Choosing math curriculum for your homeschooled child may fill your mind with anxiety, especially if you don’t care for the subject. You want the study to be fun, engaging and draw your child in – not push them away.
During the early educational years, math should be intriguing. You want to instill a love for the subject, not cause it to be drudgery.
Children need to know the basics of arithmetic in order to perform lifestyle skills such as budgeting, shopping or balancing a bank account. Exceptional math skills are needed to succeed in high level math and science courses in college. Degrees in medicine, engineering or business require superior math skills.
If not careful, parents who experienced math anxiety when young can easily push their bias and aversion for the subject onto their children. As a homeschool parent, it is important to banish subject biases and cultivate a love for math, science, history or whatever subjects is taught.
Before selecting math curriculum, consider the following:
- Learning Style: Does your child require manipulatives and hands-on activities to learn math concepts or will the aids only frustrate them?
- The Concepts: Do you want a concrete math curriculum that teaches math formula performance or a more abstract program that helps your child understand the reasoning behind the concept? Some children like to know why math works the way it does.
- The Look: Do you want lively pictures, colorful pages and lots of stimulation or does your child prefer simple, black and white pages? Older children may see the colored illustrations as childish. Some parents find that too many pictures distract the learning process.
- Money: Do you prefer a consumable workbook that can be written in or a textbook that can later be sold? Parents of multiple aged children find using a textbook helps save money when younger children inherit the book. Some workbooks provide pages that are easy to photocopy.
- Repetition: Does your child require minimal or a lot of review? Is repetition helpful or is it boring for your student.
- Time: How much time do you have to instruct your child in math? Do you prefer an independent approach to math with lessons that are self-explanatory? Do you prefer learning and teaching alongside your child with detailed lesson plans?
Below are 10 links to math programs that are popular among homeschoolers. The links with asterisks I recommend because I use or have used them myself with great success.
- Art of Problem Solving* (middle school and high school) – great video options that follow along with the books
- Beast Academy* (elementary)
- Calvert Math (elementary, middle school)
- Kinder Math (preschool to kindergarten)
- Khan Academy* (all levels)
- Life of Fred* (elementary, middle school, high school and beyond)
- Math-U-See (elementary, middle school and high school)
- Saxon Math (elementary, middle school, and high school)
- Singapore Math* (elementary and middle school)
- Teaching Textbooks (elementary, middle school and high school)