Are you tired of teaching math multiple times a day to each of your homeschooled children? What if I said there was a way to teach math one time to all of your students 6th grade and down? Today’s guest post from Danielle at Blessedly Busy outlines how to use a textbook you already have to teach your family math.
Who Should be in Your New Math Class?
Earlier, I said 6th grade and down. But really, anyone working on basic math could be put together. This would include children who can count to 100 to children not quite ready for Algebra. In my home I have 2 students that fit that category. Before the semester is over, I will have 3.
Steps to making a family math lesson using a textbook
Now that you have decided who is going to be in your class, let’s talk about how the lesson might look.
Step 1: Pick Your Textbook
There is not necessarily any reason to go buy new supplies if you want to start doing family math if you already have a math curriculum at home.
Choose the textbook of your oldest student. That will be everyone’s book. In my house, my oldest is in 4th grade, so I would use a 4th grade book.
Step 2: Choose Your Topic
You could start at the beginning of the book and just move through. Less decisions that way. But did you know that you have the power to teach the chapters out of order? That’s right, the textbook is a guide and you are the ruler.
Teaching family math can be challenging. The easiest section to start with is the geometry section; perimeter, area, volume, probability, graphing, etc… These are are concrete areas that even the youngest can grasp.
Or pick your favorite chapter. It may not seem so, but math can be taught in almost any order because math is not linear. Each piece supports other pieces and all are interconnected.
Step 3: Decide If You Will Level or Cooperative
Leveling is picking a subject to study but everyone has their own work. For example, say you might be learning about addition. Every student is working on addition but each has their own separate work to do. This is the easiest way to teach but the hardest to create. It gives me decision fatigue just thinking about it, but it might work for you.
The benefit of leveling is that everyone is working at their own level but still can have conversations about the same topic together. This is easier to start if you are used to teaching math in a traditional way.
Cooperative learning is when all of the students work together to solve one problem or a set of problems. Often times, I will have my students work independently on the same problem and then have them share with each other the answers they got and how they got them.
The benefit of cooperative learning is that there is very little prep time as everyone is working on the exact same thing. This also means there is little to no actual teaching time as students are teaching each other.
Step 4: Decide if You Want to Practice and How
Practicing as individuals would mean students would complete a set of problems or a worksheet at their own level.
Family practicing would include playing games, putting together puzzles, reading math literature books, or other cooperative activities.
I use a mixture of both depending on how much time I have and if I want to save their work for portfolios.
Practice Makes Perfect
While teaching family math definitely has a learning curve, it has definitely benefited my family in a big way. I love it so much, I created my own unit. If it feels overwhelming to make your own unit, you can use mine. It covers Perimeter and Area and is geared towards 4th grade and down using the common core standards.
Check it out and tell me what you think!