Everyone asks where they should go when they finish Horizons through grade 6, and the answer is now much easier. If you are a fan of the Horizons format and content, Horizons Pre-Algebra is the place to go.
The Student Book is colorful and consumable, unlike many pre-algebra courses. 160 lessons are numbered at the top of the page, and are usually only one page (front and back) in length. Lessons are designed to be done in 45 to 60 minutes each day, and consist of a major concept and practice of previous concepts. A teaching box at the beginning of each lesson presents the concept, and the adjacent 'classwork' section is to be done by the teacher and student together. The 'activities' section that follows is for reinforcement of the new concept and practice of older ones. Scattered throughout the book are interviews called "A Math Minute with..." These interviews are with regular people who use math in their careers or jobs. These real-life examples (electrician, plant manager, race car driver, etc.) are intended to answer the question, "Why do I need math?" Every ten lessons you'll find a page entitled “It’s College Prep Time!” This is a page of multiple choice questions that are similar to standardized tests.
The Teacher Guide is an important part of this course and includes lesson plans, answers and solutions for the student book, tests, exams, and worksheets imprinted into small-format student pages, readiness evaluation, and instructions for using the course.
Tests are taken every 10 lessons and are found in the Tests and Resources book. There are 16 tests along with 4 exams which are to be taken every 40 lessons. 80 worksheets for reinforcement and drill practice, and resources needed for the lessons, are found in this book.
In the brief comparison I did with Saxon Algebra ½, Horizons Pre-Algebra covers the same topics but sequencing is a bit different. Order of Operations and Probability is introduced earlier in Horizons, but I think that is due to the review found at the beginning of Saxon. Exponents and the Pythagorean Theorem are taught at about the same point, and both books have geometry lessons.
The goal of Horizons Pre-Algebra is to prepare students for Algebra 1. This course is well done and should meet the need of the many that prefer the Horizons products. ~ Donna