Homeschool Math Curriculum Round Up

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Math. Anytime I utter the word to homeschoolers I get a disgruntled look by parents and students alike. I like math, but I am well aware that my affection is not popular. So today, I’m hoping to relieve the tension of your math curriculum planning with an at-a-glance list of what’s available on the homeschool market.

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Traditional/Mastery/Workbook MATH

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Summary  

CLE’s math curricula teaches solid math instruction from a Christian (Protestant/Mennonite) perspective. Each grade consists of 10 workbooks called “Light Units.” Each booklet is approximately 3 weeks long with 2 quizzes and one test.

Grade Level –  CLE’s math program ranges from grades 1-12; however I have only used the elementary and middle school material and my review is limited to those grades.

Learning Style – Spiral. CLE’s Math teaches new concepts and skill incrementally with built in review. There is a heavy focus on mastering the four operational math facts.

Price Point – CLE is more than reasonably priced. Each Light Unit is $3.45 totaling a complete subject at $34.50.

Teacher’s Guide –   Parents have the option of purchasing either a complete Teacher’s Guide (one or two volume set) or Answer Keys. (Though Answer Keys are not available until Grade 2.) Teacher’s Guides have duplicated student pages with the answers along with teacher’s notes and other helps. Answer Keys pages of numbered answers for each lesson. Answer Keys are very good for self-scoring. Once a child is old enough to score his or her own work, the Answer Keys can serve as a great tool for the child to become more of an owner of his or her education.

Full Review – Cathy Duffy

What I Like – I love the ease of CLE’s Math. My boys can easily work through 10 booklets throughout the year and I can determine their progress after averaging the quizzes and test of each one. I also like that the content is divided into 10 booklets. Children are often overwhelmed with a huge 300-page math workbook. Having the content evenly distributed into 10 workbooks is a great help for their esteem and stamina. If my boys needed to repeat a Light Unit during the year, I know I can replace it with CLE’s prices. Last, I like that I can choose a particular Light Unit to purchase if we need to work more on skills presented in it versus having to buy an entire workbook just for one section.

It’s Not My Favorite: There are only cons I have for CLE’s math. First, I do not like the shipping costs. You can chose to order at any Homeschool Convention where CLE is present to save on 100% of the shipping but outside of that there are never promotions on shipping costs and it can be unreasonable. Last, I do not always appreciate the speed to which more volume of work is added grade to grade. My son, who’s entering the 400 Level (Grade 4), is already up to 4 pages in one lesson. At this rate, I am not sure his stamina will hold past 4 pages even though math is not a problem for him.

Summary  

Rod and Staff is a cut and dry, get-it-done-and-over-with type math program written with a Christian perspective. Rod and Staff math is sold as set including a student math text, quizzes,                                            speed test, test, and the Teacher’s Guides (two volumes).

Grade Level –  Rod and Staff math program ranges from grades 1-12; however I am only reviewing grades 1-8.

Learning Style – Traditional.

Price Point –  Rod and Staff math prices vary, starting at $43.75 for the 1st Grade Set. Visit the publisher’s site for the specific grade you are inquiring.

Teacher’s Guide –  Teacher’s Guides have duplicated student pages with the answers along with teacher’s notes and other helps.

Full Review – Cathy Duffy

What I Like: Rod and Staff will get the job done.

It’s Not My Favorite: Depending on the child, Rod and Staff may appear boring. I would also like to see more and deeper mathematical concepts but it’s still solid enough to get the job done.

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Summary    

BJU’s Math program is an interactive, teacher-led math program written with a Christian perspective. BJU’S Math is sold as set including a the Teacher’s Edition, Student Work text, manipulative packet, reviews, tests, and test answer keys. (All of these pieces are sold individually as well.)

Grade Level – Bob Jones University’s math program ranges from grades 1-12; however I am only reviewing grades 1-6.

Learning Style – Traditional, Teacher-Led.

Price Point –  BJU’s math prices vary grade to grade; however each math kit from grades K-6 ranges between $94.40-$133.15.

Teacher’s Guide – Teacher’s Guides have duplicated student pages with the answers along with teacher’s notes and other helps. They designed to be an essential part of the math program. The lessons and activities presented in them are necessary for the child to work on the student work text.

Full Review – Cathy Duffy

What I Like – I love the colorful student work text pages! I also like the manipulative packets catered specifically to that content of the course.

It’s Not My Favorite: BJU’s math program is expensive. I often hear moms complaining about the costs. The Teacher’s Guide is the most expensive, averaging about $60.Since it designed to be needed to complete the math course, it makes for a pricey curriculum.

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Summary    

A.C.E.’s Math program are designed for children to work independently with no (or little) prep work by the parent and is written with a Christian perspective. A.C.E.’s Math program is sold as a 12-workbook set. The workbooks are called PACEs and a scoring set (which are answer keys) is available for separate purchase.

Grade Level – A.C.E.’s  Math program ranges from grades K-12.

Learning Style – Mastery

Price Point –   A.C.E.’s Math prices vary grade to grade. Visit the publisher’s site for the specific grade you are inquiring.

Full Review – Cathy Duffy

What I Like: I love independence of the PACEs. The pages are colorful and inviting and the math gets right to it.

It’s Not My Favorite: Like all mastery programs, the focus is more skills than concepts; but PACEs (in comparison to other homeschool spiral-based math curricula) has very little conceptual skills at all.

 

HANDS-ON/VISUAL MATH

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Summary   

RightStart Math is an abacus-based program that teachers children how to visual math (or mental math) over concrete math written with no religious affiliation.

Grade Level – RightStart Math program ranges from grades K-6.

Learning Style – Hands-On, Teacher-Led.

Price Point – $125+ (RS1 Level A Starter Kit)

Full Review – I have not personally used RightStart Math but Kalista has! She’s a major fan  of RighStart Math and share why at When We At Home and Cathy Duffy’s here.

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Summary  

Horizons Math teacher-led math program written with a Christian perspective.

Grade Level –  Horizon’s program ranges from grades K-8.

Learning Style – Hands-On, Teacher-Led.

Price Point – $71.95+ (Kindergarten Math Set)

Full Review – I have not personally used Horizons Math, but Karyn has! She says she was very impressed with Horizons Math and shares why at Teach Beside Me and Cathy Duffy’s here.

  

CONCEPTUAL MATH

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Summary  

Primary Mathematics (popularly called Singapore Math) is a conceptual-based, higher-ordered math program written with no religious affiliation. Primary Mathematics is sold as a set including the Home Instructor’s Manual, Student Text, and Student Workbook (All of these pieces are sold individually as well.)

Grade Level – Primary Mathematics ranges from grades K-7.

Learning Style – Mastery

Price Point – Primary Mathematics’ prices vary, starting at $11 for their Kindergarten Set. Visit the publisher’s site for the specific grade you are inquiring.

Teacher’s Guide – Home Instruction Manuals includes the lessons, teacher’s notes and other helps. There is also an answer key for the student workbook.

What I Like – I love the colorful student work text pages! I also like that the content is divided instead of one large workbook.

It’s Not My Favorite: My boys did not do well with Singapore, but I can see how it will serve a child well if they like it. I do not like the idea of having both a text and workbook in the lower elementary ages.

 

Digital/Computer MATH

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Summary  

CTC’s Math is a video based math program with no religious affiliation.

Grade Level – CTC’s Math program is available for elementary, middle and high school studnet

Learning Style – Video, Visual

Price Point – $29.97/month for 1 student (There is discount pricing available multiple students and longer commitment times)

Full Review – I have not personally used CTC Math but Hillary has! She writes that she was thrilled with CTC Math and shares why at Walking Fruitfully. If you have a wider grade range of children, you may appreciate Michelle’s review at Family Faith and Fridays. Cathy Duffy also has a review here.

  • GPALOVEMATH 

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GPA Learn is a web-based Math program for K-5 students with no religious affiliation.

Grade Level – GPA Learn is available for elementary students.

Learning Style – Video, Visual

Price Point – $12.99/month of $149/year

Full Review – I have not personally used GPA Learn but Michelle has!  Michelle writes, “While GPALOVEMATH did not knock our socks off, I did think it was a good solid program.” Find out more at Family Faith and Fridays.

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Summary  

Teaching Textbooks is a CD-ROM-based math program for grades 3-12 written with no religious affiliation. Teaching Textbooks is sold as a set including a spiral bound Student Workbook, 4 Hybrid CD-ROMs, and an answer booklet.

Grade Level – Teaching Textbooks ranges from grades 3-12.

Learning Style – Computer, Visual

Price Point – Teaching Textbooks prices vary grade to grade, starting at $99.95 for Grade 3 CD-ROM Only. Visit the publisher’s site for the specific grade you are inquiring.

What I Like – The computer lessons give students instructional time without a parent having to do all of it. This is great if math is not a subject that the parent or child enjoys or if mom/dad need to tend to younger children.

It’s Not My Favorite – It’s technology and at any given moment it is prone to fail. It also tends to be a grade behind in instruction. I know quite a few homeschooling mamas that do not like that, myself included.

 

LIVING/LITERATURE-BASED MATH

Summary  

Math Lessons for a Living Education (MLLE) is a Charlotte Mason-based math program for elementary students with a Christian perspective. MLLE sold as a spiral workbook that is co-used by the student and the teacher. Each lesson is one week long with daily exercises Monday-Friday.

Grade Level – MLLE is skill based and not grade based, therefore I cannot specifically offer a grade range but I like it for ages 4-10 in Books 1-5.

Learning Style – Charlotte Mason. MLLE is rich in many of Mason’s approaches such as reading stories, short lessons, curiosity of nature, and copy work.

Price Point – There are 6 books available here, please note that they vary in pricing.  The Math Facts for Copywork is a necessary component in Book 3 and Book 4. It is for sale at Queen Homeschool for $9.95.

What I Like – My favorite part are the short lessons. I do not use MLLE as my math spine but I do like to use it when I do not want to deal with the usual workload of our regular math. If my boys are struggling with a concept, I find that I can read the corresponding math story and it helps them understand much better in story than traditional instruction.

It’s Not My Favorite: There is no Teacher’s Guide. If you are used to having one or feel like you have to have one, this may bug you. (There is an answer key though.)

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Summary  

Life of Fred is a literature-based math program that teaches students how to think mathematically with stories, wit, and humor. Life of Fred’s Elementary Series includes 10 books advancing through different skill and conceptual levels. At the end of each story, students have an opportunity to solve problems related to the day’s story. The goal is to begin with the first book, Apples, and continue to advance through at the child’s pace.

Grade Level – Life of Fred is written for elementary level student through college level students but my review is on the Elementary Series.

Learning Style –  Literature-Based, Conceptual

Price Point – Each book in the 10-book Elementary Series is $16.

Full Review – Cathy Duffy

What I Like – The stories! They are funny, witty, and highly conceptual. I love that algebraic concepts are imbedded in the stories giving them a mathematical mind naturally.

It’s Not My Favorite – I think you need more than Life of Fred to cover math fully. Though I have heard of some homeschoolers using it solely, it still feels like it needs a spine to pair with it.

MATH WITH A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

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Summary  

Up until now I have listed homeschool math curriculum either as Christian or not. If the homeschool curriculum is deemed “Christian” we understand it to honor (or at least mention) God and Scripture throughout the lessons and instruction time. However, Master Books has recently published a math curriculum that not only adds to the Christian theme, but more so it teaches students what God and math have in common. It teaches students that God is the author of mathematics. He uses math everyday just as He did with Creation. A Biblical worldview doesn’t stop at “I know about God.” It digs deeper to help students know who is God, how can they know Him, and what He has to do with the subject matter (in this case math) at hand.

Principle of Mathematics is written for junior high students grades 6-8. It is a two year program beginning with Principles of Mathematics Book 1 and Principles of Mathematics Book 2.

Price Point – It is sold as a set including the Principles of Mathematics student text and student workbook. It is current only sale for $44.39, but both pieces are sold separately too. (You can also purchase the student work book as a digital file.)

I have not used this math curricula as it is brand new but I have read through Principle of Mathematics Book 1 and I must say it is top notch! I love the history and the nature of God interwoven in the lessons.

What math curriculum have you used and loved?

*Please note that the pricing was current at the time this post was written. Always check pricing before checking out.*

You can find the rest of the homeschool curriculum round up series here

Year Round Homeschooling Curriculum Round Up Series

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