Here's my two cents on this issue, starting with an question that wasn't addressed:

0. How would you supplement whatever math curriculum you use?

I so strongly believe in using math games (commercial games yes, but also "homemade" games involving dice and playing cards) that I wrote a book based on my experience, entitled "Math Games to Supplement Any Math Curriculum." Both my sons grew up with math games being a central part of their math curriculum, and they both have strong ability to grasp concepts quickly, plus they've know their basic facts from the beginning, plus they each have great mental math skills and great spatial sense (seeing and visualizing how objects move, reflect, and rotate in space) - precisely BECAUSE of the many different math games they played growing up. Check my website at

www.AlgebraForKids.com and click on the "Math Products" and/or the "Books" link on the left.

1. If money were no object what math curriculum would you use for your children?

I would again use what we used for our two sons up through 4th-5th grade: Mortensen Math - but with a caveat. It helps enormously if the parent is a math-type already. Math-U-See fans should know that the author of Math-U-See was once a Mortensen trainer who started MUS to combine the best of Mortensen Math with what he thought was the best of Saxon as well. But I still prefer Mortensen for the second reason listed below (kids do algebra from the very beginning).

The upside of Mortensen:

-versatile multi-purpose manipulatives that are used for EVERYTHING (arithmetic, base ten, fractions, negative number operations, skip counting, basic facts, algebra);

-exposing kids from the very beginning (in 1st grade) to ALL the main areas of math (including algebra);

-seeing how base ten connects with algebra;

-the program is labor-intensive and needs for the first while pretty heavy involvement on the part of the parent.

The downside of Mortensen:

-it's not user friendly, especially if the teaching parent is not a math type to begin with;

-the program is labor-intensive and for the first while of each lesson, each topic, each year needs pretty heavy involvement on the part of the parent.

2. Computer software based?

I wouldn't use computer-software-based math curriculum in K-8, for a philosophical reason: I think kids get enough time on computer already, and I also think there's something neurologically-psychologically-mentally beneficial about working with hands-on manipulatives and reading out of hardcopy books, rather than moving icons around on a screen and reading from a screen.

3. Computer based with an associated book?

This would depend on what the computer component is - is it instruction? or reading? or activities? Again, I'd lean away from computer-based curriculum.

4. What computer based math program would you use?

See my above remarks.

5. What book based curriculum would you use?

Assuming this is a book-alone curriculum with no manipulatives, I wouldn't do any book-alone-based curriculum for K-8 math. Kids really benefit from hands-on work, including games.

Hope this helps!

Bob Hazen