“Do we have to do math, today!” sighed my daughter.
My daughter actually really likes math. She wants to grow up to be an architect, engineer, or scientist however not the biology, dissection kind. We used Saxon Math for the past few years, 5/4, 6/5, and then 7/6. However, I decided to shake things up a bit this year.
Instead of doing one math curriculum, we actually did two. Yes, we did two math curriculum in one year! The two math curriculum we chose for this year were Saxon Math Homechool 7/6 and Teaching Textbooks 7. Here is my assessment of the two math homeschool curriculums: Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:
Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 by Saxon Publishers
Saxon Math is the gold standard. It is the math program, which so many homeschoolers use. They are confident that Saxon will do a good job at covering math.
While I agree that Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 is thorough in math coverage, there is a lot to be desire for making math interesting for the student. The pages are plain text with few graphics. However, Saxon Math is a thorough program and prepares the student in mathematics for upper level mathematics.
- Complete system covers the expected material for testing and standards.
- There is a written lesson for the student to read before attempting problems.
- There is a substantial amount of practice problems.
- The lessons are spiral in nature; therefore, they increase the knowledge of each math concept.
- The lesson material does not explain the concept in easy to understand language.
- There are few graphics, which would hinder a visual learner.
- There are little supplemental teaching materials for the parent. There are CDs available for the Saxon Math 7/6. We used them for the Saxon Math 6/5, but my daughter thought they were more confusing than I am. (Side note: That made me feel good! )
- There is no use of color in the text. This is a missed opportunity for additional understanding. It is extremely disappointing since Saxon Math is part of Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, a textbook producer.
Teaching Textbooks 7 by Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri
Teaching Textbooks is really a different type of math system. It is great for the visual and independent learner. The Teaching Textbooks 7 math curriculum is setup around video CD-ROMs with an instructor who speaks to the student as a coach. There is a textbook with lesson material and problems. My daughter uses the CDs and solves the problems on the computer.
Simple explanations and examples introduce the lesson material. The explanations tend to use real world examples at the student’s age level. Although the language and expressions are kid friendly, the coverage of mathematics is thorough.
- Thorough mathematics coverage in a conversational approach.
- Provides a second chance option.
- Lesson material is presented in a kid-friendly manner.
- Good for a visual learner.
- Textbook has lesson material and problems that can be used without the CDs, if desired.
- The grade book is available for parents to review each lesson, individual problems, and tests
- No customizing the problem set for the student to enhance mastery.
- This is not really a con but a suggestion: Teaching Textbooks 7 digital media is computer only. In today’s world, it would be nice to have it accessible by tablet as well.
Assessment of Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:
My daughter feels she learns more with Saxon Math 7/6, but enjoys math more with Teaching Textbooks 7. I believe that both math curriculum are good. Find the one that meets your teaching style, available time, and your student’s learning style.
- Visual learner – Teaching Textbooks 7 would be the preferred math curriculum.
- Traditional Textbook or Workbook learner (does not need color stimulation to learn) – Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 curriculum would be the preferred math curriculum.