Math is not my favorite subject! And yet, as a homeschool mom I have four children who need to learn math.
Do you need to know how to teach math to your kids too (even though you're no math genius either)?
I've tried lots of different math curriculums and learned that the best ways how to teach math to kids is to teach basic math concepts through a strong math curriculum, and then to reinforce those math concepts through fun math games.
Here's how I do it (plus a list of my favorite homeschool math curriculums and homeschool math resources).
My math approach is a little different. We do follow a general curriculum (I list a few of my favorites below). But, as we're progressing through the curriculum workbooks, I also really try to focus on three things (which are happening concurrently):
- Learn Math Concepts Through a Strong Math Curriculum. Do they know the material? Are they really getting it (no matter if they've finished the lesson or not)?
- Practice Core Math Skills. What are the root skills for this math material? Does my child have a strong knowledge base in this area? How am I incorporating this into everyday math activities?
- Play with Math Through Fun Math Games. How can I make the learning come alive (and make math fun) through math games and math learning activities?
I don't strive to finish a workbook by a certain time in the year. And I don't have my children's math assignments pre-planned for weeks in advance.
I've found that both of these things bring more frustration to an already potentially frustrating school subject.
Instead being given a pre-planned number of pages as a daily math assignment, my kids work on math for a certain amount of time each day as appropriate for their grade level.
I feel this makes room for whatever amount of teaching time they need for that day (from me, or from the curriculum); and it gives space for learning/practice time to flow appropriately with the child's ability to do a specific math task.
In other words, if the math lesson for the day is easy, they will probably get more pages done; while if the math lesson is difficult, they may have less pages completed but will have still had their extra effort acknowledged.
Awesome Math Curriculum We Love
First, I introduce the topics through a solid workbook curriculum. Here are some math programs that we've used and strongly recommend.Singapore Math Curriculum
Must Have Math Resources That Teach Core Math Skills
Remember how I talked about practicing “core root skills” as a regular part of math time?
Again, I'm no mathematician, but I've realized in hindsight that my math skills could have been a lot stronger when I was a student if I'd had some regular key concepts drilled into my brain. And I've had this hunch confirmed by several people who are much smarter than me in math.
At the top of those core math skills? The basics: addition, subtraction, division… but mainly multiplication.
Which is why I teach my kids skip counting as early as possible. I waited to teach skip counting to my older kids, and I can see the difference between their math skills and their sister's (who learned skip counting as a kindergartner).
Here are some of my must-haves for teaching new math concepts or working with my kids on core math skills.
|lap-sized whiteboard||dry erase pens|
|Digital Timer||Math Flashcards|
|Playing cards (so many math games to play with cards!)||Learning Manipulatives|
|Skip Counting Songs on CD (like this one)||Free Math worksheets: here, here and here|
Fun Math Games for Kids & Fun Math Lessons
Check out these fun books and resources that turn math into a game!
Other Helpful Posts about Teaching Homeschool Math
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