Saturday, July 10, 2010

Let's Talk About Math

I am at a dilemma as to which math program to try next or whether to stick with what we already have. We have been using Horizon Math for about 18 months now. I like it (even though it is a textbook), and one of my children loves it and the other two could care less. The pages are bright with big print and not too many problems on each page. However, my learning-challenged child is not learning from this system. In fact, she has not touched her book in a few months. I have been playing games with her instead (with limited progress). What I don't like about Horizon is that it is abstract pencil to paper, and it is harder to make it concrete in my children's minds because it is not related to real life. This is especially a problem for the learning-challenged one, because she will not put forth any effort unless she sees that she needs it or it will benefit her. I also use living math books whenever I can. I love that way of teaching math, but it is not enough on its own to make things concrete for my kiddos. I have enough Horizon books to see us through a few more months. But, then what?

I am leaning towards Math on the Level, but it is out of my price range until at least January. I like how it appears to be real world and that you can teach the same concept to different age levels and abilities. I like the five problems a day reviews. I have heard lots of rave reviews about this program. Has anyone used it? Is there something else you like that is similar but less expensive? My husband and I want to give our children the best education possible but everyone likes a bargain. However, if Math on the Level is as good as it seems, it is a bargain, considering how many years it covers.

For now I will continue with what I have. However, in a few months, I will have to move on and would love to hear what has worked for you.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I have been using Math on the Level this year and I like it a lot. It requires a lot of work on the part of the teacher, however. 5 problems a day does not sound like much, but it seems a lot when you have to do it every day (of course I have to times that times 4) and managing what they have learned and what they need to learn at the same time. In other words, good program, but a lot of work.
    You did not say what grades your children are in, but I most love is Mathematics Their Way (for grades 2 and under) which can be found free here:
    or Mathematics, A Way of Thinking (for grades 3-6) which can be found free here
    Take a look and let me know what you think. I have done many of the activities on my blog and posted them, so you can take a look there too if you want.

  2. I would like to suggest that you look at

    "A pioneering educator, Mighton realized several years ago that children were failing math because they had come to believe they were not good at it. Once students lost confidence in their math skills and fell behind, it was very difficult for them to catch up, particularly in the classroom. He knew this from experience, because he had once failed math himself. (But he now has a doctorate in Mathematics, having devised this method when tutoring students for extra money because he is also a playwright and was in dire need of income.) Using the premise that anyone can learn math and anyone can teach it, Mighton's unique teaching method isolates and describes concepts so clearly that students of all skill levels can understand them. Rather than fearing failure, students learn from and build on their own successes and gain the confidence and self-esteem they need to be inspired to learn. Mighton's methods, set forth in The Myth of Ability and implemented in hundreds of Canadian schools, have had astonishing results: Not only have they helped children overcome their fear of math, but the resulting confidence has led to improved reading and motor skills as well. The Myth of Ability will transform the way teachers and parents look at the teaching of mathematics and, by extension, the entire process of education. (from

    "This is one of the most exciting books about education I've read in a long time. You believe John Mighton when he says that by opening our minds to new methods of teaching and learning we can 'accomplish more as a society than all the towering geniuses of the past.'"—Annie Kidder, People for Education

    Love Your Mom

  3. The Jump Math looks very good. I downloaded some of the samples and teacher guides. It is very similar to MEP/CIMT Math (free to schools --- public, private and homeschools) that I told you about. I really like both, and if I were not so sold on Math On The Level, I would use MEP. I love the way it teaches not only how to do each math problem, but it teaches critical thinking so that the math makes sense. It teaches in a way that the thinking skills will carry over into other areas of life. We started out with MEP, and then switched to Math On The Level, but I still used some of the MEP to supplement or to teach things in a different way.
    When I looked at the Jump Math teacher manuals, I think they were very similar to MEP in the types of activities. I haven't looked at Jump Math enough, but I like that they recommend math readers/living math along with the other exercises and work sheets. If you go to the MEP link, you can download the student and teacher guides, although you must request a password in order to get all of the necessary materials. Some parents purchase the printed materials from them rather than having to download and print everything. I think the prices are very reasonable for that.
    Lost of choices out there! I hope you find something that works well for your family.
    God bless,

  4. Not sure if my last post made it through or not. I can't help with your specific questions. We use Math U See here. If you ever have questions about it, I'm happy to try to help.