Homeschool High School Math - Teaching Textbooks vs. Monarch

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Summary:  Homeschool high school math with homeschool high school math curriculum reviews of many math courses. Information on homeschool Saxon math, Oak Meadow math, and a comparison of homeschool Teaching Textbooks math vs. Monarch homeschool math.  And Switched On Schoolhouse math, too.  Middle school homeschool math is also discussed.  Find the math program that is best for your dear teen.

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.

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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!

For more info on college....My book is on Amazon.

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My ebook is currently on sale @ $3.49 and it includes the following forms below and more high school planning forms.  Plus 10 chapters full of tips for homeschooling to college.  I am working on adding 4 more for my second edition, coming out soon.  

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.

I invite you to join us in my Facebook group which is called:

I am a moderator in this encouraging group of homeschooling moms who are helping their teens get into college.

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 yearshigh schoolcollegegifted/2e and wrote - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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