When my oldest started having problems in Algebra last year, I was more than happy to help him out. We worked a few times a week together on his homework. I loved seeing that light go on whenever he finally understood how to do a problem. Then came his first test. He failed. While all of his answers were correct (Oh, yeah. I checked!), his teacher had marked all of them wrong because he didn't show his work the way she taught him how to do the problems - HER way or the highway. I tried to talk to her, to the principal, to get him transferred to a different teacher - nada. He was stuck. I couldn't understand her way, so how could I explain it to my son? He ended up giving up around October and failed the class. While I was disappointed that his GPA had dropped and he was no longer a member of the Junior National Honor Society, it was OK. He was taking a high school Algebra class in 8th grade, so he could take it over again this year and there wouldn't really be a penalty.
This year's Algebra teacher has been wonderful. While she cannot teach every possible way to do every type of problem, she does allow for students to figure out the best way for them to do the problems. As long as their answers come out correct consistently and they show their work, she's cool with it. My son did great the first few weeks - they did a bunch of review work. When new stuff was introduced, though, he got lost. I think that he stopped listening just long enough to find himself completely baffled. I tried to do the homework thing with him again, but his teen "I know it all" attitude got in the way. We'd both end up angry and frustrated with one another. When I had the chance to try out the Algebrator Software Tutor Program, I jumped at it!
Here's my 13 year-old's review:
I really like this algebra program. All I have to do is put one of my homework problems on the screen and this will show me how to do each step of the problem. It seemed hard to do at first, then my mom showed me that there are demos of how to solve every kind of problem. I could use this all the way to college. I'm going to need it because I want to be a video game animator and they need to have a lot of math classes. This will really really help me.Videos and Screenshots of how to solve nearly every kind of problem there is. And you can choose between seeing the demos animated or on slide shows. (I love this because I just cannot learn effectively while watching a video, unlike my son.)
Algebrator covers all levels of algebra, from the basics of Pre-Algebra all the way up to college-level classes. Below is a list of the types of problems that can be entered into the program. I've got to tell you, this is just amazing to me that you can enter your own problems and learn how to solve them! My son likes to check his homework with Algebrator now because, if the answer is incorrect, going step-by-step shows him where he made his mistakes.
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