Homeschool High School Math - Teaching Textbooks vs. Monarch

Summary:  Homeschool high school math reviews of homeschool Saxon math, Oak Meadow, Teaching Textbooks math, and Switched On Schoolhouse math.  Find the homeschool math curriculum that is best for your dear teen. #homeschoolhighschoolmath  Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

We used a variety of math curriculum for middle and high school.  We began the middle school years with Saxon Math, then later switched to Teaching Textbooks.

Finally, we used Monarch for 10th through 12th grades.

Back in the elementary years, we relied on Saxon Homeschool Math, with it's clear explanations and easy to follow lessons.  We like how it offered so much practice for our child.

Middle School Homeschool Math

We continued with Saxon Math all the way to high school.  But we added the Saxon Dive DVD's when she started middle school.

I loved how we could put one of their DVD's into our computer, and watch how each math problem was  explained in detail, with a chalkboard approach.  What I mean by that is that the teacher was not seen in the DVD.  Instead, you saw him writing out each problem on his chalkboard.

This was such a help for us when our daughter struggled with a math problem and did not find the textbook explanation to be enough.

Saxon Math also offers another product called "Video Education".  More information on that is here.  They were much more costly that the Saxon Dive DVD's.

Oak Meadow Homeschool also offers a version of Saxon Math called OM Math   It includes less practice problems, ideal for kids/teens who do not need a lot of repetition.

High School Homeschool Math

When it came time for Algebra 1 in 9th grade, I wanted much more help for math teaching.  We decided to go with Teaching Textbooks (TT)

I liked how TT offered very more DVD help than Saxon Math had.  We used all of their DVD's.  The best help was from the DVD's that explained errors in the practice problems.

My young teen did well with the daily work using TT, but when it came to the tests we found that her retention was not good.  There were not enough practice problems for our daughter.

Many families have had more positive experiences with Teaching Textbooks and it is a popular homeschool math curriculum.  It just was not a fit for us.

In 10th grade we decided to switch to another math program.

We looked for something with more solid daily work with many more practice problems than TT had.

We found Switched on Schoolhouse (SOS), or Monarch from Alpha Omega Publications.  And my teen loved it.

photo credit -
Monarch is the same as SOS.  The SOS version is the cdrom version of Monarch.  The lessons are the same.  Monarch comes directing to your computer instead of in a DVD.

I liked how Monarch (or SOS) gave my daughter enough practice for her so that her retention was good.  Monarch also included video lectures in the daily work.  And lots of quizes before the bigger tests.

SOS or Monarch also freed me up a lot.  I loved how they were self-graded and included some hands-on math projects as well.

Teaching Textbooks vs. Monarch (or SOS)

Many families love Teaching Textbooks for homeschool math.  It did not fit our needs for 9th grade Algebra 1.  My teen needed more practice.  But for teens who don't have that need, Teaching Textbooks might be the ticket.

The other disadvantage that we saw was that TT was more cumbersome for us.  There were a number of DVD's to choose from, ones that explained the lessons, others that focused on specific math problems showing common mistakes.  My teen needed my help for choosing just the right DVD for what she was working on.  It made it more teaching intensive for me.

Monarch, on the other hand, is all organized on one DVD or on your computer itself.  My teen could just log in and get started.  She did not need to ask which DVD to use, as she did in TT.

Often parents ask "Which homeschool math curriculum is best for college bound teens?  My answer to that is that there are so many math curricula out there, so many that I really can't say.

But for us, Teaching Textbooks was not deep enough, and did not have enough practice problems.  On the other hand Monarch (of SOS) met my daughter's needs.  It also prepared her well for the time when she needed to take the SAT's or ACT.

When we began SAT prep for math, we found our daughter ready to go and strong in the subject.

Also, Monarch (or SOS) gave lots of test taking practice.  That really came in handy when my teen got into college.  She could deal with all the testing there.

What is your favorite homeschool math curriculum for middle or high school?

Please share in the comments or on Facebook.  I love reading your comments.  The web has gotten so big that we don't get much time to talk like we used to.  I miss that!

Have you seen the Facebook group I admin called Homeschooling through high school?  

You are invited to join us there, to get answers to your questions, and just to be in our supportive community.

Are you thinking about homeschooling high school and wondering how to handle  homeschool transcripts, assign high school credit, and all those other high school details?

After helping my teen get into each of the colleges she applied to, I wrote a book to guide you and others through the planning high school at home, like I wished I had.  

All the essentials are there, in one place, allowing you to focus on your own nurturing homeschool style with your teen.

Here are the chapters in the book:

12 high school planning printables are included to make the work of high school easier, whether your teen is headed to college, vocational training, or straight into the world of work, including:

Course Descriptions Record Keeping Form - This is a place for recording keep track of what you did for each course, making your course descriptions easier, at the end of the year.

Reference Letter Request Form - Just print these off and fill in the blanks! Your teen can use this form to send to their activity leaders or instructors, as a way to request their references.

For more info: Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd Edition

What are people saying about it?

Julie Lavender, homeschooling mom of 5, speaker, writer says:

My fellow homeschooling mama,
Betsy Sproger
, of
BJ's Homeschool
, published a great resource, Homeschooling High School With College In Mind.

It's chock-full of great helps, and one that caught my eye immediately is a list of 100 electives and activities to consider when pondering those college requirements.

You'll find tips on college applications, scholarships, testing, counselor recommendation letter and so much more! It's a resource you'll want to have in your homeschool library! She's a wealth of info!

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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