How to Use the Power Algebra Books
Parents who use our Power Algebra texts have much greater flexibility for delivering mastery of algebra to their children than either public or private school teachers. For example, parents may have their children begin to learn algebra in fifth grade by using our curriculum which is traditionally offered to the brightest eighth, ninth and eleventh graders. In three years, when these children are seventh graders, they will have mastered virtually all of the algebra required by the eleventh grade curriculum. Home schooled children who begin to use our program in ninth grade could complete our three texts in approximately two years.
In public and private schools, we suggest that Power Algebra, Book I be used in seventh grade; Power Algebra, Book II in eighth grade; and Power Algebra, Book III in ninth grade. Please understand, however, that the ninth grader using Book III must previously have used Books II and I in eighth and seventh grades, respectively. Students who begin our program in higher grades could complete the three texts in two years.
An important advantage of fifth and sixth graders covering our three texts in three years (or less) is that they can comfortably master advanced levels of algebra very early and, consequently, have significantly more time for mastery of geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus. Mastery of advanced levels of algebra will strongly facilitate learners mastery of trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus.
There are very few youngsters who are mature and disciplined enough to effectively teach themselves from a textbook (even with videotapes). Consequently, we suggest that this book will make its most effective impact when parents make the commitment to learn the algebra with their children. We are confident that the clarity of our explanations will permit a large majority of parents (regardless of poor performance in the past) to click along with understanding as they read our texts. Having made this commitment to one child, however, it will be possible to have that child teach a younger sibling. It is the way in which we have verbalized algebra and structured its flow that permits children to become master teachers of siblings under the parents supervision.
It is very important that learners follow the text page by page without jumping ahead. Mastery of later topics can only be built upon mastery of earlier concepts and skills.
There may be occasions when the algebra feels somewhat heavy. If it happens to you, our best advice is that you should relax. It is a normal experience in the learning of mathematics. In fact, this sensation is simply a signal that you should slow down and live with the concepts and skills involved for a few days. Living with it means that, for a number of occasions each day, you allow your mind to think about it; to dwell on it; even to dream on it.
Some of our Facility Exercises have a large number of problems. In those instances, you may choose to do the odd or even numbered problems and then move on to the next section. However, even though you are working in the next section, you should frequently return to that Facility Exercise, from time to time, in order to complete it.
Go now and launch your successful experiences in the teaching of algebra.
- Everard Barrett, 2003
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