Posted in Books, Education, REVIEW

Homeschooling: Beginning with MATH


couple of weeks ago I began writing on what our family uses for beginning the elementary grades of homeschooling.   This fall will be our 20th year of homeschooling, and beginning our last year of starting our youngest child with his first year of “formal” education.  If you missed my first post, it was on what we have used for teaching reading and phonics.

Today I’d like to share what we have used for math.  Again, I highly recommend the book, How to Tutor by Samuel L. Blumenfeld which is divided into three main sections:  (1) how to teach systematic, intensive PHONICS and READING  (2)  CURSIVE HANDWRITING  (3) ARITHMETIC PROGRAM.   You really can start out with JUST this book, doing the basics with your child and a piece of paper.  It gives great guidance in not overwhelming yourself and teaching the basics.

Going along with the simple basics, I’ve also liked Ray’s Arithmetic . . . and now called Classic Curriculum.  Each year is broken into four series, so for first year, first quarter I use Classic Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1 – Book 1.  This is VERY basic teaching writing numbers, counting, combining sets, comparing numbers to 20.  Though this is listed for first grade, I’ve used it more as Kindergarten.  For the following quarters, you’d get Series 1 – Book 2; Series 1 – Book 3 and Series 1 Book 4.  The next year you’d need Classic Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 2 – Book1.

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

As I previously wrote as well, is a great place to find these books, but be sure to add these to your “wish” list a good year before you need them, because there’s many times a long waiting time.

In the past years, I’ve found I’ve only used the first year of the Classic Curriculum and then switched to A Beka books for Math for first through third grades.  I like the bright colors and the way the concepts build upon each other.  HOWEVER, there is times when it can move too fast, and if your child has not memorized the basics for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, they can get lost and overwhelmed.  It’s SO SO SO important for them to grasp this.  There’s been times we’ve just set the book aside and worked on memorizing these. I may make-up worksheets or have the kids play games with it.  It’s worth “getting behind” to get ahead!

A Beka Books can only be purchased directly from A Beka or “used” books on eBay.  

After third grade we have gone to Saxon Math, which are hard covered textbooks, that we can pass down to the younger children.  We have started out with Math 54 which is for the average fifth grader, though we have usually started it for forth grade.  It covers basic math functions, estimating, 2- and 3-digit computation, and decimals.   You will want to make sure to get the KITS at least for the first child, which will give you the textbook, tests, and answer key.  We then have continued on with the following Saxon math kits, next being Math 6/5: Home School Kit, then Saxon Math Homeschool: 7/6; Saxon Math 8/7 with Prealgebra (Kit: Text, Test/Worksheets, Solutions Manual); and then several algebra courses and geometry follow.

So, this is a brief overview of what we have found to work for our family.


Beloved KEPT Child of Jesus stumbling by faith ~ Married 30 years ~ Blessed Mama of 10 beside me & 2 at Jesus' feet ~ "Retired" homeschool mama of 22 years ~ Writer * Blogger * Reviewer ~

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