Homeschool Math

These are the Math Curriculum that I have used with my children that I found most beneficial.

First:

MEP (Mathematics Enhancement Program) from the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching.

Pros:

*Available online for FREE.

*It’s basically open and go (no planning ahead needed) as long as you print the lesson pages and Copy Masters ahead of time.  I usually print the lessons out in chunks of about 25 lessons at a time.  I keep the lesson pages in my child’s daily binder and the teacher lesson guides in my Math binder.  I prefer printing the teacher lesson guides, but some friends of mine just look at them on a tablet during the lesson.

*Teaches flexible thinking and playing with numbers.  Students are asked “what patterns do you notice?”  “How would you solve this problem?”  Questions with multiple correct answers are posed.

*The Metric system is taught really well, and used to support place value understanding.

*Most lessons contain logic puzzles, which are fun and encourage the students to be more comfortable with mathematical thinking.

Cons:

*You have to print out a lot of material.

*If you are from the U.S., you will have to find a different resource to teach currency and our standard measurement system.

Helpful MEP Explanations (all from A Peaceful Day blog.)

What is MEP Math and how do I get started?

How to go through a lesson.

Example of a day’s lesson.

Does MEP work with Charlotte Mason?

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Second:

Math Inspirations Discovery-Based Math from https://mathinspirations.com/

Pros:

*The Parent training is really excellent.

*Your child learns to actually think for herself.  She will figure out how to do the different math operations and write her own step by step instructions (just like Euclid.)  Math will be meaningful because she got to figure it out instead of having it fed to her in dry chunks to be memorized.

*You can be sure that a student who can write out their own directions for how to add two-digit numbers really knows how to do it as well as how to communicate that information.

*The lessons require less from the parent as you have to stand back and allow your child to figure the word problems out.

*Learning to problem solve and think logically seems like the main reason students should learn math, and this curriculum fosters that thinking.

Cons:

*It takes more time for the lessons, and students used to traditional math will struggle at first as they get used to having to problem solve and not being given the answers.  It feels like hard work (because it is.)  However, it is never boring work (do the odd problems 1-99 is never the homework.)

*High school level curriculum isn’t available yet (Algebra, etc.)

*You as the parent have to read your student’s definitions and theorems, recognize deficiencies and suggest math problems that will expose the mistake in the theorem so your child can refine their definition.  So far, I’ve been able to do this, but it could be intimidating or difficult for some parents.

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Professor “B” Math or Mathematics Power Learning for Children

https://profb.com/

The small textbook tells you as teacher what to say and do.  There is an accompanying workbook of practice problems for the student. There is a flip chart for math facts as well.

Pros:

*Open and go, no prep needed (Except creating some bundles of sticks for the multiplication lessons)

*There are some youtube videos of Professor B teaching, so you get the idea very quickly and easily what you are supposed to do as the teacher.

*Working through these 3 books in one year gave me a better understanding of basic mathematics than I had before.  It filled in gaps that I still had in my math understanding.  I feel that it prepared me to be able to use MEP and Math Inspirations.

*It moves quickly.  Perhaps you were not very consistent in your first year or several of home school.  Now you have an 11-year old who hasn’t done much math.  Perhaps you have a child who just struggles with math and has moved slowly or seems to forget much of what they have learned in the past.  If you have a child who is “behind” by more than 2 years of math, these 3 books will have them ready for pre-Algebra in a very short time– and they will be solidly, confidently, ready.

*Speaks the truth about each step in a mathematics problem, so children (and adults) who have always been mystified by math explanations will finally understand what is going on.

* Except for learning the concept of multiplication, no manipulatives are used. If messy shelves full of math manipulatives drive you or your spouse crazy, this curriculum is your salvation.

*Focuses early on memorizing the basic addition facts and basic multiplication facts.  If you believe that basic math facts should be memorized, no curriculum does it better than Power Mathematics.

*Lessons are short, face-paced, and pretty fun.

Cons:

*This curriculum’s focus is on teaching children to calculate math problems quickly and accurately.  Books 1-3 teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, factoring, and place value.  It does this better than any curriculum I’ve ever encountered.  The curriculum does not teach logic, problem solving skills, measurement, telling time, or counting money.

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Saxon Math

For high school level mathematics, there just are not as many options available.

MEP does have a high school program, but I have not used it yet.

Saxon Algebra I and Algebra II, which include plane geometry in their instruction, are solid.  My favorite bits are the letter from John Saxon in the beginning of the Algebra I book (read it to your student) and the fact that each of the practice problems has next to it the lesson number in which the needed skill is taught.  With that lesson number, you can notice patterns in what homework problems your child is struggling with, and you know where to go to figure out what is going wrong.

If your student completes Algebra I and II, you can be confident she will be prepared for most of the math on the ACT and for college algebra.

If you go on to Saxon Advanced Math and Calculus, you have gone farther than my experience has taken me, and I salute you.

I found the explanations of Saxon Books by Art Reed to be extremely helpful:

https://homeschoolwithsaxon.com/newsletter.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

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