We have been using our math curriculum for almost two years and are completely happy with the results. Our son also enjoys his math lessons so much that he likes doing them first. So you would think, “If it ain’t broke, don't fix it, right?”

With homeschooling, we have the incredible opportunity of changing things as we see opportunities arise. That’s the beauty of our flexible educational style! Change is a positive thing in our homeschool. 

Ahead of Schedule

We started The Good and The Beautiful Level 1 Math in January 2021, and we are now 80% through Level 2. That means we completed almost one level—a year’s worth—within six months.

We always read that Saxon Math is highly recommended, and the levels go through to high school. So I figured that it might be worth trying since we are ahead of schedule. Is it more rigorous? We’re not sure, but we have plenty of time to go back to another curriculum if we need. 

The Good and the Beautiful math curriculum is more visually pleasing.

Do Aesthetics Make a Difference?

The Good and the Beautiful math curriculum is known for its “beautiful” format, in color with pleasing graphics, stories, and games. This supposedly makes the lessons fun.  They claim to use a spiral learning approach and review concepts throughout the chapters.

In comparison, Saxon Math has plain “dull” layouts although it’s also a spiral curriculum. I think switching will be a good way to see what difference all the bells and whistles make. Our son likes the manipulatives and games in his current math.  Saxon still uses manipulatives, but after flipping through some sections I don't see any games. 

We have heard Saxon math is good but less visually interesting.

I would like to see if we can cut this part out and still have our son enjoy math. Many future lessons will also be less aesthetically pleasing, so I would like to see my son’s reaction to a plainer style. Don’t get me wrong—I like to have fun, and realize my son does too! But we have fun in other ways, so this is a good time for us to change.      

Is The Curriculum Too Easy?

Surely if we are flying through the math curriculum, it must be too easy, right? Since math is usually the most difficult subject, we try to do it daily, five times a week. We don’t always make it, but perhaps this is one of the reasons we are so ahead.

We are also doing the local math program we get from the traditional school we are registered at as well. Since it’s Asian-style math, we thought it would be more challenging. I’ll have to admit that some of the math word problems were confusing for me since they are focused on logic which I didn't expect for kids so young! 

My son learning math with math manipulatives.

Variety is Important

I’m a firm believer that variety is good for our child’s education. So far, our son enjoys the variety of lessons and environments we provide him. He has made good progress and seems advanced when we are with other children of his age. Our son embraces change not only to his schedule but also to what he’s learning.

As homeschooling families, we have the freedom to choose and modify our curriculum, process, and environment. We know most people change when they run into difficulties, but changing our math curriculum is just a way to enhance our son’s educational path with a new math learning style.

Photo credit: First image, iStock. Following images courtesy of author.