Since the day I began homeschooling, over 20 years ago, I have tried many math programs. I spent my early childhood in a private school that used a workbook style program for math, and it definitely stunted both my enjoyment and confidence in my math abilities. I want something better for my own children.
My hands down favorite of all the math programs I have tried for early childhood is still Right Start Math. Their hands on approach appeals to my child, and I can see the connections being made as we learn together. Even with the first few levels, I felt like my own skills at mental math were improving.
This year with my 3rd grade student, I also added Teaching Textbooks. I have used later grades with several of my older children, and was excited about adding as many math resources as were enjoyable. As my first set of children have reached college age, I’ve seen them manage their higher maths but not necessarily enjoy them, and I want to develop more of a love for math, as opposed to just a tolerance for it in the youngest two. Teaching Textbooks grade 3 is very engaging and simple, while incorporating a great amount of review.
Another resource we have tried this year has been Smartick. It is an app that claims to help your child advance rapidly in math in only 15 minutes a day. It has been a great addition to our repertoire of math resources as well, giving me the help of a tutor without actually paying the hourly rates of a tutor.
When a little younger, my children also enjoyed using the app, Montessori Preschool. Montessori style math produces amazing results and even the app helped my children with skills such as place value and other numerical skills. We limit use of devices, but found these two helpful exceptions when used a few minutes a day.
We also recognize the important math benefits of other skills and subjects such as music, art, and cooking. As we continue learning in those areas, we are developing greater levels of understanding that can also apply to math.
You can also find insightful articles about teaching math in recent bundles of Wild and Free, the one by Rachel Kovac was especially encouraging to me. Her thoughts on how the attitude of parents towards math, directly affects the math performance and understanding of children, were very helpful for me as I work to develop a love of math for my children’s sake.
What are your favorite resources for teaching math?
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