Two of my sons go to a small, private school where social distancing, mask control, and temperature taking is not as big a deal. They will start classes on August 26th. One son, though, loves his public school. This One is so social, has so much charisma, loves his three sports, his resource teacher, his speech therapist, his place in the world of Middle School. You don’t get that every day. He is beautiful in his rising 8th Grader place.
His start date for school will likely be postponed, again. So I’m determined to see him start school on August 26th as well even if that means returning to homeschool.
With that in mind, I thought I would review a few of the curriculums we are considering. Years ago we homeschooled all four of our sons. My experience with Math curriculums included Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, and Horizon Math.
What I like about Math-U-See is the manipulatives. It really helped our elementary students grasp what an 8 in the hundred’s place meant vs. an 8 in the one’s place. There are online drills, worksheets, and such all aimed at math mastery. The program has print-at-home placement tests to direct you to the correct level for your student. My students aged out of the usefulness of the program around 5th Grade. They didn’t find it as engaging as they had before.
Horizon Math worked really well for our beginners. The workbooks had lots of colorful pictures and repeated concepts while adding new information in enough detail for our learning-English sons to make steady progress and retain what went before. Great for K-2nd grade. Then the repetition got to be too much, the time required from me as the teacher to prep, teach, coach got to be a bit much. $79.95 for kindergarten year.
Teaching Textbooks (TT) became our go-to Math curriculum. Each lesson taught the concepts, had practice problems, on-computer homework, periodic quizzes, and automatic grading. If you have an independent learner who loves being on the computer, this curriculum is terrific for 3rd through Pre-Calculus. Subscription for Math 4 is $43 for 12 months, and you can turn it off if you take a break/vacation. They also have books and CD’s of the courses, but those are more expensive if you complete a level of Math in 12 months. Placement Tests are provided, and there are Free Trials of each level. TeachingTextbooks strives to update, answer calls and is the most service-friendly place I’ve found. Yes, you can talk to a real person when you call. They even have a large-family plan! If you have 4 to 8 kids, the max online rate is set at $199 even if every one of your students is in a different level of math.
What will I do for our One? I’ll probably do placements for both TeachingTextbooks.com and Horizon. Then I’ll choose one. Even though you can tell I am a big fan of TT, if his public school opening is only delayed another month or two, I might go with Horizon since I can buy one workbook that covers the Fall Semester.
There are tons of other Math programs like Saxon, Right Start, Singapore, Abeka etc. If you want an in-depth review with a chart comparing all these and more, visit homeschoolon for another mom’s perspective. She has a lot more experience, information, and even a video!
And if you happen to sign up for Teaching Textbooks, tell them the best way for them to improve in the future is to let students move up through the levels within a one-year subscription. That would put their option light years ahead of others.