Monday, April 26, 2010

Homeschool Math

I am absolutely thrilled with how the homeschool culture is growing. The last decade has seen a huge increase in new homeschoolers, and public opinion of homeschooling is definitely changing.  A decade ago homeschooling was still considered the "odd" thing to do... there are still those who may think that way... but there is a growing positive outlook on homeschooling.  Yet, with all of the positive changes there is also a major influx of homeschooling curriculum.  The options are seemingly endless.  How do we know which courses of study are well designed and will fit what we want for our homeschool?  This problem is probably one of the hardest aspects of homeschooling.  Finding the right curriculum out of the hundreds that are out there is no easy task.  In the next few weeks, I'd like to post the most popular homeschool curriculum based on the responses of many homeschooling families that I know, as well as several articles from magazines such as The Old Schoolhouse.

I will start with the most popular homschool math that is available for homeschoolers as well as some of the curriculum that I have used.

Workbook Based Homeschool Math Curriculum:
 By far the most popular for elementary math and preschool is probably ABEKA. I think almost every homeschooling family has heard of this kit/workbook based curriculum.  They are strong in most all of their subjects, and have had decades of solid performance under their belts. I went to a Christian school as a child, and this is the curriculum that I used through twelfth grade.  I scored well on my PSAT and ACT and had no problem with college level work. 
BJU press is a similar well proven curriculum that also has several decades of strong performance to speak of. I have a degree from BJU and do believe that their curriculum is a fine course of study. We have used the elementary reading series and a science curriculum. The BJU math is very manipulatives based and goes at a slower pace than ABEKA.
Saxon Math is another forerunner in the homeschool arena.  This series has been out for several decades as well and has produced very well founded math students. Saxon math is strong in review... so much review that many homeschoolers just skip some of the review assignments.
Alpha Omega offers a complete homeschool curriculum as well and has also been around for many years. Alpha Omega offers several different options from Lifepacs (workbooks) to computer based learning programs. It is a strong curriculum, and many of my personal friends have used the Switched on Schoolhouse program.
Singapore math is an increasingly popular choice among homeschoolers these days.  I have heard good things about this curriculum. It does not have the long track record of some of these other products, but it seems to be  solid curriculum.
Math U See is a great option for students who have difficulty with typical math curriculums. Math U See is manipulatives based and even has accompaning DVDs to help the parent/teacher.
Time4Learning is a complete homeschool curriculum that offers math. We have personally used this program, and it is a great option. It is a standards based curriculum available online for PreK through 8th grade.
Houghton Mifflin math texts for the high school are what we use for our upper grades math.  I have a degree in math so I enjoy teaching my children Algebra and such but this is not an easy road for everyone. If you have a difficult time with high school math yourself you may want to consider a curriculum that is teacher led and taught. ABEKA, BJU, Alpha Omega all offer individual math courses with an actual teacher teaching the course.

There are many free resources available online for help with teaching math. Here are a few:

Hippo Campus
Interactive Mathematics

Comment if you have any great curriculum that you would like to recommend!

1 comment:

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    TedCo Software