Ask Kate: What Are the Best Homeschool Math Resources for Unexpected Homeschoolers?

Suddenly homeschooling? Here are some of my favorite homeschool math resources (both printable and online) for families who need a simple way to provide their child with some math instruction–pronto!   This week, I’m answering the question on the minds of the millions of families who unexpectedly have their children home from school: 
What are the best math resources for short-term homeschooling?
If your child’s school is sending work home, you may feel a little at sea trying to teach concepts that you haven’t thought about in a looooong time. Here are my top three tips for teaching math at home using school materials. 
  1. You don’t have to be “the expert” for your child. It’s okay to admit you don’t know things and be a co-explorer with your child. Math is all about using what you know to figure out what you don’t know, so see if you and your child can work together to figure things out. Look for real-life connections, use as many hands-on manipulatives as possible, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. And if that fails, look for a YouTube video.  
  2. You’re the teacher now. And that means you get to decide what your child does and does not complete. Consider the home assignments suggestions rather than requirements, and adjust them to best meet your child’s needs and your family’s needs. If you feel like your child is bored and needs more structure, add more math games. If you feel like 3 pages of long division is too much, talk through a few problems with your child and call it a day. And if you need to work remotely all day and don’t have time to help your child with math, have your child use one of the online options below instead (and tell your child’s teacher “thanks, but no thanks”). Until high school, kids’ grades truly don’t matter–and these days, your family’s overall mental health is much more important than your child’s math grade. 
  3. You really can understand math. Even if it wasn’t your favorite subject in school. Even if you always felt clueless in math class. Homeschool parents are often pleasantly surprised to discover that they actually understand and enjoy math when they return to it as adults. If you find yourself wanting to learn more about teaching math, check out these books and videos that will help you teach math with confidence. 
If your child’s school isn’t providing materials, the options can feel overwhelming. For now, don’t worry about finding the perfect math program or picking up exactly where your child’s teacher left off. And don’t worry about providing a perfectly-planned 45-minute math lesson each day, either!  Either way, a realistic goal is to have your child simply spend 15 minutes doing something with numbers each weekday. Math games, math facts practice, and real-life problem-solving are all worthwhile, no-stress ways to keep your child’s math skills sharp. Here are a few of my favorite homeschool math resources for short-term homeschoolers.  All of them are available right now so that you can get started today. I’ve also included some of my favorite articles and resources that will help you as a parent teach math with confidence. 

Printable Homeschool Math Resources

Card games and math fact games are a great way to combine family fun with math practice. If you want your child to save screen time for Minecraft or video-chatting with friends, these printed resources are a great way to go. 
Math Geek Mama’s Math Card Games

These printable directions for 40 fun card games cover skills all the way from first grade to ninth grade, so you’ll definitely find some games that fit your child’s current grade level. All you need is a deck of cards to get started. (Bethany is offering the entire set free until March 31st, so make sure to grab them before then.) 

Math Facts That Stick 
My series of four books (on addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) provide hands-on lessons, games, and worksheets to help your child master the math facts. If you’re looking for a way to spend some time enjoying math with your child, all you have to do is gather a couple household objects, open the book, and start teaching. You can buy printed books at Amazon, or download the pdfs from my publisher to get started right now. (Use coupon code STUCKATHOME at the Well-Trained Mind site to get 20% off.)  
Beast Academy Puzzle Pages
Beast Academy is offering several sets of fun, free, printable puzzles for children in grades 2-4. These puzzles provide tons of practice with elementary numbers skills in a format that also builds children’s logic and problem-solving skills.
Dad’s Worksheets
Great resource for free, printable worksheets on just about any topic you can imagine (through pre-algebra). Use these for when you need some extra reinforcement or practice for a skill.  
Math Mammoth Blue Series
Math Mammoth offers a full curriculum for grades 1-7, but it also provides inexpensive, printable “worktexts” for individual topics in this grade range. These worktexts include visual teaching and explanations as well as practice problems, so many children are able to work through them independently.  These are a great choice if you’d like to take a deep dive into one topic, like fractions or geometry.  Math Mammoth Division 1 math book cover Online Homeschool Math Resources
If you’re trying to work full-time or care for other children, you may not have the time or energy to teach your child math right now. If that’s the case, have your child use one of these online programs for 15 minutes a day instead. Many of them are so engaging he or she might want to spend even more time doing math! 
It can be hard to choose from all the online options out there, but don’t sweat it: All of these programs provide comprehensive math instruction–not just a quick game on an app–so that your child gets some substantial math teaching while off from school.    
This K-8 online program integrates games and instruction. It’s especially good at building kids’ number sense through well-chosen visuals, it adjusts to your child’s level, and it doesn’t allow kids to skip around to avoid the hard stuff. Dreambox is offering a 90-day membership free to families during this time, too!  I’ve used Dreambox with my own kids, and I was consistently impressed at the quality of the instruction. Highly recommeded, especially since it’s free right now!   IXL IXL covers pre-K through calculus, with adaptive instruction, fun games. It’s more focused on practice than new teaching and allows children to skip around more than Dreambox does. (If you’re looking for more than just math, it offers language arts, science, and social studies, too.) Pricing depends on how many children and how many subjects you subscribe to. 
Beast Academy Online
This unique program is for children in grades 2-5 who love math and welcome challenging problems and puzzles. Much more than simple practice problems, this program provides thorough instruction, lots of opportunities for problem-solving, and graphic-novel-style online instructional books. Highly recommended for advanced learners. (Beast Academy Online costs $15 per month. They’re currently offering the first month free with discount code FLATTENTHECURVE.)
Khan Academy
It’s not flashy, but Khan Academy is a a thorough, standards-based program that provides high-quality teaching videos and plenty of math practice. Plus, it’s free! Start here for a guide on how to use Khan Academy while schools are closed.  Wishing you all the best in these challenging times! Happy Math! Got a question for me? I’d love to hear from you! Click here to submit your own question. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small percentage of that purchase as a commission, without any increased cost to you. I only recommend products because of their quality and not because of any commission. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. 

7 thoughts on “Ask Kate: What Are the Best Homeschool Math Resources for Unexpected Homeschoolers?”

  1. Hi Kate! Could you do a review of your favorite programs for middle and high school math? We currently use Singapore but are a bit baffled about what to do after Singapore 6A/B. A few we have looked into include: Dimensions Math, Jacobs Algebra, AOPS, Mr. D Math. If you could provide some insight and reviews, that would be super helpful. Thank you!

    • Great question, Christine! I’ll answer in my next Ask Kate post, hopefully by next week. I don’t have enough experience with those programs to offer full reviews, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned about them.

      Happy Math!

    • One more thing: all of those would be good choices, so you’re definitely on the right track! It’s really a matter of how hard you want to make your child work, what sequence you see him or her taking after algebra, and how equipped you feel as a parent to directly teach the content for high school math.

  2. Thanks for the article, I found it very helpful! One question, can dreambox be used as a full homeschool math curriculum or is it a supplement? My kids love the trial.

  3. Thank you for this article! I’m interested in Dreambox, but not necessarily as a full curriculum. Does it work fine as a supplement? How did you integrate that into your school week? Thanks!


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