Middle School Math with BJU Press
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I have to admit teaching my daughters math is a delight. I can’t say it’s because math is their favorite topic, and they are eager or excited to do every lesson I present, but instead, it’s because I enjoy math. When I teach math to my daughters, I light up with excitement which makes them less apprehensive even if the topic is tougher. Math time happens every day in our homeschool. I can’t imagine not having my daughters not having some sort of math activity for the day. As they progress in math, I find it even more important to expose them to math daily even if it’s simply a review of an area they know really well. We’ve been using BJU Press Math for the past three school years, and one thing I appreciate about this math curriculum is the variety of lessons and review options.
Using BJU Math Curriculum in Middle School
The middle school years in our homeschool are grades sixth through eighth.
Sixth Grade Math
This year marks the second time that I’ve taught this level of math. The straight-forward approach makes teaching math with BJU Press non-threatening. If you aren’t a math person, the teacher guide provides step by step directions to help you teach your child the skills needed to master the concept of the lesson. If your child is apprehensive about math, you might find the number of questions within each lesson overwhelming, but there is always the option to reduce the workload. My daughter isn’t apprehensive about math, but she is also not a fan of doing tons of the same problems repeatedly so I select a few problems for her to complete. This method works best for her since I don’t require her to complete all of the problems. When selecting problems for her to solve, I don’t follow the only odd or even standard, but instead, I make sure to select problems that will challenge her. This approach seems to be the one that works well for both teacher and student.
BJU Press Sixth Grade Math Curriculum will definitely prepare her to start Fundamentals of Math in the fall.
Seventh Grade Math
Seventh-grade math is where BJU Press’ math loses its colorful content and workspace, and shifts to a streamlined approach for the older learner.
“Fundamentals of Math” provides examples for each type of math problem within the lesson and includes textual information written towards the student. I used “Fundamentals of Math” last school year with my older daughter. One thing I learned from using the program with my older daughter is taking the time to complete the “Skill Check” problems is necessary if I want my students to be successful when it comes to completing the assignment. Taking the time to have my daughter complete lesson skill checks provided me the opportunity to check for her understanding before sending her to complete the assignment on her own.
“Fundamentals of Math” paved the way for our use of BJU Press’ Pre-Algebra program. Before embarking on math in middle school, I didn’t give much value to sticking with the same math program. I now see the value. My daughters are comfortable with the format of the math programs we use which makes it less of a battle when we come across harder topics. I know I have a hard time completing a task if both the format and the information is difficult.
Eighth Grade Math
This year my older daughter is working through BJU Pre-Algebra ( I received it from BJU Press at no cost because I am an affiliate of the company). We signed on to use the distance learning program. We haven’t been the best distance learning family. My daughter does watch some of the videos, but she doesn’t watch all of them. There are two main reasons: she becomes lost because her focus isn’t always there and she does better with a teacher in her presence when it comes to math. I had a feeling this would be the case, but she desired to give it a shot. I definitely didn’t want to keep her from trying a different approach to learning.
Although we haven’t been the best distance learning family, I still appreciate the videos for my daughter to use at her convenience. I know there are some areas of math that we will need to sit together and discuss in order for her to make progress. For areas of math that she has some understanding, the videos serve well for her instruction. I like the flexibility of choosing which approach will best fit my daughter’s needs.
As a parent using the digital learning format, I didn’t receive a physical copy of the teacher’s guide or tests. I do have access to the teacher’s guide though via the distance learning platform. To keep the teacher’s guide accessible to me, I have downloaded each chapter to my Kindle. This works perfectly and is much easier to carry around than the guide itself. My daughter completes her quizzes and tests online after completing the paper copy of the test that I print out from the learning platform.
My Overall Thoughts about Middle School Math With BJU press
BJU Press math follows a spiral approach. In all three middle school levels, there are plenty of math problems to work through for each lesson of new information and daily reviews over previously taught topics. I like the built-in reviews because I strongly believe either you use it or lose it. I know I forget stuff often, but the content I review regularly or use often remains clearly in my mind. In both the seventh and eighth- grade math courses, you will find the review within the lesson under the heading “Cumulative Review”.
I guess one downfall for this math curriculum could be, the textbooks are thick which can be overwhelming if you have a learner apprehensive to math or if you have a limited amount of time to work through the course. I don’t put pressure on my daughters to complete their entire textbook, but we do have a goal to complete a good portion of it which means we will continue working on math during the summer.
BJU Press has definitely been a good fit for our homeschool, and I am looking forward to using their high school math programs in our homeschool.
Which math program are you using in your middle school?