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Maths Resources We Have Tried and Use

Maths Resources We Have Tried and Use

It feels like we have used every maths resource out there. When I started out homeschooling I thought maths would be the easy one. English was the subject which scared me most. But maths has proved to be the most difficult to resource in our home. I have found curriculum that has been too easy, some that is insanely intense, others too boring, and some we just didn’t like… just us I guess!

What We Have Tried

  • Shiller Maths
  • I did Shiller Maths with my daughter. This is a Montessori-based curriculum. Although we no longer use this curriculum I still have all the manipulative that came with it and these I have used for years, and are an invaluable part of our homeschool.

    I found Shiller Maths gave my daughter a very good grasp on the number system. However she probably could have done with being more challenged. My only other big problem was it is expensive, and once I added postage and customs into the UK it was just too much. But if you have a child who is struggling with the concepts, and can afford it I’d recommend it.

  • Singapore Maths
  • I gave this a go after Shiller. It was like going to the other extreme. My hard working daughter who was about 8 at the time, ended up doing around 2 hours of maths a day. Her mental arithmetic came on great, but even then she was not finishing the amounts expected. So we quickly gave this one up. I did not want to give he a hatred for maths.

    Again there are elements I liked. I now teach number bonds using the Singapore method. But for us it was a no!

  • Math-U-See
  • Many of my friends love Math-U-See. There are lots of great reviews, so we gave it a go. We didn’t like it at all. Everyone found it boring. I did like the videos: they were well presented, and easy to understand. My boys liked the videos. But for Math-U-See to be your entire maths experience…. no! It was totally killing the joy… some may question if there is much joy in maths ;).

I tried a couple of others Heinemann and TeeJay publishing. We just didn’t like them, basically. I think it is probably a personality thing. I found them uninspiring. Also TeeJay seems to have a problem with errors in their books. Everyone I have spoken who has used them has noticed this, which put me off. I have also found better resources…

What We Use Now

At the moment I have three different curriculum on the go. With my eldest daughter we are working our way through the Scottish High school book aimed at National 4. We are doing this in order to pave the way for IGCSE maths. The National 4 book is a good introduction to the skills and concepts required for IGCSE. The ideas are clearly laid out. There are also activities to help understand the ideas more deeply.

My two oldest boys are still primary aged and are working through the Galore Park books. I love there books. I am sad they do not have books for the early years of maths education, and they do not quite make it up to the level to then begin IGCSE. I would recommend these books to anyone who wants a good solid foundation, interesting content, which is well presented. They make their word problems interesting, and informative. At the end of chapters there is little maths activities to do, these are fun and informative; and also help build maths thinking skills. For example one of these activities introduced kids to the concepts of binary numbers. They are also a UK company, so money is in pounds.

My youngest boy is doing the Maths Enhancement Program (MEP). This is a FREE maths curriculum. It was devised by the University of Plymouth. It is the best maths program I have found for early years.

MEP have material for all years. They even have resources for GCSE and A-level maths.

Online Resources

We have used a few online resources. This year we are using Nessy Maths. And we use XtraMath. Nessy Maths teaches multiplication and telling the time. My boys have kind of liked it, and I am seeing them improving. My one issue is I find the website a bit glitchy.

XtraMath is a free website. It is no frills, and drills in maths facts. It’s probably not my children’s favourite thing, but it works, and it is free.

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