Conquering Pre-Algebra and other tough subjects

(updated March 2020)

Another week of school is almost done. It’s been another great one. One problem though, our Pre-Algebra curriculum is not working for my son. He is really smart. He has always earned A’s in Math. I’ve already tried two different Pre-Algebra Math curriculums. Neither has worked for us for different reasons; one is so tedious and the other doesn’t explain things well enough. I am going to buy a third. It is called Teaching Textbooks and is supposed to be the best on the market.

(update March 2020) I bought Teaching Textbooks and highly recommend it for all levels of Algebra. The computer disk does an excellent job teaching the lesson and providing help if the child doesn’t understand a problem. Teaching Textbooks offers an online version also. We have tried doing Math online, but our data comes and goes so it doesn’t work well. It ends up becoming an aggravation for us instead of a benefit.

My children have different learning styles; some are visual learners, some auditory learners, and another is a kinetic learner. Knowing this about my children, I can purchase schoolbooks that will help them to better understand the information.

In 2nd grade my son just wanted to get the Math problems done and get outside. He didn’t want coloring pictures or silly games. He had forts to build, animals to tame, mountains to climb. My daughter in second grade, loved to color in her Math notebook. She not only wrote her Math answers, but made them with curves, hearts, and doodles. Her schoolwork was like little pieces of art.

We need to be flexible. We need to remember that we are teaching a student, not a curriculum. Yes, I have spent a lot of money on Algebra curriculums. I would still rather buy another one and him understand it better and keep his love for learning than save money by keeping the one I have and in turn him struggle all year and start to dread or even hate school.

I am going to try to sell the other books online and maybe get some of my money back. Often, we homeschoolers purchase a curriculum and “We are going to finish every single page by golly. We paid good money for it.” I just want to encourage you that you don’t have to finish it. If it doesn’t work for you or your kids, get rid of it. Don’t waste any more time with it and get something that will work. Try to sell it online or at the used bookstore.

Chin up mom and dad. You are doing a great job.
Some great resources:

Teaching Textbooks I have used this for all grades. Highly recommended.

Rod N Staff Math is excellent. I highly recommend it for all grades before Pre-Algebra. Home School Laws and an enormous amount of information. Become a member!

Originally printed August 2007 in the Christian County Headliner News, Ozark, Missouri. Updated March 2020.


  1. Hi Sheri,

    I am using Teaching Textbooks for my boys (7th grade math for my 7th grader, and Algebra 1 for my 9th grader). I've been pretty happy with it -- they can use it completely independently, which is nice. The 7th grade curriculum is newer, and includes automatic grading and recording of grades, which the Algebra 1 package does not. I was a little concerned that it was too easy for then, with LOTS of review, but I think I'm getting over that. It does seem to follow a logical flow of material. I really wanted to make sure that my 9th grader is getting a comprehensive understanding of Algebra, so I just pick up a used copy of a Saxon Algebra 1 textbook, and I am having him do exercises from that occasionally. The hardest part is trying to correlate the Saxon lessons with the TT lessons -- I really do not like the way Saxon is organized (rather, lack of organization!)

    OK, this comment is WAY too long . . . good luck with your Pre-Algebra choice (glad you were able to put out the fire! Scary!)

  2. We just went through this and started Saxon which my son seems to enjoy. My younger girls are using Signapore and one isn't working for them so I'm going to be changing. The beauty of homeschool is we can change to what works for them. I don't care how they learn something...I just want them to learn it!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it. Hope to hear from you again.