Math curriculum is a popular topic among homeschool parents. I have tried many, and am always looking for new ones.
My approach has gone back and forth between something the children can use independently and something I can teach. At the beginning, I thought I could find the best math curriculum and use it for 1st through 12th grades for all of my children. Maybe some can, but that didn’t work at our house. To be realistic, how would I like to use a math curriculum with the same format for twelve years in a row? I wouldn’t!
One of our favorites is Math U See. Currently we are using Algebra, Geometry, and Stewardship Math. We like the teaching Dvds as well as the manipulatives.
For struggling math students, I use many things and have several more on my To Buy List.
Let’s start with Kindergarten. I am using Right Brained Addition and Subtraction from Child1st.com. It includes lots of games and teaches number sense. See the author’s blog for valuable teaching tips and explanations.
I have a lot of different math manipulatives as well as a geared clock and abacus. I will use the place value book next from Child1st.com.
For first grade next year I will use the Mastering Mathematics kit which has worktexts and many games. It was written by a special education teacher, and includes her successful techniques. I ordered it from the publisher at masterypublications.com
I will also use Dr. Wright’s Kitchen Table Math books, along with manipulatives. These three books show me how to demonstrate concepts with manipulatives and in real life. Dr. Wright is a math teacher in real life. I purchased these from Rainbowresource.com.
We will play lots of math games and read math literature books.
For my 5th grader I am using Right Brained Multiplication and Division from Child1st.com to review math facts. Math U See Skip Counting Songs are a big help to her too. We also wrote a song for the 12 facts.
Math Lessons for a Living Education (purchased from Rainbow)is her current favorite curriculum due to a continuing story and short lessons. When I purchased book 4, I bought the answer key from QueensHomeschooling.com because Rainbow did not have it.
I may use some of the Key to fractions, Key to … books on up through geometry as well.
Hands on Equations is on my To Buy List also, although I am not sure which grade we will try that.
For upper elementary/junior high I am trying new things with my math strugglers. Bridgeway Math Foundations and Pre – Algebra books from curriculumexpress.com are on my list. There are two books written to 7th graders needing remedial work, as well as Pre-Algebra. They are written to the student. I like the idea of reviewing the basics formally before moving on to Pre – Algebra.
My plan is to keep math as informal and natural as possible for elementary ages. That way number sense should be high, and math anxiety should be minimal. With this plan, my children should not be burned out or anxious about math as they move to the more difficult math topics.
The typical math programs have produced math anxiety and cheating from my struggling math learners, at least the way we were using them. Math is no longer an independent subject for my struggling math learners. This has been a key for turning things around for them.
After Bridgeway, I may use Math U See Pre – Algebra. For algebra we will try Making Math Meaningful Algebra: Principles from Patterns.
For geometry I have Math U See and Patty Paper Geometry. As I mentioned before, I may use Key to Geometry as well.
I am sure that our math curriculum struggles are not over, but I am confident that I have some great tools in my arsenal. I welcome a discussion on the above materials, and hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you.