Math: A Love Hate Relationship


For years I created our own math curriculum because I couldn’t find one that was a good fit for my kids. We had a system that worked very well for our family. I would teach a concept like fractions to both children but take them each as far as they could go with the concept. We used lots of hands-on manipulatives and living books with math concepts.  Using the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for math, I made sure that each child was covering at least what was expected at their grade level and extending it where they were able. We did this successfully for five years, but with my oldest in middle school and a baby on the way we decided to try something new this year.  One day soon I’ll post more about how I created our own math but today I want to tell you about the math program we are using this year.

Math for a Living Education by Master Books has been a great fit for our family.  My son loves the fact that they tie in stories to the math. I have enjoyed that there is a review to help keep things fresh and lots of critical thinking and real world application. One of the biggest complaints I heard about math during my time teaching in a classroom and from my own children was that they didn’t need to know how to use it. This curriculum helps make the connection of the math problem to how it is used in real life.

In this season of our life, I also appreciate that the children can do this subject fairly independently. Each week their math assignments are listed on their weekly contracts and  they work on one lesson a day with an extra lesson sometime during the week, so that they complete five lessons during our four day school week. I try to check their assignments each day so that I can go over any they had trouble with and keep them on the right track.

We have needed to do school on the road quite a bit this month with several trips to the state fair and some other business travel. Having their math all right there in the book makes it very easy for them to bring on the road and and do (mostly independently) while we are riding. In these situations, I do need to make an extra effort to make sure I keep up with checking them so that if they are doing them incorrectly I catch it before they have practiced too many problems.

I know that with the new baby coming in February, it will be really important for them to be able to complete as much as possible independently for a few weeks while I recover. This curriculum will allow them to continue on with their math uninterrupted and is set up where my husband can easily check it for them each evening.

In this season and time, this curriculum has fit in nicely and eased my work load. However, I truly believe that there are no one sized fits-all curricula. There are many excellent curriculum options. Math for a Living Education stops at grade six so next year I’ll be looking for other options. Knowing that my son is advanced in some areas of math, on grade level in some and needs a little support with critical thinking it can be difficult to find the right fit. We are currently considering SchoolHouse Teachers because for one price I can get several different math courses to use to find the right fit. They also have some that are extra helps to support him in the areas that he needs to work on.


I believe that he will be ready for Pre-Algebra next year and they have a class that looks like it would be a great fit, but if it is a bit too much, we can simply switch over to one of the other middle school level courses.  If you have a math program that is mostly working for your family but you want a little extra help, check out their Daily Math which is a collection of supplemental resources that you can use.

What has your family found that works for math? I’d love to hear from you in the comments what math curriculum your family loves or if you are still searching for the right fit.

Deals and Freebies for the Week

Diabetes Quick Study Freebie

The Green Ember is only $2.99 on Kindle or Free with a KindleUnlimited Trial

Check out the new Bible art course and  from You Are an Artist. They have some great stuff coming out!

If you are looking for some maps to help extend your geography check out these from Knowledge Quest Map Trek (including a free sampler).

Free gratitude journal:

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op is offering a great deal on Discovery Education Streaming right now. 60% off and bonus Smart Points redeemable for other products. We have used this in the past and enjoyed it.

Two Free Audio Books with an Audible Trial and if you aren’t sure what to start with I’d suggest checking out the Green Ember or The Penderwicks for good family choices.

Check out this fun idea for using Salt Trays for Writing Practice:…
These are from All About Learning who created the Awesome spelling program that was a game changer for us, All About Spelling (

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3 thoughts on “Math: A Love Hate Relationship

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