Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lial's Basic College Math

Our Lial's Basic College Math book arrived yesterday. I'm still waiting on the teacher's manual to arrive.

After looking it over, I decided it was a good choice. A very good choice. My husband thought it looked difficult but doable. My son panicked when he saw the book -- maybe because his first view was a page with 100 problems on it. I told him to look closer, as it was easy multiplication problems that he could handle. That gave him some relief, but he didn't like the amount of problems. The page layout is much more grown-up, too, which I think threw DS for a loop.

I think, gulp, that I am going to take the book apart. Thankfully it has perforated pages. (We don't have a Kinkos or Office Max close so it would be a pain to go to one to get the binding cut.) I will put each section into a binder. The pages are very shiny and slippery. There also isn't a lot of room to work, especially for a 10-year-old with large handwriting. I think that I will probably type up worksheets to go along with the book and put them in the binder. Either that or do it by hand as we are working along. I guess we need to dive in and I'll figure that out as we go.

Our Key to Fractions books arrived the same day and I must say I'm really glad I bought those. So we have two Key to sets....Fractions and Decimals. I think when we start a chapter that we have a Key to set for, I will have DS work the Key to books first, then do the corresponding chapter in the BCM book. I may buy some of the other Key to sets as well. The BCM books introduces concepts on very basic and easy terms that DS will be able to handle. It moves fast, though, and I think the Key to series will help with the confidence and practice factor.

I'm having trouble figuring out where to start. We've been working on fractions. DS is doing well, but I think he needs a lot more practice. I don't know whether to start in the middle of the book and continue with fractions or just start at the beginning of the book. Actually I'd like to just start at the beginning, but here's the thing. We are required to do standardized testing yearly in Minnesota. I want to make sure that DS has adequate coverage of grade-appropriate skills that will be on that test. I think we are far enough with fractions that he will be okay -- but we still need some decimal work and some geometry. And this screws up my methodical plan of starting at the beginning.

I am toying with the idea of doing the standardized test immediately -- with a crash course in perimeters and decimals and just getting it over with so we can go on our merry way. I do know my son will be upset if he's taking "the test" and there is something that we haven't covered. He's very sensitive and he wouldn't handle that well.

There is no way we'll be able to finish this book in a year. I'm thinking two years. If we were to omit the Key to books, I think we could do the program in a little over a year -- but we're in no rush and I want DS to have his math down pat and be comfortable with it.

So, in the end I'm very happy we purchased this and excited to implement the book.


Almost Lazarus said...

FYI, there are a ton of additional resources for BCM, including drill sheets and workbooks. Two years is the recommended time to finish the book, when used with elementary students. We used the CD tutor too.

Student Resources

Instructor Resources (lots of downloads)

Frankie said...

Thank you, Doc. I guess I live under a rock -- just recently discovering this. I'll check out the links you provided. It would be wonderful if I could just print or buy instead of making more myself!

Becky said...

Very interesting to read all of this. I've been hoping to find reasonably priced copies of Key to... in Canada but no luck so far.

At the moment we're happy with Singapore, but I'm intrigued by Lial's and your decision, so I'll have to get in touch with you offline, Frankie, to find out why the switch (or is it simply a case of going back and reading a previous entry lol?)

BridgetJ said...

If you produce any worksheets or a syllabus I'd love to have a copy. We are going to use the Key to Percents before we start BCM, but I'm hoping to have it started by May/June.

I've looked on the website and would like to get access to the test bank. I have sent an email to register but haven't received word yet. I don't even have a TM yet. Do you mind posting the isbn # for the tm when you get it? I've got the 6th ed. and I think you do too. Thanks!

Peace, BridgetJ