Comparing Elementary Math Curriculum

elementary math curriculum

Elementary Math Curriculum

Finding the right math curriculum for your child is not always easy. So I have put together a list of elementary math curriculum links below, along with a free printable comparison chart, to help you find a math program that fits your family’s needs. After you print out the chart, go through the math list below and write down the ones that appeal to you, then compare them by asking yourself these questions:

  • Does it best fit my child’s learning style?
  • Does it fit within my family’s chosen teaching method? i.e. Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc.
  • Are there a lot of extras to purchase and if so, is this okay with me?
  • Can it be used with multiple kids at a time or with younger kids later?
  • Does it fit within my budget?
  • Are the books consumable / non-consumable?
  • Can I continue to use it through high school or will I have to change curriculum at a certain grade level?

As you answer these questions, you will get a better idea of which math curricula doesn’t fit your child. You should be able to narrow it down to only a few, helping you to then choose the best math curriculum for your child and family!


I have researched the links below and organized the information I found in this format:

Name of Curriculum – Grade Levels

  •       Teaching Method / Teaching Intensity
  •       Books Included
  •       Versions Available / Extras Needed or Available
  •       Other Helpful Information
  •       My Notes on this Curriculum

(*Please Note: This information is based on my research found at the date of this post. Publishers are always updating and editing their curricula, so if you find any errors here, please let me know!)


Curriculum – Mathematical Reasoning (Grades PreK – 6)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: 1 Book includes Teacher Manual, Workbook & Answer Key
  • Supplemental books available for more challenging work
  • Notes: Made by The Critical Thinking Co., it uses logical & critical thinking concepts

Curriculum – Miquon Math  (Grades 1 – 3)


Curriculum – Math-U-See (Primer thru Calculus)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Teacher directed for early grades, Independent for older grades
  • Includes: Instructor Pack has solutions, answers and DVD, Student Pack has workbook & tests
  • Versions Available: App is available for manipulatives
  • Extras Needed: Primer – Algebra 1 uses Base 10 blocks or the App
  • Encourages use of manipulatives through Algebra 1
  • Notes: The DVD is a critical part of this program. It helps the teacher teach the program and allows older students to work independently

Curriculum – Singapore Primary Math (Grades 1 – 6)

  • Teaching Method – Sequential / Teacher directed for lower levels, Independent when student can read
  • Includes: Home Instructor Guide, 2 Workbooks (A & B) & 2 Textbooks (A & B) per grade
  • Extras Available: Extra Practice Books for more challenging work
  • Uses the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Method of teaching
  • Notes: There are 3 different versions available: The US Edition which is the actual Singapore version adapted to include US measurements, the US Standards Edition which is aligned to California math standards and the Common Core Edition. The Common Core edition does not include cumulative reviews as the other two editions do

Curriculum – Saxon Math (Grades K – 3)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Scripted
  • Includes: Homestudy Kit, Meeting Book, 2 Student Books, Fact Cards
  • Extras Needed: Manipulative Kit
  • Lower levels of Saxon are very teacher intensive and taught using manipulatives.
  • Notes: Levels K – 3 were not written by Stephen Hake or John Saxon, as the upper levels were

Curriculum – Saxon Math Intermediate (Grades 3 – 5)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Taught then Student Independent
  • Includes: Homeschool Kit includes Student Book, Solutions Manual, Power Up Workbook & Testing Book
  • Series is written by Stephen Hake
  • Notes: Layout of lessons are similar to the upper level Saxon Math series

Review Note:  (coming soon!!)

  • I have a complete breakdown and review of all the Saxon Math series where I explain the difference in each of the series and grade levels, what it means that they were written by different authors, how to choose the right book for upper grade levels, the difference in the teaching DVD’s and much more!

Curriculum – Teaching Textbooks (Grades 3 – Pre-Calculus)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Independent
  • Includes: Student Book & Answer Key / Set of Discs
  • Extras Included: Automatic grading feature, can use on multiple computers, customer support
  • Notes: Lessons are taught using CD’s with problems worked out in student book

Curriculum – Math Mammoth, Light Blue & Blue Series  (Grades 1 – 7)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent (when they can read)
  • Includes: 2 Books per grade (A & B) each includes Instructions, Student Book, Tests, Reviews, & Answers
  • Versions Available: CD, Download of “Extras” available
  • Extras Included: A Worksheet Maker / Mini-Math course / A gift of hundreds of free worksheets
  • Inside the books are a lot of helpful resources that includes website links and games / 
  • Notes: These books are mostly black & white with some color

Curriculum – Christian Light Education (Grades 1 -12)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Teacher Directed in early grades, Independent in upper grades
  • Includes: Teacher Book, Student Books (Light Units which are 10 mini workbooks), Answer Key
  • Extras Needed: Flash Cards & Manipulatives for early grades
  • Extras Available: Reference charts
  • Notes: Curriculum uses flash cards & speed drills in each lesson to master math facts

Review Note:  (coming soon!!) **A review of this curriculum. I am currently use this for my 3rd grader that loves drill and mastery type work.


Curriculum – Rod & Staff Math  (Grades 1 – 8)

  • Teaching Method – Traditional / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: Teacher Manuals, Student Book, Speed Drills, Test & Quizzes for older grades
  • Extras Needed: Flash Cards used in younger grades
  • Emphasizes drill & memorization
  • Notes: This curriculum is designed for classroom use, books are black & white

Curriculum – Right Start Math (Grades K – 8)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual & Multisensory /Teaching Involvement is heavy
  • Includes: Lesson Book, Worksheet Book, MathCard Games Book w/DVD
  • Versions Available: eBook for worksheets
  • Extras Needed: Manipulative Kit needed for all levels
  • A Multisensory program that focuses on concepts using the AL Abacus
  • Notes: 2nd Edition now available that eliminates the need for the “transition” books

Curriculum – 1XL Online (Grades Pre-K – Calculus)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Membership based. No books.
  • Versions Available: Online format
  • Tracks student progress performance and readiness for standardized testing.

Curriculum – A+ Interactive Online (Grades 1 – Algebra)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Choose either online format (paid monthly, quarterly, annually) or CD format
  • Versions Available: Online format & CD / Online format available on computers & tablets
  • Extras Available: Choose from: Family Package (includes access to all grade levels) / Single Grade Level / Single Curriculum / Mini Courses / Placement Tests / Free 1-Month Trial
  • Notes: Online version allows you to print worksheets for extra practice, redo tests & quizzes if needed, includes a Parent Dashboard for tracking all your students’ progress and grading. Can print lesson plans or assign your own preferred sequence of lessons.

**Review Note:  (coming soon!!) We are currently using this in our home for 3 of my boys in grades 2, 6 and Algebra. We are loving it!! I am working on a review of this program.


Curriculum – Horizons Math (Grades K – 6)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: 2 Full-Color Student Workbooks, Teacher Book includes answers & tests and reproducible worksheets
  • Versions Available: Reproducible Worksheets can be purchased separately
  • Extras Needed: Manipulatives for early grades
  • Teacher Manual is an essential part of the program and includes a lot of extras
  • Notes: This program was designed for homeschooling and includes quarterly tests and final exams for upper grade levels.

Curriculum – Life of Fred Elementary (Elementary Grades)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual / Teacher Directed or Independent based on child
  • Includes: Textbook only (no Teacher book or Answer key)
  • Not a “traditional” math program, these math books read as a story with practical applications of math rather than lists of problems to solve. Can be used in addition to your math curriculum
  • Notes: Series is written in alpha order, start with “A” and work your way through the letters

Curriculum – CTC Math Online (K – High School)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Online Format / Subscription-Based
  • Versions Available: Online
  • Extras Available: Choose from: Family Package (includes access to all grade levels) / Single Student. Tutorial summaries of lessons can be printed for review of each lesson
  • Notes: Parents can track the progress of their students, maintain records & grading

Curriculum – Khan Academy Math (K – High School)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Online Format / Free
  • Versions Available: Online via computer or tablet
  • Notes: Taught by instructors through video-based lessons. You can search a topic that you need extra help with or create a lesson plan and watch videos in order of your lessons.

Curriculum – Math Lessons for A Living Education (Grades 1 – 6)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Teacher Directed / Charlotte Mason Method
  • Includes: Level 1 -5 Book includes: Daily Schedule, Lessons, Worksheets, Manipulatives Section, Answer Key / Level 6 includes: Student Book with Lessons & Worksheets and Teacher Book with Daily Schedule, Quizzes, Solutions Manual, Multiplication Grid
  • Versions Available: Physical Books only
  • Teacher Book for level 6 includes the 1st chapter of Principles of Math book 1 Student & Teacher. All physical workbook pages are perforated & 3-hole punched for convenience
  • Notes: This is a Charlotte Mason based curriculum which blends in stories, copy work, oral narration and hands-on concepts. Publisher is Masterbooks

Curriculum – Beast Academy (Grades 2 – 5)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: 4 Units per grade, A-D. Each unit includes a Guide Book & Practice Book
  • Versions Available: Physical Books / Online version available in 2018
  • Extras Available: Website includes free printable worksheets for extra practice, and Assessment tests
  • Published by the Art of Problem Solving team
  • Notes: Guide books are very colorful using a comic book style, story format. Practice problems are taught through games and hands-on activities with practice books printed in black & white

I have created a FREE math curriculum comparison form to help you in choosing the right math program. You can access this form in my Free Printable Library by clicking on the box at the end of this post.

Math Curriculum Comparison Chart

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