Teaching math can be a challenge. The Learning Commons has a variety of curriculum which you can try out with your student before committing to buying a program. 

It’s great to “try before you buy”! 

Life of Fred Series

No other textbooks are like these. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods. Tons of solved examples. Each hardcover textbook contains ALL of the material – more than most instructors cover in traditional classroom settings. Includes tons of proofs.

Written by Dr. Stanley Schmidt with the intent to make math come alive with lots of humour, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. The student will learn to think mathematically.

Completion of this series prepares student for third year college math.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These books are designed to make your child THINK! and to learn on their own. It does not give step-by-step directions and answers to every question. They learn to apply to current questions the concepts previously taught. Upon completion they will understand how math works, why it works, and how to apply it. They will know the formulas and how to apply them in real-life situations, not just situations created for a textbook. This program relies heavily on reading comprehension and thinking, not rote spoon-fed learning that is quickly forgotten. Parents can learn these novel methods along with the student, but should not try to integrate the traditional rote/memorization methods.

It’s important to research and read reviews so you can determine if curriculum is the right fit for your student. Read reviews here.

Singapore Math

The Singapore Math® method is a highly effective teaching approach based on research of math mastery in Singapore, which consistently ranks at the top in international math testing. The intentional progression of concepts in the Singapore math approach instills a deep understanding of mathematics. An attitude that math is important and approachable is also essential. Students perform at a higher level when their potential for understanding and success is assumed.

Singapore offers several different programs.  Here is a good overview to read.  This review discusses the Dimensions Math, a comprehensive math curriculum for children from preschool to 8th grade.

Saxon Math

“Teachers say they are going to teach the children to think. The children can think already. What they need to know is the math to use in their thinking.”  – John Saxon

Saxon Math has been around for about 30 years. This curriculum is used in some public and private schools as well as by homeschoolers.

It was founded by John Saxon, who was an army man, engineer and math teacher. His gripe with math education was that it was “fluffy” and ineffectual. He also took exception to the idea prevalent at the time that girls and racial minorities were not able to be proficient in math.

His approach to teaching math is based on incremental learning and repetition. Students don’t deal with the whole concept until each part making up that whole is mastered. Daily learning is a fundamental part of this philosophy. Textbooks are not filled with colourful pictures. Use of calculators is not introduced until middle school.

In Saxon Mathconcepts from every math strand are woven together and connected throughout the year. Skills or concepts are reinforced throughout the years, helping students build a strong foundation of understanding.

Built on a learning curve proven to raise achievement. While other math curricula ask students to progress from simple to complex concepts in just a few weeks, Saxon Math scaffolds instruction of each concept and continues to review information introduced earlier. This allows students the time and practice to retain math concepts to the level of mastery.

Math-U-See  

Math-U-See combines hands-on methodology with incremental instruction and continual review in this manipulative-based program. It excels in its hands-on presentation of math concepts that enables students to understand how math works. It is one of the rare multi-sensory math programs that continues to use manipulatives up through Algebra 1.

Manipulative Blocks, Fraction Overlays, and Algebra and Decimal Inserts are used at different levels to teach concepts, primarily using the “rectangle building” principle. This basic idea, consistently used throughout the program—even through algebra—is one of the best ways to demonstrate math concepts. There is also a digital app version of the manipulatives that offers a virtual experience with the manipulatives. The app is available for iOS devices.

One of the things I think makes Math-U-See so popular is that many parents and teachers find that author Steve Demme’s presentations of math concepts helps them to finally comprehend much that they were taught in math but never understood. Parents and teachers with a new or renewed enthusiasm for math then do a much better job teaching their own children.

Math-U-See uses a “skill-mastery” approach, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of each topic before moving on. The program also builds in systematic review for previously learned concepts.  Review by Cathy Duffy

Teaching Textbooks: Math 3 through Pre-Calculus

When I first looked at Teaching Textbooks, I knew right away that this series was going to be popular among homeschoolers. These fantastic courses were designed specifically for homeschoolers to solve some of the issues that make math challenging for them.

Both lessons (either online or CDs/DVDs) and textbooks are written directly to the student and do not assume the presence of a teacher. Explanations are clear and complete, with plenty of practical examples. A light-hearted touch gives the courses a user-friendly feeling while avoiding silliness. This is evident in all of the courses in everything from the layout of the books and the program’s interface design, through the occasional cartoon illustration and the wording of the lessons. The screen designs are colorful and nicely illustrated without being too busy.

The Teaching Textbooks series is a college prep curriculum even though it is not as rigorous as some other courses. However, textbooks for the elementary grades move at a slower pace than other series such as Horizons Math and Saxon Math. Of course, you can always move ahead more quickly with a child who excels. You might even select a grade level higher than the student’s actual grade level.

Read full review by Cathy Duffy

Dynamic Classroom Easy Math Guides
Formerly known as Raven Math, Dynamic Classroom’s Easy Math Guides have been revised and are 100% aligned with the new BC curriculum.

Dynamic Classroom strives to make learning easier

  • Explains new concepts and problem-solving strategies using clear and concise language
  • Provides plenty of practice questions and answers, giving students immediate feedback on how well they’re achieving their learning outcomes
  • Each book covers all of the required learning outcomes of the new BC math curriculum
  • Each chapter begins with  a summary of the concepts (or outcomes) to be learned
  • Each new concept is, in turn, introduced and explained in clear, non-technical language, using simple sentences and illustrations (when needed). The new concept is then reviewed and the problem-solving strategies are introduced by way of “Examples with (step-by-step) Solutions.” Understanding of the new concept and problem solving ability are tested with “Exercises” and “Extra for Experts” (work space provided).
  • Each chapter concludes with “Extra Practice” and a comprehensive “Chapter Test.” The answers for the “Exercises,” “Extra Practice,” and “Chapter Tests” are at the back of the book, allowing for self-testing that provides immediate feedback on the success of learning.
  • Read more here.

Jump Math 

Every child can learn math and love it. Jump Math is an award-winning non-profit dedicated to helping people lead more fulfilled lives. Their evidence-based curricula and professional development replaces math anxiety with an understanding and a love of math in students and educators.

JUMP Math is dedicated to helping children succeed at, and enjoy, learning math. There is a strong causal link between a child’s academic success and his or her future contribution to society. We strive to increase children’s chances of success, to reduce socio-economic disparities, to engender a sense of belonging and, most importantly, to endow voiceless children with opportunity. Read more here.

Jump Math has Canadian editions and is reasonably priced.

This last resource specifically covers algebra.

Power Algebra

Professor B methodology carefully nurtures children’s perception of connection and flow in arithmetic so they experience enjoyment and mastery of math content. To nurture learners’ perception of connection and flow, Professor B Algebra integrates Pre-algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II into a single, ungraded curriculum. Each concept is covered thoroughly, with clarity.

The objective of the three Professor B Algebra books is to make it possible for the vast majority of teachers and parents to competently (and rather comfortably) insure their learners’ total mastery of elementary and intermediate algebra. You mothers and fathers who never dared to consider it possible to comfortably teach your children algebra, will now be most pleasantly surprised with your ability to mathematically empower them! These textbooks have been carefully written so that the vast majority of adults, regardless of their math backgrounds, can read them and derive all the algebraic meanings we intend. We make the connections crystal clear. Each textbook contains the answers.

Three books cover high school algebra and can usually be completed in 2 – 3 years.  Read more here.

Search the Search Portal for more resources by searching by Keyword or Subject and use the search term: mathematics.

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How do you find the more math resources using Topic Lists?

We have curated lists of titles into Topic Lists which will make it easier to see all of the resources we have available.  Click on the icon that says “Topic Lists”.

The next screen will show a list of topics by grade and by subject. Many have sublists. Click on the subject icon of interest.

On the left, you will see a scrolling list of Topics. When you click on one you will see a large scroll box that shows the titles. If you hover over the title, a balloon pops up with information about the title. You can scroll through this list, or use the smaller scroll bar at the bottom which shows more titles at once. This is a quick way to see what resources we have for a variety of topics. However, you cannot book the items from this screen at this time. Take note of the title and go back to the Home page to search and book it.