Math Curriculum for 7th-12th Grade (or Pre-Algebra and up)

 

Index:

WHY DO WE NEED ADVANCED MATH?

Why is algebra and other advanced mathematics necessary? Consider this: the computer technology that we have today, the precision-guided missiles used in the Iraq war that saved so many of our soldier's lives, the medical technology that helps us to live longer and have better quality lives, the current exploration of Mars, all are possible because of advanced math and science. Students who have a gift in math will be able to use their gift to enable the people of the world to accomplish even more in the coming years. (See Raising an Isaac Newton.)

However, not all students are endowed with the gift of math. Other students are gifted in art, music, business, and other very important skills. Depending on your child's gifts and career goals, your child may not need advanced math. Instead, he may need more consumer and/or business math. Select your curriculum to suit your child's needs, not the needs of someone else's child. For more information, see Math Curriculum Recommendations and Homeschooling High School.

Here are the curriculums I recommend for high school mathematics.

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ALGEBRA

  • For kids who like to learn on their own and on the computer or for parents who need extra help teaching math, check out ALEKS. It cost $19.95 month, and they offer discounts for multiple students and yearly rates.

  • Teaching Textbooks - online math learning with visuals, audio, and assignments. Basic math, Algebra, Geometry, and PreCalculus. For both PC and Macintosh.

  • you prefer a textbook series, I highly recommend the Math-U-See program. I wish this were available when I was teaching homeschool! It espeically works well for kids (and teaching moms) of Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory learning styles. (For your traditional Read/Write or advanced math students, see below.) It teaches with manipulatives for the Kinesthetic and Visual Learners and video instructions (VHS or DVD) & music (skip counting songs on cassette or CD) for the Auditory & Visual Learners. The teacher's manual includes instructions and the answers. The student workbook includes practice pages and review. There are three practice pages for each lesson so that you child can do one or more depending on his particular needs to understand the lesson. Following the practice pages, there are three review pages which includes one or more problems from the current lesson and from all the previous lessons so that your child will not forget what he learned earlier in the year. Again, your child may or may not need to do all the pages.

  • Video-Text Interactive. This six-video course covers Pre-algebra through Algebra II. The graphics make this a real winner for your Visual learner, but all learners will benefit from this course. The program is set up to take two years, but you can begin as soon as your child is ready for pre-algebra. Spread the videos out over three years or more if your start early. This is an expensive curriculum, but if you want your child to really learn algebra and not just plug in the numbers, this is the program to buy.

Recommended Alternatives to Video-Text Algebra:

Saxon Sale, 35% Off

  • Math 87. The Saxon math program is an excellent math program for the Read/Write learner and advanced student. It's also a lot less expensive. This is a pre-algebra course. If your child does not need the extra practice, you could skip to the Saxon Algebra 1/2 textbook.

  • The Saxon Algebra program is an excellent math program for the Read/Write learner and advanced student. This is a pre-algebra course.

  • Link to Saxon Math. Once there, locate the grade level you need.

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GEOMETRY

Most math textbooks integrate geometry into their algebra program. Video Text Interactive; however, does NOT include geometry in their algebra curriculum. (They are working on a geometry/trigonometry video series projected to be completed by summer 2004.) In the meantime, you can use the following for a geometry course. If your child is using the Saxon Algebra textbooks, he will benefit from taking a brief detour from the textbook and completing any of the following:

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ADVANCED MATHEMATICS

  • SAXON CALCULUS. The Saxon math program is an excellent math program for the Read/Write learner and advanced student. Topics include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, discrete mathematics, and mathematical analysis. A rigorous treatment of Euclidean geometry is also presented. Conceptually oriented problems that prepare students for college entrance exams (such as ACT and SAT) are included in the problem sets.

  • Teaching Textbooks - online math learning with visuals, audio, and assignments. Basic math, Algebra, Geometry, and PreCalculus. For both PC and Macintosh.

  • Calc for the Clueless series by Bob Miller. Here's a book that every calculus student should read. It's a simple-to-understand book that was written to the student, not to teachers. It makes calculus more appealing to everyone, even the child hates math.

  • How to Work With Probability and Statistics, Grades 6-8 This 48-page workbook is an introduction to probability and statistics created for students in grades 4 - 6; however, I recommend it for any age. The easy-to-read text, charts, and other visual aids will benefit Visual learners of all ages.

  • Probability, Statistics & Graphing, Grades 4-5 (Basic Skills Series). This 48-page workbook is an introduction to probability, statistics, & graphing created for students in grades 4 - 6; however, I recommend it for any age. The easy-to-read text, hands-on activities, charts, and other visual aids will benefit Visual and Kinethetic learners of all ages.

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BUSINESS & CONSUMER MATH

  • Consumer Math Success Kit . It's hard to find a good consumer math textbook. They tend to cover things that are not relevant to consumer math or they are a disguise for more traditional mathematics. After looking at several, this one appears to be the most useful. It covers banking, budget, credit cards, eating out, grocery shopping, heating costs, housing, income taxes, interest, investment, property taxes, utility bills, travel and a few other items that may or may not be relevant. I recommend that your child complete Larry Burkett's, Money Matters Workbook for Teens, Ages 15-18 . in addition to, or instead of this curriculum.

  • Lifepac Electives Accounting Complete Set . Students first get a general overview of accounting, then learn about specifics such as debits and credits; journalizing and posting transactions; financial statements for a proprietorship; payroll accounting, tax recording, and payment; business simulation activity; and more. This is a very good program that the student can go through on his own.

  • The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand. This book provides a first step to understanding accounting by using the world of a kid's lemonade stand. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand concepts like assets, liabilities, earnings, inventory and notes payable. You'll learn about advertising, borrowing money, purchasing inventory, and selling as well as create and understand an income statement and balance sheet, track inventory using LIFO and FIFO, and create cash statements and understand cash flow and liquidity. A simplified approach that works, especially for the Visual and Kinesthetic learner.

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes