McGraw-Hill Math (Gr. 1-8)

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This program is most like the Spectrum Math program. It is a solid program with more complete instruction than Spectrum, albeit with fewer pages. By comparison, at the 6th grade level, McGraw has 156 pages compared to the 187 in Spectrum. I suspect the difference is due to the format rather than the scope. Spectrum books have a pre-test for each chapter whereas this series has one for the book. Because more space is devoted to instruction, there are correspondingly fewer problems per page. Books are notably more colorful than their Spectrum counterparts and the pages more visually appealing; text is crisp and pages look clean. Font is grade appropriate. Published in 2011, these are aligned with math Common Core Standards. If you've escaped hearing about this latest educational catch-phrase, it refers to educational standards which have been adopted by MOST of the 50 states (only five states and three territories have not as of early May, 2012). So, you can bank on standardized tests incorporating these standards in testing.

The pre-test in each book will inform whether you can skip chapters or not. The book is self-instructional with fairly complete teaching of each concept, followed by an example, then practice exercises. Teaching material includes colorful visual aids as needed. Each chapter culminates with a Unit Test and the book ends with a comprehensive Test followed by a glossary (dictionary at lower levels) and answer key. Pages are perforated for easy removal of key or pages.

I would say these are on par with the Spectrum series; while not a complete math curriculum in the traditional sense, they may be used in place of one coupled with additional hands-on teaching (at lower levels) or with additional practice where needed (at upper levels). They also make excellent practice, review, and reinforcement books to use with a program that is less traditional (like Miquon or Singapore math). Certainly, if you are concerned about state testing requirements, these would assure you that your child is learning according to almost every state's standards. Each book includes a 10-week summer study plan, too, so your child could use these to get a head start on math for the next year. For the motivated child, doing so may allow them to move ahead a grade level or at least progress more rapidly through their coursework during the school year.

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McGraw-Hill Math Grade 5 (Power up Your Math Skills) Item #: 053250
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McGraw-Hill Math Grade 4 (Power up Your Math Skills) Item #: 053249
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McGraw-Hill Math Grade 2 (Power up Your Math Skills) Item #: 053247
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