Saturday, May 2, 2009

Anybody using Jacobs Math?

Is anybody using Jacobs Math?

Wyatt is a 6th grader, whizzing through Saxon 6/7 (or is it 7/6?). I've heard that a lot of folks like Jacobs, and switch over at upper level math.

Good idea? Where would he start? I mean - which Jacobs book would follow Saxon 7/6?

Is it "consumable" or reusable?

Does it need a lot of explanation or is it all there in the text?

I've liked the "lay-out" of Saxon and not having to buy a separate teacher-text.



Heather Woodburn said...

I am curious whether you ended up going to Jacobs. I have been surfing to see the pros of switching after 7/6 as well - I too have a gaggle of boys...four. The latest I've been told is to go from 7/6 to Jacobs Algebra and just do half the book for grade 8. It's a couple yrs since you posted, so what did you end up doing?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Hi Heather - hope you check back!

After several years of Saxon - we went through Algebra 1/2 (pre-algebra) - we switched gears. My boys have needed some help transitioning to working more independently so we did a bit of review first - bought a copy of Lial's Basic College Mathematics (which is NOT college level math, but a great review of pre-algebra) and had the first two work through it at their own pace. Since it's all review, that went pretty quickly, and we started Jacob's Algebra mid-year. That gave them a year and a half to get through Jacob's Algebra.

I think the Jacob's Algebra is a GREAT foundation for upper math. Yah, the book is REALLy dated - from the 70's - so the examples/story problems are kind of funny, but that doesn't matter. Jacob's explains things differently than I remember learning back in high school and I understood it a lot better... of course, that could just be maturity, too! It's definitely an old-school way of learning Algebra - there are very few problems where the students are encouraged to use calculators, for example. You really have to work through the METHOD of finding solutions.

At that point, though, I was pretty tapped out for math. In fact, I don't think we did the last chapter of the book. So I enrolled the oldest in high school as a part time student and had him re-take Algebra 1, and he absolutely came alive to math. I think it was as if the two ways of learning algebra were like seeing someone from the front and then from the side and getting a fuller perspective... if that makes any sense. The school is all high-tech and uses calculators, which is all great. They need to learn that. But I think the foundation of Jacob's helped him understand what he was doing a WHOLE lot better.

Hope that answers your question!