My list of favorite homeschool math resources

Because Christian unschoolers do math differently, I compiled a list of my favorite homeschool math resources from over the years. Two of my children have graduated and the others are out of elementary school. So, now is the time!

First, I’d just like to challenge you to think of math as a tool, not a subject. It is best taught through real life application, not drill and kill exercises. I give some ideas for inventing your own low-cost math activities here. In this post, I point out that 100 years ago, formal math instruction before age 12 was shown to impede critical thinking skills. You might wonder, well, Julie, what do you recommend? What have you used? Here is my list of favorite homeschool math resources, organized by age group.

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By elementary, I mean children who are at least six years old and up to about age twelve. Most parents are concerned about their children learning math facts and the four operations–addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division–along with decimals and fractions during this time. I don’t agree with the scope and sequence for teaching these skills. While any child age 12 with an allowance or small business can see the immediate necessity of them, a child age 8 might not. I highly recommend an informal, living books, hands-on approach until the teen years. This is not a definitive list. There are many more great resources than what is listed here.

Games for Math by Peggy Kaye (contains instructions for math games)

Riddle Math, Mathmagical Showtime, and Math Facts to the Max by Carl M. Sherrill (great for math facts, learning about numerical relationships and algebraic concepts, and stumping people!) (Look for different versions of this as the originals are out of print)

Family Math books (lots of fun activities)

Highlights magazine Mathmania monthly subscription club

Sum Swamp game

Pizza Fractions game

Carmen Sandiego Math Detective CD-Rom game My kids LOVED Carmen Sandiego!

Base Ten Place Value Frame and Blocks

Geoboard for learning about early geometry and shapes


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These books teach math concepts through engaging stories, puzzles, and adventures that make math relevant, interesting, and fun.

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar: exponents

A Grain of Rice: exponents

Sir Cumference books: geometry

Mathematicians are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians

Theoni Pappas books, such as Math for Kids and Other People, Too

Marilyn Burns books, such as Math for Smarty Pants

Greg Tang books, such as Math Potatoes and Math Appeal: math puzzles

Jerry Pallotta books, such as Pizza Fractions and the Hershey’s Multiplication Book

65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math by Eric and Natalie Yoder (all important critical thinking)

The Math Chef by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond: mostly decimals, measurement, and fractions

Curriculum and software

Math Cats fun math games online

Fun Brain math drill through games.

Times Tables the Fun Way by City Creek Press (this is the workbook version. There is a computer-based version) is a great resource of math literature

Your Business Math from Simply Charlotte Mason

Federal Reserve Education lessons on money and business for all grades

Unschooler-Friendly Math Curriculum

Math on the Level curriculum

Life with Fred curriculum

Making Math Meaningful curriculum

upright colorful abacus on a table used as homeschool math resources


Most parents decide that their teens need to learn Algebra and Geometry, possibly Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. In fact, most states require at least algebra and geometry. However, teens will challenge their parents to tell them when they will ever use this stuff. They are hard-pressed to give a satisfactory answer. I encourage you to choose your curriculum carefully. My favorite books, websites, and curriculum are:

Purple Math free website, great for clear explanations of algebra and geometry concepts

All the Math You’ll Ever Need by Steve Slavin

A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science by Michael Schneider

String, Straightedge, and Shadow: The Story of Geometry by Julia Diggins

Native American Geometry: VERY cool, must-see video here about the relationship between all shapes and the circle

Family Math for Middle School

Borenson’s Hands-on Equations (appropriate for middle school)

Harold Jacobs’ math, particularly algebra

Life of Fred curriculum

Principles from Patterns Algebra by Cornerstone Curriculum Project

Zometools Geometry course (build the geometric models while you learn the concepts)

I hope I inspired you to think differently about math instruction with my list of favorite homeschool math resources. For many families, it is the least favorite subject. I know when I was in school, I hated math. But, now I appreciate it in a whole new way and I hope you do, too!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Amy

    Thank you! Great ideas. We use Life of Fred and love it! And several other you mentioned.

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