One thing that stressed me out when I started homeschooling was that dreaded question.
“How am I going to teach my kids Math?”
I was terrible at any and all forms of Pre-Algebra and Algebra. With three middle-school aged kids ready to embark on upper-level Math, I panicked. Where could I find the best homeschool curriculum that teaches mathematics concepts and skills that are easy to understand?
After more researche and more panicking, I finally settled on a few online programs. There are countless ways to teach math to kids. You can outsource to a co-op or online program.
Also remember, there’s no race to the finish. The ultimate goal in your homeschool is that your child learns, at his or her own pace, in their own time.
If you struggle with math and don’t want to pass that negativity on to your kids, here are three helpful reminders to help you work through your freak-out!
Mastery Math Curriculum That Isn’t Drill & Kill
It doesn’t take endless hours to introduce and practice a new concept. Dr. Stan Schmidt, author of the Life of Fred Math series of books (as well as a series of Language Arts books) warns parents against using a ‘drill and kill’ method of teaching mathematics.
Life of Fred lessons are told within silly stories in an organic way. They’re short, funny and to the point, building upon one another. The Life of Fred books are likely to be very appealing to learners who work better with stories and situations to help them visualize math problems.
We’ve used several of these books over the years and while at first, they may seem rudimentary, they create a foundation that your child builds upon as they go through each book in the series.
check out a video on our additional curriculum resources at the bottom of this page
The misconception that a student needs to spend hours working in a book or on the computer is outdated, especially in the early years.
Short, simple lessons that are engaging do the trick just fine!
Real Life Math Doesn’t Come From Worksheets or Books
Getting away from the books every once in a while is a fantastic way to teach your children.
When we were learning about tally marks and counting by fives, I brought my son outside to work on some “nature math” we used sticks and twigs to create tally marks. I gave my him a piece of chalk and had him write the number that the tally mark represented.
Incorporate Hands-on math activities like fractions and measurements while cooking. Get out into nature and look for spirals while you learn about the fibonacci sequence. Bring your kids to the bank and show them how to fill out a deposit slip.
These are easy ways we can ensure our children are getting a well-rounded, real life education.
Improve Math Skills as an Adult
The one piece of advice though that I have for parents that never really grasped mathematics during their school years is that, it’s never too late to learn. The best way to help your child with math at home is to get better yourself. There’s a satisfaction in accomplishing what you perceive as the impossible.
For me, it was Algebra; I thought, why bother, it’s not like I need it now. But the thing is, whether I needed it or not, the lesson for my kids’ was, that I was willing to learn something just for the sake of learning it.
While they’re geared for pre-teens and teens, I read and worked through all three of Danica McKellar’s math book series.
Everything seemed to click after that and I know that when the time comes, I’ll be ready to help my youngest with his mathematics.
I don’t freak out at the idea of teaching Algebra anymore and I demonstrated to my older kids the benefits of facing fears head on and most importantly, learning and doing something when there’s little to no added benefit or incentive to do so.