Precalculus with Limits
"Our oldest graduated last May from homeschool. He used your Geometry, Algebra II, Precalc, and Calculus (1st half of the book). He has done very well with math. Last spring he took the AP Calculus AB exam and earned a 5 on it, the highest score. He just completed his first semester in engineering at Virginia Tech and received A's in both of his math courses, Calculus II and Vector Geometry. Chalkdust works! Thank you for your thorough, challenging program.
"My other son took the Pre-Calculus course and he even had written to you about a mistake in the book. That son went on to complete the next three Calculus courses in a local community college. He will graduate from high school in June. Thank you.
Both boys are following their own paths, one for the needed courses to graduate from high school and the other for an engineering future. I thank you for the encouragement with the one and the courses available for the other to work toward his gifts in math."
"I just wanted to say that your videos are great. I am taking all of my classes online, and if it weren't for your videos I would not be able to make it through the class. THANK YOU! You are a great teacher!"
"Dear Uncle Buck,
The process you gave me for my calculator worked perfectly. I got every answer exactly. Thank you for all your help and have a great summer.
"I want to take a minute and let you know how much we have enjoyed your course. The teaching is very clear, and it makes the completion of PreCalculus and Calculus achievable. Navigating these textbooks without some assistance would be nearly impossible. There are still tricky moments, like when the text requires the student to work a new kind of problem without really explaining how to work it! But as I said, it is achievable. Even I (a devoted humanities major) am able to understand higher math concepts and work the problems--something I never thought possible.
My older son went through your courses. He scored a perfect 800 on the SAT Math IIC test, along with other very high scores in the math sections of his PSAT and SAT tests. He was a National Merit Scholar. He is now attending Ursinus College with a full tuition scholarship as a biology and philosophy major. He has been mastering college math courses and doing well. We attribute some of his success as an upper classman in high school, and some of his competence in college, to your courses, which enabled us to master higher math in a way we never could have on our own.
Now Ben is working through PreCalculus. I love to see him really understand what he is doing. Unfortunately many math students do not understand why the problems work, the logic behind the math. They just work the problems rather mechanically. Ben is actually unlocking the reasoning behind the problems. You have helped to make it all possible.
You would probably be surprised to know the difference you have made for many, many people. For me, you were an answer to prayer. Thank you so much for your commitment to good teaching."
"This college has each incoming freshman take a math placement test to see exactly which college math course the student needs to take. Our son did well and didn't have to take any math courses until PreCalculus, even though he is a Business and Economics major. But our daughter did even better--when she took the math placement exam she was exempted from taking ANY math courses for her entire 4 years in college! We were thrilled and know that this is due to the incredible math program from Chalk Dust. Thank you for making math do-able and giving our kids confidence and great knowledge.
God bless you all,
Ginger McCreery, for Jesse, Hannah, and Rachel McCreery"
Precalculus 5th Edition (2008) Review by Cathy Duffy
18 DVDs, hardbound textbook, student solutions guide,and student technical support - $554
There are more DVDs for this course than for other Chalk Dust courses because this course is really two courses in one, College Algebra and Trigonometry, with the addition of even more material not contained in either of the other two. There are over 40 hours of video presentation associated with this course.
Dana Mosely follows lessons in the text, expanding concepts with explanations and working out sample problems. With this course, students really should stop the DVD occasionally and try to solve example problems so they can fully grasp the concepts.
This would be a one-semester course at the college level, but high school students should definitely take a full school year or more to complete it. (This is a true college level course and the textbook is frequently used in colleges throughout the USA.) The text used is the 2008 edition of Precalculus Functions and Graphs, Fifth Edition by Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards. Both content and presentation in the textbook help make the course more appealing. There are a number of fully-explained examples for each topic in the book. In addition, the text has some full-color illustrations; historical/biographical sidebars; and real life, business, and science (biology, chemistry, physics) applications within the chapter problems.
With the combination of DVDs, textbook, and the student solutions guide, students really should be able to learn independently. After completing this course, students should be ready for college-level calculus so they should be able to test out of College Algebra and Trigonometry, or out of Precalculus.
A graphing calculator is standard equipment for this course. The TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus is recommended. (See the review of Trigonometry for comments on the calculator.)
(Chalk Dust recommends this course after Algebra 2 for the college-bound science student.)
I wanted to share with you how much our entire family enjoys your math programs. My daughter is using the Geometry this year; my son, the SAT review. But, I have learned that your programs are not just for young students! My father is a 73 year old retired attorney, who 50 years ago graduated near the top of his class from Stanford University's School of Law. Forthunately, he has never lost his love of learning, and upon retiring decided to explore an area of his education which he felt was lacking...math. Knowing that we homeschool, he asked if I could recommend a self-study program and of course I recommended Chalkdust. He sent for the Pre-Calculus course and absolutely loves it! Now, when people ask him what he does for fun, he tells them about his Pre-Calculus program. He loves to discuss the problems, mull them over in his mind, and find alternative methods of solving them. Every morning he sits out on the deck of his sailboat and works through the day's math problems. I am convinced that this man's mind will never age because he keeps it so stimulated. Thanks for helping to keep my dad young. His name is Marshall Foreman, and no doubt he has emailed you to discuss problems. Thanks again!
Chalk Dust Precalculus is a heavy-duty course that you can easily substitute for both their Trigonometry and College Algebra courses. The reference text is Precalculus with Limits, A Graphing Approach, second edition, from Houghton Mifflin. Unavoidably, a graphing calculator is required for this course, and you are taught to use it. The authors recommend you use the TI-82 or TI-83; however, there is an appendix that explains how to get the same results with 13 other models, as well as a guide to graphing calculators intended to teach you how to use them. The first two tapes review the cartesian plane, graphs and graphing, lines in the plane, solving equations and inequalities, and how data is represented graphically. Topics then introduced and studied are functions and their graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, additional trig topics, Systems of equations and inequalities, matrices and determinants, sequences/probability/statistics, topics in analytic geometry (conic sections and polar coordinates), analytical geometry in three dimensions, and finally, what we have all been waiting for: limits and an introduction to calculus. The entire Precalculus course costs about what you'd have to pay for one credit hour at a major university. But the amount covered is what you'd find in a three-credit course, and with way better instruction than you'll get from the typical college professor or (more realistically) the typical teaching assistant. Great deal!