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Math Books For Homeschooling


Math Resources for Homeschooling
Cathy Duffy’s reviews of math books, sorted by Preschool and Kindergarten, Elementary Grades, Junior High, and High School levels.

Math Text Books by Harold Jacobs vs Saxon
Susan Richman compares these two math texts popular with homeschoolers.

Essential Mathematics for Life Series

by Mary S. Charuhas
These workbooks provide pre and post tests, and lots of real-life examples of the concepts that are presented so a young person can see how to use math in the real world. They are all paperbacks. We used these for supplemental material. If you buy used, make sure they are in very good condition. Students work right in the book, and the answer pages should still be in the back. This is the order that is recommended to use them.

  1. Whole Numbers
  2. Decimals and Fractions
  3. Percents and Proportions
  4. Graphs, Measurements, and Statistics
  5. Geometry
  6. Algebra
  7. Review of Whole Numbers Through Algebra

Harold Jacobs Series

These are the texts we use with our son, chosen because of their sense of humor and thoroughness of concepts covered. I suggest to buy used copies. Students do problem sets on their own paper. Answers are in the back.

Elementary Algebra
by Harold Jacobs
Algebra for the homeschool student who really wants to know and apply algebra. 1995 Hardback

Geometry : Seeing, Doing, Understanding
Geometry : Seeing, Doing, Understanding

by Harold Jacobs
High school geometry text that is thorough, yet done in a “right brain” way. 3rd edition (March 14, 2003)

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor
by Harold Jacobs
A book for those who think they don’t like the subject, and a popular book among teen homeschoolers for that reason. 1994 3rd Edition Hardback

Student Workbook for Jacobs Mathematics: A Human Endeaveavor
by Susan Knueven Wong
Working through this book will convince any human being, of almost any age, that he or she is a born mathematician.

Key to Math Series

Key to… Series
ometimes a certain concept or area of math study just doesn’t “stick” or needs more review. Sometimes you want to introduce an advanced student to more difficult topics. That’s what the Key to…® series is all about: inexpensive, sequentially-oriented and straightforward help on specialized topics. Consumable workbooks. I suggest buying each workbook set of 4 at a time with the answer key for the set.

Life of Fred Series

by Stan Schmidt
Life of Fred offers a complete math education from addition through two years of calculus…and beyond. More mathematics than any other homeschooling curriculum we know of, and at a far lower price for high quality, hard bound math books on the same topics. The author uses a biography model to explain how Fred finds math fun and useful through his life. I have seen these books at homeschool conferences. The books are not highly marketed and thus the low prices. It is recommended that all students up to grade 4 begin with the “Apples” book. Sets are available at discount.

The Elementary Books Before Fractions

      1st through 4th Grades

Before High School Mathematics 5th Grade until High School

    1. Life of Fred: Fractions
    2. Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents
      * Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Fractions, Decimals and Percents
    3. Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology
    4. Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics
      * Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics 2
      * Life of Fred Set # 1, 4-Book Set : Fractions, Decimals, Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, and Pre-Algebra 2

Freshman Year High School Mathematics 9th Grade Math

    1. Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra As Serious as it Needs to Be
      Life of Fred: Fred’s Home Companion: Beginning Algebra
      Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra Zillions of Practice Problems
      * Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Beginning Algebra, Fred’s Home Companion for Beginning Algebra

Sophomore Year High School Mathematics 10th Grade Math (And 9th-10th Grade Set)

      1. Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra

* Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Advanced Algebra, Fred’s Home Companion for Advanced Algebra
* Life of Fred 4-Book Set # 2 : Beginning Algebra, Fred’s Home Companion Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Fred’s Home Companion Advanced Algebra

Junior Year High School Mathematics 11th Grade Math

      1. Life of Fred: Geometry

Life of Fred : Geometry Answer Booklet
* Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Geometry, Geometry Answer Booklet

Senior Year High School Mathematics 12th Grade Math

      1. Life of Fred Trigonometry

Fred’s Home Companion Trigonometry
* Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Trigonometry, Fred’s Home Companion for Trigonometry

College Level Mathematics Advanced Math

    1. Life of Fred: CalculusLife of Fred: Calculus Answer Booklet
      * Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Calculus, Calculus Answer Booklet
    2. Life of Fred: Statistics
      * Life of Fred 2-Book Set : Statistics, Statistics Answer Booklet
    3. Life of Fred : Linear Algebra
      * Life of Fred 6-Book Set # 4 : Calculus, Calculus Booklet, Statistics, Statistics Booklet, Linear Algebra, Linear Algebra Booklet

Saxon Series

by John H. Saxon, Jr.
Remember the movie Stand and Deliver about the bario kids that won the math contest? They used Saxon. It’s loved and hated for its repetitious nature. Visit the Sonlight site for help with placement. Geometry is taught along with Algebra, so there is no separate book.


Math 5/4: An Incremental Development
Math 6/5: An Incremental Development
Math 7/6: An Incremental Development
Math 8/7
Math 87 Adaptation: Student Workbook
Algebra One-Half : An Incremental Development (HB)
Algebra 1/2: An Incremental Development (PB)
Algebra 1 : An Incremental Development
Algebra 2 : An Incremental Development
Advanced Mathematics : An Incremental Development
Advanced Mathematics : An Incremental Development (Solutions Manual) Second Edition
Calculus With Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry
Solutions Manual for: Calculus With Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry

Reference Books

Math on Call
by Great Source Education Group
This has to be one of the best mathematical reference books published today. It covers a wide range of topics from number theory, algebra, geometry, fractions, probability, statistics, ratios, etc. in a simple, highly illustrated, and easily referenced index to almost any math problem encountered by elementary to high school.

Math Books to Prepare for Contests

How to Solve Word Problems in Algebra
A Solved Problem Approach
by Johnson, Mildred
Translates the language of each type of word problem into math symbols; shows you how to set up the appropriate equations, solve and check your answers.

How to Solve Word Problems in Geometry
by Dawn B. Sova
Detailed, easy-to-follow instruction in procedures for solving word problems, with an emphasis on the mechanics of problem-solving. The book can be used independently or in conjunction with any of the standard geometry texts on either the elementary or intermediate level.

Rapid Math Tricks & Tips: 30 Days to Number Power
More Rapid Math: Tricks and Tips : 30 Days to Number Mastery
by Edward H. Julius
Master common math problems without a calculator! Award-winning math teacher Ed Julius covers more than 60 powerful math tips and techniques in his entertaining 30-day program.

Speed Mathematics: Secret Skills for Quick Calculation
by Bill Handley
People who excel at mathematics use better strategies than the rest of us; they are not necessarily more intelligent.

DVD Format

The Standard Deviants
It is all too rare that a group can make good math this fun. I hope that the Standard Deviants will do many more. Buy these for your kids if you want to hear even teens giggling during a math lesson. Great for visual learners.

Mighty Math Pack DVD
Pre-Algebra DVD 2-pack
Algebra Intro DVD 2-pack
Algebra/Pre-Algebra 4-Pack DVD
Learn Geometry DVD
Geometry 2-pack DVD

Advanced Math Topics

The Algebra Tutor: Algebra I and II
by Willie L. Thomas
This book is designed to give one the feeling that the author is sitting beside you and guiding you through the indivisual lessons.

Basic Mathematics
by Serge Lang
Readers will get a firm foundation in basic principles of mathematics which are necessary to know in order to go ahead in calculus, linear algebra or other topics.

Calculus Made Easy
by Thompson, Silvanus P.
An classic, understandable, intuitive introduction to calculus which my husband found engrossing while still in high school. Originally written over 60 years ago. Ages 14+. 1998 Revised Edition. Hardcover.

Elementary Statistics: A Step By Step Approach with MathZone and Smart CD
by Allan G. Bluman
The book is non-theoretical, explaining concepts intuitively and teaching problem solving through worked examples and step-by-step instructions. This edition features increased emphasis on Excel, MINITAB, and the TI-83 Plus graphing calculator, computing technologies commonly used in such courses.

Math and Another Subject, too

Hands-On Algebra
Ready-To-Use Games & Activities for Grades 7-12
by Frances M. Thompson
Drag out the little kids’ math blocks! You aren’t done with them yet! You can use them to help understand algebra.

Math on the Menu
by Kopp, Jaine
Interweaves mathematics with an imaginary Mexican restaurant. Students help the Rosada family start a restaurant.

Mathematical Scandals
by Pappas, Theoni
Want to combine math and history? Learn about the secretive means some famous mathematicians had to take to learn math and get their findings known.


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