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.
Elementary homeschool math resources
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!
Geoboard for learning about early geometry and shapes
Homeschool math resources: Books
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
Theoni Pappas books, such as Math for Kids and Other People, Too
Marilyn Burns books, such as Math for Smarty Pants
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)
www.livingmath.net 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 homeschool math resources and curriculum
Math on the Level curriculum
Life with Fred curriculum
Making Math Meaningful curriculum
Homeschool math resources for teenagers
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
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
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!
Grab some other back to school tips, ideas, lists, and projects to stock your idea bank!
No matter how much I plan, every year it seems that the new school year sneaks up on me. With August here, it means summertime is winding down and homeschool days will soon be in full swing. This week, I’m teaming up with some of my fellow homeschool bloggers to bring you some great Back to Homeschool tips and resources. Be sure to check them all out below!
Printables, worksheets, and lesson plans
Top Back to School Worksheets for Your Homeschool from In All You Do
Take advantage of all these back to school worksheets that help you launch the new school year.
Back to school freebie printables roundup from Hess UnAcademy
Check out this collection of back to school printables from across the web. Charlene has found all the goodies so you don’t have to.
The Mega List of Free Homeschool Resources from With the Huddlestons
This list goes further than printables, it gathers tons of free resources. From free lessons to free videos and more, check it out!
How and Why to Use an Eclectic Approach to Homeschooling from The WOLFe Pack
Learn more about the eclectic approach to homeschooling in this post. The eclectic approach allows you to customize like nothing else. It just might save your homeschool.
How to Plan Your Homeschool Year in One Day from Heart and Soul Homeschooling
Can you plan the whole year in just one day? Yes, you can! Head on over to see how it’s done and save yourself tons of time and headaches.
Back to School Deals from The Homeschool Cafe
Build your homeschool library and resources with the latest deals for study units, courses and supplies.
The Pros and Cons of Open-and-Go Curriculum from Thrive at Home
Sometimes, you just need to hit the easy button. Is an open-and-go or all-in-one homeschool curriculum right for your family? It might be. Here’s what to know if you’re considering one.
First day of school and transitioning
Back to Homeschool Ideas to both Celebrate and Prepare for the Coming Year from This Bit of Life
Sample Text: It’s time to get back to homeschool and This Bit of Life has everything you need to help you both prepare and celebrate the occasion! From fun ideas for a back to homeschool party to planning your homeschool day, check out this post full of information to help you get the year started off right.
How to Get Back into Homeschooling After a Break from 4 One More
After a long summer break, it can be hard to transition back into homeschooling again. Abby offers some tips to help make the transition smoother.
First Day of Homeschool Tips from Homeschooling 4 Him
What you do on the first day of your homeschool year can set your family up for success all year long. Here are some simple tips to help you start the year off right.
Top Ten Ways to Smoothly Transition Back to Homeschool from Homeschool On the Range
Here are even more tips from another seasoned homeschooling mom! Yvie shares her top ten tips for starting your homeschool on a good note.
Start Your New Homeschool Year On The Right Foot from Hope In The Chaos
A brand new homeschool year is on the horizon, and you are ready to tackle it with gusto! Armed with the perfect curricula, plenty of books and pencils, and your favorite cup of coffee, you are prepared to start your homeschool year with academic excellence. But before you do, let’s talk about a plan that offers a smoother transition for you and your kids.
Fun First Day of Homeschool Ideas from Simple Living Mama
The first day of homeschool is an exciting day! Use some of these ideas to make it fun and memorable. You’ll create first day of homeschool traditions your kids will never forget!
Organization and meal prep
Homeschool Room Essentials from Some Call It Destiny
Did you ever wonder what homeschool supplies you really need? Here are the essentials every homeschool room should have.
Homeschool Organization Without a Homeschool Room from An Off Grid Life
Homeschooling without a dedicated homeschool room? I have never had a dedicated room. Here are some great tips for getting (and staying) organized without a school room in your home.
Top Ten Tips – Help For Your Homeschool Journey from Geez, Gwen!
This collection of ten popular articles from Geez, Gwen, offer insight and encouragement for homeschool families. Get homeschool help in a variety of areas and feel better prepared for another year of this homeschool life.
Meal Planning for Homeschool Moms from My Joy-Filled Life
Homeschool moms have enough on their plates! So stop making mealtime a stressful time! Make meal planning and prep easier with these helpful tips.
Make A Fun Tradition Around Pancakes To Celebrate from Our Crazy Adventures In Autismland
We like to celebrate not back to school when the public school kids go back. Here’s a great idea for making pancakes the center of your little not-back-to-school party.
And more gems!
Ways to Help Your Kids Focus (ADHD) from Whole Child Homeschool
Learn what organizational strategies you can use in your homeschool to help your distractible child with ADHD better focus and learn while homeschooling. Perfect for kiddos with or without any unique learning needs!
Back to School Prep: Don’t Forget the Music! from Music in Our Homeschool
As you’re preparing your homeschool and curriculum for the new school year, don’t forget the music! Gena shares easy and fun ideas to make sure music is a part of your homeschool this year. Includes some free lessons!