When choosing a homeschool math curriculum or program you'll want to make sure the program includes these important features:
1. Review concepts previously learned. There has to be a good balance here - not too much review, but just enough that the child doesn't forget what they learned.
2. Practice to the point of mastery - This is especially important when learning the math facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. But all programs need to give the child enough practice to where they are confident that they can solve the problem when they see it. Timez Attack is a great free program to use to reinforce multiplication and division facts.
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3. Apply concepts to story problems. Let's face it, life is filled with story problems. Choose a curriculum that readily applies the concepts learned into story problems.
4. Clear and easy to understand explanations. This is important for both parent and student. If the student is working independently, are they able to read and understand a new concept? When a student gets stuck, can the parent pick up the material and easily figure out how to help the student?
5. Speed Drills - Some children enjoy being timed or racing with each other. They can compete against themselves to beat their last time. Developing speed with math facts will aid your child in life. Again, Timez Attack will help your child develop speed in multiplication and division in a fun interactive way.
The pages also need to be simple to look at and filled with enough space making it easy on the eyes. If your homeschool math curriculum doesn't include all of these features, you can always supplement with the tools below.
1. Play store - Use the items in your cupboard or in the toy room and give your children play or real money. They can add up their "purchases" and count out to see if they have enough money.
2. Use a number line - You can even color code it making the 2's, 5's and 10's each a different color. You can also use a 100 chart and a multiplication chart as your children get older.
3. Cook - Many children enjoy cooking or at least making desert. Doubling and tripling a recipe provides lots of extra math practice.
4. Use a balance scale - We use a bucket balance that has a little tub on each end of the balance scale. Then you can add any type of manipulatives and see how you need to balance the scale on both sides.
5. Use math manipulatives - Cuisenaire and Math U See both have good blocks that you can use to teach math concepts. The best part is that each number block is color coded.
6. Look for math around you - You might find a math concept in the news, in the kitchen, or when building something. Keep your eyes open and you'll be surprised how you can naturally introduce math concepts in a low stress environment.
Some favorite homeschool Math curriculums that we use:
My son's favorite multiplication practice game - Timez Attack
Here are some more math reviews that I have done
All Homeschool Math Reviews - Homeschool Math Review
If you need a homeschool coach to help you figure out what is best for your children, feel free to contact me.