My Favorite High School Math Texts: Algebra 2 and Precalculus

in StemSocial4 months ago (edited)


I am opinionated when it comes to high school mathematics. As a homeschool mom with an engineering degree, I am often called upon to tutor when students exceed the math their parents remember from high school--or when public schoolers despair because their children are not actually using any organized math curriculum at all.

While I am certainly a fan of Saxon Math for middle and high school (for its ease of use by students without much teacher input) I have something I prefer when teaching:

Algebra: Structure and Method Book 1 by Richard G. Brown;
Geometry by Ray C. Jurgensen;
Algebra and Trigonometry: Structure and Method Book 2 by Richard G. Brown; and
Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus with Discrete Mathematics and Data Analysis by Richard G. Brown

Geometry Separate, not Integrated
I prefer a separate geometry course for students who are going into STEM fields. The discipline of proofs will serve them well in engineering school or computer programming. The integrated geometry of the Saxon curriculum is adequate, provided the student does at least half of the Saxon Advanced Math, which most homeschoolers, unfortunately, do not.

Flexible Options
There is some overlap in the Algebra/Trig and Advanced Math texts. A curriculum can be tailored to fit the pace and the goals of different students. For example, a local Christian school at which I teach sometimes uses the Algebra/Trig text for 2 years: Algebra II and Precalculus. At the moment, I am teaching a pair of girls who may very well finish this same text in a year, leaving them ready for calculus or discrete math--both topics covered at an introductory level in the Advanced Math text.


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