Homeschool Maths Ideas
How can you find the best resources when teaching homeschool maths? And how does the homeschool math program I choose line up with the Australian Curriculum?
Teaching Homeschool Maths
Maths is a core topic to teach to children. It is easy to test as there is a clear right and wrong answer. Some children are maths geniuses and they will rip through the textbooks quickly and effortlessly. I’ve had one of those (but I take no credit for it as it came naturally to him). My others have needed much more instruction.
I have always used textbooks for my children’s homeschool maths lessons. I’ve also supplemented their maths lessons with math games, cooking activities, measuring and money counting. You can also use good living math books for reading.
There are many opinions on how to teach math and it’s not my specialty. I don’t want to sway you toward a particular maths program as I have jumped around a lot myself over the past 18 years. You will need to research how you want to teach this topic.
If you choose to use an American curriculum then remember that they teach a different syllabus and imperial measurements and American money. They also use some mathematical terms that aren’t commonly used in Australia.
It’s usually best to start all of your lessons with concrete example – not just addition. For counting and addition Charlotte Mason encourages counters, using buttons, beans and dominoes. For adding money use real money. Introduce textbooks but make sure children grasp counting and addition by testing them yourself with questions
Learning the timetables can be a struggle. Kids need a lot of practise with this and once they know them maths becomes easier. Flash cards, verbal drill, and speed drills. You can usually begin teaching a form of multiplication using skip counting. 2-4–6- 8 etc.
Mostly we use the tests that are provided with the resources we are using. If you really want to do NAPLAN you can still do it as a homeschooler in Australia. Just contact them and ask them how you can register. We’ve never done them but I know some homeschoolers want to.
Don’t overload your child with a range of different concepts in one lesson. In the early years keep the lessons short around 10 to 20 minutes. Have children apply careful attention to their lessons.
Drill and Revision
Children do need revision of concepts, formulas, and measurements. I have found that a short daily drill book on things they have already learnt to be an essential part of their math lessons. I use these in addition to their textbooks. For primary school you can usually find these types of books in bookstores stores and newsagents- especially around the time of NAPLAN testing.
Suggested Curriculum For Homeschool Maths
Before you choose a curriculum please consider this important detail, you must pick a maths program you can confidently teach. What I mean by that is if you do not feel confident teaching in your math ability you will probably struggle with a maths resource that doesn’t have a lot of instruction.
Math is also a subject that may need tutors in high school if you do not feel confident in this subject.
Homeschool Maths Curriculum – USA, Singapore, & Other
- Singapore Maths curriculum. I used this till 6th grade for all my kids and I really liked it.They do follow the Australian curriculum quite well and they use the metric system which saves all the conversion problems that you get with US curriculum. You can buy these from Education Reformation. The supplier has some good information to its compatibility to the Australian Curriculum.
- Saxon Math (America) is very comprehensive and will give your kids a good grounding but lessons take a long time (up to an hour a day in later primary).
- Life of Fred (American) I do like this program but it’s really best used as a supplement. The terms used are often advanced and the measurement and money problems require extra effort to solve because we aren’t used to the American terms. The story of Fred’s antics and his ridiculous math problems delighted my children and they read them for fun. Get it here.
- Right Start Math is also American and popular.
- Teaching Textbooks is quite popular because it is a computer based course. Many homeschoolers use this. They recently updated their program in 2019.
- MEP – A free British math primary program. You’ll find the website here. It looks a bit overwhelming at first but it’s very good.
- Khan Academy is another place to go for particular lectures on concepts. It’s free to join.
Australian Homeschool Maths Curriculum
I personally like and used Math Online. Here is my personal review of Math Online Australia.
- It has video tutorials for all the lessons.
- The documentation for your records is very good
- The homeschool discount makes it very affordable.
- You can adapt it specifically for your state syllabus.
ALBOE – Exclusive to My Homeschool
Refresh your Year 6 to 8 child’s math knowledge daily with this math revision resource. Each lesson is filled with A Little Bit Of Everything from the Australian Maths Curriculum Year 6 – 7 outcomes. It will work well with your main maths resource.
- You will find this is an excellent addition to your child’s daily math.
- You only need to allocate 5 to 10 minutes a day to complete each lesson.
- Space is provided for working out answers.
- It can be used for multiple children within the family.
- Answers are provided in the back of the book and can be separated for easy marking.
ALBOE Year 7 (revises Year 6 skills)
ALBOE Year 8. (revises Year 7 skills)
Math U See
Math-U-See is also very popular for Math but I have never used it. You can buy an Australian version which uses Australian money and the metric system. They will also do special printing versions if you need coloured paper for dyslexia and special binding for lefties. However it still follows the American system.
Australian School Textbooks
Signpost Math, Targeting Math and other Australian school textbooks can also be used but they are written for math teachers so you may find if you are not good at math yourself you flounder.
First Maths Lessons
A new resources for Australian homeschoolers just released in 2020 is the My Homeschool Maths – First Math Lessons series. This product is exclusive to My Homeschool and isn’t sold separately but is included in their graded courses from Foundation to Year 2. It is includes 96 lessons that are Charlotte Mason inspired. There are 38 weeks of lessons with 3 lessons per week. It was written to comply with the Australian Curriculum and is specifically written for homeschooling. It also includes online resources to explore for fun maths activities and additional challenges.