I can’t believe another year of school is around the corner!! I feel like I haven’t had a break from teaching my kids. 2020 sure has done a number on a lot of us. A lot of parents this year are looking at having to homeschool their kiddos and that can be an overwhelming feeling. You’re not alone though and I’m here to tell you that there is no one better than you as the parent to teach your kids. The hardest part of homeschooling is really finding the best fit for the curriculum for you and your kiddos. So Let’s start!
Math is one of the dreaded subjects for a lot of parents to teach. There are so many different math curricula out there, but I’m just going to name what I think are the top 3 🙂
Math U See is a mastery-based program, meaning once you master the concept you don’t need to go back and revisit it. Each lesson teaches using multi-sensory tools such as videos, manipulatives, and other resources, designed to appeal to any type of learner. I have used Math U See in the past and love it. My boys loved the blocks and learning about the decimal street (units house, tens house, hundreds house, and so forth). If you have a kid that likes to craft and visually see and touch things, check out Math U See. It comes with colorful manipulatives, DVD’s, an instructional textbook for the parent, and student workbook. Some parents have their kids watch the video lesson, read the lesson in the teacher’s book, and then work on the student workbook. There is an answer key in the instructional book and tests and quizzes for your kids to take. They also have extra worksheets on their website to access. This is a great resource if your kiddo hasn’t mastered the concept and you don’t want to move onto the next lesson, then you can access more worksheets from their website. Mastery is the key to this math program.
A few reasons why I love Math U See:
I, as the parent, don’t have to teach the math lesson. Having multiple kids, I need to be able to have some subjects that don’t need my full attention. DVD’s are one of the top reasons people love Math U See. The lessons are timed just right and to the point.
I love that my kids can build their math and see why numbers, equations, and fractions have a specific answer. Giving kids a way to see and physically experience math adds such an important dimension to their learning.
3. Mastery! Mastery! Mastery!
A lot of people don’t like the spiral method. Math U See spends more time learning the concept before moving on, so doing this cuts down on confusion.
4. Great from elementary levels all the way to advanced calculus!
No wondering if you’re going to have to find another program once your kids are done with the elementary grades. If you start in primer when your kids are young you can go all the way to Calculus. They have great online resources to access too and when I did run into problems I could call the company and they were able to help me out. The more help for this Mom the better off I am.
Saxon Math is the next up and coming program out there. I have never used it but will use a write up about it from a good friend of mine, Heather. She has been a homeschooler for 20 years and has tried a few different math programs. Up until a few years ago, she swore by Math U See, and she still does from the beginning until the focus on Fractions. Once her kids finished that she found that they had a firm math foundation and were ready to move onto Saxon 54 and to be moved into a self-taught arrangement.
At this point, she prefers Saxon over Math U See because every day, they practice some of all they have learned over the years as they continue learning new concepts. The student then avoids losing any knowledge from previously mastered concepts and prevents having to go back and relearn. There is something to actually writing out problems rather than just putting answers into a workbook too. She believes that it helps solidify things in a student’s mind.
A couple of her kids struggled with Algebra both in Math U See and Saxon, so she decided to try out Teaching Textbooks, but it felt like the program gave too many opportunities to work on problems that students would get wrong. Because of this method, Teaching Textbooks works and she felt that kids eventually knew which answer to choose/give without truly understanding the concept. Heather even had one of her kids openly express that they didn’t feel like they were learning and actually asked to go back to Saxon. Saxon will stretch them, and if you aren’t a math person (like Heather or me), YouTube is an excellent resource for lessons your kids cannot solve on their own. It’s okay to let kids try and figure out problems for a little bit. Here is an excellent posting from another blogger on Saxon Math https://simplehomeblessings.com/simple-questions-from-saxon-math/
- Saxon Math is very thorough & easy to understand. Having the dialogue written out is a great help.
- Concepts are explained so well that kids can independently do their work.
- There are plenty of problems to give your kids an opportunity to master the concepts. You also have the option of skipping problems if you think your child has already demonstrated mastery.
- It has a spiral learning method and makes it easy for parents to teach.
Teaching Textbooks is another great program that I love to use. I was in a season where I had a lot of things on my plate. I was feeling quite overwhelmed by all the correcting and just the demands of being a mom and wife. So I came across Teaching Textbooks. Maybe you’re at your wit’s end or maybe you just need some extra help. Teaching Textbooks offered that for me. The program is totally online with optional DVDs, but honestly, the online version is much cheaper and easier to keep track of your kids grades. With this math program, I’m able to step aside a lot more as everything is done for me. If I’m not satisfied with my child’s grade or I feel like they need to redo a lesson or maybe they accidentally typed the wrong answer, I can go into the account and delete or change things.
Some of my reasons for liking Teaching Textbooks:
- It’s completely affordable, and they also offer a substantial family discount! Who doesn’t want to pay out of their nose for math when having more than two kids?
- It’s self-grading! Who doesn’t like a program that automatically grades your kids’ stuff for you?
- It allows your kids two tries if they get the answer wrong, and there is a Hint button also to give that child the extra help they might need.
- It’s fun and interactive!
Remember you know your child the best from everyone and you can do anything! You’ve raised them this far so don’t worry, it’s not as scary the more you do it. With all the great curricula out there, teaching math isn’t as frightening as you may think. Join Facebook groups, watch Youtube videos, call the companies, research other bloggers on these topics. If something doesn’t work you can always switch it up or change it the following school year, nothing is ever set in stone.
I hope you all have an awesome, successful school year!