I was recently asked to share some information about the Systematic Mathematics curriculum that I have listed in my side bar. I can’t recall the post where the comment was left, so I thought I would go ahead and post my review here.

I have been homeschooling for a few years, and through most of the time, I used Saxon Math. It did wonders for my daughter’s math skills, and her standardized test scores for math skyrocketed when we started using it.

However…

… this past year, I had started using if for all of my children. My sons in 5th and 7th and my daughter in Algebra. The math that had been such a great program for my daughter, was a nightmare for the boys. They couldn’t grasp concepts with the spiraling style that Saxon has. They would no sooner begin a concept, when something new would be brought in. They weren’t mastering the lessons, and it was just a mess for them. Math shouldn’t make you cry! And in regards to my daughter’s Algebra 1, I kept finding error after error in the answer key. It got to where I would spend an hour every day just correcting her math, because I would personally have to work out every “wrong” answer to see if it was actually wrong, or if it was the book.

So I started reading reviews and found that many other parents had the same problem with Alg 1. They often voiced opinions that the company seemed to have used different writers once they hit the upper math. That while they had been thrilled with the lower math, were very frustrated and disappointed with the upper math. In my researching, I came across a mention of Systematic Mathematics. I had never heard of this math curriculum, and so I did some digging.

Systematic Mathematics (SysteMath) is based upon mastery of concepts. It was created by an older gentleman, named Paul Ziegler, who was a teacher for many years, and had become extremely upset with the decline in math skills in the U.S. This curriculum is based on the methods of teaching that were used in the 50’s, back when learning was the focus, and American schools were considered great.

The math lessons do not come in a text book. They are instead “modules.” Each module will have a number of lessons. Each lesson will have a video, where Paul himself is teaching the lesson on a chalkboard. All of the lesson worksheets are on disk, in PDF form. You simply print them out as needed. Some lessons will have more than one “worksheet” and some have study sheets that go with them. These modules cover from around 6th grade math, all the way through Algebra 2.

For the younger students, SysteMath actually offers the old, 1920’s text books that were used way back when. Those text books each cover 2 years of math, and are only about $14.99. Two years of math for $14.99! How often do you see a deal like that? And these really are the old, classic lessons. “Susie bought a doll for 5 cents” LOL My youngest really likes them, and he is LEARNING!

When I first tried out this curriculum, I wasn’t sure if it would work for us, because it was very different, and not well known. But, I was so frustrated that I thought it would be worth a shot.

At first, my older son thought the videos were dry and boring….until about the third lesson he did, when he exclaimed, *“WOW! I have never seen such an easy way to do that! MOM! Come watch this!” * At which point he replayed a portion of the lesson for me. He was thrilled, because he actually understood what he was doing! I was thrilled because he was GETTING IT!

I print out each lesson for them, and if for some reason they don’t do well, I simply have them repeat the lesson, and just print it out again. Since it isn’t consumable, I can use it later, with the younger students, and not have to buy them all over again.

This curriculum may not be for everyone, but it certainly works for us! If you go to their website, you can watch and view sample lessons, so you have a better idea of what it is. There are even “final exams” for every module so you can print them out, have your child take it, and determine which modules you need, all for free.

I hope that answers the questions anyone may have, but if you have any further, please feel free to leave a comment :-) I’ll answer any way I can.

Jessica

I have been looking into this program but have found out that systematic math is no longer being sold. Is it possible to get the name of the math text books from the 1920’s?

Constance Smith

Oh no! What a shame. Yes, the old books are still listed on their site with links to where you can get them: http://www.systemath.com/elementary.html

JenL

I realize this post is quite old, but I was wondering if you could give an evaluation now of how the program worked that year and provided for the following years. Did you stay with it? What levels did you use?

We have used Strayer-Upton for elem and am looking at Systematic Mathematics as a bridge between them and algebra.

Thanks.

Constance Smith

We loved it. We used Systematic Mathematics for several years. My kids have all since graduated high school and moved on, but if I remember correctly, we used it for grades 5-Algebra 1. I also used the “Math Rescue” module with one of my children who really struggles with math. It was a great review for him. The other nice thing about this math, is that it has a 30 day guarantee. If you don’t like it, you can return it.

JenL

Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful.