So Puzzling, So Easy. Learning Elements of Algebra

May 3, 2017


There are many aspects of Elements of Basic Algebra B written by Nancy Nichols and published by Firelight Books LLC, I don’t like. As I am using this workbook/textbook with Robert not once I find slightly incorrect statements.  Not once, I think that some concepts could be introduced differently.  Not once I think that I would  present some of the ideas in a simpler, clearer way.


The truth is, I wouldn’t.  I wouldn’t dare.

I wouldn’t have courage to teach Robert Algebra.  I would consider it too sophisticated, too complex, and too abstract. I would be afraid of failing to teach him and confronting the limits of his abilities.

So although there are many things I don’t like about this curriculum, nonetheless, I am sticking to it because it presents elements of Algebra in the easiest possible way.  In the way that shows how to introduce such concepts as “slope” or “y intercept” and then use them to present graphically linear equations.

No need to plug  in numbers and perform operations on integers which are still relatively confusing to Robert.  It is enough to look at the equation y= ax+b and plot the intercept (0, b) and then go a units up or down depending on the sign and one unit to the right remembering that slope = rise/run.  That has been explained on many pages of the workbook with both positive and negative a and b.

And of course, I feel encouraged to address any possible confusion, Robert might feel,  with additional, home-made, pages of tasks.