If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know that we use a lot of different curriculums. Math is no exception! This year LD used five different math curriculums… two that polished up some 6th grade math (arithmetic) skills (such as percents/decimals/fractions) and three PreAlgebra texts. They all covered different skills.
The main spine for PreAlgebra was the Art of Problem Solving–Prealgebra. (affliliate link) [See the update about this resource below!] We would set the timer for 20 minutes and would read this together. This is not (in my opinion) a book that kids can do on their own. It is very dense, covering concepts wonderfully, but in great detail. I am incredibly impressed by this book. I feel like LD has learned a lot this year, but… we’ve only finished the first two chapters (maybe 60 pages). Yet, it has covered a lot of material:
- commutative property
- associative property
- distributive property
for addition and multiplication. And exponents/powers.
We also have used some of the exercises from the Spectrum Algebra Workbook, Grades 6-8 and Kelly Wingate Pre-Algebra Workbook, Grades 5-8 (newer version than the picture you see below) (affiliate links). The Spectrum book is slightly more helpful as a companion for Pre-Algebra. LD did a lot of the practice from the Kelly Wingate book to polish those 6th grade math skills (fractions, decimals, rations, integers, order of operations, etc.)
Pre-Algebra Exponent Worksheets and Interactive Notebook Pieces:
LD is just finishing up the exponents chapter this week. I want him to have some extra practice identifying the properties. I made these lapbook/interactive notebook pieces for him, plus some practice sheets. We’ll end with this… and will resume with this (and probably some review of all the properties) in August. I know many of you are also wrapping up the school year, but since he moved slowly into pre-Algebra I wanted to share this now. If your child is starting pre-Algebra next year you can file them away for later! 🙂
These cover the following properties:
There are TWO pdfs for this (the interactive-notebook pages print in landscape; the exponent worksheets print in landscape. The 2 exponent worksheets have kids match the property and it’s answer. Then the kids have are given a problem. They identify the property first and then provide the answer. I included answers. 🙂
At some point I hope to create more interactive-notebook (ie. lapbook pieces) as a review for LD at the beginning of next year. Stay tuned! 🙂
UPDATE 2015/2016: This year, LD is working through the problems in Prealgebra (4th Edition) – pictured below (affiliate link). This book is working *really* well for him!! I highly recommend it. The chapters have plenty of practice problems. The explanations are thorough. So, when DD is ready for PreAlgebra, I think we will read the Art of Problem Solving PreAlgebra (that LD used last year) together and she will start in with this book (earlier than LD did). Oh by the way, LD STILL uses the interactive notebook piece he made last spring. He uses it as a bookmark in the book (pictured below):
UPDATE 2017/2018: DD is using this same textbook (backpack PreAlgebra book) this year and it is working well for her. We did not use the Art of Problem Solving PreAlgebra with her. It’s an amazing book and has a very thorough explanation of how Algebra works, so we may come back to it, but it was to hard for her (as a young 7th grader). I know there are a lot of math resources out there, but sometimes it’s nice to hear what’s working for other families. 🙂
UPDATE: 2019 My youngest asked if she could move up in math… and I started her on the Toby and Slater Prealgebra book (with the backpack above) in January. She is doing really well with it. Now that I’ve had all three of my kids go through Prealgebra and Algebra, I can say that that worked *really* well for our family. 🙂
My other daughter is most of the way through the Algebra book pictured to the right. She’s just finished up the division of polynomials. I used older editions because I got them used and also because I was able to find the teacher’s edition for Algebra. I wound up not needing that because I could help the kids as they worked through things, but at the time I thought I might not need it. I really like the explanations and practice problems. They show how to do the problems and then there are lots of practice problems for the kids to work through.
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.