent learning with them. Would you be able to use just the textbook? Sure, but you wouldn’t benefit as much as you would with the use of the other two pieces.
-Product review by Amanda Hopkins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016