This is the best program out there for upper math students. It is great for the literary student and is story based. Fred being the main character. Life of Fred has opened up Algebra and upper math to my students.
It is based on a cycle of telling a story, presenting a problem and then presenting how you solve the problem. It creates a need for the math prior to teaching the skill. I have not heard, "What am I ever going to use this for?" after the basic lesson or concept is taught in the chapter.
The student cycles through different 'citys' - the first will have answers provide to set the goal, the second set gives half the answers and the last set no answers, this being the test set if you will. Brilliant strategy and I often hear my students cheering that they got the right answer and seeing the puzzle to algebra in place of the work. It has also helped with understanding the application of the math to other subjects, Chemistry for one building my new garden for another.
We have used Beginning Algebra and Advanced Algebra and plan to continue. The author is pleasant, approachable, and ready to help. The program is designed not to need parental involvement and to encourage self learning and creates an interest in the subject and others also along the way. The Author has put together both an excellent program and very cost effective. You do not need the homeschool edition but it is very helpful with answers and giving the student a daily goal, although my students often get tied up in the tale and do five lessons at a time.
There are aprox 108 lessons and students as young as 11 can begin algebra without worry once the basic math, including fractions and decimals. is mastered.