Trying to unschool upper level math requires a lot of thought and sometimes, work, on the parent’s part. And, if you live in a highly regulated state, the challenges become even greater. It’s often time to look at homeschool math curriculum, especially if you don’t have the time or inclination to try to piece together random free options, borrowed books, and conversations with math lovers. After all, how do you document random algebraic problem-solving? And, if your students are college-bound (or even need a 2-year degree), do they know enough algebra to perform well on the SAT/ACT tests? Do they know enough to place into College Algebra?
For my oldest, math caused so much conflict and anxiety, I chose to modify her high school math requirement. I did do the random piece-it-together route and used these unschooling math resources. But, I live in an unregulated state. And still, she will need to take College Algebra to finish her Associate degree program. Will she need to take some remedial math? Maybe. But, at the time, all I knew about were mostly a few textbook options. That was seven or eight years ago. Today, there are more choices from which her younger sister will benefit. Let’s check them out.
Homeschool Math Curriculum Options for High School
This is still a viable option and one that is often the least expensive, too. You could even go to the library every day and use the same textbooks as the public school. This is because most libraries have a full set of the books that the local school districts are using for the current year. Some publishers also offer CD-Rom or online versions of their textbooks as well. The online option offers instant grading and is appropriate for students who struggle with writing. For students who don’t struggle with math, a textbook provides a familiar, affordable, easy option. My oldest son did just fine with a textbook. He did not struggle with math the way his older sister did and in fact, finished the textbook in about four months.
On the other hand, I tried the online textbook for a few months at the elementary school level and quickly ditched it. My kids were experts at trial and error to get the correct answers, so it was pointless to continue using it since they obviously weren’t learning anything. They also didn’t like that they had to do all the lessons in order, even if they already knew the material.
And that is the biggest downside to this homeschool math curriculum option. It’s a one-size-fits-all option with only the answer key to help you. It isn’t the best option for math phobic kids. And, if you, the parent, aren’t all that math savvy, it’s hard to answer your student’s questions and get the personalized help your student needs.
This homeschool math curriculum option is the most expensive, but the most personalized and hands-on. This online option with a live teacher is almost as good as sitting in a classroom with a math expert. The teacher tracks your student’s progress, is available for tough questions, and helps your student really understand math. This is the best option for kids with disabilities or serious math phobia.
There are two downsides, though. One is the expense. Because it’s like hiring a tutor or attending a private school for one course, the cost may be out of reach for some families. The other downside is that it is a live class. While they are often recorded in case your student misses a class, the class is designed for live interaction. Much of the benefit is lost if your student doesn’t show up at the appointed class time. And, while it removes the burden of being a math expert from your shoulders, it also removes some control of your time, too. You now have to schedule other learning and life events around the math class. But, you can say, “Ask your math teacher” whenever a hard math question comes up.
Online Homeschool Math Curriculum with CTCMath
Not long ago, I discovered a great alternative to the expensive live classes. Both of my remaining children to homeschool are using CTCMath Homeschool Family membership as their homeschool math curriculum this year. My youngest son is in middle school and I want to make sure he is ready for high school math. He recently expressed interest in a career path that requires a 4-year college degree. So, high school math will need to be more traditional to prepare him for that possibility.
I started him out by choosing some diagnostic tests to see what he already knows. That’s one of the things I really like about CTCMath. I can pick and choose diagnostic tests and lessons based on what I want to emphasize. If my son performs well on a diagnostic test or we recently did a lesson on a specific topic, he can skip those lessons. It is fully customizable, unlike an online textbook. For my high school level daughter, it helps me understand where the gaps from freshman year are. That way, she can review those Algebra lessons before moving on to Geometry. Check out what those lessons are like in this video.
Short, Visual Lessons
All my kids need to see it in order to learn it. They need graphs, shapes, objects, drawings, and colors to help them grasp things. If they can do a hands-on project, even better. So, I love that CTCMath uses colors along with graphs, shapes, and other objects to help my children learn the lessons. It’s like virtual manipulatives for big kids. Using these visuals helps them really understand how math works. It helps them make the connection between the equations and the real world.
They also like that the lesson portion is short. Absolutely essential for children with learning disabilities. If the teacher goes on and on, the students can get lost. They can also lose attention. And, since all my kids have some sort of learning issue, the short, visual lessons are ideal for them.
CTCMath was developed by Pat Murray, father of ten and math instructor for more than thirty years. So, I don’t have to worry about the level of instruction my children receive. And, the program is self-paced and completely online so I don’t need to restructure my time for a live class. Nor do I need to be a math guru. It’s not as preferable as a live instructor, but it’s almost as good and support is just an email away if my children’s questions cannot be answered through the lessons themselves or the FAQ.
Affordable Homeschool Math Curriculum Option
You can get CTCMath Homeschool Family membership at 50% off right now if you wish. Your entire family can use CTCMath, from grades K through 12. Not sure? Grab a FREE TRIAL of CTCMath Homeschool Family membership and see for yourself. It might just be the solution you are looking for.