How I Teach Math to Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method

Jan 14, 2014

How I Teach Math Using the Charlotte Mason Method #homeschool #charlottemason
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Math is extreme in our family. There seems to be no middle ground for it. 

Two of my kids are math whizzes. Two of them have dyscalculia. One didn't struggle in school, but is struggling with math in college. 

Like I said. Extremes. My children either get it with no help or all the help in the world doesn't seem help.

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Teaching Math to Multiple Ages and Needs

Like language arts, math is an individual study in my teaching of multiple children. They're at different levels and ages. In this case, I'm also dealing with the fact that they're on opposite ends of the math-learning spectrum. Lorelai absorbs mathematical concepts while Alexis has dyscalculia. So, how do I teach math to these girls? 

Teaching Lorelai 
Lorelai is a math whiz. When I begin to explain a new concept to her, I show her the page and begin at the beginning. Usually what happens is that she starts out listening, then her eyes scan forward and she interrupts to finish explaining the entire concept. 

I've really never been able to teach her anything about math. When she was 5 years old, she used to sit on the floor next to me as I was working, doing page after page after page in her math workbook. No help from mom. Entertainment for her. 

Obviously Lorelai has no special needs in math. Any math book works for her. I began with standard school math books I purchased from Textbooks Heaven. This worked well for Lorelai. Later, I tried Saxon math with her but it progressed to slowly for her. I returned to standard math books. 

Teaching Alexis
For Alexis, I began with standard math books. That was useless. I switched to Saxon math. She progressed in that book for a while, but then all progress stopped. When she was 12, we discovered she had dyslexia and dyscalculia. We had to change something. 

We are constantly trying new things for Alexis. Since standard texts and Saxon didn't work, we switched to Khan Academy. She saw great progress with that until the lessons progressed into vertical math problems. The vision issues that make reading difficult for her (she mixes up letters, sees blank spaces, words/numbers float above the page in a 3-D fashion) make math even more difficult. She can't do vertical math problems because she can't see them correctly.

What We're Using for Math Now

Math-U-See and Loving Living Math seem to help Alexis. These math programs are great for anyone, not just people with math challenges. In 2013, I decided I'd use these for both girls. 

Math-U-See is a multi-sensory approach to math. Similar to Saxon in its incremental instruction and continual review, Math-U-See includes hands-on learning and even an e-learning page for extra drill practice. 

Loving Living Math explains the principles of living math and is full of encouragement and ideas. In this book I found resources for learning math with literature, games and more. It's a great supplement to what we're already doing.Alexis' math has improved greatly in the last year. She's very proud of her math accomplishments. To be a teen who can barely do elementary math is very frustrating, I'm sure. Every little success makes her overflow with joy. 

Both Math-U-See and Loving Living Math fit into our Charlotte Mason education. Charlotte Mason indicated that math should use manipulatives and give the child a firm grasp of the reasons behind the processes and answer.

See what Charlotte Mason had to say about math

What do you use for math in your homeschool?

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  1. Math is the only subject formally taught in our unschool approach. The little ones use math through Christian liberty press, but they only do it if they want to. My kids from 4th grade on up use Lifepac this year, but I'll be switching to math u see for next year.

    1. It's great that we can switch up when we need to, isn't it?

  2. One of the many blessings of homeschooling!


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