Homeschool Math Curriculum
Created by a longtime teacher, Math-U-See is a hands-on, student-paced, mastery-based approach that focuses on developing a true understanding of mathematical concepts transferable to real-world application.
You'll follow a 4-step approach to introduce, review, practice and master concepts. Since math is learned sequentially – independent of age or grade – the program teaches skills that build on previous principles as your child progresses.
The multisensory "Build it — Write it — Say it" method of instruction lets children explore each new concept and helps you assess their understanding before continuing. A favorite component, manipulatives (Lego-like pieces), help students visualize what they're learning.
- Concept-driven: Children gain thorough understanding by learning how to solve math problems, why they're solved in the prescribed manner, and when to apply the concept.
- Mastery-based: You'll know when they've mastered a concept when they teach it back to you, indicating readiness to learn the next skill.
- Skills-based, multisensory approach: Math-USee addresses the different ways we process information. As your children incorporate all senses in meaningful ways that aid retention, they'll build essential cumulative skills.
You may want to review the video instruction prior to each lesson to ensure that you understand how each concept is best taught. You'll find that using every component of the program – instruction manual, video lessons, manipulatives, practice and review pages – will contribute to your student's success.
Because this homeschool math program isn't grade-based, we offer a placement tool on our site to determine where to start your student.
Due to restrictions by the publisher, Math-U-See math homeschool curriculum doesn't qualify for Sonlight discounts.
For first-time homeschoolers, we recommend the grade-appropriate Horizons Math program for K-2. Horizons is an easy-to-use homeschool math program, with a familiar and friendly approach for students, plus thorough guidance for Mom.
You'll use a proven spiral learning technique to introduce your children to a concept, and then help them learn to solve related, increasingly difficult problems.
Their minds are free to concentrate on each new concept, without feeling overwhelmed by information. As you revisit concepts over time, they strengthen and reinforce their knowledge base.
The program is filled with helpful suggestions and ideas, such as what household items you can recruit to serve as creative manipulatives. If you prefer, Sonlight offers ready-to-use kits with all the manipulatives you need in a convenient storage case.
Each program includes:
- Two colorful, well-organized workbooks, each with 80 lessons and 8 unit exams
- Teacher's Handbook with daily lesson plans, answer keys and final exams
- 80 reproducible worksheets. Purchase the basic program once for each grade.
- Along with reproducible worksheets, each package includes consumable workbooks you can order separately for additional students.
For children especially sensitive to visual stimuli, Horizons' color illustrations may be a distraction.
When the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement tests the relative strengths and weaknesses of various programs, Singapore students consistently rank #1.
Singapore is extremely clear, highly logical and sequential, with a strong focus on mental math. Students get the appropriate amount of practice, without excessive repetition. Challenging word problems build thinking skills, and students apply math in a variety of situations. The program teaches geometry throughout.
Each year of Singapore Primary Math (K-6) includes two full-color textbooks and two black-and-white workbooks.
Sonlight has also developed unique Home Instructor's Guides for the Primary Math programs 2A-6B. (Due to the simplicity of the math, lower levels have no guide.) The guides bridge the gap between textbook and workbook. We lay it all out for you: concepts you'll cover, pages you'll reference, and numerous exercises to reinforce the concepts you're teaching.
Because Singapore Math is generally a year ahead of U.S. math programs, most children need to begin with the "B" book of the year prior to their current grade.
Some students require more reviews and math drills than are contained in the main texts. We provide supplementary materials for most Singapore programs.
Though Sonlight offers U.S. versions of Singapore Math, the sequence of concepts doesn't always follow a typical U.S. curriculum. For example, students may learn to multiply and divide simultaneously, rather than at different times of the semester.
Due to restrictions by the publisher, Singapore Math doesn't qualify for Sonlight discounts.
RightStart Math is a unique program that uses visualization of quantities, and de-emphasizes counting. Your students will be presented with strategies, in the form of visual pictures, for learning math facts.
The primary tool students will use to learn their math facts is the AL Abacus. It is a specially designed two-sided abacus that appeals to both visual and kinesthetic learning styles.
RightStart Mathematics has aspects of both spiral and mastery approach. It introduces a large number of topics, but they are built sequentially for greater understanding.
The scope and sequence of RightStart Mathematics is a bit different than other programs, and students should move through it at their own pace rather than treating each book as equivalent to a particular grade level.
This unique approach to learning higher level math provides an opportunity for students to grow mathematically and develop confidence in their ability.
VideoText Algebra and Geometry use a mastery method of learning, which ensures that students master a particular concept before going on to the next. Additionally, there is a "building" approach which takes the information just learned and uses it in the lessons which follow. This virtually eliminates the need for repeating previously covered lessons.
This complete Algebra course combines Pre-algebra through Algebra 2 concepts in a single course. The complete Geometry course includes Trigonometry, so that using both courses will provide solid coverage of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Precalculus.
Students using Saxon Math earn consistently high scores on standardized tests. The program is extremely strong in areas of arithmetic computation and mathematical principles (distributive, commutative, etc.).
Saxon is easy to teach, and from 4th grade up requires little parental involvement. It includes lots of guidance on exactly what to say and do. The early elementary programs include– and require–many manipulative activities. Sonlight offers complete kits with the necessary items.
Saxon packages include everything you need to teach one child. To use the program with additional or successive students, purchase additional consumable tests and worksheets.
Beginning with Saxon 5/4 and on up, packages include Dr. David Shormann's DIVE Into Math CD instruction. On-screen illustrations, tips, and alternative problem-solving approaches help your student maximize learning.
For students who don't require as much drill, Saxon can be repetitive.
In comparison to other programs, it may be lacking on application-oriented problem solving and modern presentation (use of charts, graphs and other effective teaching tools).
For more details, visit sonlight.com/saxon
Miquon Math is one of the best tools to teach younger students how to think mathematically. Miquon teaches all four arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) beginning the first year, and even introduces algebraic notation, geometry, and diagram-reading in the first book.
The program emphasizes patterns and relationships (rather than pre-set formulas and methods); using manipulatives and unique graphic layouts to help children discover and understand those concepts.
Parents often choose Miquon as a fun supplement, though some use it as the main math program in early elementary years. When they finish the last book in the series, most students are well-prepared for the 4th- or 5th-year books in other programs.
Miqon requires curiosity, flexibility and openness to investigation. If your child is more of a "just give me the facts" learner, the discovery-oriented approach may not be appealing.
If you begin the program past the initial 1st/2nd Grade offering, we encourage you to start with the prerequisite books from the prior grade, as Miquon can be difficult to jump in midstream.
Because parents and children work together to share ideas and discoveries, Miquon may require a greater time investment than other programs.
Miquon doesn't cover long division.
Life of Fred Math
There's not another math program quite like this one. Never again will you hear, "Math is boring," or "When will we use this in real life?"
Each book is a humorous story. Students follow Fred Gauss, who in the course of everyday life runs into situation after situation where ... surprise: He needs to know math. He solves real problems because he has a reason to.
Don't be fooled by the fun, non-math-like, titles like Goldfish, Mineshaft and Liver. Each book covers concepts comprehensively. Learning relies on reading the self-teaching stories and careful thinking. Clear explanations and goofy illustrations make math stick with your children and prepares them for upper-level coursework.
Life of Fred creator, Dr. Stanley Schmidt, recommends that students through Grade 4 start with the Apples book, and then complete the books in the order prescribed.
Because of its unstructured, story-centered approach, the Elementary series doesn't spend much time teaching math basics.
There are no workbooks with practice problems, no step-by-step instructions, no answer keys and no rote memorization.
For details, visit sonlight.com/life-of-fred
MathTacular makes math unbelievably understandable. It's highly engaging and fun. (Who knew a car could double as a ruler?) As your children shadow Justin and friends through humorous and intriguing scenarios, they'll learn– and remember–a whole spectrum of mathematical concepts.
MathTacular is generally appropriate for children in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Older students will benefit from MathTacular 4: Word Problems.
Here's an overview of what to expect:
- MathTacular: addition, subraction, ordinal numbers, mass, fractions, measuring, etc.
- MathTacular 2: money, time, place, value, area, statistics, perimeter, graphs, estimating, basic geometry, etc.
- MathTacular 3: prime numbers, factors, angles, coordinate planes, time zones, conversion, long division, etc.
- MathTacular 4: finally, world problems made simple! Use the program to reinforce what your students have learned during the school year, or as a refresher to brush up on math skills at any age.
More Math Helps
Trying to decide what level your child needs? Take a free placement test for each homeschooling math program.