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April 23rd, 2011, 11:30 AM
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BensMom BensMom is offline
Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
Ok... now for math. Definitely look for placement tests when possible, because math publishers vary considerably in what they consider important for a particular grade level. IGNORE the grade levels they tell you! If you think your kids will have a problem seeing the "wrong grade" on their assignments, make photocopies or something. That way they won't know. (Or tell them it was published in a different state. )

Free Options
Computer Options
  • IXL (I love this one, but it's pricey.)
  • Teaching Textbooks (Definitely do the placement tests, because TT starts out very slow and is even 2 grades behind other publishers in some places. It picks up in middle/high school, though.)
  • Time4Learning (T4L) - I know very few people who actually use this as their entire curriculum. Most people use it as a fun supplement or a summer refresher. It's not very rigorous, and I'm pretty sure you can't just do math. You have to get the whole package.
    Switched On Schoolhouse (SOS) - Again, this is a complete curriculum, and I think it starts at 3rd grade, so your younger one couldn't use it.

Textbook Options
  • Horizons - Horizons Math Readiness Evaluations (this is the placement test for horizons, which tends to be very advanced. you might need to start back a grade level for this one)
  • Abeka - also very advanced, but not as much as horizons
  • R&S - Very "old school" with tons and tons of review, no flashy colors or pictures, and that sort of thing. It's also about a grade level behind at first but gets back on track with other publishers by 4th-5th grade.
  • Miquon - (scope & sequence) - This is what I'm using (after trying a zillion other things). It's hands-on and teaches kids how and why. It's kid friendly because each page is a different (solid) color, and the font size/style is easy on a child's eyes, but it's not flashy or filled with irrelevant pictures like most modern texts are. This one was popular in the 60's and has made a come-back. There are 6 workbooks which are supposedly 1st thru 3rd (2 per year), but they're not "graded". They're "the red book" or "the purple book" so that kids aren't intimidated by a grade level on the cover. You can work as fast or as slow as you want, and you're not tied to doing 1 page a day. Some assignments will be so quick that you can do 5-6 pages, where some might take you a couple of days to do just one. The teacher's manual (called "Lab Sheet Annotations") and the counting rods are required. The other stuff ("notes" and "diary") aren't necessary. This curriculum teaches higher level concepts right from the start, so kids aren't overwhelmed when they hit algebra. They've been substituting letters for numbers all along, for example.
  • McRuffy - I haven't used this one, but it gets wonderful reviews.
  • RightStart - Also very hands on, and gets great reviews.
  • Singapore - I personally don't like this one, but it's extremely popular and is a solid program. Don't discount it because of me.
  • Saxon - This is wonderful in the later grades, but not very many (self included) like it before about 4-5 grade. It's also quite expensive and has a bit of an overwhelming teacher's edition.
  • Math Mammoth - We have some here using this, so they can comment better than I can. A lot of people like this one.
  • Calvert - One of our members (Butter) uses this complete curriculum. It's pricey, and I don't know if you can order one subject at a time. She can tell you more about it.
  • Seton - Catholic complete curriculum. I don't know if you can pull out one subject or not, but if you're Catholic, it's one you could consider.
  • Bob Jones - This one looks & feels like Abeka, but it's not quite as advanced. It's right on target, I'd say. I like it.
  • Alpha Omega Lifepacs - Very boring, and not very rigorous at all. Some people like them, but I don't know very many who do.


Video Options (which technically would include Khan Academy listed in free options above ... Khan is done through YouTube)
  • Math-u-see - (also comes with textbooks, and is very hands-on, but expensive)
  • Mathtacular! DVDs - There are 4 of these, I believe. They start at the K level and go through elementary. I think they're expanding to high school, but I'm not sure. Personally... I'd use this ONLY as a supplement! You'll need to print worksheets from the computer or something to practice what's taught.
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