This is the second post in looking at some homeschooling math curriculum. And I say “Some” because there really are many, and I could probably take 6 months to just go over them.
In the last post we looked at Math U See, Singapore Math, Saxon Math, Horizons Math and The Good and the Beautiful. Check it out here.
Remember, when looking at a curriculum you need to have your goals or wishes in mind. When you know the answer to your questions, you can more easily assess if the curriculum might be a good fit for you.
Let’s look at 4 more curricula.
Math Mammoth is for grades 1 through 7 and is a complete curriculum, though they do have units, like fractions, for sale for extra practice or focused learning.
You can buy Math Mammoth as books or as digital downloads. The most cost effective way is via digital download, where you can print off the pages and use the curriculum for multiple children over multiple years.
It teaches for mastery of concepts and doesn’t really follow a spiral approach like Saxon Math or Singapore Math. It employs a number of different ways to explain new concepts so it reaches different learning styles. Manipulatives are used, but these are ones that you can easily and inexpensively purchase yourself.
At the beginning of each chapter there are some teaching notes. It is important to use these. Parents will be more involved with younger children in the lessons, but the older the children, the more independent they will be.
There are links to downloads for additional practice and review. This is extremely helpful in making sure mastery is occuring.
Cost wise you are looking at about $40 per grade, though you can purchase the full bundle of grades 1-7 for about $185. If you think you might use the curriculum through all the grades, this is a fantastic deal.
Teaching Textbooks were designed for homeschoolers. It promotes independent study as it is easy for your children to use. The great thing is that there is really no work for parents.
The curriculum is for grades 3-12. It is encouraged to do a placement test before starting to make sure you are getting the correct level. Teaching Textbooks is self-paced, so your child can work as slowly or as quickly as they need.
It is an app that works on any device. You can do Teaching Textbooks on the go, even if you don’t have internet because you can download lessons to do when you don’t have internet access.
The lessons are complete and easy to understand, with plenty of examples and word problems. Students respond to the material during the lesson and get feedback right away. Solutions are available, so if your child is struggling there is an opportunity to practice and get it right before moving on.
It does have a built-in grade book, which many parents find helpful in record keeping. Parents do not have to do any grading.
Cost wise it is between $43-67 depending on the course. There is a discount for multiple children in the same family. The course is only available for the year and cannot be reused, or used by more than one child at the same time.
THE GOOD AND THE BEAUTIFUL MATH
The math curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful goes up to 6th grade. They are visually beautiful. There are colored pictures, and it can appeal to children who are more visual (though some children find the pictures distracting).
For Kindergarten to 3rd grade it needs to be taught by parents, but it requires minimal prep. 4th grade and above there is limited parental involvement as there are online videos to watch that provide the instruction.
Manipulatives are used from K to 3. You purchase them through Good and the Beautiful.
The curriculum is eclectic. Children master basic problem-solving skills and math facts, while being taught conceptual understanding and mathematical reasoning. It also uses a spiral approach.
It is another good curriculum choice with strong foundations and enough practice for mastery.
Cost wise you can get grades 1 to 5 as digital downloads for free. But you need to have access to a printer and it is helpful to have a color one. For K to 3 it is around $50 per grade including the manipulatives. For 4th to 5th grade it is $50 with the access to videos. Grade 6 is $60.
Zearn is an online math option that also has classroom options. You can use it both ways – as a full curriculum or as a supplement.
The lessons are designed to build upon concepts. There are math drills and activities to work on math facts. The videos teaching the concepts are well done and have activities that go along with it so that the students are working along with the teacher. Many times they will teach a couple of ways to get the same answer. This is great for parents who perhaps don’t want to do the teaching part of math. The videos are not long, but broken down into components, and if you are unsure of the concept, you will easily pick it up yourself to assist with the activities if need be.
The lessons are not long or cumbersome. They are fun to go through as it is broken into segments that follow a pattern your children can engage with and anticipate what is next.
No manipulatives are used in the younger grades as the processes are done online. But you could make your own to practice and reinforce the concepts.
You can print out the notes pages as well as additional activities and “exit tickets” (lesson level assessments) to go with the lessons, or you can purchase them for around $20, which is inexpensive. This is the only associated cost with Zearn. It is a free, online curriculum. With the work pages it is a good mix of online and pencil/paper.
Zearn covers Kindergarten through Grade 8. You can see their whole scope and sequence, and it will show you, as the parent, the pace your children are working at, what “mission” they are on and any alerts as to topics they might have some struggles with.