How I Teach Homeschool Math

This is part of a five day series on how to homeschool Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students. Today I am giving you a glimpse into how I teach Math.  Here are the math curriculum we love along with some free resources you can use in your own homeschool.

Math is another critical subject. Math needs to be practiced daily (just like reading) and math builds on what math you’ve already learned. I know math is critical in many professions as well as just being able to balance a checkbook and manage finances effectively so I want my kids to have a solid math foundation. For that reason, we picked Singapore Math which has a very strong reputation as being challenging. (Did I mention Math just happened to be my favorite subject growing up?

Our Homeschool Math Curriculum


In preschool we have no set curriculum. I use the math concepts (graphing, sorting, counting, etc.) taught in the free preschool worksheets and we do lots of hands on math exploration.

Here are some of our favorite math activities:


Bob Jones Math K5 (Kindergarten)

You are probably wondering why we use Bob Jones for Kindergarten Math when I am such a huge fan of Singapore Math.  Well it wasn’t available in the US for Kindergarten when we started so I started with what looked like the next best thing at the time Bob Jones (knowing I’d make the switch later on).

I actually really like Bob Jones K5 Math. The book does a fantastic job of teaching kids how to use a calendar, money, measurement, counting to 100, skip counting, making numbers, graphing, and basic addition. The pages are fun and colorful and very engaging to my kids. My kids favorite is probably the puppets in the resource pack – we use them every day with math!

When it came time to purchase my 2nd child’s Kindergarten math curriculum I decided to stick with Bob Jones. We already had the teacher manual  and we liked the program. I’ll probably stick with it for the next kiddo too. If you purchase Bob Jones K5 Math you only need the student worktext $23.86 and I’d get the manipulatives pack too $16.11.

Note: You do not need the teacher manual, but it does have some ideas for expanding on each day’s lesson/theme. But at this age level these ideas are more obvious (such as use a scale and let children learn about it hands on before diving into the lesson on scales) and you can find similar ideas on homeschooling blogs.  There is also a huge CD with lots of extra printable math worksheets if your child is struggling. Again, with the slow, steady, and repetitive nature of this book, at this level I don’t think it is necessary.

For extra practice I use these 2000+ page of free math worksheets

  Singapore Math for Homeschoolers - 2nd Grade

Singapore Math (1st Grade & 2nd Grade)

The Bob Jones K5 math program was great, but when I looked at the 1st grade book it seemed like it didn’t continue advancing at a decent rate. Since I want my kids to be strong in math we moved to Singapore Math which has been challenging, but not too hard either. Since Singapore Math continues at a steady pace not making the jump by 1st grade will mean your child may test down. (You can do a free evaluation to figure out what level your child should be working on.)
Singapore Math is a no frills solid math curriculum. The graphics are not as stunning and the workbooks are in black and white. It moves at a steady (yet reasonable) pace. It presents the material in several different ways to make sure the concept really stick and will circle around and review things once or twice. 

1st Graders will not only learn double digit addition and subtractions and lots of word problems, but they will also begin multiplication and division readiness. I know it sounds quick, the but well thought out way it is taught make it a natural progression for students.

It teaches standard and metric systems of measurement in the 2nd grade curriculum – I love that they did that and it clicked for my 2nd grader! Your child will do carry over addition and subtraction a well as multiplication and division.

We have been very happy with the content, pace, my students knowledge and retention, as well as the price tag of  Singapore Math. I highly recommend it and we will continue to use this far into the forceable future.

The best place to buy Singapore Math I’ve found is from My Father’s World. You can get the entire year’s worth (2 textbooks, 2 workbooks, 2 lesson plan/answer key) for $45.

For extra practice I use these 2000+ page of free math worksheets


When & How I teach Math


I like to sit next to my Kindergartener as they complete their short 15-30 minute lessons. It really doesn’t require any teaching, just guiding them through the days workbook pages. This helps me to be able to catch “little” mistakes that can go on to to become big holes if they are left uncorrected.  As I have “littles” at home I like to teach Math after lunch.  We eat lunch, I tidy up the kitchen while they tidy up the play room and then we sit on the couch and read some stories together. Then my younger kid(s) go upstairs to take a nap and my school age children have my undivided attention to focus on our school work until we are done.

As part of our daily math I also practice counting 1 to 100, then skip counting by 10s to 100, and finally skip counting by 5s to 80. Then I have my Kindergartner have some hands on math time with one of our educational toys. (this allows me to focus on my next student).

      hands on Math for Preschool

      1st & 2nd Grade

      We do our Math work in the morning while he is still fresh. I go through the lesson in the textboook with my child one on one. I read through it exactly to make sure I introduce the material in all the different ways Singapore explains them. It usually only takes about 5-7 minutes. Then I assign the work book pages and my child continues at their own pace until they are finished, about 10-20 minutes. I check the answers when he finishes and have him correct any mistakes immediately to reinforce it.

      We also have daily math facts practice at this age. We use cool math games like Free 1st Grade Mad Minutes, Doggy Addition File Folder Game (free), free Aquarium Subtraction File Folder Game, Oregon Trail Skip Counting (free), flashcard drills (only occasionally), dart gun math (game with Daddy), one some free math worksheets.

      During most days of the week I try to have my kids play with a math toy at some point. This is a great activity to get my kid started on while I need to spend time one on one with another child. Here are some of my favorite math toys for 1st & 2nd Grade.


      Supplemental Math for Homeschoolers

      I like adding lots of fun games and seasonal activities for my kids. It helps break up the monotony and just makes our days more fun. These are in addition to their normal work, usually in the afternoon towards the end of our day.
      60+ free math printables for kids Preschool - 2nd Grade

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      60+ Math Worksheets & Cool Math Games

      I have over 60+ math worksheets  arranged by grade and tons of cool math games.  Here is a small sampling of what you’ll find:

      • Number Mats
      • Flashcards
      • 100s chart
      • Mad Minutes
      • Skip Counting File Folder Game
      • Learning about Money
      • Aquarium Subtraction File Folder Game
      • and more!

      Our Favorite Math Stuff

      These are all great hands on “toys” that will develop your child’s math skills. These would be a great educational Christmas gift or birthday gift!

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      Want to know how we teach other subjects? Don’t miss my complete series >> Homeschooling Preschool – 2nd Grade:  This is How I Teach << which is part of collaborative hopscotch from iHomeschool Network.

      How do YOU Teach Math in your Homeschool?

      Plan Fun Seasonal Crafts for your Homeschoolers

      (click on any button to see lots of seasonal kids crafts and kids activities)

      100winter   bucket list   200+ Fall Crafts for kids from Leaves to Apples to Pumpkins to Turkeys
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      About the author

      Beth Gorden

      Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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