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Barron's books are intended to be used as self-learning tools for adults. The material is challenging, but not too tough for the average high school student. The concepts are stated very clearly in most cases, with many examples and diagrams. And although this is a secular text, Christian home school families will not find objectionable ideas assaulting their children's minds.
A major flaw is the presentation of volumes of material in one lesson. With so many new concepts being thrown at the student at one time, it becomes quite overwhelming. It is hard to build a solid foundation with too much information too soon. (Mr. Saxon's incremental method shines by comparison.) Another major difficulty is mistakes in the answer key. It is NOT helpful to show the congruence symbol when the not congruent , greater than, or less than symbol was meant! Hopefully, Barron will correct these mistakes in the future. Until then, parents will have to make their students aware of the problem. Most mistakes are quite obvious, but they may confuse the new geometry student.
I like being able to study geometry all at one time, rather than the Saxon method of interspersing geometry with algebra and advanced mathmetics. But I also like the Saxon incremental method much better than what we have experienced in the Barron's geometry. We should be able to finish this book by the end of our school year; although it is still quite time consuming, it doesn't take quite as much time as Saxon did. All in all, Barron's Geometry the Easy Way gets about a B+.
(This review was written in early 1999.)
The presentation of material is easy to understand, interesting, thorough, and practical. There are many illustrations of various forms and tables throughout the text. The student is introduced to various banking skills, reviews fractions and decimals, measures and computes quantities needed for home improvement projects, figures sales and employment taxes, fills out order blanks, does cost estimates for a contractor, etc.
Once again, however, the problem with Barron's is the answer key. This one is far worse than Geometry the Easy Way. I discovered that every time one of my student's answers did not agree with the answer key, I needed to do the problem myself to see who was actually right! At least half of the time, the answer key was in error. This is a math book, folks. And busy home school moms don't need the added difficulty of math answer keys with wrong answers.
In a nutshell: good teaching concept, but the answer key gets an F.
(This review was written in the spring of 2000.)