While offering some instruction, these programs include less teaching material or do not cover the full range of grade-level skills that the comprehensive programs offer.
I would have loved using this math program as a child! It is an extremely sound, logically presented math program that is virtually self-instructional (once your child can read). Best of all, children can progress at their own pace, according to their ability, instead of having to "put in" the requisite nine years of math before beginning higher-level math (algebra and beyond). Not only is it great for a naturally independent learner, but it would teach any child to take responsibility for his learning, and greatly improve thinking skills as well. Extensively field tested, Dr. George L. Saad and team made sure that children could progress through the 16 levels of worktexts essentially unaided. Where confusion was found, additional instruction was added until the program was a finely-tuned math tutor! Many homeschooling mothers-of-many are stretched to the max with multiple levels of school to teach, toddlers to watch, babies to bubble, and teens needing driving practice (not to mention husbands that need occasional attention!). This is a math course you can feel good about using with no regrets about neglecting critical skills. Presentations are extremely clear, with very desirable progression of instruction from the concrete level to the abstract, then mastery through practice, and, finally, application with problem solving using word problems. Each skill is taught in bite-sized pieces and built upon slowly so as not to "lose" the child's understanding. In fact, presentation is so well done, that children are able to deduce math principles from working through the exercises, in much the same way as the Miquon lab sheets. There are no manipulatives used. Rather, pictures are substituted for live objects (this may hamper some extremely kinesthetic children who need to touch and feel to understand). Also, some concepts normally taught in math programs are not taught in Developmental Math because they do not really fit into the normal progression of skills. These concepts are time (including calendar time), temperature, weights and measurement. The levels are ungraded, and students should be able to complete about three levels per school year. Each level book is divided into units, which culminate with a unit test to assure mastery. A diagnostic test is taken after students complete each level also. Placement of your child in the program depends on his/her skill level. Students should be placed at the level of skill that they're already familiar with, but have not totally mastered. Specific guidelines for placement are available if you're in doubt. Alternatively, you could use the Developmental Math Test Pack, a series of 5 diagnostic tests, to accurately pinpoint your child's current level. Each 8-page placement test covers three levels. Placement Test A, for example, covers Levels 2-4, while Placement Test E assesses Levels 14-16.
Skills covered by level are as follows:
Level 1 - Number concepts and symbols
Level 2 - Addition concept, basic facts 1-9
Level 3 - Subtraction concept, basic facts 1-9
Level 4 - Tens concept, addition & subtraction
Level 5 - 2-digit numbers, addition & subtrac-
tion without regrouping
Level 6 - Addition with regrouping
Level 7 - Subtraction with regrouping
Level 8 - Multiplication concept and facts
Level 9 - Division concept and facts
Level 10 - Hundreds concept, three-digit addi-
tion & subtraction
Level 11 - Three-digit multiplication & division
Level 12 - Thousands concept; all operations
Level 13 - Decimal and metric system
Level 15 - Fractions; advanced skills
Level 16 - Ratio, proportion, percent, probability, number theory, graphs
Level 17 - Algebra I
Level 18 - Algebra II
Level 19 - Geometry I
Level 20 - Geometry II
Upon completion of level 16, your child should be ready for Algebra ½ or Pre-Algebra. Parent guides at levels 1-9 contain general suggestions for the parent's role in the course, a brief overview of skills taught in previous levels showing the current level in context of the program, a lesson-by-lesson explanation of skills presented, and answers to exercises. Teacher guides at levels 10-16 are copies of student worktexts with answers shown. A program overview booklet showing level by level progress, is available for those who want to sample before deciding.
Have you been waiting for the upper levels of Developmental Math - they have finally arrived. Levels 17-20 are for your students who are ready to move on to algebra and geometry using the same format as the lower levels of this series. Students in 7th and 8th grade should have completed levels 13-16 in order to prepare for these levels which should then be done in sequence. Levels 17 and 18 are Algebra I and II, Levels 19 and 20 are Geometry I and II.