May 2, 2011

Curriculum Choices (2) - Mathematics

As I mentioned in my first curriculum post, I'm in the process of planning our next school year.

Mathematics proved to be a fairly straightforward pick. Almost.

When I first began looking at math programs, none really stood out as different from the rest and all of them seemed to model the typical textbook we know from public school. There were a few that seemed more inclusive than others, either with content or level of support offered, but as a whole, none really caught my eye.

I had decided to go with Saxon since it seemed the most often recommended. The only real complaint I'd seen was there was too much repetition. I decided if I found that to be the case, I could just cut back on what I expected them to do. We could always go with odd questions only or something like that since neither child really has trouble with mathematics.

Then I discovered the Life of Fred books. They are definitely different than the normal math textbook. My daughter is at the right level to begin with them and my son at the level to begin their algebra set. The timing couldn't be more perfect (another one of those little signs that tell me this [homeschooling]is the right thing to do). From what I have read from sample pages, the humor in them will be greatly appreciated by both children and the content seems to be quite thorough.

So the plan is to go with the Life of Fred college prep set which will provide me with the books I need for both children, for more than one year. If we find Life of Fred does not provide enough practice work, I will make practice sheets up or possibly, sign up with Mathletics. It looks like a fun, competitive way to practice math.

Life of Fred also seems to be a little less expensive than some of the other math programs so we are saving some in that category, and I don't have to worry I missed something like I would if I taught them with no program.

I am also going to use the Math Problem of the Week for a little challenging fun. We'll work through the questions together, each child contributing at their own level. Altogether I am estimating between a half hour to an hour of math each day, depending on the chapter we are working on and how quickly the child grasps the concept for that day. My son, being older, will probably work a little longer than my daughter (in theory) but he shouldnt be at it more than an hour.

That's two subjects down (of course always subject to change if I find something even 'better' between now and purchase time  *grin*). Hooray!

Do you have a math curriculum you love? Tell me about it! I'd love to learn more.


  1. I actually did a whole post for The Homeschool Classroom about math programs. It should be up sometime this month. I am still thinking about supplementing with Life of Fred for my youngest, but not 100% sure. He'll be using Teaching Textooks prealgebra.

  2. Very nice. I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for commenting :)


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