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  1. #11

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    My 5yo is my 6th child. When we decided to homeschool him, I assumed I would follow the same path for math I had with my older kids when they were little. But it became obvious quickly that he is quite a different learner than they were. It does take a little time and patience to learn what will work when you first start homeschooling, even if you have homeschooled your other kids.

    Most curriculum produced for homeschoolers meets or exceeds common core standards so the common core seal of approval is pretty useless to homeschoolers. I assume what you mean by "common core style" is typical classroom style curriculum.

    Life of Fred is definitely an option for a nice relaxed math experience that is different from typical classroom instruction. Typically, most kids go through 2 books a year with LOF. So you could go ahead and get the first book in the series, Apples, work through it and see if you and your daughter like it. If you do, when you are getting near the end of Apples, go ahead and order Butterflies, the second book in the series. That way you are only shelling out about $20 each time and only if it's working for you.

    You can also check out your public library's collection of living math books. The MathStart series is one to check out as well as the Sir Cumference books. You can check out LivingMath.net for more suggestions on math readers for children.

    The other type of book I would suggest checking your library for are the Let's Play Math books by Denise Gaskins, the Kitchen Table Math series by Chris Wright and Family Math series by Jean Kerr Stenmark. These books are for you, the parent, to read and get ideas on how to work on math in a playful, child friendly way. Remember, even if your library doesn't have these books on their shelves, you can request inter-library loans for them and your library can borrow it from other libraries for you. This service is free in some libraries, others charge a few dollars per book to cover shipping costs but it can be a great way to find out if a book is worth spending the money on to buy your own copy.

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  3. #12

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    I would ignore the "Common Core" sticker (or lack thereof) on things. It's not particularly meaningful and doesn't tell you anything about the approach the program uses. It just tells you it covers some basic stuff. But programs without it may cover just as much or more but not bothered to be sure that all the "first grade topics" are in their first grade program as opposed to in their second grade one or even their kindy one. It's pretty meaningless.

    If you don't want to start formal math with a full curriculum, you don't have to. On the other hand, there are a lot of great math programs geared toward homeschoolers. Many of them are secular. They really run the gamut of styles and options. Basically, you have a lot of good options, which you can't always say about homeschool curriculum for every age and grade. And it's really more about how you, the teacher, present the material as to whether or not it's "overwhelming" or "too much."

    Basically, I would get a program, see if it works. If it doesn't, then oh well, do it slower or try something else or realize you're better off winging it for awhile.

    If you're interested in more of the "winging it" approach, then Family Math is a good resource book. Livingmath,net has the most comprehensive lists of living math books (aka story books about math). Education Unboxed is a good source for learning to teach just through the Cuisenaire Rods. Right Start sells two products that can be used without their full curriculum - one is a package with their abacus and a book with activities for it. The other is the Right Start Card Games, which teaches specific math skills.
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  4. #13

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    The most expensive math curriculum is the one that doesn't work and doesn't get used. I wouldn't buy anything that does not have a significant try-before-you-buy or does not offer refunds. Most of the good curriculums offer samples for you to try out or give full refunds.

    I purchased some inexpensive curriculum for primary grades, but we ended up game schooling and using living books for elementary math. (Actually we ended up doing that for all topics, but that is a different post.)

    I used lots of board and card games and did fun activities. We occasionally used some workbooks and I tried out some curriculums, but I found out that a more relaxed method worked better for my child. (I just posted a huge list of math resources on another post and I have a list on my blog below.)

    Many living math books are available at the library. I purchased Murderous Maths for the story books. They are secular (unlike LOF) and entertaining. Also DK has some great math books to consider it in different ways.

    MEP and Khan academy are free curriculums which can work. I have used the resources off and on.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  5. #14
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    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    FL
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    I have a subscription to Dreambox for my 5 & 8 year old and they both love it. They do a free trial.

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