Finding the best math curriculum for your homeschool can take a while. Not all math programs suit all children. For instance, a program that suits visual learners will only sometimes work for kinesthetic learners. Other programs may not work because they’re overly complicated, and your child needs a more straightforward program. So, it would be best to find the right curriculum to suit your child. But how do you do that? We’re going to find the best math curriculum for you by following the steps below.
Fit the Curriculum to You, Your Child, and Your Homeschool
When you homeschool, you have the luxury of choosing a homeschool curriculum that suits you and your family. You don’t need to choose a math curriculum made to fit 30 children in a school classroom. Instead, you’re able to be unique. Some math programs you can choose include:
But let’s take a closer look at what you want to think about before buying.
Things to Think About Before Buying Math Curricula
Along with matching your child’s learning style with the right math choice, you also want to consider the scope and sequence your children will most benefit from. Some children are more advanced than others, while others need a slower pace. Sometimes, children need a little more time to navigate a foundational math concept before you find them sailing through the rest of the material. It’s all right to slow down to get it right.
When you send a child to school, the school or teacher picks the curriculum for you. The schoolchild generally gets a modern/traditional style of education in their curriculum. But, the homeschool curriculum is different. Homeschool curriculum providers write their curriculum using a series of styles.
Some of the most popular homeschool styles are the following:
The classical method is quite similar in the early years to the traditional method but focuses more on logical thinking as children age. It tends to be quite rigorous. The Charlotte Mason method provides an easy and gentle educational program that is less rigorous than the classical one. There is lots of nature study and fun exploring with this method. The Unit Studies method is a great way to teach the whole family simultaneously and is a big hit for parents looking for a family-style homeschool curriculum.
Online vs. Offline Curricula
We briefly touched on it, but a huge factor to consider is whether you prefer an online or offline program. Do you want to keep your children doing a more boxed or mailable homeschool curriculum? Or do you want something entirely online and keep the paper waste to a minimum Games can be an excellent way to heighten interest in math. But they can also be addictive, so online math programs are not always a good idea for some children.
How to Tailor the Program with TUTORING!
Many parents don’t want to homeschool their children because they think, ‘How on earth can I teach my children advanced maths??!!” Thankfully, you don’t need to. Many math programs are incremental, so children don’t need math tutors. They can always go a few steps back, re-learn their foundations, and then move forward again. If this is difficult, parents can also get a math tutor. Tutors can be used for a few months to get your children over a difficult spot. Or they can be used throughout high school education, depending on your budget (the cost of homeschooling).
What Tutors Do
Math tutoring within the homeschooling context takes on a dual responsibility:
- conveying mathematical concepts and
- identifying and addressing any learning gaps that may arise.
Imagine tutors as educational investigators equipped to uncover the exact points at which kids encounter hurdles.
Tutors can pinpoint a child’s mathematical ‘stumbling block’ by using a combination of:
- diagnostic assessments,
- interactive conversations and activities, and
- Observant analysis of the child’s learning process
Once identified, tutors can make a personalized plan of action. Tutors help students understand hard things by explaining in different ways, giving practice, and extra material to learn. They also figure out why things are tricky, like if a child missed something or didn’t get an idea. In this way, a tutor’s knowledge and expertise help your child build a foundation so children can learn better in the future.
Tutors and Homeschool Parents Working Together When homeschooling, tutors and parents work together. Tutors tell how things are going and ways to get better. They’re like a team that solves problems, helps learn, and works with students and parents to improve math. So, Paid math tutoring can also work alongside a homeschool math curriculum to improve learning. It can massively boost a homeschooler’s confidence level, making kids feel more motivated and leading to improved performance in math scores.
My Experience with Math Tutors
I love math tutors and used them when I was homeschooled myself 30 years ago. In those days, we had our workbooks mailed to us. We were supposed to do the work independently. But sometimes I ran into difficulties and didn’t get a concept. I was grateful that I could just call up my math tutor who would go through the concept with me. Sometimes they’d go through the problem in a few different ways until something clicked. Not only was I very thankful for this lifeline, but my parents (both of whom have sparse tertiary education profiles), were also grateful!
The Bottom Line
Math programs can be sorted into differing formats, styles, and difficulties. In a homeschool environment, you can customize your child’s curriculum to suit their learning style and preferences. If things get complicated, consider changing the math curriculum. You can also get a math tutor to help your child through a tricky period or hire a tutor for the last couple of high school years. WonderMath is an affordable math program that can help your child succeed with their work and feel more motivated to continue learning. Check them out here.