Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5 Favorite Homeschool Math Curricula

5 Math Curricula Favored by Homeschoolers

As promised yesterday, here is a list of additional math curricula that are beloved by homeschoolers across the country. The important thing to remember is that you are not locked into any one curriculum. If you buy one and it is not a good fit for your family, there's no reason you why you can't move on to another one. I went through several math curricula before finally finding the one that works best for us, Teaching Textbooks, which I told you about yesterday.

I ALWAYS recommend that you:
a) take the assessment/placement tests before you buy so that your kid isn't bored with lessons that are too easy, or frustrated by lessons that are too difficult, and...
b) try to purchase or borrow a gently used curriculum to try it out first. If you love it, you can then purchase a brand new curriculum with no writing on the pages for the rest of the year or next year.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Mammoth Math

Mammoth Math / Matematicas Mamut

I'm starting with the curriculum that is available in both English AND SPANISH. (There aren't many!) Mammoth Math is available for 1st - 12th grades. This program is more for traditional learning. If you want a program available as printable worksheets that you can print and go, this might be the best choice for your family. The workbooks in this series are all available as downloads, but if you prefer printed workbooks, you can also purchase most of them as such.

On their website, you'll find free assessment tests, and MORE THAN 400 FREE SAMPLE PAGES. There are five different math series. Visit the Mammoth Math website to read about the difference between each one and see samples so you can pick the one that best suits your family's needs. And be sure to watch the videos where Maria Miller (the creator) talks about her program!

Saxon Math

Saxon Math (aff)

If your child is more of a hands-on learner, then Saxon Math may be a great choice for you. I used this program with my daughter early on. I loved how it used lots of manipulatives (flash cards, tangrams, pattern blocks, bear counters, geoboards, color tiles, and more!) to help her learn basic concepts. The lessons also have you use lots of things found around your home, helping children to discover that learning opportunities are everywhere!

The lessons are not overwhelmingly long; new concepts are presented in small bits. And there is a LOT of repetition to help establish those new concepts and skills. I like that there is consistency in all of the lessons.

This program does require parental involvement in the younger grades. Students receive a workbook, but all instruction is given by parents using the teacher's lesson book.

Older students, however, get a textbook that is written directly to the student to allow for independent work.

PSST! And did you know that now through May 31st, you can save 30% on Saxon Math (and Phonics) over at ChristianBook.com (aff)? They have a great sale going on!

Singapore Math

Singapore Math (aff)

I've never used this curriculum, however, from what I understand it is very different from all of the others. So if you are looking for a program that teaches outside the traditional methods. The curriculum description on ChristianBook.com says...

"Singapore Math Primary Mathematics is a favorite homeschool math curriculum! Students learn through concrete and pictorial methods before moving into abstract thought and development. Singapore Primary Math US edition encourages an active thinking process, thoughtful communication of mathematical ideas, and engaged problem solving."

It is based on a teaching method and curriculum used in Singapore, a nation that consistently ranks at the top of international assessments of student achievement in math.

Life of Fred

Life of Fred (aff)

Available for K - 12, I'm focusing on the elementary math curriculum. Life of Fred is a series of math books that are unlike any other math curriculum. There are no boring lectures or workbooks but instead just fun stories about Fred Gauss, a child prodigy math genius. Children will be fascinated and love following along with his hilarious adventures! In each chapter, he encounters situations that call for solving math problems. The curriculum description on Educents.com says...

"The stories carry on through the exercises, leading the student through them. Many of the books have a series of quizzes called Bridges every few chapters. Passing a quiz means the student is ready for the next chapter. Some books have all the problem solutions in them, while others have separate answer keys or companions."


Math-U-See (aff)

I've not used this program, but know many homeschoolers who have and who absolutely love it. The lessons do require lots of parental involvement, but parents are told exactly how to teach each lesson via video-based instruction. Here is the description straight from ChristianBook.com...

"Math-U-See is a complete, skill-based, multi-sensory mastery curriculum for grades K-12. Designed to teach students specific skills in a definite, logical sequence, this systematic and cumulative approach will help students learn how to solve math problems and discover why they're solved in such a way.

The Math-U-See system features step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, practicing, and mastering concepts; each lesson includes a video, and many of the lessons from Primer through Algebra 1 use hands-on manipulatives. Teachers watch the video lesson to learn the new concept and how to demonstrate it; they then present the new concept to the student using the build-write-say model; finally, students practice the new concept using lesson practice problems from the student workbook. Student-paced, teachers are given clear guidelines for determining when students have achieved mastery and are ready to move to the next lesson or level."

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