Best curriculum for Pre-Algebra and beyond

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  • mtnmama

    I know this is pretty subjective, but I want to know what you like to use and why. We have been using Teaching Textbooks but my kids find there are too many review problems with each lesson (which gets boring) and not enough practice of new concepts.

    Lots of homeschool groups use Saxon so if we use that, we can fit in to a group more easily later on.

    Math U See sounds interesting, but we tried Epsilon and found the “one concept per year” too hard to jump in mid stream, maybe it will be easier to start Pre-Algebra?


    We use Math U See.  And I agree, if you want to jump in, PreAlgebra is a good point because you’re done with the basics (add, subtract, multiply, divide, decimals, percents, fractions) that MUS spreads out in a nontraditional order.  My oldest is in Algebra 1 this year and started with Alpha in 3rd grade, the rest of the kids have done MUS all the way through, currently two in Epsilon, one in Gamma, one in Alpha, one playing with Primer, and a few too young to start yet.

    Saxon has a lot of review problems.  One option with a print curriculum that isn’t there with a computer based one is not having them do all the review problems, so telling them to do odd problems only, for example.


    We use Math U See in our homeschool as well. My daughter is in Pre Algebra and doing well. Pre Algebra is the perfect time to switch because that’s when Math U See falls in line with more traditional programs. A friend of mine uses Math U See through Zeta and switches to Saxon for Pre Algebra and up. She does this so that her children can work independently. They use the Saxon Teacher CD ROMS. The CD’s teach the lesson and offer step by step instruction for each problem, if needed. This makes them a good choice for independent work.

    My daughter does better when I remain more involved in her math lessons. She works independently when she is getting it but I sit by her and read so that I am available whenever she needs help. Some days, she needs a lot of help and others she needs very little. I don’t allow her to move on to the next lesson until she is working independently on the concept and getting the majority of the problems correct.

    Math U See Pre Algebra uses the same format as the earlier levels. You have 3 pages for practicing the new concept, 3 pages of systematic review, and a test for each lesson. It’s been the perfect amount of practice and review for my daughter. I also love the fact that I can print out additional practice pages when she needs more practice on a given lesson.

    Saxon was overkill for us.



    We’ve used TT but we modify it to work for us.  DD used BJU for Alg I and while she did well with it — she hated it.  We looked at Saxon bec so many people use it and recommend it, but for kid that gets math and doesn’t need a lot of review Saxon looked like overkill to us.  We ended up going w/ TT beginning with Geometry for DD and she loved it.  We stuck with it for Alg II and Pre-Calc and then she moved to dual enrollment – she was very well prepared. When she used TT it was in the format where you could only watch the lectures and solutions on the computer and you had to use the book to work the problems.

    By the time my next one was moving into Pre-Alg we went w/ TT and it was all on the computer.  He would watch the lecture and then work the problems in the book — working only the T/F, any new concepts and all word problems and the review portions he would select odd one day and even another.  Now that he’s in Pre-Calc he’s doing more of the lesson bec he feels he needs more review now.  But, I will say he’s only one semester into Pre-Calc as a Jr (he’s a little behind where DD was at this point bec I had him wait to do Alg in 8th) but he’s already taken the ACT and the local Community College math placement and will go Spring semester to begin dual enrollment in College Calculus.  So I think the program can be tweaked to fit the child and still really prepare them for college level math.

    Rachel White

    We are moving from Epsilon to Tabletclass Pre-Alg. He hasn’t started it yet, but I spent a lot of time reading into it before signing up. I needed some more hand-holding in the upper levels (i.e. someone he can go to with questions).


    I’m planning to switch from CLE  to Saxon and the Dive (streamed, not the CDs) for my rising 7th grader.  I think CLE probably has a grst upper math program, but I don’t think all of their grades have been revised yet.A nd, I’m fuzzy on my upper math, so I think this will be a great way to have  someone else explain it, and have the ability to email for further help, and get my next-year 7th grader used to someone else teaching.


    We use TT, but we modify as they move from one level to the next.  For example, when DS moved from PreA to Algebra I, he did the quizzes only until he either got to a quiz that had new concepts OR he scored less than a 90% on the quiz.  At that time he went back to the first lesson before that quiz and started his work from there.

    We found that helped cut down on the weeks/months of review at the start of each new level, and helped them complete each level in one school year.

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