Math Curriculum Options for K-12

Math curriculum is not a subject to skim over and hope it goes away!  If you haven’t found a good fit yet, there is more to choose from.  Here are some math programs that work.   A mentor mom friend. who is a math person, also added her thoughts on math for your older children.

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If math is difficult for you, find help for your child!   Below are some very different approaches to math.   I also asked a few of my friends to give their thoughts on curriculum.

If you want to give your child a good foundation, don’t be afraid of math. 

Associate links below

K-Middle School :

Horizons Math : For those looking for a traditional math curriculum
This is a very comfortable math curriculum, likely very similar to how you were taught. Horizon’s Math curriculum would feel like a “safe” choice and still be considered  solid instruction.  Teaching  line upon line, it builds a foundation and adds to what was previously taught. Using the kindergarten curriculum, my son worked on  numbers 0-100.  Knowing which number came before and after , skip counting, adding and subtracting numbers 0-4  with large numbers, telling time, and counting money.

Right Start Math : for the hands on child and parent

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This is a hands on curriculum! Right Start builds math concepts in multiple ways.  Kindergarten (Book A) is a phenomenal kindergarten year. (in my opinion)  You, the teacher, are needed to facilitate these lessons. It is very teacher directed.      This  curriculum uses a variety of approaches, manipulatives, and subject content to give a well rounded math experience.

 ( You could consider using Right Start the first year or two and then switching later to Singapore Math- to build more independence)  

I highly recommend right start for teaching one child or for those children who need more hands on teaching. For children how are very relational and want more interaction with the parent, this is an easy way to have quality time and get some lessons in at the same time.

A wonderful addition to this curriculum is the practice with math games.  In this program, the worksheets are greatly reduced with an emphasis on playing the games for review and learning math facts.   You can also order the Math Games Book  separately.

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Singapore Math : for those looking for a rigorous math program.  There is help available for you and your child!  READ ON…

Singapore Math is a workbook curriculum, K through 6, consisting of three parts:  Workbook, Intensive Practice, and Challenging Word Problems.  It is a challenging curriculum that focuses on thinking skills and mental math.  By the end of this curriculum the student is ready for pre-algebra.  Singapore Math teaches students to think mathematically instead of encouraging rote memorization of mathematical algorithms.   If your child needs additional review of math facts there is a 5 minute or less review of facts at xtramath.com.  You can set up a free account online for each of your children or if not using an electronic device, use the Right Start Game Book.

A valuable resource to go along with Singapore Math is Singaporemathlive.com  If you are weak in math or not able to help your child like you would like to, you will have the support, encouragement and confidence you need to successfully complete Singapore Math.  Included in this program is a syllabus and videos to go over the challenging problems.  Check out the free samples on the page at Singaporemathlive.com.   Early Right Start students can easily transfer into Singapore Math.

 

Life of Fred:  for those who need review and practical application or are verbal learnersB005L3SQTS

Life of Fred is math in a whole new way. It is math for the verbal and language oriented learner.  At first,  I was hesitant to try it.  We were already using Right Start and Singapore Math with my two other children.

However, it became apparent that my daughter needed math in a different way.  I bought the first book and off we went. All of my children wanted to read it aloud as a family (for fun).    Life of Fred is written in story form with Fred as the main character.  Fred encounters many different concepts…time, measurement,poems, sets, vocabulary, composers,temperature, fractions, angles, weight, skip counting, and the list goes on….  The wonderful part about this book is that it uses math within the story and shows the practical application.

The program starts with Apples and builds. It goes in ABC order…Butterflies is next, then Cats, etc…   It is recommended to start at the beginning to understand the storyline.  The books are hard backed with a short review to write out.  My younger two write out the answers, my 10 year just listens.

For now, we are using Fred as a supplement.  For my daughter it may be the wave of the future. I’m glad that she is understanding and enjoying math.

Life of Fred is  “different” than everything else, this one might be for you! Very intriguing.

CTC– Computer Based Curriculum (contributed by my friend Lauri)

CTC Math also known as www.mathsonline.com program is easy to use for the student and the teacher. It keeps track of all progress and scores. It allows unlimited practice though you will see problems begin to repeat once in a while. My kids like this feature because it allows them to correct previous mistakes.

We like for our students to score 100% and master the sections before they are ready to move on. The problems are corrected as they are completed, so if your student has anxiety over getting a wrong answer, this may present a problem. We would love to see a feature that allows the choice for the grading to be viewed only at the end of the problem set.

Overview reports are emailed weekly to the parent and each time an achievement is accomplished, email notification is sent out as well.  These email notifications are very well laid out and a favorite of my husband who likes to keep a record of our children’s progress. Certificates are earned and can be printed out to give to students.

The lessons are simple and short videos. Parents  determine the number of questions  the student  is required to complete. No preparation is necessary by parents. Lessons range from Kindergarten to Calculus. There is a monthly/yearly subscription fee. You can choose any grade level to work through or go back and cover things you may have missed in an earlier grade. It can be done on a mobile device or computer. Our family tends to travel often and “road school” and therefore love the fact that we do not have to carry along math books but have access anywhere we can connect to the internet.

The remainder of the comments are from Brenda Barnett who is a certified mathematics and secondary degreed teacher who began homeschooling in 2001.

Brenda discovered that her education taught her to do math well, but not to “think” mathematically.   She created singaporemathlive to go along with Singapore math curriculum and then for the upper years middleschoollive.com and highschoolmath.com.

 

Saxon Math is a popular home school curriculum. The program is good for students who are extremely consistent and mathematically inclined. The DIVE cd’s can be purchased for instructional support. It  has a review built into each lesson.  For those students who catch on quickly, it can be too repetitive.  Read about it, learn about the pros and cons, and consider whether or not your student will be successful using Saxon. Successful completion of this program will prepare your student for college level mathematics.

Upper level math:

By the high school years, students need excellent curriculum and instruction to prepare them for the challenges of college level math. It is worth an investment to find a person (video, in person or online) to teach your child. Give them the gift of a solid background in math!
Video programs, such as A Beka and Bob Jones, are very well done. ( K -12)  Teachers are polished, curriculum is well written. Some families are very successful staying with the schedule; some are not.  Some students have their questions answered by watching the video; some spend a large amount of time confused – and have no one to answer their questions.  Successful completion of these programs will prepare your student for college level mathematics.  Both of these programs are on the expensive side.
Chalkdust is a video-based high school math curriculum.  Challenging, excellent preparation for a math-oriented college degree plan.  B0053DRYXK
Teaching Textbooks (grades 3 through 12) is a video-based curriculum. It is also considered to be rather “light”, and is best suited for students who are not planning to pursue a math-oriented college degree.
High School Math Live and Middle Math Live developed by Brenda Barnett is a company that was started to service hophoto (26)me school families. We teach live classes online. Upper level course teachers have math degrees and education certification.  The convenience of being able to attend class from home, the personal touch of having a live instructor to answer your questions, and the accountability of a syllabus and weekly quizzes/tests make for an excellent model for math education.
 (As a side note, my children are not this age, but many friends have successfully completed Brenda’s courses.  The rigor is there with the support)
 
Don’t feel that a choice for one particular math curriculum is a life long commitment. 
These are the math programs we have used and are familiar with. There are  others out there that may be an even better fit than those you’ve read about here.  If you don’t know where to start,  choose something and give it a try.  Maybe download a sample of the curriculum or borrow a book from a friend to test run the curriculum. Don’t feel that a choice for one brand now is a life long commitment. The beauty of schooling at home is that change is allowed and it will help our children and us to grow and succeed.
Let us know if you have successfully used any of the options for math curriculum listed above and why it has worked for you. 
If you have another option for math that has worked for you, then let us know!  

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