Apr 262012
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I don’t think I’ve made it a secret that I’m a math geek. I love algebra, especially word problems. And even though I call(ed) myself a classical educator, I’ve differed in my philosophy of math education. I’ve always stressed conceptual understanding over computational skills. (In hindsight maybe I should have stressed computational skills and memorization a bit more. But I’ve got more kids, so hopefully I’ll figure it out eventually.)

My older daughter is finishing up the 6th grade and has almost completed the Singapore Primary Mathematics series. She’s done very well with it and is anxious to begin algebra next year. I’ve been waffling a little over whether she is ready for algebra or if she needs a pre-algebra course. Needless to say, I was very happy to receive Balance Math Teaches Algebra! by The Critical Thinking Company to review.

Balance Math Teaches Algebra! is part of the Balance Math series. I have not seen any of the other books in the series, but I have used several different products from The Critical Thinking Company, and I’ve been impressed with them all. Balance Math Teaches Algebra! is no exception. Like the other products from Critical Thinking,

  • The lessons are short and focus on understanding.
  • The pages are reproducible for your family or classroom.

Balance Math is a fantastic way to introduce basic algebraic concepts. I love the way it demonstrates visually how to manipulate equations. But it also explains how to move from the visual balance concept to the using variables and adding and subtracting from both sides of an equation.

Here is a sample page so you can see what I mean.

I am really impressed with this resource. My daughter enjoys it and thinks it’s almost like a puzzle.

Is it a complete algebra curriculum?
Absolutely not.

But it is a wonderful introduction so that the student can begin algebra with confidence, not fear. I feel this is just the bridge that my daughter needed before beginning an algebra curriculum.

Balance Math Teaches Algebra! is available from The Critical Thinking Company for $14.99.


Disclosure: I received a copy of Balance Math Teaches Algebra! in order to complete this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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