Here’s how to teach homeschool math on a budget – even if you don’t love math (like me!).
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As someone who does not love doing or teaching math, I was really concerned about homeschooling. How can I teach math if I struggle with it myself? And how do I prevent my kids from hating it as much as I did growing up?
I’m a homeschool graduate (12 years of homeschool math for myself), and I have 6 years’ experience homeschooling my own kids. So I have some THOUGHTS about this. So far, none of the solutions have involved me needing to go back and learn how to love math. So I think that’s a win.
Like many homeschoolers, we’re also on a budget. Buying expensive curriculum or hiring tutors isn’t really an option. I want to give my kids the best education possible. But when you’re on a budget, you have to be a little scrappy and creative. Here’s how we did it.
How to Teach Homeschool Math
In our homeschool, my goal is to equip my kids with the skills they need for adulthood and empower them to be lifelong learners. This means basic math, but it also means accepting how they are naturally bent. For some kids, math and numbers come naturally. For some, it does not.
I was in the second category.
I was also raised by two math-loving parents (both of which had a background in teaching), so I know that a love for math isn’t always contagious.
Today, there are so many different ways to learn and explore our interests. For my kids, I rely heavily on outside help for math. We watch videos and play games. When we come across a concept I struggle with, we look for tutorials on YouTube or Kahn Academy and we explore it until both of us understand it.
My hope is that I’m showing my kids how to problem solve when they get stuck and how to be scrappy even if a job doesn’t fit their natural tendancies (as a Millennial, this concept is still kind of hard for me, lol).
We use curriculums for our main math, and we practice math drills during morning time. We play math games and read fun books about math (yes, they exist!). We look up tutorials when we’re struggling with concepts.
How Do I Choose a Homeschool Math Curriculum?
Honestly, I think the best math curriculum will look different for everyone. Every child and every parent is unique. What works for your math-loving friend might not work for you. What works for your math-loving child might not work for your artsy child.
One of the best parts of homeschooling is helping your child learn and thrive in the way that works for them.
Does your kid love hands-on projects? They might like Math-U-See.
Do they prefer video tutorials? They might prefer Teaching Textbooks.
Do you love teaching math and want a robust curriculum? Saxon Math.
Find what works for you!
Personally, for Elementary School, we loved Math Lessons for a Living Education, which is a Charlotte Mason style curriculum. It’s not perfect, but it’s simple, affordable, and it worked for us. We supplemented that with the suggestions below.
How to Make Homeschool Math Fun
Here are a few tips to make homeschool math fun:
- For math drills, we give out mini chocolate chips for correct answers
- We read Life of Fred, which is a fun and entertaining approach to math (look for it at your library!)
- Our little ones watch Peg + Cat (on Amazon Prime)
- We play math games like this (our library had this!)
- We play with Montessori math trays
- Look in your library’s juvenile nonfiction section for books about famous mathmeticians and math concepts. There are a lot out there!
- We do learning wrap-ups (also at our library)
- Little ones can play Pok-e-no for number recognition
- Monopoly Junior is a good, quick math game!
- And we cook, which is a fantastic life skill and way to learn practical math skills (go here to get a free printable of snacks kids can make!)
Free Online Homeschool Math Tools
- ABCYa has a lot of math games!
- Easy Peasy All-In-One has a lot of math resources and games
- Kahn Academy is great for tutorials
Even if you don’t love math, you can still teach it and instill a love for learning into your kids. All of my kids enjoy math and are doing just fine. Find what works for you – there’s a curriculum out there no matter what you need!