Alpha Omega Algebra

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  • Reviewed on Sunday, September 21, 2008
  • Grades Used: 12th
  • Dates used: 8/08-9/08
I have been a huge fan of Alpha Omega products for the past 10 years, but would like to caution all homeschool parents about purchasing the 12 grade mathematics Lifepacs. There are many errors that will add to your child's (and your!) confusion in this already difficult subject.

My son had been having problems with Lifepac 1202 after completing 1201. He said that he had found some things to be confusing. I decided to have him skip to Lifepac 1209 on probability, a subject I would be able to personally explain. (I have a statistics background and a master's degree in applied economics.) When he complained again about errors, I looked over a few pages. He was correct - there are substantial errors. One was so obvious - 45+55=105! Also, note that these errors are significant; they are not, for example, grammatical errors.

Please look elsewhere for advanced math training!

Margaret Kees

  • Reviewed on Saturday, September 23, 2006
  • Grades Used: 11th grade
  • Dates used: 2006
I have used Alpha Omega curriculum for several years and found the subjects we used to be covered well. This year I am using the Alpha Omega Algebra II course. The explainations in the student texts are truely lacking and the teacher's book is a joke. I have had to return to three other algebra text books to be able to explain this subject (in conjustion with the Aalpha Omega books) to my child.

If my child was not enrolled in the Alpha Omega Academy, I would toss this math curriculum out the window.

Rev. Kevin M. Coan

  • Reviewed on Thursday, April 24, 2003
  • Grades Used: 9-11
  • Dates used: 1983 - 2003
Alpha Omega puts out their algebra programs in two formats - LIFEPAC, which is in workbook form, and Switched-On Schoolhouse in computer format. My son now uses SOS for algebra 2 in conjunction with the AO Academy On-Line.

Math 901-910, which is the Algebra I piece, is exceptionally well written. I have taught it in a classroom setting and used it for individualized study. Both worked very well. The workbooks contain lesson material and ample practice all in one place. There are regular quizzes (self-tests in LIFEPAC) that enable a person to find out what they didn't understand before it gets too late. You have to score 80% on a quiz or test to go on to the next section.

Volume 903 is worth buying just for the word problems. The entire workbook consists of nothing but story problems. A student cannot graduate from this program without having mastered this area!

All of the standard topics are included in the first year course, including quadratic equations.

The 1101-1110 series covers Algebra II. There are a lot of approaches to intermediate algebra. Alpha Omega takes the philosophy of spending half of the year polishing first year skills. The second half introduces the new topics of complex numbers, matrices, logarithms, conic sections, series, and probability. There are no lessons involving trigonometry, which a few courses include. The topics chosen provide ample material without the trig. The LIFEPAC version includes additional enrichment material in the teacher's manual.

Overall, both series provide quality courses in an understandable way. There is a good balance between theory and drill, and the explanations are fairly easy to follow.

If a parent is weak in math, AO offers their courses through the Alpha Omega Academy. One can take individual courses or enroll full-time in a diploma program. Enrolled students can call live teachers during the school day to get personal help on their work. For our son, the on-line SOS version of the academy has been the best decision we've ever made.