I have greatly benefited from other blogger’s posts about curriculum they use, so I’m going to start posting occasionally about specific curriculum we use in hopes that someone will benefit from my posts, too!
Anyway, this is my third year using Horizons Math with Kathryn. We used Singapore Math her kindergarten year, and Saxon for 1st grade. Kathryn hated the math drills with Saxon, and there seemed to be so much repetition. So we tried Horizons 2 for second grade, and it has worked really well for us.
Kathryn loves that there is some color to the pages. Not overwhelming like in some curriculum, but Saxon had no color at all, and Kathryn likes pretty. The quality of the paper in the workbooks is better, too. She can actually erase an answer without tearing the pages, which was a problem in her Saxon workbook.
We both like that there is not a great deal of repetition, but the concepts are all covered extensively. This is done through a spiraling method. So a concept is introduced in one lesson, and it will reappear in the next several lessons consecutively. Then it re-appears every few lessons over the next two months or so. Periodically, every concept will pop back up as it cycles in and out of lessons over the school year.
I usually don’t require Kathryn to do every problem in a lesson. She must do at least half of each kind of problem, and if she gets those correct, she doesn’t have to do the remaining problems. If she misses one, however, she must do the rest of that type of problem to make sure she really does understand the concept.
Every ten lessons, there is a test. We just do this as a regular day’s assignment, except I usually don’t help her, unless it’s to clarify the instructions. I’m thinking that keeping just those tests from each year’s work would be a nice sample for our homeschool records. Kathryn has scored very well in standardized testing for math, so I can’t complain in that regard either.
I also like that the teacher key is well organized, and clearly lists when which concepts appear in which lessons. The only negative I have about Horizons Math at all is that it only goes through 6th grade. There are plenty of good options for upper level math, though, and Switched-On Schoolhouse is published by the same company as Horizons, so that’s one to consider.