Homeschool Math Planning Tips To End The Stress
Homeschool math planning and instruction does not have to be scary or intimidating. Many children have the notion that they are inherently bad at math. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Tears, meltdowns and any form of resistance to math is your clue that something is going on behind the scenes. If you notice your child struggling with math, I encourage you to use this behavior to your advantage.
This behavior is information. Your child’s frustration is the symptom of a problem. In this post, I want to offer you some practical principles that you can apply to your homeschool math planning, activities and instruction.
If you haven’t, please refer to Homeschool Math Planning Part 1.
1 – It Isn’t That Children Are Bad At Math
Children are often pushed along through the system without the solid foundation that they truly need. This makes math extremely stressful.
The fact is that many children have been pushed through the system without the foundational math skills that will serve them well.
It’s time to remove the mindset roadblocks, and get intentional with your child’s math instruction.
Now that homeschool life is the new normal for families, I want to help your homeschool math planning and prioritize math activities for your child.
2 – Find The Gap
If your child is resistant to any type of school-related work, this is probably due to a gap somewhere in foundational math skills. Many moms new to homeschooling may be intimidated by their child’s math struggles. However, I am here to encourage you to take a deep breath. You can equip your child. I promise.
The first step? Figure out. Set the right goal. Grab the FREE Homeschool 101 planning guide.
3 – Set A Goal
Basic to homeschool math planning is setting a goal to determine what that math gap is.
Typically, math struggles stem from a gap in the basic math facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.
Tease through the following questions:
- What is he missing?
- Why is he struggling?
- What’s happening?
Whatever you find that missing piece to be, that is where instruction must begin.
4 – Homeschool Math Planning – Don’t Panic!
If, for example, you do determine that your child doesn’t know his math facts well, be encouraged. This is information that allows you and your child to move forward.
With a small amount of intentionality, your child can quickly learn the skills he needs to move on to the more difficult math concepts.
5 – Take One Step At A Time
Don’t attempt to plow through or skip over the basic concepts because you think your child should be further along.
By doing this, your child will never get what he’s missing.
Choose the math facts you want your child to work on, and spend the time on that specific area alone.
You will be shocked at how little time it will take your child to make huge strides when he focuses on one thing.
6 – Incorporate Short Increments Of Teaching
An overload of information is overwhelming for your child. Most adults can relate to this as well. Have you been on Pinterest lately? Whatever it is that your child is struggling to understand and master:
- math facts (Check out Times Tales for a fun way to help your child memorize math facts),
- long division, etc…
Give your child the opportunity to master one concept at a time. Get super focused on that skill and plan for short, powerful bursts of intentional, one-on-one instruction. This yields incredible fruit OVER TIME. One step at a time.
7 – Homeschool Math Planning – Resources For Your Math Tool Belt
There are some really great resources to use when working on foundational math skills. One of those that I recommend is teacherspayteachers.com. Go to the grade level of your child or even the grade level below. Find the exact resources you need to address the gap.
If your child hits a wall because he doesn’t know multiplication facts, then you can also check out the Classical Conversations App. This app is based on the classical model of education. When concepts are added to a song, the easier those concepts are to remember. This resource is a bit pricey for an app, but so worth it.
Multiplication Tables Simplified With Times Tales
Times Tales is an excellent resource that uses a multisensory approach to help kids memorize math facts. Using cartoons narratives combined with song and repetition, kids are easily engaged and equipped to memorize math facts without the tears.
8 – This Season Can Be A Gift!
Traditional school settings are not always academically efficient. This is not because school settings are inherently “bad.” This is simply because it is a system and has to include multiple non-academic variables in order to function. Think about:
- Lining up,
- Taking roll,
- Packing up backpacks to go home, etc…
I mention this to help put into perspective how small chunks of intentional teaching will yield fruit. Consider the time spent in a classroom as opposed to individualized instruction.
Effective and enjoyable homeschooling should not look like school at home… in time spent or in approach. Homeschool is meant to meet the needs of the individual learner.
9 – Homeschool Math Planning – Capture The Opportunity
You now have the opportunity to turn that educational model upside down in order to serve the best interest of your specific child. Read books. Do puzzles. Practice basic math skills, but do not feel as if you aren’t doing enough.
Working on basic skills and identifying the struggles will always be steps that propel your child forward. Remember though, when you teach something, and your child says he forgot, he probably really did forget. Learning is a process that takes time. Start slowly, and continue to build the foundation.
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You ARE the Teacher, Homeschool Mom
You can do this. Take hold of your child’s hand, and co-learn with your child. Let your child know that you are in this together. Yes, things are different when we homeschool, but give yourself some grace.
Create a new rhythm and new routine, and enjoy your children.