This week we are focusing on Math and the sciences that use math, like chemistry and physics. Like last week, I will share what we have used, what we are using, and what we will be using in the future in our own homeschool
We didn’t begin homeschooling until 5th grade, so I really don’t have any experience with materials before that grade level. However, some of the products I will talk about, have lower level products that you will want to check out for your own homeschool.
ALEKS is a wonderful online mathematics program that we loved for the majority of our 6th grade year. Chandler was able to grow and excel and he liked trying to fill in his pie chart to complete the course. I have a review on this product, that you can read here. We didn’t continue with it after the year because honestly, Chandler was a little burned out on the program. Some of this was my fault because I made him finish the year, and this was after our regular school year was completed. He still cringes when I mention the program. But it really helped him to grow mathematically, and I do recommend it.
Math Tutor is one of our very favorite video resources for helping to cement math concepts in our brains. Chandler loves to watch these dvds. I have several of these on my shelf. We started with the 1st-7th grade level and have since added Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, word problems, and I am sure we will continue to add these to our math library. Did I say that Chandler loves these dvds? Even though he is doing wonderfully with our current choice for math, he still likes to pop these in and watch them. I did a review for this product that you can read here.
We love the Math Mammoth products around our homeschool. This product has helped us to fill in the holes that we were missing. Whenever we have had an issue, I have pulled out this curriculum and we have worked through the problems and things that were fuzzy have become clear. Can’t say enough good about this math product. And, here is a little secret…I will be announcing a giveaway for the Blue Series–CD or Download–winner’s choice–a little later this week! You will want this product. I am thrilled to be able to do a giveaway!
Teaching Textbooks opened up a whole new world of math and math possibilities for us. We discovered that Chandler learned very well by video and I liked that he had book work as well. Math became less stressful and wasn’t a chore. In fact, Chandler really loved using this program and would often ask if he could do his math work first. Umm…no son. We don’t allow you to be excited about doing your math in our homeschool. NOT. I was thrilled that I only had to collect the grades. It was truly a Godsend and I so appreciated it.
VideoText Algebra is what I originally chose for Chandler last year. He was ready for more advanced math and I thought it would be perfect as it had the video that he responded to as well as the bookwork I liked. I also liked that it was supposed to be a rigorous curriculum. We used it for the first 1/2 of last year. We hated it. The videos were ok, but kind of dated and dry. They just didn’t engage Chandler. I found myself having to reteach concepts. Did I mention that we hated it? I do know that the program is very solid and that it may work for others very well. It just didn’t for us.
Love, love, love, love, LOVE–Thinkwell. This program saved math in our homeschool last year. I had purchased a subscription code for the Pre-Algebra level of this program through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. I had done this back when I was preparing for 7th grade and there was a group buy. Then I forgot about it. We went to Teaching Textbooks and you know the rest there. Anyway, I found the code just sitting there unused when I was trying to salvage our math last year from the VideoText fiasco. I decided that perhaps stepping back for the rest of the year would be a good move and I used the subscription code. Best decision I have ever made. Chandler LOVED the program. He finished the entire Pre-Algebra curriculum in 4 1/2 months. He voluntarily did 2-3 math lessons a day. He begged me to continue with the program for Algebra I. I never have any trouble getting Chandler to do his math lessons. He just loves the program and the instructor. The video lessons engage him and are funny. The program is just perfect. I love that most of it is graded for me. I do have to grade the worksheets that review what he had learned. But the answer key is easy to follow, so I don’t mind too much. I have already purchased the next two levels for future use, much to Chandler’s delight. I highly recommend this program and would encourage you to check it out. You won’t regret it.
Integrated Physics & Chemistry is what I chose for us to use over two years. We really love this curriculum choice. Chandler loves that it speaks to him instead of over him. He has been learning his chemical and element symbols and is learning a lot about physical science as well. The one thing I wasn’t too excited about was that there are no labs for this curriculum. But we have adapted (what homeschooler doesn’t do this, right?) the class by adding in our own labs. I purchased two lab kits and we do labs once or twice a week to supplement what we are learning. Chandler has really enjoyed it, and so have I. It has seemed to be a really good class for us.
Physics Workshop is what I chose to get for our physics labs. Chandler has had a ball with this kit. He loves doing the labs that are in the included booklet and then showing them off to his grandparents. He loves being able to put what he is learning into action. And this kit really fits the bill for this. It doesn’t hurt that it is also fun. I love it when school is fun. No one minds learning when it is fun. And the best part? I usually don’t have to ask Chandler to do a lab. He loves doing these and looks forward to when science lab shows up on our schedule for the day. What more could a homeschool mom ask for?
Chem C3000 is the big daddy of chemistry kits. If you have followed my blog at all, you already know I have been excited about doing chemistry this year. I never got the chance to do it when I was in high school. And my parents weren’t too keen on letting me have my own chemistry kit. I think they knew that I loved the idea of blowing things up. I still do. Which is why I got the big kit. I wanted to blow things up. Unfortunately, I have to share this kit with my son. He isn’t as excited to blow things up as I am. He follows the directions. He and my husband won’t let me touch the kit alone. I think I scare them. Go figure.