The key to choosing a high school math program is recognizing that your preferences and learning style may not be the same as your teens. They may learn differently, and require a different program than you would choose for yourself.
Teenagers will sometimes have pet peeves and personality quirks that interfere with different textbooks and videos. A teen may be so annoyed by a person on video tutorial that it distracts them from learning. What if they don’t like the teacher’s accent? Or they can’t stand learning from a white board? What if the imitation classroom setting drives them crazy?
For these reasons, I suggest that parents give their children choices in math. Choose some equally good, but different, math tutorials, and then allow the teen decide. My son Kevin totally shocked me when he chose Saxon Math. I hated the way Saxon looked. I’m a visual learner, and I wanted photos, pictures, and graphic illustrations. But my son loves numbers. He liked Saxon because it had so many problems on each page, with no pictures getting in the way. Can you believe that? Shocking! I would have never thought that Saxon would be a fit for my family – it would have never occurred to me! But I gave him the choice, he chose Saxon, and now he’s in engineering and getting a minor in math!
Here are some video samples for you to look at, and help you compare choices with your teen. Click on each link, and open the video tutorial in each one to “Algebra 1.” Then compare them, compare them with your child, and allow your child to give feedback. To us the differences may not matter, but to the teenager it might. Sometimes simply the choosing will provide “ownership.” They may (hopefully) be less likely to complain when they have chosen it for themselves.
- Saxon Teacher was created by Saxon, similar to DIVE, but more extensive. It goes through every problem in the text and the test.
- Teaching Textbooks are very popular, and they demonstrate every problem in the book.
- Thinkwell – click on the “view sample video” button. Thinkwell only allows you to take a test once.
- Aleks Math is computer-based program
- Ask Dr. Callahan
- Math Relief
- Your Teacher – very affordable, check out at http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/. On the downside, there are no printed materials.
- Math Without Borders
They are not videos, but here are two options for serious bibliophiles. If you child loves literature and hates numbers, you may have success with these books.
- Life of Fred – many say it qualifies as a “living book” or quality literature
- Algebra the Easy Way – a story that happens to be written by my son’s economics mentor.
There are so many math programs, I couldn’t possibly list them all. I’m just providing a few here for you. I hope that will help you find a math curriculum that perfectly fits your student. Remember that it is about how your STUDENT will learn best. It doesn’t really matter how we, as the parent, learn best.
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