We have found Math-U-See works for us.  I like the DVD lessons – and to be honest our kids watch these themselves and most times go and do the lesson without even talking to me.  I would like them to come and ‘teach’ me the lesson but they tend to do that only if they aren’t too sure about it.  I get them to ‘teach’ me before I go over it with them because sometimes just verbalising the lesson helps them to ‘get it’ or at the least shows me what they don’t get.  They generally get it from the DVD.

I find Math-U-See easy to customise to our kids needs.  Sometimes there are lessons that our children already know so we just skip over that and move on.  Sometimes they get stuck – like a mind block – so we just pause in their lessons for a while.  During that time we may focus on math drill, or on living math for a season.

I personally have found Math to be a tricky subject for me to teach with life. I do well at math and I know it is very much a subject we use in life but I haven’t had the math vocab to understand when I’m using it- not enough to pass that onto my children when we are walking, sitting and going down to sleep! (Deut 6)  Don’t get me wrong – I know I’m using math when I cook and shop and sew but that is about it.  That is, until I discovered living math.  Living Math is about using stories to teach math concepts.  That is right up my alley – I love stories!  What these stories have shown me is the vast application of math in our daily lives – they have given me the math vocab.

Most my children are using Math-U-See with a little Living Math on the side (as well as a whole lot of real life math going on too).  But for Daniel it is reversed – we are mainly using Living Math, with a little Math-U-See on the side (this is because he thinks Math is all about big thick workbooks! And he wants to be like his big brother and sisters and ‘do’ math!)

Living Math website is full of information and book lists to help you get started.

Jimmie has a great Squidoo lens on Living Math. – she has several different lens – follow them all and be inspired!

Internet4Classrooms is a favourite resource – it has links to online games and activities for the different aspects of math (and other learning areas too).  We use these activities to explain, consolidate or we print things out to make up our Math notebooks.

Internet4Classrooms also helps me see what is age/grade level appropriate.  One of the things that has surprised me is that an activity that I find in grade 1 is still suitable for grade 3 and so forth.  It has helped to take away the pressure that these things must be mastered in such n such a grade.

Though I just love picture books and have bought many that teach math concepts (in a living book style) I have decided to narrow my choices down to MathStart.  It is a living books curriculum with lesson plans!  That makes it easy for a busy homeschool mum.

I have found even with my highschool children that a picture books explains a concept so much easier – they often dip into my living books stash when they need clarification on something.  So it isn’t just for primary school kids – living math is for us all.

Read more on my website about Living Math

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