I was just reading about this in the Sonlight catalogue and was wondering what your experience was like. I was thinking of trying it around grade 1 or so. It sounded like it used a fair bit of manipulatives, which is what I 'm looking for, and is a spiraling curriculum which appeals to me. Thoughts?
Has anyone used Horizons math?
The TMs don't tell you how to teach anything, IMO. I also have Rightstart and have also used MEP. The TMs for Horizons are worthless compared to those two programs. In first grade it doesn't matter a whole lot, other than for teaching place value and strategies for addition and subtraction. If you're good at teaching math concepts yourself then that's no big deal. You just need to be aware that this is the case. Manipulatives are nice and most kids need them in first grade, but if the conceptual understanding isn't taught, manipulatives basically become crutches and toys.
We use Horizons as a supplement to Singapore. I don't use the TMs and I've also heard they are pretty worthless in terms of teaching.
My big girl enjoys Horizons and it's very easy to compact (which I like).
Definitely use the placement test because Horizons runs about 6 months or so advanced. There are two workbooks in the program and the second workbook is more like the beginning of the next grade. (example, Book B of Horizons 1 is more like beginning 2nd grade). When we finished Horizons 1, I looked at BJU Math 2 (which is very much grade level) and my dd had mastered 40% + of the material in that BJU Math. Sonlight website has a good placement test.
I'm using Horizons 1 to teach my 1st grader math. I bought just the workbooks, as I took college calculus when I was in high school and am fairly confident in my ability to teach a gifted 6yo how to add and subtract. Anyway, I really like it for *her* specifically. There is no way on earth this program would work with my other kids though with the way I teach the math to her. She is a very straightforward kind of kid, wanting to be told how to do it and assisted on a couple of problems before being left alone to do the rest herself. She doesn't do manipulatives and such most of the time. So for her, Horizons is a great fit. The other kids, well they are doing Math-U-See (except the youngest, but I plan to buy her the book for Primer to do in the fall at her pace when she shows an interest in printing).
Oh, and on the *rare* occassion that I don't know how to teach a concept to dd2 so that she gets it, we go to Khan Academy and watch the video there for it. I've had to do that twice.
We love horizons. We've never gotten the teacher's manual and we are working on 4th grade right now (we've done the second grade book and now 4th grade and will not try to switch again). Planning to start my younger daughter in it from the start. It is more advanced than a lot of the other curriculums out there. It has a lot of neat puzzles in it now that she's working on 4th grade (I don't remember as many in second grade).