Teaching Textbooks – Homeschool Math Programs – Is it Worth the Money?
I have never been a fan of Saxon Math. I used it during my first few years homeschooling because it was the most well-known and most recommended program. If I had it to do over, I never would have used Saxon at all. My kids and I found it tedious to slog through – it had such a public school feel to it. Lots of added on extras, just so the state standards got covered. At least that is how I perceive the program.
In the early grades (K-6) I prefer to use something like ABeka or Horizons and then switch to the “Key To” series” for reinforcement in fractions and decimals, and then switch to Teaching Textbook after that.
My reasons for this are that the very early grades (K-3) are straightforward and easy to teach, and I never saw the point in overwhelming a young child with so many problems and exercises to practice on the basics (except for drill work with multiplication tables). Also, as the math difficulty increased with things like long division, fractions and decimals, my children didn’t find their explanations and examples to be adequate cours particuliers maths.
When my now 15-year-old son was 13, I got him the Teaching Textbook Pre-Algebra program. There is a corresponding white board lecture on CD-ROM for each lesson in the textbook. My son was able to understand most things without extra help or explanation from me. Face it, most homeschool parents are not math majors and don’t remember much about Algebra (that was only 20 years ago!). It matters on how well the explanations are done for us as well. I couldn’t count the number of times I have looked at math lessons and had to understand the explanations in order to help my child.
Fortunately, with Teaching Textbook, there was very little of this, at least much less than I have had with any other math program. I also felt that it left my son very well prepared for the Algebra course he is taking this year in tenth grade and he is having no problems keeping up.
It is true the Teaching Textbook program is expensive. However,you could very well get a bargain on a used program on E-bay. Also, I have always saved my pennies to buy expensive programs when it really counts, because you will really appreciate the extra help with those tougher high school math courses.
In short, forget buying the $80.00 math Saxon program for your first grader with all of the bells and whistles, when you really don’t need it. Instead, save yourself valuable time, frustration and money by buying a top-quality program, like Teaching Textbook, down the road, when you will really need and appreciate it.