As we gear up for the start of the new school year, I figure I will spend some time going over the different curriculum choices I have made for my kids this year. I have 5 kids, though only 4 are school aged. They are entering 7th, 5th, 4th and 1st.
Today I thought I would just briefly go over my choice in Pre-Algebra curriculum for my 7th grader. Initially we looked at several different choices for him, and he was included in that process. Some of those even included having him just do math, waiting on pre-algebra.
We had him take a couple of placement tests online, which turned him away from some curriculum choices because he scored rather low. As we have not had the opportunity to use those curriculums before and were also partly just trying it out, I don’t know if it was the test taking process or the curriculum.
We looked at some of the choices offered on Timberdoodle (gotta love it when you get rewards for buying things you need anyway), which were Horizons, Math U See and Teaching Textbooks. We had already had poor experiences with him doing his work on the computer and I had heard that Teaching Textbooks tended to be about 1/2 a grade to a grade level behind, so we nixed that choice.
I gave him the option of Horizons or Math U See and was actually secretly hoping he would choose the Math U See, because I liked the idea of starting him off with pre-algebra with a hands-on, mastery-based curriculum but he actually shied away from it and chose Horizons.
That may be because he seems to be more tactile as he seems to do better with the workbook in front of him or working things out on paper, or it may have been the allure of the picture of a calculator on the cover (he typically is not allowed to use one) but that’s what he chose and what was ordered.
My other children have also chosen to stick with Horizons for their math curriculum this year. One of my girls was given a choice between an Abeka set we were given or Horizons and she said she preferred Horizons as the drawings (currency in her book) were more realistic in Horizons, and it was more colorful. This may be in part because she is familiar with the Horizons curriculum as we also used it with her for 2nd grade and one of the things that impressed me with that year was how much her reading skills improved through the use of her readers that accompanied the language arts curriculum. It could also be that she did choose it though because of the colors and realistic images, like she said.
I have also used this with my youngest homeschooler, for kindergarten, using both the math and the language arts. I liked that the work was divided into two different books so it was not too overwhelming and the school year can be divided into semesters more easily if that is something that your family needs. Again, with this child, she liked the colorful pictures, and likely due to the age range we were working with, she liked being able to color and do short games like mazes in her learning, which served as little breaks from the harder worksheets but still kept her working.