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Math has always been a mainstay in our homeschool..... From playful learning approaches during preschool/K, to challenging courses in Algebra 2 and Geometry in high school, we have always taken a solid, hands-on approach. Sometimes our curriculum included living math, and when it didn't, we added it in.
Here are our favorites for math, starting with preschool/K:
In the early years, we did not use a curriculum, as when you are four, everything is math! Toys can be counted, towels sorted and put into sets. Cookie making became a lesson in adding and subtracting, and beads got sorted into patterns as well, as making necklaces. Also, buttons, shells, rocks, sorted by shape, color, size, what have you. Even laundry could be sorted into sets. All of this is good early math learning.
Our little ones learn best through play. Basic math concepts, such as counting, sorting, bigger/smaller, same/different, adding, subtracting, etc can all be learned through play with manipulatives.
Manipulatives can really be any small object that you have around your house. Buttons, shells, rocks, etc, can be sorted by shape, color, or size, and grouped into sets. This teaches early math concepts, as they are play! Even laundry could be sorted into sets, or by size, small, medium and large, such as with towels.
Making a Manipulative Kit
A full description of it is here.
We also enjoyed some workbooks from Evan-Moor, including...
This book gave us lots of ideas for learning about shapes
and basic fractions.
We would take one page at a time, with my daughter
acting out each concept with small toys, cookies, or
whatever was available at the time.
Starting with a playful approach, we did not need a math
curriculum until first grade. My daughter
learned to love math, by starting with a
photo credit - Saxon Math
In the primary grades, we chose to use Saxon Math, as it
relies on lots of hands-on approaches. Young learners need
to see, feel, and touch objects, as they learn the processes
of basic math.
Amy, of the Curriculum Choice, has a review on Saxon Math
photo credit - Oak Meadow
based on Saxon Math, but has a few less practice problems,
which felt less
overwhelming to my student. It is child friendly, and is not
at all associated with common core.
Oak Meadow Math uses the spiral learning approach, with
lots of review. Through this, my daughter gained skills
that she could apply to real life activities,
building retention. The Living Math that we added
included helping with family purchases, making
change, measuring things at home, etc.
|photo credit - Saxon Math|
When we got into pre-Algebra I felt the need to get some
help with my math teaching. We found the Saxon Dive
dvd's and loved how they explained each problems, with a
chalkboard approach, where the instructor
wrote out each problem as he discussed them.
|photo credit - Saxon Math|
Saxon also has another product called video education. A
sample 5th grade lesson, using this product is here.
During these years, I also introduced my daughter to
family finances, and introduced her to checking accounts,
how to balance a checkbook, household bills, and savings
|photo credit - Teaching Textbooks|
We began Algebra 1 in 9th grade, and we decided to try
Teaching Textbooks for that. I liked how TT offered even
more dvd help and we were happy using all their dvd's,
especially the ones that explained errors in the practice
|photo credit - www.aop.com|
Then in 10th grade, with the ACT testing coming up, we
decided to switch to Alpha Omega Publication's Switched
the Teaching Textbook approach. That helped
with retention, which she needed for her upcoming college
testing. I also loved how SOS was self-graded, and
included a video lectures for each lesson, plus lots of
practice, and some hands-on math projects as well.
Living Math activities in high school centered on...getting
and managing a savings account, learning about taxes, car
insurance, and compounding interest, as well as family
As you can see, we used a wide variety of curriculum for
math, through the years. What are your favorites for math
in your house? I love getting and reading your comments.
Here's my book that I mentioned above - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind..
Heidi, from Starts at Eight says:
"If you are planning on homeschooling high school then Betsy's book is the one that you want to have on the shelf"......click here to read the rest of her review."
Available on Amazon
Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,
Betsy is mom to her now college junior, whom she homeschooled from day one. She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early years, high school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind. She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.
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