I’m an Engineer turned Homeschool Mom here to give you my Homeschool Math Review based on the math experiences we’ve had in our home through various curriculum.
First of all, here’s my kiddos and their math adventures…
Daughter 1: K-4 – Public school, 5th – Singapore 3A, 3B, 4A, 6th Singapore 4B, 5A, 5B, 7th due to recommendation by Classical Conversation we moved to Saxon 8/7 (where she did spectacularly), 8th Saxon Algebra I (again doing great.) My future plan with this child is 9th Saxon Algebra II, 10th Saxon Advanced Math, 11th Saxon Calculus, graduating early with 5 credits of high school math and possibly some college if we can do Calculus at a community college, which is a consideration for 11th grade.
Daughter 2: K-3 – Pubic school, 4th Singapore 4A, 4B, 5th Singapore 5A, 5B, 6th She has just begun Art of Problem Solving PreAlgebra 1-2 where she’s doing wonderfully. With this child we plan to do Art of Problem Solving for the next few years. She’s still a bit young so we don’t have as solid of a plan for her yet.
Son 1: K – Singapore PreMath, 1st Singapore 1A, 1B, and 2A, and the plan is to try Beast Academy 2 or 3 next year! I cannot wait to use those books!
Over the years I’ve had to go anywhere from intervening a little, to being a fully immersed teacher depending on both where the kids were with the skills and the program.
Here’s my thoughts on each of these math programs!
Singapore: Just WOW! I loved how this program literally rescued my oldest from public school math when we first brought her home. Its brightly colored pages and quick mastery studies allowed us to enjoy math at a time when we were back tracking by 2 years. This could’ve been a very traumatic time for her and it WASN’T! The word problems have been engrained in her mind and she can intuitively do them in Saxon quickly, which is nice as Saxon tends to be a lot of “work” or take a lot of time. If she wasn’t quick, it might be stressful. Again, it’s NOT! They call this program a master program since concepts are taught in depth and reinforced before moving on to the next skill. There are reviews and large section recaps, but otherwise once you master a concept you’ve moved forward to dig into new concepts.
Saxon: I appreciate this program for it’s “work ethic”. As an Engineer, I can honestly say, only the strong and diligent will make it through Calculus 4 in college. No, every kid doesn’t need to be mathy. But what parent doesn’t want their kid to “work like an Engineer!” Teach them this skill and they will always be successful in all that they want to do. My daughter did one lesson a day four days a week in this program along with 15 problems for homework. Then there is about one test a week for maybe 20 weeks. I never took a test every week in all the years I did math! In this program if you do 80% or better overall, you can skip “Algebra 1/2”, which is PreAlgebra. So my daughter went on to Saxon Algebra I for 8th grade this year and is actually attending a class at a co-op where she’s passing the tests each week and has an “A” average. Remember that is the kid whose math skills I had to “rescue” in the 5th grade. Thanks to our path she is now soaring. They call this program a spiral program since the concepts taught each week keep coming back around all year as reinforcement in those skills.
Art of Problem Solving: THIS. WOW. If any program does what it’s title says it will, it’s this program. I recommend this program to anyone with mathy kids who LOVE a good challenge. They are those who actually giggle when they struggle for a while first, and then discover the solution. Just giggles and smiles at her achievement. Yes, there are tears sometimes as there are with any solidly difficult study. This is definitely a difficult study. If I didn’t have an engineering degree, she would be in conversation with her class and teachers WAY more often. And maybe that would be better… it’s debatable… Now that we’ve started it though I cannot imagine her doing any other program. I never had a program like this one. It’s definitely new and innovative. I like how her text book can be online (If I want…) and the lesson videos are embedded into it exactly where the learning makes the most sense. So my daughter can read rules and then “see” it come alive by a really comical young man. An additional perk to this program is its connection to math competitions if that is what we’d like to try at some point.
Beast Academy: is the elementary program attached to Art of Problem Solving. They are still writing it, that’s how new and edgy this program is! There is a fun colorful cast of monsters that, in comic style, walk young children through math. I cannot wait to meet them! I will update this post after we’ve begun next Fall with my (then) 2nd grade son!
I believe the curriculum is very important, but more than that a positive attitude from mom and discipline from the child are all necessary to raise a successful math student! This was my Homeschool Math Review based on the math experiences we’ve had in our home through various curriculum.
Happy to hear what others think about these math curriculum!
Jen @ Log Cabin Schoolhouse