The basic format I follow for my homeschool math curriculum is to use Math U See
for grades K through 4th. This covers beginning math concepts for the
kindergartner, then addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
for the 1st through 4th grader. However, for my last two kids, we added in the Life of Fred Elementary and Intermediate Series just for fun.
I really like Math U See for
kids trying to learn their basic facts because it teaches using all of
the learning styles: auditory, visual and hands-on. Even I have
learned some neat short cuts and tricks that I didn't know before.
Although I don't use it for the upper grades, we have tried a few of
the books and it did help me to "see" the why of Algebra. I was amazed and
many times have hit my head and said "Oh, now I get it". If your child
has a hard time grasping math and needs to see why things are done the
way they are done, this would be a good program to check out. Click on the link below to check out all of the books in the series.
Once the kids hit about 5th grade I switch over exclusively to Life of Fred math books. The first two books cover fractions and decimals/percents and can be done in one year if the student is able.
This series of books is great. Each book is written as a day in the life of a five year old university professor named Fred. Throughout the book, Fred encounters real life problems that he solves using math - such as fractional concepts for the fraction book and so on.
Life of Fred is meant to be a program that the student works through by him/herself, so if your child likes to work on their own, then this would be a great series for him/her to tackle.
With some of the kids, once they were in 7th grade I had them do the Life of Fred Pre-Algebra books. The first book covers topics in Biology in addition to pre-algebra, while the next book covers Economics and pre-algebra. They are a great lead-in to Beginning Algebra which I usually begin in high school.
Upon entering the high school years, the homeschool math curriculum for some of my kids continued to follow along in the Life of Fred series. There have been a few of my children who just don't get the way that Fred teaches and have a much harder time with math.
One great day I found Teaching Textbooks. Their 2.0 version is completely computer driven and I love it. The lessons are done on the computer, the answers are entered into the computer and the program keeps a grade book so that at the end of the year I just need to print it out to figure out their grade.
The lesson explanations are very in-depth, which can be good for some and boring for others. One daughter needed the in-depth explanations, one son did not, so he was not as enthusiastic about it. I, on the other hand, loved the automated grading, so that was a big sell for me!
In fact, this year I just bought Teaching Textbooks for my 7th grader and I'm looking forward to a year with fully automated math programs for everyone!
***They've just added Teaching Textbooks 3.0 which is an online subscription system. You pay a monthly subscription fee and have access to the same material as the 2.0 version. It looks to be cheaper than purchasing the physical product, and they have a money-saving option for larger families, so it might be worth it to look into this option, too. To do this, you have to go to the Teaching Textbooks website.
I hope that reading through this has helped you in some way. As you can see, math can be a tricky subject to find one curriculum to meet the needs of all of your students. I've tried a lot of them and different ones work better than others depending on the student. Unfortunately this means investing a lot of money into your homeschool math curriculum - unless, of course, you can find it used or free! Also, once you're done with it, consider selling it online in used book groups! Just check out Facebook as these groups are everywhere.