Well, this one is a biggy… 🙂 There are many quality math home school curriculum out there. The decision of which to use would depend more upon the level of instruction that you, the parent, wish to give. I have listed them in order from the most parental involvement – to the least amount of parental involvement.
For example, the parent has a high level of responsibility teaching, grading, reviewing, etc. when using curriculum such as ABEKA and Saxon Math. Yet, both of these are excellent curriculum that have been proven over decades. Another math curricula that has gained recent admiration is the Singapore Math. I know that it uses a different approach, but I have heard good reviews. I have used Bob Jones Math several years ago, however, it takes a slower pace than ABEKA does. It is highly manipulatives based (why?), which with a child who needs more hands on…that would be great. Our children have always flown through most math, so we have stuck with ABEKA over the years.
A middle ground in this area would be the use of a workbook type curriculum such as Lifepacs or even Horizons by Alpha Omega Publications. Another similar program is Math U See. Perfect for students who have tried every other math and are frustrated. This curriculum will get it across when all other math programs fail!
Alpha Omega also has just developed a new internet/computer based system called Monarch. This system lets your child have a computer based education – not much work for the parent – but it is rather costly. We previously used the Switched on Schoolhouse program also by Alpha Omega…well… let’s just say we used it for one year. It is computer based as well – not much work for the parent – but there are many difficulties. Students still must read most of their “instruction”, and the tests/quizzes were difficult to manage because it would mark problems completely wrong if there were spelling errors. Another online program that we began using this year is the Time4Learning program. It uses the “Compass Learning” software, and is great for homeschooling. As I have mentioned in previous posts, due to our Christian beliefs and our view of raising our children, there are a few lessons within the T4L framework that we don’t appreciate. We typically scan the scope and sequence, and note the ones that we don’t want to do… and skip them! The children really enjoy the program and its interactive lessons keep them interested. I wouldn’t rate the math as high as the language arts as far as “interest level” but it is an excellent program.
ABEKA also has a DVD curriculum and now internet streaming – which you can choose through their Academy. This teaches the children as if they are in a classroom while they watch the DVD’s. If you choose the full option through the Academy, you can even send your tests to be graded by them. Your child will receive a report card from Abeka Academy and upon graduation, will march in their graduation ceremonies. Bob Jones also has a similar version – based on satelite. Each student is given a satelite hookup with a touch pad – they are able to interact LIVE with their class via satelite. Both of these options give the parent less responsibility in the actual educating of their children.
Each family has their own- individual niche in the homeschooling world. This is the best aspect of homeschooling! You have the freedom to choose what you want. Each of the math curriculum that I mention in this post are well acclaimed and have been around for at least a decade. Hopefully, this post will help you find what you need for your homeschool!