# Algebra I - Course Options

Math for the Classically Educated Student.

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## ALGEBRA I IS A YEAR-LONG COURSE FOR STUDENTS IN GRADE 7.

As a vital means for developing reasoning skills, mathematics plays an important part in every student’s dialectic years. In order to harness this period of growth, we have adopted curriculum by Harold Jacobs — a scholar and educator who well understands the needs of the dialectic student — as the backbone of this course. Topics include factoring; rational expressions; systems of equations; lines; solving linear, fractional and quadratic equations; solving inequalities; rational and irrational numbers; and exponents, including negative exponents. On a larger scale, the concepts taught in Algebra I serve as a solid foundation upon which students will build a more advanced knowledge of mathematics, and this course is the perfect vehicle for delivering. Learning can happen through both the You Teach and Live Online formats.

The Veritas Approach to Math

Unlike some classical educators, we believe math is a crucial subject. It’s necessary for a well-rounded, rigorous classical education. In the grammar years, math provides content for developing memorization tools. In the dialectic years, subjects like Algebra I and Geometry develop students’ reasoning skills. In the rhetoric years, Pre-calculus, Calculus, Statistics, and Business Math lead students to value math in real-world applications.

At Veritas, we’re convinced that math has been dumbed down in America.١ Most students are more capable than we think. Our mission is to help make sure your children don’t become a dismal math statistic. For more than 25 years, we’ve been proving that our math standards shouldn’t come from what we were raised with. After all, if the education we ourselves received was as education should be, why would we be doing something different for our children? A study of historical٢ and international math standards helps us see this clearly.

Maybe the best way to understand our approach is to mark some milestones.

 Grade Milestone Purpose Served K Addition and subtraction facts Math building blocks, develop memorization skills 1st Multiplication facts Additional building blocks 2nd Division facts Additional building blocks 7th Algebra I Problem-solving, reasoning, logic 11th or 12th Calculus I Mapping change, thinking numerically, living today٣

Veritas recommends Saxon Math for K–6th. We also recommend Math-U-See—especially for students who struggle with learning abstract concepts. We then recommend Jacobs for Algebra I and Geometry, Foerster for Algebra II and Pre-Calculus, and Larson for Calculus.

Saxon, with its incremental advances and continual review, works best with the grammar stage. Thankfully, Harold Jacobs understands the dialectic student and has written a superb curriculum for them with Algebra I and Geometry. One of his former students, Paul Foerster, writes where Jacobs left off, providing us our favorite texts for Algebra II and Pre-Calculus. Finally, Larson, a most prolific producer of Calculus texts, provides the capstone to our math curriculum.

Some prefer to stick with Saxon into the secondary school years. We are fine with that—even offering live class options using Saxon—but prefer texts written with more of a classical pedagogical approach.

Math-U-See is also used in the secondary. Again, its greatest beneficiaries are students who struggle with abstract concepts.

Today, all math education needs to address the use of technology. At Veritas, it’s simple: use technology as a tool, not a crutch. Learning to work a two-variable algebraic equation is important. When mastered, however, why waste time plugging and chugging the numbers to develop a graphing solution? Let a machine do the number crunching. Students simply need to know how to do it.

Math is crucial to classical education. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

١Americans are lagging in math: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/

٢A Brief History of American K-12 Mathematics Education: https://www.csun.edu/~vcmth00m/AHistory.html

٣Is Calculus necessary? http://www.math.harvard.edu/~knill/pedagogy/use/index.html

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