In the few years I have been homeschooling, and have helped mentor new homeschool families, I have heard of one common struggle-teaching Math! Whether it be geometry, algebra, multiplication or something else, homeschool families tend to hit a wall often while teaching (or learning) math. We need help with math, but we aren’t sure where to get it.
My first few years I switched math curriculums a few times before finding one that fit for our family (CLE Math but now Teaching Textbooks). However, even though the curriculum is great, I have still had to supplement with some online resources. As a homeschool parent, it is important to know what is out there in terms of teaching Math, and where you can go to get help if needed. Here are some online resources to help with math.
Easy Peasy is a complete online homeschool curriculum that is free. They include a program for math that has hands on games, fact practice, and lessons to help teach your child the math skills they need.
We started using Khan Academy to supplement this year, and have really liked it. Khan Academy is aligned with common core, but if those lessons can be skipped if you chose not to follow it. Khan Academy offers skills practice, mastery challenges, and full teaching videos. You can set up an account for your child, and follow their progress on your teacher’s dashboard. You can assign lessons, or pick which ones you want your child to complete. Khan Academy is personalized and will match your child with lessons if you do not assign them. Best of all it is FREE!
Math IXL is another online program that families can use to help with Math. They offer monthly subscription plans and lessons begin as early as PK. It is also aligned with Common Core and offers special program options for homeschool families.
This interactive game website is free and offers tons of games for children to help them hone in on their math skills. You can pick a level or topic and allow your child to practice an area they may be struggling with. They even offer assessments!
TED talks are widely popular with kids and now there is a TedEd math section! This portion uses clever graphics and cultural references mixed in with key mathematical principles to make learning math fun! A great resource for those kids who tire easily from math concepts.
Parents, teaching math does not have to be a headache. Thanks to the many online resources to help with math, we have help at the tip of our fingers.
Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
As I looked around my homeschool space I saw books, pencils, crayons, projects that we were working on and of course my children ;) I also saw garbage, empty glue sticks, craft supplies, and clutter strewn throughout the room.
It was a tad bit overwhelming!
If I had to guess, your homeschool space is similar. Homeschooling requires material. It requires space. It requires items that will ultimately lead to clutter……
So, how do you tame the clutter and keep it from taking over your homeschool space? You must get organized!
Have a Space for Everything
This has been a huge help in our quest for homeschool organization. All of our teacher manuals go in one spot. Non-fiction books? They have their own shelf. Same goes for library books and fiction books. I also give each of our children a shelf for their school items. Homeschool books and school supplies are the only things that are allowed on their school shelf. This keeps everything they need for school in one place.
Clean Up and Throw it away!
Those empty glue sticks? Paper left over from art day? Toss it! This needs to happen each and every day. At the end of your day go in and look around your homeschool space. What can be tossed? What needs to be straightened up? Having a clean and ready space to homeschool in each day is important both for you and your kids.
Encourage and Reprimand
Once your children are a certain age they should be doing this each day as well. Remind them to put their school items up each day. If they have an art mess, they need to be responsible for cleaning it up. Encourage them to take responsibilities for their homeschool space NOW. This will help them as they get older.
If your child does not straighten up their space and clear the clutter there needs to be a punishment. What this is will vary from family to family. For my kids, if they have an art project out and do not clean it up afterward they don’t get to do an art project for a set number of days. If they lose a piece of paper that is important they have to redo the project. Same goes for losing scissors, rulers, etc (they must repurchase or find the missing item).
Why Keep It?
As parents we are of course VERY proud of our kid’s accomplishments, but why do we need to keep EVERYTHING that they work on? We don’t!
When your child’s homeschool paperwork goes through you, determine what needs to be kept, and what doesn’t. Things like tests, quizzes, and reports may be best to keep. Every time they wrote their name….not so much. Keep what’s important and toss the rest!
Encourage your kids to do this with their homeschool projects. Let them decide what they want to keep and what they want to toss. Consider purchasing a tote, or binder just for items they want to keep. Once it’s full, it’s full and they can decide what to take out to make room for more items. Also, digital memories may work for the kids! Take pictures of their projects and print them off. My kids keep their favorites in their homeschool portfolio or on a cork board in their room.
Taming the homeschool clutter can be a full-time job. BUT it is important to get the kids involved and teach them NOW to be responsible for their space, their clutter, and their items. This is a key step in taming the homeschool clutter now and each and every day here on out.
Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
Paige Hudson is an author of the award-winning programs at Elemental Science and homeschooling mom of two. As the holder of a degree in Biochemistry and the author of more than 20 books and curricula, Paige brings many years of experience as a homeschool teacher, science curriculum writer, and science lover!
Her purpose is to make sure those who come to listen walk away confident in their ability to teach or direct their student’s science education.
She seeks to share her passion by providing the attendees practical information about teaching science. She works to remove the fears associated with teaching science instruction and to encourage the listeners with ideas on how they can teach science in their homeschool.
AskDrCallahan is an online curriculum company that specializes in math, entrepreneurship, and college alternative plans for homeschooling high school students. We firmly believe that students who are held to a high standard of excellence and given the tools to have fun learning will exceed even their own expectations for what they can achieve.