When it comes to homeschooling, everyone has their own approach to it. And this is how it should be! You should find what works well for you and your family and just go for it! You will learn as you go, and you will probably make changes along the way just like me. I’m not a pro. I’m just a mom. And here’s what we are using for math this year.
Lily’s First Grade
For Lily’s 1st grade math we are using the A Beka Work-text and Tests and Speed Drills booklet. It is working really well for us.
If I find Lily needs extra practice on something we will work in another activity as needed. I found some addition and subtraction flash cards for $1 at Target that are great, and I created some printable missing number charts that include numbers up to 100. Lily needed extra practice on number order and that has done the trick.
The A Beka Work-text has plenty of practice exercises and also includes some coloring activities that make learning fun for her. We use manipulatives whenever she needs or wants to…pretty much everyday. At this age, it is important for her to see and/or feel the numbers she is working with. I usually use her markers or crayons as manipulatives because they are right there beside us in her school supply box.
Humorous side note: I tutor my cousin in Algebra every week, and Lily has been overhearing our lessons. Everything’s about x-squared this x-squared that. Being the comedian that she is, when we opened up her speed drill booklet today to begin, she immediately began writing x‘s in the answer squares, saying “x-squared,” “two x-squared,” “three x-squared.” Funny girl. 🙂
Three Year Old Preschool for Isabella
Isabella is three, so we don’t “do school” every day. However, most of the time she wants to do school like her sister does! For math, I print a coloring page of a new number each day. I have found some good ones online at Mr. Printables and Twisty Noodle, and I’ve also created a few myself for numbers I couldn’t find online.
The ones I created have the appropriate number of shapes on them as well (like 15 circles, 16 parallelograms, etc), so she is learning shapes in addition to counting skills and number recognition. We started with the number one and we are now on twenty-two.
She colors the page and then helps me count out the right number of macaroni noodles (or beans, or Froot Loops, etc) to glue on there. I use empty formula containers (with the scoopers because it is just fun!) or plastic baby cereal containers to keep the manipulatives in.
Isaac, My Baby Love
For baby Isaac [OMG…he is SO cute!… Sorry, I got distracted for a minute by his baby glory ;)], I just count things for him pretty often. Some days I don’t think about it, but when I do, I count out his snacks as I put them on his tray. I also just count from one up to whatever while I’m bathing him or playing. Sometimes I count the toys he is playing with.
He is usually playing right by our school table during math, so he hears us count things all the time. I just make it a part of our everyday life whenever I think about it.
On another funny note, when Lily was a toddler, I used to count the stairs from the garage to the main floor as we went up them when we would arrive at our home. There were thirteen stairs in all. One day when she was in preschool, I noticed that when she was counting, she would always stop at thirteen, then after that she would get mixed up. It took me a minute, but then I realized why. 🙂
It is my hope that math will always be a joy for my children like it is now. I believe the key for that is to never, and I repeat, never move on to a new topic until the previous topic is well understood.
That’s one thing I love about homeschooling: we don’t have to rush. We can take the time to cover the material at the right pace for each individual child. And sometimes, slow and steady wins the race.
Do you homeschool your children? What are you using for math? What curriculum or materials do you like best? I am really new at homeschooling, so I’m always eager to hear from others about what is working well for them. I’d love to hear your comments below.