Maths is neutral isn’t it?

Grade: 7-8
Religious Perspective: Christian
Style: Traditional
Parental involvement: minimal
Key Learning Area: Maths

My eldest started homeschooling in grade 7, and whilst I had been happy with their education up to that point, I found the text books they were using for maths very basic and light hearted; with lots of pictures and cartoons. I knew this was designed to make maths fun, but to me it seemed more distracting than helpful, and the multiple methods of solving basic calculations seemed to confuse rather than give them the opportunity to really master concepts.

In searching for a homeschool maths curriculum, I was looking for a course that was thorough and took maths seriously. I had been considering Saxon maths, but I was put off by reviews suggesting it was dry and overwhelming for some students and as we were new to homeschooling I wanted something that was a bit more conversational, and something that would ease us into more ‘serious’ maths.

I came across a review of Principals of Mathematics by Katherine A. Loop on another homeschool blog and it resonated with me. I had always thought of maths as ‘neutral’, not based in any world view, but the review described a different way of thinking about maths. It suggested that maths is not just a set of rules to be memorised and applied, but in the words of Katherine, a “…way of describing Gods’ creation that loudly proclaimed the Creator’s praises.”

‘Day in day out, our faithful, consistent Creator is holding all things together in such a predictable and reliable way that we can use math to describe it.’

Katherine A. Loop

Intrigued, I did a bit more research and downloaded samples. I eventually decided that this course would be a great transition for my boys from traditional school maths to Saxon Algebra 1 in Grade 9. It had an easy-to-read style and would be faith building for them to learn about maths from a different perspective. We used Book 1 for Grade 7 and Book 2 for Grade 8.

Both my sons have now worked through Book 1 & 2 of Principals of Mathematics, and it has been exactly as I’d hoped. It has transitioned them very well into Algebra 1, with a little bit of overlap that has helped them ease into the Saxon course. I also purchased the e-course which has a video for each of the lessons, which we found very helpful. You will also find a few corrections and additional resources here.

Each Lesson teaches the concept in focus and then puts it into a worldview perspective (though occasionally this feels a little overdone). They are then given around 10 to 15 problems to work through where they are able to practice the new concepts as well as review skills from previous lessons. The teacher book has a suggested schedule to complete the book in 1 year or in a semester, which is easy to follow and includes quizzes at the end of each section and quarterly exams. The solutions to all problems are found in the back of the book, so it is easy to help if they get stuck.

Purchase from Masters Books

AT A GLANCE.
Advantages:Disadvantages:
Christian world view perspective of mathsSome may find the repetition
of world view too repetitive
(but it is only a small section of the course)
Videos available for each lesson
Solutions manual allows you to see step by step solutions
Well explained in a conversational style

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