Math - What Homeschool Math Program is Right for you?

Everything from basic math up through high school!

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Math - What Homeschool Math Program is Right for you?

Postby jessicaparnell » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:37 am

Math is one of those subjects that seems to get a lot of attention. In my experience, parents are concerned for one of three reasons:

1. Math is a struggle for my child. I just don’t know how to find the right homeschool math curriculum that will help him or her understand.
My child is very strong in Math–how quickly to I move him or her to an advanced homeschool math program?
2. My child can do math, but he hates it. How far do I really need to take him?
3. If your student struggles with math, your approach will be very different than those whose child excels. Because it is a skill course, the key to remember in math is not to push through material that your child does not understand. Take the time to review, to reteach if necessary, to approach it from a different angle.

Find the right time of day for math. Not all students can start the day off with math (despite the prevailing view that the morning is the best time of day). Some will do much better if they can avoid math all day and tackle it in the evening after they’ve had a good break from school work. Others, may prefer to do it last.

Speak candidly with your child and give her the freedom to determine the best time to approach the subject.

And don’t be afraid to repeat the same course a second time (or go with the same grade level using a different homeschool math curriculum). With homeschooling, you have the ability to ensure that your children have truly mastered their material before you push on. Take advantage of that opportunity. You will find that once they do master it, you can accelerate later.

If your child excels in math, don’t be afraid to allow them to push the limits. Don’t keep purchasing courses in chronological grade level. One of the students I evaluate is 12 years old. Last year, he completed an advanced college level math textbook and moved on to the next level this year. If his mother had not encouraged him to keep progressing, he would be one very bored young man!

Many strong math students find that they can move from sixth grade math directly to pre-algebra. Others have moved to pre-algebra after the fifth grade level. Don’t be afraid to do this, but do so with caution. Moving them forward too quickly (especially before they have truly mastered fractions and decimals) can create real frustration later.

For those who want to simply complete math requirements without struggling through more advanced courses, I recommend you take your student thorugh Algebra I, then allow them to take consumer math and/or business math.

In fact, I recommend consumer math as an elective for all students. Why? Because you can be whiz at calculus and trigonometry and have no idea how to balance your checkbook or put together a budget that works. Not a bad thing to learn, don’t you think?
Jessica L. Parnell:
Bridgeway Homeschool Academy:

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Postby mamaholly » Fri May 30, 2008 2:04 pm

I'm not sure yet what is the best math style for my DS yet, but I'm narrowing the list. LOL! We've been using LIFEPACs which use a spiral approach and has a fair amount of drill.

I have learned that if he has a page with 10 math problems on it, he can complete it, 100% correctly, in 5 minutes or so. Many more problems than that and he just checks out, and will sit and stare at the page for hours on end and come up with new "creative" ways to miss the problems.

I was thinking that because he was slow to get a page done that he was needing more drill. But the truth is that he know HOW to do this stuff really well and doesn't need much drill at all.

I'm switching to math u see this summer, we'll see how that goes.

I recently had a brainstorm and started using the self-tests in the lifepacs as pretests for the section. If he gets all of a certain kind of problem correct, there's no need to work on the review section. A few misses might indicate some review. Many misses indicates reteaching or introduction to the topic. It's making my life much simpler!

I've been reading Bob Hazen's suggestions to incorporate more games. I'm definitely doing that. I think he hates doing pointless math but that's not a problem because real math is all around us.
Mom to John (8yo) and Hanna (19mo)

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Postby Linda » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:35 pm

For math we use "Teaching Textbooks" and we love it. It starts with 5th grade math and goes all the way to pre-calculus. It comes with CD's which not only explains each concept, but also explains each solution to every problem. You can find them at And if you're not sure what level to start with they have placement tests on the web site. I would highly recommend "Teaching Textbooks"!

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Postby momo3boys » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:50 pm

mamaholly wrote:I have learned that if he has a page with 10 math problems on it, he can complete it, 100% correctly, in 5 minutes or so. Many more problems than that and he just checks out, and will sit and stare at the page for hours on end and come up with new "creative" ways to miss the problems.

:lol: I've copied pages and enlarged the print so that only 6-8 large problem were on a page. I couldn't believe how fast he did them. He did 3 pages instead of one, but when the numbers are small, and the pages looks overwhelming, they just give up before they even start. :roll:
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Humorous math

Postby Montgomery26 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:36 am

For bright kids there's a free math newsletter that usually contains some challenging math. The current issue, for example, gives Euler's proof that e raised to the i pi power equals -1.

You can find it at

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Postby mschickie » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:42 pm

I agree on Consumer Math for all High School kids. Next year sd will be doing Calculus and Consumer Math. Personally I love the Saxon approach and will probably use them for Calculus too. Not sure if I will use Abeka or BJU for Consumer Math, probably Abeka though. For early elementary I love Horizons. That is what we are using on and off with dd who is starting k in the ps. She is working on 1st grade math with us at home so I am not pushing it too much but we will still probably finish it before she starts 1st.

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Postby mommyimpact » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:16 pm

Math is the one subject that I'm still trying to figure out. To make matters worse, I'm out of money! lol I purchased my HSLDF membership (which had the discount through my local hs group) and bought Easy Grammar & the Daily Grams - I bought the whole shebang though, teachers manual, student manual & test booklets which is redundant unfortunately. I even called the company before purchasing to make sure that I was getting the right materials and I'm a bit frustrated that I spent more than I really needed to. I suppose I can sell them on Ebay though, after we're done.

So, after English, Science and the other subjects I'm left with math and world history to try to figure out inexpensively. My daughter is in 7th grade and has always been in public, so this is all new to us. I just looked into the Teaching Textbook program and that looks wonderful...I just can't afford it. You can get it a bit cheaper on Ebay but it's still more than I can afford right now. My mom won a years subscription to the IXL website, but she would have to work in the 5th grade section. It looks to be pre-algebraic which is what she's working on, so maybe that would be sufficient but I'm not sure. I have my college intermediate algebra book here, but it looks a bit too complicated for her. Does anyone have any suggestions for FREE pre-algebra or 7th grade mathematics materials that are sufficient?
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Postby Miniver » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:52 pm

My suggestion for a free pre-Algebra text would be these books which are probably at your local library: Algebra Success in 20 Minutes a Day by Learning Express and any of the 3 books on Algebra by Danica McKellar (Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss, etc.).

We tend to sit down with the book, my notes (written in advance), and a dry-erase board and go over the problems until my son understands them. We've also had success with Teaching Company's new Algebra II DVD set, although they weren't free. Teaching Company's Geometry DVD is at our library, and cost $1 to rent for several weeks, although Geometry proofs are still a bit of an issue. Currently we are "teaching to the test" - the SAT!

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