How I Teach Math in a Large Family

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Or more accurately, how we teach math in a large family.  Math is a team effort in our homeschool.  Toward the end of last year and all of this year, my husband has been responsible for math for the older three children.

It was a big relief when he suggested taking over that subject.  Math has never been a favorite of mine, nor is it something that comes easily to me.  However, for my husband, math has always made sense.

Math is a daunting task for many homeschool families, I’m glad we have found a program that works well for us and I’m not tempted to switch to something new each year.

We have used Math U See with the children for many years now.  It’s a solid program and the kids enjoy the way Mr. Demme teaches in the video for each new unit.  I did a review over at The Curriculum Choice about Why Math U See Works for Us.  The review answers the “why” of using the program, I will talk a bit about the how it works in our family.

How We Use Math U See

Generally it works best if my husband takes a bit of time on Sunday afternoon to go over math lessons for the week.  He can work individually with each of the three children to review the previous week, watch the video of the new unit, and check for understanding on the new material.  Then he assigns each of the kids homework to do during the week.

As for the younger kids we will occasionally work through some workbook pages.  We either use Primer from Math U See or Modern Curriculum Press – Kindergarten.  MCP is a hand me down from an older sibling – sometimes we just use what we have!

Mostly though, math for the younger kids is real life math.  How many people are sitting at the table? How many plates do you need if two people don’t eat? Counting and number recognition are still some of the skills we are working on.  This happens throughout the day, while doing school work, playing outside and doing chores.

While I believe competent math skills are important for the older years, I’m much more relaxed about the younger years.  The younger years are for play, helping around the house, learning to be part of a family.

I wish a had a big secret to share or an awesome tip for doing math in a large family.  My big secret is a husband that is committed to making time, most weeks, and we do have those weeks!, to ensure that our children have solid math skills.

He is also good about using the math skills they are working on and applying those skills to real life situations.  Fractions, decimals, division all come into play when talking about spending and saving money, sports, current events or even pizza!

Right now this is what works for us for math!

My entire How I Teach a Large Family series

For more “How I Teach” check out iHomeschool Network

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