Living Math – Algebra

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  • Genita

    Greetings! I am a homeschooling “veteran” for toddler (I’m so “like” 4 years ago 🙂 – ha ha), but FIRST time homeschooling our teen and we are refreshingly excited to use the CM method implementing the SCM approach . Our teen is 13 years old and would have been entering the 8th grade. She has enjoyed math and I want to keep her engaged in this area. However, I’m curious on “How To SCM” in the area of Math specifically Algebra? I have planned to utilize the following list with the main focus on the first two books and pulling from the additional resources listed.

    1. Straight Forward Math – Algebra I
    2. Applied Math Series – Applying Algebra I
    3. Free & Online tutorials from The Purple Math website
    4. Khan Academy
    5. MEP

    Am I on the right track here? Has my freshness to the methods of CM created an overcompensation of resources in this area for my child? Thank you for your comments. 🙂



    Hi Genita,

    You may take a bit of a breathless run through CM and math from beginning to end in this blog post.  We will keep smiling together through it all.

    I haven’t been able to find any online examples of Straight Forward Math – Algebra 1 or the Applied Math Series – Applying Algebra 1.  It does seem to treat Algebra as it arises naturally out of arithmetic which is how Charlotte treated it.  From my research, I believe she would have also liked the price of the books and their simplicity.  It’s hard to say much since I can’t get right in there and see it.

    You may take a look at the book she did use, “A School Algebra” by H.S. Hall on  It is in old British currency so does not work for us today but when I examined it during my research I saw a continued adherence to her philosophy of education and a careful graduation of its teaching.

    Examples were worked orally as well as written.  A graph notebook was used and neatness and orderly arrangement were a must in working equations.  Her students mastered the simpler ideas and equations and the next year the rules were reviewed and more complex examples were taken from the same textbook.  I think that may be what your chosen book is doing with the multiple texts but am unsure.

    Algebra in Form IV took place only twice a week as students also had both business math and Geometry twice a week.  These were all 30 minute lessons.

    I don’t have a lot to say about Khan Academy.  My kids have used it for fun in their free time but were more focused on rewards and badges and quickly found how to manipulate the system.  It seems verbose and pedantic to me.  Did I just say that?  I know of a few CM’ers that use MEPS and defend it well, I don’t but also don’t care to debate it unless forced.  You said your daughter liked math and was engaged, what was she using before?

    Welcome to the wonder,





    Thank you Richele for your insightful and thorough comments. I appreciate the information you have shared. Our daughter was in a small private christian school last year; she took pre-algebra via textbook. She really liked her teacher, so that made her enjoy the class.

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