Homeschool Math Curriculum
I’m so excited to tell you about my newest project, a homeschool math curriculum! I know I’m biased, but it is exactly what I always wanted for my own kids, but was never able to find.
Let me tell you how it came to be.
The Story Behind This Homeschool Math Curriculum
Years ago, we homeschooled around the kitchen table and I “taught” (we homeschool moms know it doesn’t really look like that) all of the subjects. These days I’m more of a CEO (Chief Education Officer) finding my kids online or community classes to fill their schedules.
However, I have always selfishly retained math for myself because I absolutely adore it and I always have! I use Saxon math curriculum with my own kids, but I supplement it with daily math games, math stories (like how Pythagoras discovered the Pythagorean theorem), math labs and all kinds of fun things to enrich it.
Saxon is a well-organized, thorough curriculum with a deep spiral, which I find incredibly helpful to retention of the skills, but it’s dry.
Since I was building math games for my kiddos anyway, I started selling them as printables on this blog. I figured parents could use them alongside whatever homeschool math curriculum they were already using.
I received great feedback from parents, telling me that my game, FAXX, had encouraged their kiddos to memorize all of their multiplication facts so they could effectively compete against an older sibling, or that they themselves had learned more about fractions from playing Pizza Fractions with their child than they’d ever learned at school.
Many parents wanted to know how I used my games and stories alongside Saxon, because Saxon is pretty heavy duty already. It has LOTS of daily practice problems (that’s part of what makes it so great) and takes students a good chunk of time to complete.
That is a legitimate drawback to using games alongside another curriculum. The skills that need to be practiced don’t always match up, it takes additional time and can be too much for some kids.
While washing dishes and nursing babies, I created the perfect homeschool math curriculum in my head. It had the deep spiral, the simplicity and the rigor of Saxon, but the skills would be taught by video each day and then practiced via games instead of numerous, exhausting problems.
The curriculum would also be interwoven with stories: the history of numbers, the lives of great mathematicians and mathematical discoveries. Interesting stories inspire a love of learning.
Hands-on math projects would also be an integral part of the curriculum, leading students to discover for themselves the great math principles. This helps math to feel real to kids instead of merely being a forgettable theorem with a long name.
By that time, my eight kiddos had grown up a lot, so I had a little more time on my hands. But I wasn’t ready to go back to work full-time as a mechanical engineer, so I went back to school instead.
I decided to study Computer Science because in the back of my mind I was getting ready to build the math curriculum I had dreamed up. I knew I needed to learn to code.
Perhaps it wasn’t the shortest or most efficient route, but I did learn to code and I really enjoyed my program. I especially enjoyed attending university classes alongside my four oldest!
We were all at different universities, but it was fun to compare notes.
My capstone project was using AI to build a Computer Adaptive Math Test! And I told my mentor that I ultimately wanted to build the entire homeschool math curriculum, after working a few years in industry to improve my coding skills.
Upon graduation, the hubs’ company needed him to move to Dallas for a year and we were excited about the opportunity, so I decided to jump right into building the homeschool math curriculum of my dreams.
Two years later, here I am.
Only three of my children, ages 16, 14 and 11, still live at home! I have more personal time and sleep than I’ve had in 25 years. It’s so weird!
Homeschool Math Curriculum: We Play Math
I call my homeschool math curriculum We Play Math. The scope & sequence and the conceptual explanations are similar to Saxon, as is the deep spiral, but I created animated videos to explain each days concept, an online game to practice and reinforce the new skills and consumable, full-color workbooks because the physical act of writing is essential to retention.
Each days worksheets are consumable so that kids don’t have to write the problems down. When you get into long algorithms, like long division, having to write the problem down before solving it can dramatically increase small errors and frustration. The worksheets contain helpful hints kids will remember from the videos.
We Play Math also has a fun math arcade for kids to drill those pesky math facts that are so important to master completely, weekly (optional) live learning labs, math stories and numerous hands-on math activities!
How We Play Math Works
We Play Math students login each day (you choose your schedule — whether you want to work 3, 4 or 5 days per week, work year round or take extra long holidays) and complete:
- watch the animated video (5-10 minutes)
- play the online skills practice game (less than five minutes)
- worksheets from the workbook (usually 2 worksheets, about ten minutes)
- enrichment activities of your choice (optional)
Each week your child has the option to attend a Live Learning Lab where students (separated by level) may ask the teacher questions and watch the teacher solve those problems on a whiteboard slowly and with explanations. Students will be asked to contribute and collaborate.
Parents should grade their children’s worksheets each day using the Answer Key in the Parent Dashboard. Children should correct any missed problems. If a student needs help with a problem, they can ask the teacher to explain the problem in their Live Learning Lab that week, or you can purchase an individual tutoring session.
We don’t do tests or grades at We Play Math — we do mastery. Students work at their own pace and they take as long as they need to completely master each concept before moving on. Worksheet errors should be corrected daily, so every assignment would be 100%.
The FUN Homeschool Math Curriculum
We Play Math is exactly the homeschool math curriculum I wish I would have had for my own children when they were little! Currently, only grades K-2 are complete. But if you have a child that age who you think might benefit, please hope on over and check us out at We Play Math!
Pin this homeschool math curriculum for later!