I currently use neither, I have used A Beka Math for lower elementary and I am planning way ahead for when the time comes for Algebra. What I currently use does not have Pre-Algebra and it ends in 8th grade. It is Practical Arithmetics by Strayer-Upton, which I really like. What do you suggest? I want it to make sense and be enjoyable, is it possible? But aside from that, I need to know what’s good about each one and what’s bad and other personal thoughts so that I can better make a decision. thanks!
Unfortunately I’ll be of little help. I’ve only used Saxon for the lower grades. With that said, I LOVE saxon - I love its’ spiral teaching method, constantly going back to what was learned previously so kids aren’t likely to forget. I taught in a private school that used Saxon and had great results from it. They did find it to lack some things in the upper grades (perhaps the areas you are thinking about) - so they supplemented with something else (not sure what… I taught lower grades). So, my answer doesn’t help your specific question about upper grade level material. I know the lower grades are very hands on, but not sure about upper. Sorry, but I DO love it… it works for us, so unless I find gaps as we move along, I’ll be continuing all the way through. I also know the upper grades of Saxon have optional videos to accompany each lesson - they are supposed to be a great help in showing the students what they are doing…
As I understand your post, you want to continue with Strayer-Upton through 8th grade and are asking what to look at for Pre-Algebra on?
Why is Saxon your choice for the upper grades? What do you like about it? I have not heard very much positive about Saxon past Saxon 87.
Lial and Foerster are the primary Algebra texts used by most of the homeschoolers I know. For Geometry, I really like Jacobs.
Thank you for mentioning those programs. I had recently heard about those so I don’t know much about them either. I am interested in learning more, however. I did also find out there are videos to accompany Foerster’s by another company. I do like that option in case we need it. I am hoping to hear and learn more about it, pros and cons.
The reason why I was thinking A Beka or Saxon is because most homeschoolers I know use one or the other. Also Saxon was recommended by the unit study I am looking into for high school. But I am doing the research now because I want to have a plan and a solid knowledge of what we will be using then.
If you don’t mind answering this question also, do you think I need a Pre-Algebra text for 8th grade in preparation for Foerster’s Algebra 1 , and if yes whaat do you recommend i use? Thank you so much for your help!
Thank you for your time and reply! There is so much to look into and consider. I appreciate your help!
Saxon is a program that homeschoolers either love or hate. I spent four years doing it in 3-7th and hate it. The descriptions did not make sense to me, there was too much review, and not enough of the subject being learned.
These very reasons are why so many love Saxon. The extensive review and the new material taken in tiny bites. Their upper level materials are considered less than ideal by most professional teachers, but I know many homeschoolers who adore this method, and whose children have done well in Math related fields.
I am not very familiar with Abeka materials for the upper levels, but their materials are designed for the classroom, not the self-taught.
Lial is a solid program created by a committee whose explanations are good and whose scope and sequence follow a traditional school model.
Foerster was written by Paul Foerster who was an engineer and who really loves math. His scope and sequence are a bit unusual, but really excellent.
Pre-Algebra depends on where your kiddo is, how solid he is on the previous math he has learned, where he is at developmentally, and what type of future you see. I do not have a particular program I like for Pre-Alg, it depends on the student.
Pre-Algebra is a great time to solidify understanding of factoring, prime numbers, ratios, and fractions (add/subtract/mult/divide).
Is he developmentally ready to move into a more abstract understanding of the world. Sometimes an extra year of maturity allows students to really get Algebra in a new way, because their brains are ready for more abstract thinking. I compare this more to a kid either being ready to walk or not rather than how intelligent they are.
If you are convinced your child is heading to a STEM future, you may need to get Algebra 1 out of the way in 8th. If he is lagging in math, or more oriented towards the liberal arts, Alg 1 can wait until 9th.
Thank you, much to think on!