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Alpha Omega Lifepacs - Mathematics

Grades: K-12      Alpha Omega LIFEPAC - Mathematics

Alpha Omega Publications' math curriculum is divided into 10 thin worktexts for each school year - in essence these are like chapters in typical school books. Most users of Lifepacs math have simply gotten it as part of their complete curriculum.

From the publisher's website: "LIFEPAC is a Christian curriculum with consumable worktexts that combine subject text, exercises, projects, reviews, and tests.  LIFEPAC's full-color, worktext curriculum is based on the principle of mastery learning, in which students truly master the context and skills of one unit before progressing to the next. With Math LIFEPAC curriculum, repetition, drill and application ensure mastery of basic computational skills."

The key difference between LIFEPACs and Horizons Math is the introduction of math concepts.  Horizons introduces a few concepts at once with review, while the LIFEPAC curriculum introduces one concept at a time.  Horizons is good for a child that can multi-task. LIFEPACs are better for a child that needs to concentrate on learning one skill very well before moving on to the next one."

Pricing: A complete set of 10 Lifepacs is $79.95 for grade 1, $58.95 for grades 2-6, and $64.95 for grades 7-12. Teacher keys vary from $14 t- $18 per grade.


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Reviews of LIFEPAC math curriculum from Alpha omega Publications

Time: 2 years

Your situation: I have been homeschooling my two children for the past two years of ages 10 and 14.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: I didn't care for this curriculum because I don't feel that it went into enough depth or provided sufficient examples to be effective. Most of the material is just touched upon, isn't explained well, and it lacks practice problems which I believe are key to success.

Any other helpful hints: I would prepare to look for many other resources to supplement this curriculum as it provides minimal instructions and information.

Sara Robles
Review added February 27, 2012
Time: 6 years

Your situation: Homeschooled one child 7th grade through 12th grade and one child 3rd grade through now (currently in 6th grade)

Why you liked/didn't like the book: I love the lifepac curriculum. I have used it exclusively since I began homeschooling. I use it for all subjects. We also, however, had some struggles (with the math) when my son was in 9th grade. It was a lot of material to learn and get a good grasp on. We stuck with it and what I decided to do was use the 9th grade lifepac both for 9th and 10th grade, so that he got a real good grasp of it. Then we did the 10th grade in his junior year (which covers geometry) and 11th grade in his senior year (which covers more Algebra and into Algebra II). We skipped lifepac grade 12 (it goes into trig and calculus). My son passed his college entrance exam with no problem and is currently doing well in college algebra.

Janna Pogue
Review added December 8, 2011
Time: second year
Your situation:
Homeschooling one son in 9th Grade. Began homeschooling last year in 8th with Alpha Omega Lifepacs.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
Grade 8 curriculum seemed very smooth to use for both my son and I. It was well planned and metered out and so were the teachers manuals. The amount of time spent in the books seemed very reasonable. This year in 9th grade is a total mess. We got so bogged down in the Algebra I lifepacs 5 and 6 that we finally switched to McDougal Littel Concepts and Skills in Algebra I after hunting and hunting at the local library for help in what was being presented in Lifepacs! McDougall Littel seems like a breeze after Lifepacs 5 and 6 in Alpha Omega. Poorly prepared, too far too fast and too much to cover in one year. We find the same with the Lifepac Spanish I elective. I can't imagine how many hours Lifepac high school students are expected to spend in their books! Not doable for the average student who is not a book worm by nature and has other things to pursue such as piano and friends. I wish I had never used them this year--making a solid student look slow and bringing down his self-esteem. I would caution anyone before starting this curriculum for high school. Be prepared to be in the books five and six hours a day, easily! I decided to totally abandon Lifepac 9 Bible just to be able to get caught up with the time we lost in Algebra and considering ditching the Spanish I curriculum also. Too much information too fast compared to what general high school curriculums are asking. Also, skills do not build logically... big jumps in expectations before laying down any foundation.

Any other helpful hints:
Look over these Lifepacs very carefully when you get them and even count all the pages and see how many you would have to do a day in order to finish in 175 days. Some of the Lifepacs this 9th grade year were humongous! These courses could have been divided in two years easily. Some courses do not even cover some subjects in Algebra I Lifepac except in college algebra. Make sure you are up for all of this when you receive it and if not--return before beginning.

Carol
Review added March 10, 2009
Time: off and on
I am prepping for college again, and I choose to use AOP as easy fillers for my gaps.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I love the highschool ones and the Astronomy Select, but I don't recommend their math for review. For that, I would go to Saxon or Teaching Textbook which is similar to Saxon, only it can get dull pretty fast. Otherwise, the curriculum itself is not bad at all.

Any other helpful hints:
If they can dive right in and start the work then don't stop them. Let them do it quickly, and burn out themselves just remind them they still have to do it the next day. They will come to you for help when needed. I think this is a worry free curriculum. When I was little my sister-in-law's parents used it for their kids. I think it is worth the cash minus the math.

Rachael
Review added November 26, 2009
Time: 8 years
We have seven children.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
The kids can work independently in these books. Most of the time they can understand the instruction in the worktext very easily. The division of the books into 10 lifepacs gives them milestones to reach instead of one large, daunting book. There are frequent self tests and lifepac tests so I can make sure they understand the material that they are covering.

Any other helpful hints:
I loved this program for grade school math. We are trying Teaching Textbooks for Algebra and higher because of the great reviews it has for that level.

Shari Freeland
Review added August 20, 2007
Time 1 1/2 years
Your situation:
I find it hard to get my sons to focus on education. They are ADHD and very smart so keeping them enthused about school is difficult. This is one reason that I homeschool, they got too bored in public school

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I love these books because the kids don't even realize that they are learning, they think that they are just playing. The whole time they are learning!

Any other helpful hints:
This curriculum is for those children who have a difficult time focusing or need extra time to learn certain skills.

Krystal Hancock
Grade levels used: Algebra II Time 2 months
I agree whole heartedly with the negative reviews of this text.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
The explainations are almost non-existant and the teacher's manual is a joke. I have had to go back to three other Algebra texts that I have to make head or tails of most things.

Any other helpful hints:
If my son was not enrolled in the Alpha Omega Academy and taking his tests on-line I would toss this curriculum completely. The Algebra II course takes as much time to deal with as all the other courses combined. I have used other Alpha Omega coures, and found them to be just fine. However, I had never used any of the math programs. Unless you are 'stuck' using for the Academy, don't bother.

Margaret Kees
Grade levels used: 9th (Algebra) Time 1 yr
I used Alpha Omega for 7th and 9th grade this year. Loved the 7th grade curriculum, absolutely couldn't stand the Algebra program.

One thing I have appreciated about Alpha omega in the past is that my children could do a certain amount of work on their own, without me sitting beside them during the entire subject time. This was not the case with the Algebra curriculum this year. We found several times that the teacher's manual didn't fully explain a problem that the student book had never explained either. It was a terribly frustrating year. We also found errors here and there that took us forever to work through beore noticing the mistake. We spent so much time just trying to figure out what was being asked that we weren't able to complete many concepts. There was also, at times, not enough review of a concept before the text moved on to a new concept.

I think Alpha Omega is fine for younger grades, but unless you're a certified math teacher I would not recommend their Algebra program.

Ellen Johnston
Grade levels used: 3RD-8TH Time 5 YEARS
I HAVE BEEN USING ALPHA OMEGA MATH SINCE 3RD GRADE, AND I DEFINITELY MADE A MISTAKE! IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS I USED SAXON MATH, AND SINCE MY STEP-DAUGHTER IS IN THE 8TH GRADE, WHICH IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I USED SAXON. BUT IN RESPONSE TO ALPHA OMEGA MATH, I DID NOT REALIZE HOW LITTLE INFORMATION WAS GIVEN UNTIL SHE REACHED THE 8TH GRADE! I WAS SHOCKED. FOR INSTANCE, YOU WOULD SEE AN ASSIGNMENT IN BASE 2 AND NOT SEE THE LESSON UNTIL THE REVIEW. NOW THIS IS NOT GOOD. SO THEREFORE I AM GOING TO USE SAXON THIS YR. FOR THE NINTH, BECAUSE OF THE POOR INSTRUCTIONS AND JUST PLAIN OUTLANDISH WAYS OF PRESENTING THE MATH.. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THE SAXON MATH REPEATS A PROBLEM IN THE NEXT LESSON IN ORDER TO ASSURE THAT THE CHILD HAS COMPREHENDED THIS PROBLEM. I WAS SHOCKED WHEN I PUT MY DAUGHTER ON THE SAXON PRE-ASSESSMENT TEST! ALPHA OMEGA YOU NEED TO PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON ASSURING THE STUDENT SEES THE PROBLEM MORE THAN ONCE AND PRESENT BETTER LAYOUTS. NOW THE OTHER SUBJECTS I AM TOTALLY PLEASED WITH. I JUST AM UP-ST THAT I KNOW THAT SHE IS GOING TO BE IN THE PRE-ALGEBRA 1/2, BECAUSE OF NEGLIGENCE.
THANK YOU,
FRUSTRATED MOM
DONNA JACKSON
Grade levels used: 10 Geometry
My 15 year old daughter is using the Lifepac geometry course. She takes most of her coursework at a local university (IUPUI) but they do not offer a geometry course, so she is using this course at home.

I am appalled at the errors and inconsistencies in the definitions (internal and external common tangents, for example) and the extremely poor quality of the diagrams. In Unit 7, for example the diagrams show "arcs" passing through lines. The arcs, however, are not circular and are not centered on the points where they should be, so the student cannot draw over them to gain an understanding of the procedures - any attempt to do so only creates confusion.

She is frustrated to tears (literally) trying to work through this material, and it is confusing for her when I have to explain that the book is incorrect, the definitions are wrong, the diagrams do not work, and then I have to work through things with her the correct way.

If the time my daughter has already spent on this program was not an issue, I would ask for a refund and go looking elsewhere. As it is, I guess we'll just have to muddle through ... but this is a pathetic excuse for an educational curriculum and should not be used by anyone.

I am a mechanical engineer, spent years on a drawing board, and now do complex, high-speed machine design. I understand geometry. I would not recommend this program to anyone.

Karl Zemlin
Grade levels used: 9 Algebra 1 Time: 1 year
I used the Lifepac Algebra I for my daughter.She has a low aptitude for math, struggling every year.Students should be very solid in fractions before beginning this curriculum.Lifepac breaks the algegra down into such basic parts I think much of it is unnecessary, however some need that.I have a math high aptitude & good knowledge of algebra.All the extra steps confused my daughter, and I found it necessary to eliminate many of them.I do think that a child who has a good math aptitude could probably work through the course independently.The series is broken down into 10 consumable booklets.Book 3 is devoted to story problems which my girl found impossible to understand. The story problems were poorly explained, and without my math background, I would be unable to teach it to her.After spending hours & weeks, and tears on the story problems, we finally decided to skip the story problem book, and go on to book 4.She's doing okay in book 4.The story problems weren't a necessary foundation to book 4.I plan on going back to book 3 when she's done the other books.Because she stuggles in math, she needs twice the amount of equations given in these books to get the concepts committed to memory before moving on.The course does have "optional" equations and story problems throughout every book, but they are not nearly enough for a student who needs extra help in math. She's still behind schedule and will probably either have to finish the course during the summer, or next year.I would recommend this to anyone who has kids that are good in math.If you and your child don't have an aptitude for math, you'll both struggle through this course, and may want to explore an alternative to this curriculum.

Les Anika
Grade levels used: 11 Algebra II Time: 1 year
I am using this curriculum now with my son and he's just finishing book 7 (out of 10). He and I both have a high aptitude of mathematics. I have not done advanced algebra, trig, or pre-calculus in many years. He did well in both Algebra I and Geometry. I have been disappointed with this curriculum. The book does not give enough examples, and there is too little explanation on how to do story problems. My son and I work through the examples and instruction just fine through the first four books. The instruction manual skips steps, and I have had to consult a public math school teacher to fill in the blanks. The equations are much like the examples except for the last 2 or 3 of each set. These equations are much more difficult and lack any examples of how to complete them. I have figured them out on my own, and made many notes in the books so when I teach my younger son this, I won't have to study the book so hard to figure out the steps that are left out of the explanation. The section on parabolas is extremely difficult and poorly explained. I consulted other math books to try and decipher this section before I taught my son, and the other math books never even touched on the subjects of concepts like a directrix. Although this is a relatively simple concept once I figured it out for myself, it is missing from other curricula and I can only conclude it is probably an advanced geometry concept often not taught at the high school level. Unless you have a high aptitude for mathematics there is no way you can teach this to your student. It is a very teacher-dependent curriculum.

LesAnika
Grade levels used: 10 Geometry Time: 1 year
I used Alpha Omega's Lifepac Gold series of 10th grade geometry for both of my sons. Both of my sons are very good in math. The curriculum was so well laid out that I never had to teach either one of them beyond the introductory lessons. They taught themselves from the books. I tried Abeka geometry with both of them, and neither one could do it, and I couldn't teach it either. Abeka introduces several concepts at once, where the Lifepac introduces single concepts. The curriculum has "self-tests" which I counted as quizzes, and tests. The curriculum tells you how many points are possible on these quizzes and tests, tells you how many points each question is worth, and what the minimum score the student should have before progressing to the next concept is. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has kids that are naturally good in math. Both of my boys did the Geometry series while in 9th grade.

Les Morrison
Grade levels used: 1-12 Time: I used these for over 12 yrs.

I started out Homeschooling my children with this program & LOVED it. I switched to another program for a few years with my youngest son & he feel behind. I tested him & to put him back into this program. He had learning gaps. He was 2 yrs. behind. We worked with him & he caught back up. He's about to finish high school now. I can't remember any religious material but it has been years since I saw the early years. All I remember is them teaching math. The material was very easy to use. And after they get the basics they can almost teach themselves. The teacher answer keys are a must in the upper grades if you aren't a math wiz. I highly recommend this course. After my oldest son finished high school through this company I had him take a GED just to see how he had done. He won every award they gave for high score. Math too!!

Vicky


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