Struggling with Math in your homeschool? We are discussing spiral vs mastery approach as well as some great Math programs to take a look at.
Math is one of those subjects that we have really struggled with. All kids learn different ways and a few years into our homeschool journey I realized that what worked for my oldest in Math was not going to work with my middle.
There are two typical ways to teach math, spiral and mastery. Let’s take a look at both.
The spiral method of homeschooling, means that a new concept is taught, along with practice and review over past concepts. This approach presents a given set of topics that repeat from level to level. Each time the material is presented, it is with more depth, and linking new concepts with those learned preciously.
The other is mastery approach. This means that the same concept is taught until the student grasps it, then the move on to another concept.With this approach, skills are built upon each other until a student has a thorough comprehension of one topic before moving on.
Both approaches end with the same concepts being covered, but the order and the manner in which the students learn them differ greatly.
If you are struggling with Math in your homeschool, here are some great Math programs to take a look at.
*Stars indicate one of Cathy Duffy’s top picks.
- Christian Light Education-Used and published by Mennonites, this math curriculum is solid and affordable. It comes with ten light units per grade and two teachers’ books. CLE uses the spiral approach and requires little to no prep work from the teacher. Daily flash cards and speed drills help student’s master facts. Uses the spiral approach.
- *Teaching Textbooks-Teaching textbooks was designed for homeschoolers to help them with some of their math struggles. It uses a CD rom and includes interactive lessons combined with practice problems in a workbook. It also features an automatic grade book that takes the grading part away from parents! Uses the spiral approach.
- *Horizons- Published by Alpha and Omega, Horizons Math uses the spiral approach. It contains two colorful workbooks and uses manipulative to help students grasp concepts. There is some teacher prep required. There are readiness tests available to help with student placement.
- *Math U See-Math u See is a very popular curriculum for homeschoolers. It teaches math hands on and many parents say that thanks to Steve Demme’s math lessons they finally “get” math. Math U See uses the mastery approach, and each level builds upon the previous one.
- *Life of Fred-Designed for independent study, Life of Fred is a comprehensive math curriculum. It was written by a retired math teacher. They take you through the life of Fred. A young boy whose adventures are a jumping off point for the math lessons. Each lesson teaches a concept, followed by practice questions.