It is always an exciting time when my children begin their “official” journey into structured learning and education. My son, Sam (5), has recently begun a formal study of subjects such as phonics and math. While I knew exactly what we would be using for phonics, I was a bit undecided on math. My problem was quickly solved when I was able to review Horizons Kindergarten Math Set from Alpha Omega Publications.
Alpha Omega Publications is a well-known and trusted name for homeschool curriculum. For years, Alpha Omega has been providing a variety of curricula and resources for homeschool families. When my oldest children were in preschool and early elementary, we used the Weaver Preschool Curriculum for a year or so. My two oldest girls remember vividly their time with Horizons Math as we used that math resource for them until 4th Grade.
The Horizons Kindergarten Math Set includes a Teacher’s Guide and two Student Workbooks.
The Teacher’s Guide is very simple and straight-forward. Scope and Sequence, Lesson Contents and Lesson Organization are covered. A basic daily lesson plan is given so the parent can quickly see what each day’s lesson will cover.
For each lesson, the Teacher’s Guide gives an overview, a materials/supplies list, a few teaching tips and activities to help teach and illustrate the lesson. You are also provided with a small image of the student pages with answers provided. Worksheets are included at the back of the Teacher’s Guide. These can be copied and used to give extra practice, review and reinforcement for your child.
I did not find the Teacher’s Guide to be necessary. For the early elementary levels of math, the concepts taught are very basic. Sam is my seventh child to walk through the joys of counting to twenty, completing a pattern, and basic addition. The teaching tips reminding me to review concepts and activities for hands-on learning were not needed for me.
However, for a parent who is diving into structured math for the first time, the Teacher’s Guide could serve as a reference tool and encouragement that progress is being made at a steady pace.
The Student Workbooks contain eighty lessons each. The lessons are two pages of colorful, bright inviting activities. Workbook 1 begins with the basics of counting, positions, simple addition and time. By the end of Workbook 2, your child will be subtracting, working through simple word problems, and counting money.
The lessons are not overwhelming for the Kindergarten child. Ten to twenty minutes is all that is needed for a math lesson depending on what you reviewed and the new material introduced. I love short lessons for the young students as it helps to keep them engaged and interested. There is variety in the lessons as well. In Lesson 39, we worked with a number line, drew and counted shapes, worked with tally marks, and did a few addition problems.
Sam, 5, was very excited when his Horizons Math arrived. He was definitely ready to jump in and begin building his math skills. It would have been easy to let Sam begin at the middle of Workbook 1. Instead, I decided that a bit of review and fun would be a great way to begin his math journey. Whenever we pull out the math books, Sam is ready to get to work. We never do just one lesson. “Can I do just one more?” is often heard when I mention putting the books away. So I set the timer for fifteen to twenty minutes and let that set our pace and number of lessons completed. We have flexed this math a bit for Sam. Some days the writing is a bit much. We don’t always do the number writing practices. Occasionally I will write in the answers or he will give the answer orally. Sam would definitely give Horizons K Math two thumbs up.
Horizons K Math would work well with a variety of homeschool methods and philosophies. The colorful pages are well-suited for the visual child and tossing in a few household items can provide the manipulatives a hands-on learner needs. For us it has proven to be a simple, fun math experience for Sam. This resource might not work well for those students who would be distracted by the bright colors and more than one concept on a page. At times the presentation may seem cluttered to the visually sensitive child. I would recommend viewing the samples at Alpha Omega.
Other Crew Members had the opportunity to review Horizon Math K and other resources. Take a moment and see what they are saying. You might find that one resource you have been looking for.