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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Math Manipulation

Math is not my subject! I have had to take algebra twice and just now, in my 30s, am I learning to get a handle on variables, fractions, and the Pythagorean theory. Teaching my son math has been a challenge, one which I am thankful to have my husband help me with. In our home writing and history are my fortes while science and math is his. 

Recently, Tristan had expressed an interest in both computer programming (currently he thinks being  a video game designer would awesome) and to pursue possibilities in these career choices I explained that he will need more rigorous math practice. For my own college I have had familiarity with Aleks and since I am currently in an algebra class I figured I would let him try out my program. He is ready for algebra and found Aleks straight forward and easy to use. I personally think it is an all around program good for higher math above 5th grade and I was happy to find that they also have a homeschool subscription option. 

For all grade levels though, math can be a difficult curriculum to teach. Even homeschool parents with a college education may find that they haven't been in school in a while and are rusty in their skills. If you are not confident with your own skills, then you will find that it is exceedingly difficult to teach another. It may be helpful to find a good math program and learn the skills again with your child so while they may not have you as a teacher you can work together. 

Ultimately, what is important is finding the right math curriculum for your child and one that will enable them to learn without being so challenging that they give up. Even for unschooling families that may not do regular book work and prefer experiential training, finding an online option, games, and skill worksheets can help once their kids find an interest or need for math in their lives. I am wanting to share some of the sites that I have found helpful and will be developing a full article with more in depth resources later. 

For now, here are some tried and true sites that are great starting points for math learning of any level: 

  • Math Games    Cool Math games for the younger crowd. Has adding, division, money, multiplication, fractions and more. 
  • ALEKS Link to the homeschool page to find out more information for a subscription for your family
  • Math Resources Federal resources page. Has links for higher math educationals, workbooks, and on-line lesson plans for algebra, measurements, geometry, trigonometry, and advanced math. 
  • Khan Academy Visual online lectures of just about any subject. Get a professor in your home for free! 
  • Practical Math Mathgoodies.com offers practical applications for higher math and a bunch of other tools! 
  • Worksheets - K-5 Lower level math worksheets - adding, fractions, order of operations, counting, money and more 
  • More Worksheets - K-5 Simple and straightforward worksheets. Create your own worksheets. 
  • Math Drills Multiple drill worksheets for all math levels 
There are many, many, many more links out there and please feel free to share. These are just some of my favorite tools and ones I have used here for our lessons. If there is one that your family uses routinely or have tried and liked then let us know! 

2 comments:

Liese4 said...

Vi Hart's math blog:
vihart.com/everything/

virtual manipulatives:
nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html

computational science:
shodor.org/

But, usually I will be searching for a specific math thing to work on, not just general math.

Willa Campbell said...

Thanks :) I need one to try for multiplication of decimals right now!