Over the years, we have used several different Math programs for JJ. He is one of the "lucky" kiddos who has always struggled with Math, so we have had some difficulty finding which curriculum works best for him. Some of our choices have included:
- Kumon Math workbooks
- Developmental Mathematics
- Mastering Mathematics - by Letz Farmer
- K5 Learning - online program
- ACE Paces (Accelerated Christian Education)
All of these curriculum have pros and cons. They all worked well for awhile and helped JJ to learn, and to advance in his math skills. However, none of them really helped explain the math process to him in a way that he could understand. I have noticed I have been able to do most of his math problems on my own and get the correct answers, however, explaining HOW to do them in a way that HE will understand has been more difficult.
At the beginning of last school year (2016), we were using ACE paces for his Math. He was doing well with it for the most part but, eventually, hit a brick wall. So, we started using Math Antics to help explain different concepts, and found it to be very helpful at times. But, Math Antics isn't a full math curriculum. So, I once again, began the search for a different curriculum, one that is more visual like the Math Antics videos. I had heard about Teaching Textbooks from so many people and, I don't know why, but I never really wanted to go that route. I'm guessing the price was a bit of a deterrent. Plus, I just didn't have any experience with it and was used to using a workbook approach. But, I asked around in my homeschool circles to see if anyone was ready to sell the level 7 CD's, and I found a good deal on a used set. (One thing nice about Teaching Textbooks is that, even if you buy the curricula used, you can call the company and they will gladly give you an access code to be able to use it on your own computer.)
So, at the start of second semester last year, shortly after Christmas break, we started using TEACHING TEXTBOOKS. It still hasn't been without some difficulty. However, it has helped greatly to explain HOW to do the math problems. JJ went from making C's (and sometimes lower) with ACE paces, to making A's and B's with Teaching Textbooks. Plus, it is self-grading, which makes it a lot easier on me, too. Success!
So, hopefully, we will be able to continue with Teaching Textbooks throughout the rest of JJ's school years, although I am not opposed to supplementing with other curriculum if needed. I don't anticipate him getting into the higher levels of math before finishing High School (Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, etc.) but that's okay! He isn't interested in a career that will need those higher levels of math. So, we will have him continue to work at his level, and move on at his own pace. That is the beauty of individualized home education.