Y’all, I have to tell you something very serious. If you’re trying to pick the absolute, ultimate, perfect, best homeschool math curriculum of all time… the homeschool math program with no flaws, no challenges, and no tears guaranteed… this post is not for you.
Because not only is there no perfect homeschool curriculum for any subject (and certainly not a perfect homeschool math program), things that are worth doing are sometimes hard.
And just because things are hard doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.
So when you start thinking about math for next year, remember that simple consistency is the most valuable thing you can bring to your homeschool math plan.
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It’s going to be much better and more effective for you to pick something and do it imperfectly, little-by-little, day-by-day than for you to keep bouncing from math program to math program searching for the mythical perfect bullet that will solve all your mathematical woes.
Also, remember that every homeschool child is unique. Just because a friend or a random stranger on the internet loves a certain program does not mean it will be a good fit for you and your children.
The best option, when possible, is to look through a homeschool math curriculum in person. Ask friends if you can borrow their books. Go to a homeschool convention or a local book store if possible and flip through the pages and chat with the curriculum authors. And give free online math trials a try whenever possible!
Textbook and Online Math Curriculum
Here are a few of the common, most popular homeschool math curriculums I see recommended by friends and colleagues online. The list is certainly not exclusive. I’ll bold the math programs our family has personally used over the years with various children and at various levels. I’ve put a star beside the specifically online homeschool math curriculum options. I’ve also linked, when applicable, to reviews here on my blog.
- Math With Confidence
- Saxon Math
- Mr. D Math*
- Keys to Math
- Life of Fred
- Professor B Mathematics
- CTC Math*
- Singapore Math
- RightStart Mathematics
- Beast Academy
- Math Mammoth
Key factors to consider when choosing a homeschool math curriculum
As a homeschooling parent, choosing the right math curriculum can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s important to find one that meets your child’s needs, aligns with your homeschool style, and fits within your time and money budget.
Here are a few key factors to consider when selecting a homeschool math curriculum:
1. Consider your child’s learning style
Every child is different. What works for your friend’s child may not work for yours. Goodness, as a mom of 5 I’ve had to pivot multiple times within my own children! The textbook that worked great for my oldest made my middle child cry. The issue is not that the math book itself is bad… it just was not a good fit for the way her brain worked.
Does your child get distracted by lots of color or too much text on the page? Do they like working deliberately through a worksheet or do they need more hand-holding? Do they flourish best with hands-on material? Is it helpful for them to receive input in multiple ways (visual, auditory, etc)? Do you have a child who is asynchronous in their learning? (Some options like CTCMath are customizable for working at multiple levels at once.)
2. Consider your teaching style
Moms are born persons, too. If you prefer a hands-on approach, a curriculum that includes manipulatives and real-world applications may be a good choice. If you prefer a more traditional approach, you’ll probably want a textbook-based curriculum.
Do you love math? Perhaps you want to be more involved with the daily teaching of your math curriculum. My youngest and I look forward to his Math With Confidence lessons each day!
3. Mastery or Spiral? Just the Facts or Understanding the Why?
You can certainly check the scope-and-sequence of any math curriculum and compare it to your state requirements and personal homeschool goals.
But most of the time the scope and sequences will be quite similar. It may be more helpful to notice how the math program is structured.
For example, a mastery approach to math focuses more deeply on one topic at a time while a spiral approach teaches smaller portions of the material at a time and rotates through them more frequently.
A traditional “just the facts” approach tells the student what to do, gives them the math rules, and then drills them with lots of practice. A math curriculum that focuses on the why will lead the children to discover mathematical concepts for themselves, and will help them understand why the tricks and rule work.
My favorite curriculums strike a balance and include elements of all of the above.
4. Online, Video, or Textbook?
Depending on your family’s time and your children’s independence, you may choose to be more hands-off in your homeschool math approach.
While I do math daily with my youngest son using Math With Confidence, my older children are able to pursue their math lessons more independently. For example, at various times we’ve utilized video instruction from Math-U-See for elementary grades, online self-paced classes from Mr. D Math for high school math, and CTCMath lessons for extra review.
The realities of your schedule, the demands of multiple children in your homeschool, and the unique needs of your individual students can help you determine if working one-on-one with mom and a textbook or utilizing online courses is the best fit for your family.
One of the benefits of the CTCMath Homeschool Membership is that you can get access for the entire family… all levels of homeschool math from Kindergarten to Calculus for one low price!
5. Stop dilly dallying and just start something
I really do need to reiterate what I said at the beginning. If you’re feeling stymied by indecision, please remember that the most important thing is that you just pick something, start it, and do a little bit of math every day.
Consider your homeschool math budget. Consider your family’s schedule needs. Consider your child’s learning style. Consider your personal preferences.
But at the end of the day, an imperfect math curriculum that you do faithfully is going to be better than the mythical perfect curriculum you never start.
By taking all these factors into account, you can find a math curriculum that will help your child excel in their math studies.
Let me know in the comments:
What are your biggest struggles when it comes to homeschool math?