When we began our homeschool journey math was one of the few subjects that we didn’t use curriculum for, but instead the girls worked from workbooks such as Kumon and helped me in the kitchen. I figured that we didn’t need a full math curriculum early on in our journey. As the years have passed, my girls are now in 4th and 6th grades, we have added math curriculum for my peace of mind. There are so many topics in math, and I didn’t want to miss a concept. Math curriculum can help serve as guide especially if you aren’t sure when topics should be taught.
Realizing that we would need a math curriculum was one thing, but figuring out which curriculum works best for my daughters has been another thing.
Three tips for finding the right math program for your homeschool
1. Interview some of your friends. Many of the math programs I’ve heard about, I first learned from a friend. Most of my friends do not use the same math curriculum. This allowed me to learn about a wide range of math curriculum. Some of my friends used Saxon while others used Life of Fred. I was able to learn their favorite parts of the program and which methods of the program they weren’t fond of. By learning about the program from those who use it, you will have a better understanding of the way the program works in real life versus how the publisher thinks it will work.
2. Preview the textbooks or try out a free trial. After your friends share with you their math curriculum of choice, take a moment with the books yourself. Walk through them page by page taking your learner into account. Ask yourself questions as you walk through the pages. Does this program fit my child’s learning style? If your student is more of a paper and pencil learner, then an online program may not be a good fit. Does the program require you to do a bulk of the teaching or is it written to the student? If you have a learner who needs you to actively teach, then choosing a text that is written to the student may not be the best choice. By previewing the program first, you will have a better idea about whether or not it will fit your learning environment.
3. Take into account the aesthetics of the curriculum. Are there too many questions on page? Is there enough white space? Is it colorful enough for your visual learner? This may not seem like a big deal, but it is the primary reason we have changed curriculum several times. My daughters prefer for their math lessons to not be more than two pages. Many programs have lessons that are twice the amount of pages even if the number of problems are the same. In order to help reduce the overwhelming feeling caused by the number of pages for the lesson, I have searched for programs that meet the two-page maximum requirement. Currently, we are using a program that meets the girls’ needs.
Finding the right math program can take some time, but it’s possible. Chances are there will not be a perfect program that fits all of your needs, but if you take into consideration the things that matter most you will surely find a program that will make learning math fun in your homeschool.
Find a variety of homeschool math curriculum at Rainbow Resource.
Share some of your favorite math curriculum in the comments for other homeschool parents to check out.