As I mentioned yesterday, I am in school planning mode. We’ve only been off school for a week, but our shorter summer vacation means we’ll be getting back in the saddle in a month or two.
And I want to be ready for the new year. That means having all our curriculum ordered and on its way. After ten years of formal schooling, there’s not a lot that I need to buy in terms of math curriculum.
But, we have had some blips in our math journey over the last year. But I think that the road should be fairly smooth from now on.
Here are my picks for math curriculum:
Pre-school Math for Fun
Pre-school math is just plain old fun. You don’t need to do anything other than engage your child with the numbers around them. Numbers matter when we pay the bills, make a phone call, follow a recipe, or change the channel on the TV. Numbers are everywhere.
Help your younger children learn to count and identify the digits. Count while you climb the stairs or skip rope. Write your phone number on a piece of paper and help your child to recite it. Little ones can trace the digits on paper or learn to form them in sand or a box of dry, uncooked rice. Count out M&Ms or other treats using the M&M Counting Book.
Talk about the shapes. Sort plastic shapes and talk about their other attributes, like colors and sizes. Play with pattern blocks or linking cubes or other math manipulatives. Pre-school math is casual, so don’t sweat it.
K-3: Saxon Math
Starting in kindergarten, my kids have all done the Saxon Math program. It’s the same math curriculum that’s used in public and private schools around the country. The lower levels are completely scripted and very hands-on. You don’t need special training to teach your child elementary level math. The lessons involve lots of math manipulatives which kids love. It helps make it more real for them.
4th Grade – High School: Teaching Textbooks
As more of my children have folded into our homeschool, the day has become fuller for me as the mom. I will be working with all six kids next year on an individual basis which means that every minute of my day counts. One thing that has helped has been to delegate math lessons to the computer.
Now, I’ve flipflopped on math in the past, but I think we’ve now settled the issue. FishKids 4th grade and above are using Teaching Textbooks for their main math lessons. Teaching Textbooks is a CD-Rom program that provides a narrated lesson as well as practice with automated grading. Since a math problem is either right or wrong, this is a great subject to “delegate” to a computer.
I plan to supplement the boys’ math lessons with some real life math and other drills and practice.
Apps for All
Hubby bought me an iPad for my birthday. So, while I’m reticent to load games onto it, I have found several mathematics apps that the kids enjoy. Educational and fun? Cool.
Some favorites include