Horizons Math Reviews – What You Honestly Need To Know
Horizons Math Reviews
If you’re looking for Horizons Math Reviews, this is my honest review of using it at the Kindergarten level and also provide my thoughts on Horizons Math in general after having a closer look at Math 1 and 2 also.
I tell you what my Kindergarten student and I liked about it, what we didn’t like, common questions you might have about the Horizons Math curriculum by Alpha Omega Publications, and some final thoughts and recommendations.
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What We Liked – The Pros
Colorful workbooks – The pages in these workbooks are bright and colorful which makes it more fun for some kids.
Although some kids are actually distracted by the colors, others do prefer it and look forward to math because of the fun nature of the workbooks.
It all depends on your particular child but the Kindergartener I worked with actually likes it to be colorful.
There is a book 1 and book 2 for each grade level (Kindergarten to Grade 8).
Here’s an inside view of Math K:
NOT time-consuming – While some math curriculums can take a lot of time to complete each day, Horizons Math provides very short lessons and only 2 pages of math are needed to complete per lesson.
Minimum Lesson Prep – Aside from not being time-consuming, lessons that introduce new concepts are not long at all with only a suggested activity idea and minimal materials and manipulatives.
There is not much teacher prep needed, if any, per lesson. A quick read in the Teacher’s Guide to check if you need anything, and a glance at the workbook pages can be done the night before.
Minimum Components – The Horizons math curriculum consists of using 2 workbooks, a Teacher’s Guide, and an optional manipulatives kit. There are no additional textbooks like some programs. Horizons Math K consists of 180 lessons.
Spiral Learning Math Approach – This math program uses the spiral learning approach. This means that the concepts learned throughout are constantly being reviewed instead of the mastery approach which only focuses on one concept at a time, without review.
The spiral approach is much more appropriate for the elementary grades, making sure concepts are not forgotten once learned. It also keeps kids from getting bored of working on the same concepts day after day.
What We Didn’t Like – The Cons
Advanced Math Concepts – This isn’t necessarily considered a drawback for all students or for all grade levels.
I’m referring specifically to the Kindergarten level and when working with students who may struggle in math.
For kids who are strong in math, this could be a positive thing, but if your child isn’t that strong in math, introducing advanced concepts might not be ideal.
For example, Horizons Math K introduces time to the hour, half hour, and also in quarters. I do find this rather quick for some students to grasp in Kindergarten, while for others, it is a welcoming challenge.
Do I Need The Teacher’s Guide?
Yes, you do need the Teacher’s Guide. I know some homeschooling parents choose to skip it, but it is not a good idea to do that. It will help you when introducing new concepts.
It will provide you with activity ideas on what to do before your child attempts the workbook pages for a particular lesson.
While parts of the daily lessons are review questions and don’t require an introductory lesson, some actually do.
You don’t want to have your child stuck on a concept because you didn’t introduce a new concept in a way your child will understand it.
There are also extra practice sheets in the back of the Teacher’s Guide if you find your child needs more practice writing numbers, or practicing other math concepts. You will have to make copies of what you want to use.
In Lesson 58 of the Kindergarten level, Activity #1 (seen below in the Teacher’s Guide), introduces counting nickels.
After the activity, students will complete #1 in their workbook.
Horizons Math Manipulatives Kit
For the lower elementary grades (including Kindergarten), there is a Horizons Math manipulatives kit that serves to accompany the workbooks and Teacher’s guide.
Young children cannot think abstractly like adults do so having a math manipulatives kit is recommended. It is also fun to use!
You could use one math kit for several years and with multiple children.
Of course, there are some kids that are not drawn to hands-on learning, so deciding on if you want to have a math kit will depend on your particular child.
I got the Saxon Kit from amazon since I also use the Saxon curriculum, but the materials are similar. I did have to add flashcards, play money, and 3D shapes.
You can get the actual Horizons math kit from Christianbook.com here or the Saxon math kit from amazon here.
Is Horizons Math Advanced?
Yes, the Horizons Math curriculum is advanced! Many of the concepts taught in a particular grade level are taught in public school a year later.
Any child going through Horizons, will be well above their peers in public school for the same grade level. There are also other homeschool math curriculum options that are not as far advanced as Horizons Math.
It’s also great that the concepts are constantly being revisited throughout the workbooks.
Is Horizons Math Common Core Aligned?
No, Horizons Math is not common core, meaning it doesn’t follow the regular common core standards set out in public school.
However, you will find that the concepts taught are basically the same, although taught one year earlier than the common core (making it more advanced).
Horizons Math K Table Of Contents
You can get an idea of what is covered in the Horizons Math Kindergarten workbooks by taking a close look at the Scope and Sequence below.
There are also a few pages that outline what lessons certain concepts appear in Kindergarten Math.
Here’s an example of one of the pages.
Both the Scope and Sequence and the Appearance of Concepts pages, serve in place of a typical Table of Contents.
These along with the teacher lesson activities and extra practice worksheets are included in the Horizons Teacher’s Guide.
Is Horizons Math Secular?
No, Horizons Math is not secular. However, there is not much Christian-based content in the early grade level workbooks.
At the Kindergarten level, I believe there was only 1-2 word problems that touched on anything religious. You will find a few more religious-based math questions in the other grade levels.
How We Use Horizons Math Kindergarten
We homeschool year-round. For this reason, and also to keep concepts fresh in memory, we prefer to work with 2 different curriculums in one year. I know this may not work for many families, however, for us, mathematics and language arts are very important subjects that we like to stay on top of throughout the year.
For Kindergarten, we use both Horizons Math K (seen here), and Saxon Math 1. One is fun and colorful, while the other is black and white, but very thorough.
We may also skip some questions here and there each day if the concept is well-understood.
It’s a very good mix and ensures the kids don’t get bored with doing the same workbooks every day. Saxon Math offers a lot of hands-on opportunities too.
We start off doing Horizons Math K Book 1 and then move on to Saxon 1. Once Saxon 1 is completed, we may or may not, move on to Horizons Book 2 for review in the summer since the curriculum is advanced (it will depend on the child).
I understand it may not be in everyone’s budget to use two curriculums in a year, but you can often find some of the books used on amazon.
I got the Horizons Teacher’s Guide used for $10 on amazon! Check prices here on amazon for the Teacher’s Guide on different grade levels.
Another great place to get your curriculum affordably is on Christianbook.com.
I prefer to have 2 math curriculums than having one and then end up at the Dollar store adding random extras later on in the year.
This way, I’m confident that there are no missing pieces in the math curriculum for their grade level.
More Horizons Math Reviews
Before I decided to buy the Horizons Math Kindergarten curriculum, I went to amazon to read the customer reviews. I read about the Kindergarten books and also the Horizons Math 1 and 2.
The majority of Horizons Math reviews were mostly positive.
Of course, not everyone is going to leave a positive review and the curriculum is not right for every child.
Overall, there were surely more positive reviews than the contrary.
You can view all about the Horizons Math 1 complete set and reviews here on amazon.
Here is a video flip-through from Guiding My Home, if you want a better look at the Kindergarten workbooks:
Is The Horizons Math Curriculum Right For You and Your Child?
See the following table as a quick guide to help you decide if Horizons is the right math curriculum for you and your child:
|Horizons Math Is For You If:||Horizons Math Is NOT For You If:|
| —> you are short on time and prefer short lessons
—> you are of Christian-faith OR don’t mind the occasional and minimal religious mention
—> you like the review/spiral learning of math concepts
—> you want your child to be challenged with an advanced math curriculum
|—> you are a secular family and don’t want any religious content even if it’s only 1-2 word problems
—> you prefer mastery-based learning and don’t want concepts to be reviewed throughout
—> you want more hands-on learning and games in a math curriculum
—> you don’t feel your child would benefit from an advanced math curriculum right now
Where Can I Buy The Horizons Math Curriculum?
I tend to buy my curriculum new or used on Amazon. I will also check out Christianbook.com. Those are the two places I usually go to buy curriculum. I know others also use ebay or other online retailers so there are other options. I prefer amazon and Christianbook.com
since they both ship quickly and affordably.
What To Use After Horizons Math
Horizons was created for Kindergarten to Grade 8 mathematics.
Many homeschoolers use Teaching Textbooks online after Horizons Math 2 or 3.
This way, math could be a more hands-off subject for parents.
Teaching Textbooks allows your child to do math independently online and starts at the Grade 3 level.
If you prefer that your child uses a more traditional offline approach to mathematics, then Saxon Math is an excellent math curriculum that will prepare your child for high level math required for College.
From my experience with it and from other Horizons Math reviews, I can honestly say it is a really good math curriculum. It’s not for every child. If your child can pick up math concepts well, this is a great advanced math program that doesn’t require a lot of time.
However, if you feel your child is not fairly strong in the area of math, another curriculum such as Saxon Math may be more appropriate. Regardless with what math curriculum you choose, having a math manipulatives kit is also beneficial in helping kids grasp certain math concepts through hands-on learning.
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