Selecting a Homeschool Math Curriculum
Several homeschooling parents strain with this exact query: which math curriculum should I use? Which one suits my child? However, there is no ”best” book. So long as the curriculum’s mathematical content is of decent quality, the teacher is really a far more imperative element of a kid’s math education than the book.
A great teacher is sensitive to the needs of a child and does not therefore merely legalistically follow any book.
A great teacher adores the subject matter and is excited about it. This alone will urge the learner to learn and help him or her develop a similar attitude. Unluckily, homeschooling parents usually do not have the ‘love’ for math (maybe due to how they were taught during their school days).
A great math teacher can clarify concepts, draw pictures to demonstrate them and utilize manipulatives or other tangible aids himself, irrespective of the bath book he is using. In other words, the learner can learn from his or her teacher and it will not matter much how the book clarifies things.
From the above points, we can derive that even if a given math book isn’t the best fit for your child, a good teacher can make it work by complementing it with other materials, perhaps adjusting the speed, skipping some exercises, being enthusiastic about the concepts, jumping back and forth in the book, letting the learner color things in the book, drawing pictures, and more.
So, do you wish to find the best math curriculum for your child? Keep reading these points.
Consider difficulty. Many homeschool math programs cover almost the same topics; however, their depth and pace differ greatly. What one program considers second grade might be a first-grade or third-grade in another program! Some cover only the fundamentals of written computation and simple word problems. Others dive intensely into concepts and need learners to think hard regarding complex problems. Choose a program whose difficulty level is appropriate for your child to help them develop an optimistic attitude towards math.
Conceptual versus procedural. Conceptual curricula concentrate on teaching why math works how it does, like why we require to find common denominators to add fractions, or why ‘borrow the 1’ when deducting. They begin with the big picture and then utilize those big concepts to work out the details. On the other hand, procedural curricula give more focus on teaching learners how to do the math, that is, the procedures that obtain the correct answer. They are often direct and to the point concerning explaining precisely how to borrow the one or find that common denominator. They sometimes utilize manipulatives for demonstration purposes; however, they often focus more on pencil-and-paper methods.
Cost. There is no point in purchasing the ideal math curriculum if it costs too much. A good math curriculum is a worthwhile investment, but some curricula have hefty start-up costs or are very costly. Luckily, there are also more friendly-priced programs out there. Thus, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have your kid learn math. Compare the prices of programs that are known to deliver great results.