When you think about homeschool math time, what words come to mind? To many homeschool moms, words like misery, panic, and stress rise up like bile.
Past experiences with negative connotations associated with math can stir up a hornet’s nest of fears. “How can I teach my kids math? I hated it myself! What am I going to do?”
Or maybe you liked math and looked forward to teaching your kids about multiplication, how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle, and solving for x? But, your kids want nothing to do with it! As you try to tame the dreaded gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes, you think, “How can I create a stress-free homeschool math time?”
No matter where you and your kids fall along the homeschool math continuum, you can make this time less stressful. You may not create raving math fans, but you will at least be able to create a more enjoyable experience where your kids can learn to appreciate math.
Disclaimer: I received a free year of CTC Math for this review and was compensated for my time. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
Our Experiences with Homeschool Math Time
I fall into the latter category. I adored math in school! I even took Calculus 2 as an elective in college. Yup, #mathnerd! I was pumped up to start homeschool math.
My boys…not so much. My three older boys (14, 12, 8) all have different approaches to math problems, formulas, and drills. Bear (6) tends to be like me with math, very competitive and driven. Smiley (8) benefits from an interactive math experience. Professor (12) is independent and perfectionistic when it comes to math. He tends to question himself, preferring extra time plus paper and pencil to check and double check his work. Captain (14) likes to move quickly in math and do all the work in his head.
Xman (3) is not using a formal math curriculum. His preferences lie in counting fruit snacks, bubbles, and sitting in on any math lesson that an older brother is doing;)
All four older boys are at different math levels. All four older boys require a different amount of help and attention on any given day.
And all four older boys tended to fight me on doing their math lessons. Not every day. But, at least one or two would put up a fuss just enough to send our relaxed homeschool environment into a tailwind of tears or tantrums.
I was overwhelmed. Frustrated. And wondered how in the world I was ever going to help each boy learn math, stay within our budget, and address their individual needs. I’m only one mom with so much time, energy, and attention to give!
I knew something had to give. We have tried a variety of homeschool math curricula. Life of Fred math was discovered and approved by all four older boys. It continues to supplement my boy’s homeschool math. But, they needed more.
Our state (Pennsylvania) requires all students who are 8 and older to have a homeschool portfolio evaluation. While Life of Fred math books are fantastic, I now feel better using it as a supplement and having additional work to submit and to round out their math lessons.
As we have walked along our homeschool math time path, I have learned a few things that I know can help homeschool moms create a more enjoyable math experience. I am super excited to share my tips and an amazing resource that has helped me create a stress-free homeschool math time.
3 Easy Ways to Have Stress-Free Homeschool Math Time
1. Think Outside the Box (or Book!)
Homeschool math books often lay out their lessons in a logical fashion.
New Concept > Example Problem > Practice Problem > Problems > Review > Quiz or Test
Makes sense, right? For a lot of kids, it sure does. Some kids, however, need to jumble up that logic a bit.
Sometimes, seeing a practice problem prior to learning a new concept helps. Or the introduction of hands-on math manipulatives can help solidify a new concept.
Some kids might like to sing their homeschool math lessons. Or paint them. Others might enjoy bringing their math outside and practice addition drills while jumping on the trampoline.
A few of my boys like to practice writing their numbers in fingerpaint or chocolate pudding. Awesome surfaces for hands-on learning that can be wiped off and reused in the same lesson!
It’s okay to not exactly follow the prescribed lesson plan or sequence. Your kids can even skip a few problems. I promise, everything will be okay. It will be even better because you are tuning into your kids’ learning needs and creating a customized learning experience.
2. Adjust Your Expectations
Your kids are unique. They may be a lot like you in terms of physical characteristics. Your kids might even laugh like you or have your quirky sense of humor.
But, they might not approach learning like you. You might prefer to sit down at a specific time with a book, paper, and pencil. You may like to start from the beginning and work your way through every problem, making sure that you don’t have one single error on your paper. Maybe you like to read your lessons independently? Or need some type of visual to solidify a concept?
Your kids might learn in completely different ways from you and each other! Maybe you have a son like mine who prefers to sit upside down on the couch and read his math lessons aloud to his stuffed animals? Or maybe your daughter likes to do only odd math problems on days starting with Ts? Gasp! You might even have a child like my oldest who will only write with a pen when forced to.
Quite often, the frustrations that we face in our homeschool occur because of our very own expectations. Have you ever felt stress build within you because you are frustrated that one of your kids just does something in a way that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to you? If so, time to adjust the dial on your expectations. Set that switch to “Observe and Support”, not “Judge and Push”.
Be there for your kids. Let them know that you are there to help them learn math, or whatever subject it is that you are working on. Use a bit of empathy and put yourself in their shoes. Open your eyes, ears, and heart. Soak it in. Adjust accordingly.
3. Consider Outsourcing
There are situations where you might not have the time, energy, or attention span to fully meet your kids’ homeschool math needs. Instead of adding stress to your homeschool, consider outsourcing homeschool math time.
Some homeschool families are afraid of the word “outsourcing”. It sounds expensive. And a little like giving up.
On the contrary, my homeschool friend! Outsourcing homeschool math (or any other subject) is not giving up. It’s actually a very smart and positive choice. If you are unsure of your own math knowledge, have multiple kids to teach, or limited time due to busy schedules, outsourcing homeschool math is doing a good service to your kids and yourself. This preventative action frees you from stress as it frees up your schedule.
I’ll admit that I once thought outsourcing homeschool math time was going to mean that I would need to take a second mortgage on our home. I mean, where could I find a quality homeschool math curriculum at an affordable price to meet all of my boys’ needs?
Well, I’m very happy to share this homeschool mom secret with you: CTC MATH!
Have you ever felt like you have hit the homeschool gold mine when you have stumbled upon a fantastic resource that you can actually afford?
Yeah, that’s how I feel about CTC Math. *Blush*
I could probably write an epic novel on why I love CTC Math. I know that you’re a busy homeschool mom, so let me sum it up here:
- Full curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 8
- Higher level math is available and recommended for use as a supplement
- Potent lessons that pack a punch
- Video lessons with practice problems
- Separate sections for Speed Drills, Times Tables, and Swap Pieces (logic puzzles)
- Option for parents to assign tasks, percentage of correct problems in order to pass to next lesson
- Printable lesson summary and worksheets (on select lessons)-great for kids who want or need extra practice with written work
- Can select grade level-great for asynchronous learners (above or below grade level)
- Ability to go back and review lessons for more practice
- Printable detailed and summary reports (awesome for homeschool portfolios!)
- One price for 2+ kids! (music to a large family’s ears!)
CTC Math has helped our homeschool math time truly become stress-free! I no longer worry about how I am going to manage to teach math to all of these boys. I know that Bear, Smiley, and Professor are getting quality math lessons. Captain benefits from using CTC Math as a supplement for his Algebra.
The boys don’t fight me to do math anymore. In fact, they will even ask me to do it on the weekend. That’s about the best testimonial that I can give!
Now, here’s the great part! CTC Math has kindly extended this amazing offer to Rock Your Homeschool readers. You can check out CTC Math for free for four weeks! Poke around in there and let your kids experience more stress-free homeschool math.
When you see why I love it so much, you can then take advantage of this fabulous offer: 60% off the regular annual price + 6 months bonus! All that homeschool math goodness for such a low price!
Don’t dilly dally! Both offers expire July 31. You won’t want to miss this great way to create a stress-free homeschool math time!!
You CAN enjoy homeschool math time! Use these tips and resources to get started!
What do you find most stressful about homeschool math time? How could CTC Math help?