It's important when planning your week of homeschooling, that you take into account all of your subjects - especially maths.
Remember to work with your child and watch their progress. If they are struggling with a topic, it's okay to spend a bit more time on that subject and make sure they've really understood it. If you skip over the few essential maths topics like place value and number recognition at an early age, they will find it much harder to learn when they get older! It's really not worth rushing through maths topics. So take your time.
We also know how hard it can be to plan your maths lessons, especially with more than one child (I had five daughters, all a year apart in age!) so its important to be organised and know what you're going to focus on in the next maths lesson. That way, you're not wasting time deciding what to do each day (maximise student learning time, yahoo!) and you can easily track your child's progress.
Here's our favourite tips for learning maths during the week. You can use this as a basic layout for planning your maths lessons:
Kick off the week with new concepts! Monday is for diving into new concepts in this week’s lesson. Watching the DVD lesson together is a great way to start. Then you can move on to reviewing the written lesson in the instruction manual. Depending on the age of your student you may want to do this together. With that complete, work on the new concepts using the example problems making sure to use the Build, Write, Say model. Using the hands-on manipulative for the level you are working on is essential, even if your student is convinced they don't need them. The manipulatives will support the student to progress from concrete manipulation to a full understanding and ability to use each maths lesson in an abstract real-life setting.
Teacher Tip: These tips work synchronistically with the Math-U-See program and will refer to the methods and techniques we use when teaching maths. We use a variety of hands-on, multisensory manipulatives to teach maths and work with each student at their own pace. It's a wonderful program that has worked for thousands of Australian homeschooling families!
If you're already using the Math-U-See program, it's helpful to read the step-by-step instructions that are provided for each lesson and watch the online videos before working with your child.
The first practice assignment is Lesson Practice A, if the student hasn’t completed it on Monday, start with it and follow up with completing Lesson Practice B. While you should offer support, it is best to encourage the student to work independently on this lesson because Lesson Practice B represents a fork in the road. If the student can complete it independently with confidence, it is time to check for mastery.
Teacher Tip: Allow the student to become the teacher. Let the student teach the concept back to you, using the Build, Write, Say model. Encourage them to teach you with confidence and accuracy! Once your student is able to do so, move on 🙂
When you’re planning your instruction for the week, your eye should be on the student, not the calendar. Let your schedule work for you with Math-U-See, and you will help your student become a confident problem solver who enjoys maths!
Wednesday and Thursday
If the student didn’t master the Lesson Practice A and Lesson Practice B in their student workbook for their corresponding Math-U-See level, additional practice is on the menu. You can continue to work through Lesson Practice C, D, E and F and provide additional practice problems, until the student is able to work independently and show mastery of the concept you're teaching them. It's also a good idea to continue using the manipulatives to explain the problem to your child.
Teacher Tip: When checking your student’s work, if you notice they have struggled or have significant errors it's a good idea to review the sample problems and the watch the online video lessons again as needed (you can also watch these online video lessons with your child), and to have them teach the lesson back to you when they are complete.
If they're successful in teaching the concept back to you (showing they really know what they're talking about!) Wednesday and Thursday can be spent on the Systematic Review pages for each lesson. Don’t be tempted to skip this step! It is essential that the student work through at least one Systematic Review. This allows them to apply new concepts to material they’ve already learned. It keeps their skills sharp and ready!
Friday is Try-day! If your student has mastered the lesson concepts, it’s time to bring the week to a close. Have the student “try” out the learned material with the Lesson Test. This gives you a record of their achievement as well as confirms what they know. In the upper levels, you can also continue with the further Honors practice pages to extend their learning. Now it’s time to congratulate your student on a job well done!
These ideas are just a “recipe” to get you started. You'll be able to see what works for your child and what they like, and then add that into their weekly maths lessons. Keep maths fun and engaging (like it should be!) and you'll have happy students, guaranteed! Let your schedule work for you, and you will help your student become a confident problem solver who enjoys maths!
And continue the same again for next week!
Here's a helpful planner to stay organised
To all the above points, having a proper planner is the best way to go. It means you have the templates to put everything in (you save the time ruling lines on blank pieces of paper) and the artwork is better than I could do myself! My favourite planner at the moment is the Mulberry Planner. The creators behind this masterpiece bring out a new edition every year, with different designs, colours and they always add more pages!
The planner is perfect for the planning out the New Year of your child's education needs (and extra curricular activities) and making sure you're on top of your homeschooling state or reporting requirements. It's a great resource for parents who want to have just a little more organisation in their life and especially for those with a few kids to keep track of.
You can download the templates instantly, which means you don't need to wait around for the postman. Plus, The Mulberry Planner is the only homeschool planner that's specifically designed for the Southern Hemisphere.
The 2021 planner is available now and features:
- 200 pages of templates, planning pages, tables, prompts and record sheets to organise your entire 2021 homeschool year!
- Instant digital download, print the pages you like, whenever you like
- 21 new template pages this year - based on requests.
- Stunning colour theme featuring 14 beautiful cover options
- Easily adaptable for one child or multiple children, and can be customised to suit grades K-12.
- Ultimate flexibility with multiple layout options, blank title pages, DIY borders and customisation tips.
- Designed for easy printing with room for spiral bound, hole punch and ring binder on the left margin.
- Perfect for all types of homeschoolers AND unschoolers!
Exclusive Bonus Planner templates
Plus, if you purchase through the link above, we've got a special freebie for you.
We've collaborated together with the Mulberry Planner team and created these planner templates - so you can use ALL the Mulberry Planner planners and lists, PLUS these sheets to keep track of each maths lesson. Sound good or what?
Hope these handy tips help keep you organised and efficient this year – let us know in the comments below!
The Team at Maths Australia