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How do I Choose the Best Math Curriculum?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Choosing the best math curriculum can be difficult because there’s no one curriculum that is right for every student. Some may benefit from a step-by-step approach to learning math while others thrive with curriculum materials that are more mastery based and less repetitious. Generally, choosing the best math curriculum requires matching a book or program to the unique needs, preferences and abilities of the student as well as the needs of the teacher. It may also involve comparing costs and other factors.

One of the easiest ways to choose the best math curriculum may involve getting the student involved in the selection process. A parent, teacher or tutor may ask what he likes and dislikes about learning math to help select a math program that will appeal to him. For example, if the student often feels overwhelmed with moving quickly from one topic to another, choosing a curriculum that includes daily review work may be appropriate. Likewise, if a he finds long math lessons boring or difficult, it may be better to select one that provides bite-sized lesson material.

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Parents, teachers and tutors may also consider a curriculum’s ability to capture and hold the student’s attention. If the student is a child, he may feel excited about using a curriculum that includes bright colors, funny cartoons, or juicy bits of information. Other children, however, may find such things distracting. The same may go for an online math curriculum that offers lots of bells and whistles. Some students may find the colorful graphics and interactive tools help to motivate them to learn; others may find it hard to focus on the math problems with so much else to see.

Another consideration when choosing a math curriculum is the amount of preparation involved. Some parents, teachers, or tutors may prefer a curriculum that requires little to no preparation. For example, this type of program or book may include lesson plans, teaching instructions, tests, quizzes and practice materials. Others may enjoy a more basic curriculum to which they can add math games, projects and activities they create. In fact, some parents or teachers may choose to incorporate things like cooking and constructing in their lesson plans.

For many people, cost is one of the most important factors in selecting a math curriculum. The most expensive curriculum isn’t always the best, however. Instead of selecting based on costs alone, parents and teachers may find it helpful to choose a few math programs that include most of what they desire. Then, they may narrow the choices by selecting the curriculum that has most of what they want at a price they can afford.

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