Its that time of year for us when we reflect on our past year of home educating and look forward to the year ahead. I really love Maths and I think it can be incorporated fairly easily into ‘life’. When I was teaching I remember all the effort of creating roleplay areas such as shops in order to incorporate some numeracy. Its so much easier home educating as we can just do the real life version! There are some fabulous resources out there, here are some that we have enjoyed over the years.
Maths Whizz – this was the first online program we tried and it is recommended for 5-13 year olds. It does an initial assessment and then places the child at a level and selects the lessons for them. It is an all singing all dancing program with animated characters. We used it for a year or so and my children didn’t object to using it. I did find it costly though and I prefer to have the freedom to pick the lessons. You can try out a free trial prior to subscribing.
Conquer Maths – This is the program we currently use and covers the curriculum from reception right through to A level. I love that you can choose which lesson/year to use since you have access to the entire curriculum. It presents a simple lesson – if you prefer a more animated style then Maths Whizz may suit better. Then a series of online questions or in some of the lessons further up in KS3 there are sometimes a printable sheet with problems to solve and you then input your answers. The video lessons are short – just a few minutes so we find that it is possible to get through it fairly quickly. When Fairy was encountering some difficulty with time it was great to go through all the time lessons starting at the Reception lessons, we discovered the lack of understanding in the Year 3 lessons and could easily solve the difficulty and move on. Conquer Maths really suits Superhero who just wants a short explanation and then be able to solve related problems.
Life of Fred – We all love the Life of Fred books but they were definitely Fairy’s favorite, being rather Maths shy she loved the story approach and being a right brain learner she really benefited from the ‘whole picture’ approach. They are a series of short stories about Fred and illustrate clearly how the various maths concepts are applicable in real life scenarios. They consist of chapters and at the end of each chapter is a ‘Your turn to play’ section which consists of about 3 – 4 questions. These are brilliant and a great resource for anyone but particularly those who are ‘turned off’ by maths. I find Conquest Books a great provider of these books in the UK, quick to ship and good prices.
Montessori Maths albums – Mermaid is my little one who learns best by manipulating materials so Montessori materials have been fabulous for her. There are some free albums available to view on the web such as this one. We are very impressed with Montessori here and I am delving deeper into the approach with Bean. The cost of gathering all the materials is probably the biggest drawback but they are beautifully crafted and hold their value so a good investment.
Scholastic Maths Readers – We used these a fair bit when my biggies were littlies. They consist of a bright colourful story with a number of follow up practical activities.
Living Maths – This is a great site to explore for a holistic approach to Maths. Lots of great ideas and book suggestions.