Algebra is a huge turning point in a student’s math education. Algebra 1 combines all the mathematical concepts that have come before and applies them in a robust, more abstract way. A solid foundation in Algebra 1 sets you up for success in higher math. A sketchy introduction to Algebra makes further study exceptionally difficult. No wonder the thought of choosing the best homeschool Algebra 1 curriculum can be daunting for the homeschool mama!
When my oldest child started Algebra 1, I used a hand-me-down curriculum from a friend. I’d heard this program spoken of highly, it claimed to need little to no parental involvement, and, since it was free, I figured it would be a great option. Not so! It was a horrible experience. It was such a convoluted, poorly designed program that I basically had to re-teach every lesson… and that was with a mathematically gifted student!
So when my next student came along to the Algebra 1 years, I knew we needed a different option. Alas, the 2nd Algebra 1 curriculum we tried gave us Strike 2. Again, concepts were explained tortuously and the curriculum was poorly organized. Once again, although I had chosen another program touted for its ease in student-independence, I found myself re-teaching lessons and finding alternate explanations for the concepts taught.
As my 3rd child approached the Algebra 1 years, I felt a bit of a pit in my stomach. Was I ever going to find an Algebra 1 homeschool curriculum that thoroughly explained not only how to do the problems but also why they worked? Would I ever find an Algebra 1 curriculum that actually took something off my plate as mom, or was I doomed to several more years of math tears and agony?
This post contains affiliate links. I received a product for free, and was compensated for my time. All opinions are honest and my own; I was not required to write a positive review. Please see disclaimer.
I’ve been singing the praises of Mr. D Math for several years now, of course, ever since my daughter Emma (who started Mr. D Math in Geometry) declared that Mr. D Math was basically up there with Jane Austen. I mean, that alone may be enough to convince you to give Mr. D a try and you need read no further.
But if you want more…
My middle daughter had finished all her pre-algebra work by the end of last year, but wasn’t quite ready to begin Algebra 1 in the fall. Because homeschooling is awesome like that, we were able to take the fall semester to solidify her mathematical problem-solving skills using a unique, outside-the-box book recommended by my friend Gina Munsey.
That went really well for the first semester, but I could tell Sophia was ready for the next step. So when I had the opportunity to review a Mr. D Math course I jumped at Algebra 1 so fast you would have missed it if you’d blinked.
But I also was a little nervous. After all, we were at the plate down 2 strikes with this whole Algebra 1 curriculum thing. Would Mr. D Math let us down?
I had no need to worry! With the self-paced Algebra 1 online course from Mr. D Math, we have finally hit a home run! It’s confirmed once again: we love Mr. D Math!
How does a self-paced online class from Mr. D Math work?
The Algebra 1 self-paced course from Mr. D Math consists of 4 things:
- Video lessons teaching each concept
- Printable worksheets (students work on these independently and grade these worksheets themselves)
- Online quizzes for each lesson and some spiral review (automatically graded)
- Cumulative tests (chapter tests, midterm, and final)
There are also optional Honors Credit add-ons for each chapter if desired
I love that Chapter 1 of Algebra 1 from Mr. D Math is designed completely to make sure a student is ready for Algebra. Ideas like “Math is a Language,” “What is Addition,” “Equality and Inequality,” and “Order of Operations” are thoroughly examined before the student is thrown into the algebraic deep-end. Mr. D really makes sure students are grounded in the mathematical fundamentals before moving on.
The self-paced Algebra 1 course includes 12 chapters (or units) with 5-9 lessons per chapter. You set your own pace for completion, whether your student is ready to move more rapidly or needs extra time for review.
While the self-paced course work is done independently, Mr. D Math offers weekly LIVE help sessions at no additional charge. Students can bring their questions and problems to the live help session, and instructors are ready to tutor them through the challenges.
The goal with Mr. D Math really is for students to understand what’s going on. That’s why there are always at least 2 opportunities to take each quiz/test. If you don’t understand the topic, there’s no point in just pushing on to check off the boxes. Instead, figure out why you missed the problems, get help if you need it (either via email or a live help session), and then try again. I love this approach!
Mr. D Math combines a mastery and spiral approach. While each chapter is focused on mastering a particular topic, spiral review quizzes are built in to the program to make sure students don’t forget what came previously.
One downside to Mr. D Math online courses: because the curriculum is communicated via video, if your student missed a concept or wants to refresh themselves on an idea they can’t easily flip through a book or index to find that review. They’ll either need to take good notes along the way, or they’ll be stuck re-watching a video.
While this has sometimes been a little annoying, it doesn’t bother me too much. After all, a little extra review never hurt anyone! But if you have a student who prefers learning information via text, this is probably not going to be the best option for them.
On the other hand, this has been a great option for my middle daughter, who can get bogged down if her lesson includes too many words on a page!
Listen to my interview with Dennis DiNoia, founder and teacher at Mr. D Math
Curious to learn more about the philosophy behind Mr. D Math? Check out my interview with Mr. D himself on the Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology podcast here.
Whether you’re looking for self-paced or live math curriculum options, Mr. D Math has you covered!