Homeschool 5th Grade Curriculum Choices 2019-2020

Homeschool 5th Grade Curriculum Choices 2019-2020

Today I’m sharing my homeschool curriculum choices for the 2019-2020 school year for my 5th grader, along with why I made these choices for this particular child.

(You can also read about this year’s curriculum choices for my second grader and kindergartener.)

Before jumping into our curriculum choices for fifth grade, please remember that you and I may be working toward different requirements for homeschooling, depending on where you live. So please inform yourself about your local homeschool laws! (I talk more about the importance of that here.)

Ok, on to our particular choices…

(Our general weekly schedule is toward the end.)

2019-2020 Homeschool 5th Grade Curriculum Choices

Group Subjects

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

In years past, I tried to save time in our days by doing history and science as a group. This worked pretty well for our first few years of homeschooling, but became more difficult as the boys grew older and their personalities and learning preferences became more apparent.

Last year, after defining what I know of their Learning Preferences so far, I realized that a group environment was not an ideal way for any of my boys to learn. So I let go of the group paradigm for the most part. For now, we still do our memory work (religious studies, poetry memorization) and read-alouds together.

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Individual Subjects

Bible

5th grade curriculum choices

My 5th grader reads one devotion from One-Minute Prayers for Boys each day independently. I chose this book because the devotionals are short and clear. He writes the verse from that day’s prayer on a whiteboard at his desk, then writes a little prayer of his own into a journal.

5th grade curriculum choices

After he finishes One-Minute Prayers for Boys, he’ll work out of Kay Arthur’s How to Study Your Bible for Kids. I chose this book as an introduction to Bible study for my oldest because I thought Kay Arthur’s inductive Bible study method would appeal to my interactive learner. If it works out, will continue with other Kay Arthur kids’ Bible studies. If not, I’ll probably create my own copywork/journaling Bible curriculum for him.

5th grade curriculum choices

We’re also working on memorizing the books of the Bible as a group, but Spoken Word learning is my son’s weakest learning method. So I created some copywork worksheets for him to accompany our group work.


Math

5th grade curriculum choices

Math-U-See has been a staple in our homeschool from the start and has been a good fit for my oldest, so I decided to continue with Math-U-See Epsilon. I chose this curriculum because I like its mastery approach to teaching math, and also that new concepts are introduced only once a week or so (the way we use it), with intervening days being dedicated to practice and review.

You can see my review of Math-U-See here.


Literature

5th grade curriculum choices

After completing basic phonics instruction two years ago, I switched my oldest to using a reading list that I curated for him. He was a reluctant reader, so I required him to read for at least 30 minutes a day and tried to find books that I thought would interest him.

Mission accomplished! He now says that he looooves to read, and reads a lot on his own. So this year I decided to try out the Literature Units created by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. My goal is that my son will learn to read more closely and thoughtfully. I chose Erica’s literature units because my oldest is an interactive learner and really loves lapbooks.

As for our specific choice – I looked through the lapbooks Erica has available and selected a few that I thought might interest my son. Then I let him choose. But I know my kid and his love of candy, so I knew that he would choose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 😜

After he completes his current choice, I’ll guide him in choosing another one of Erica’s literature units.


Grammar

5th grade curriculum choices

We started using IEW’s Fix It! Grammar series last year. I wanted to try it because its unique approach to grammar (editing and marking up one sentence a day in a continuing story) seemed perfect for my interactive learner. We liked it so much that we are using it again this year. It’s a very good curriculum as-is, but it became excellent for us when I customized it by creating checklists for my son to guide him through the daily editing and marking process.


Spelling

5th grade curriculum choices

My fifth grader has used All About Spelling since we began homeschooling, but it didn’t work as well for my second grader and I had to find something new for him. I ended up choosing Spelling Power, so decided to use it with my fifth grader, as well, since I was buying it anyway. I chose Spelling Power because it looked like I could customize it to suit my son. And bonus: it’s supposed to be the only spelling curriculum I will ever need!

After receiving the book and reading through the lengthy introduction, I saw that they highly discourage customization of the program. Honestly, that kind of made me chuckle and kind of made me roll my eyes because no curriculum is perfect for every single student as-written. But I gave their method a go, just to see.

I’ve realized that no, my instincts were right, I need to customize. So we’re still in the process of finding just the right way to use Spelling Power that will allow both of my older boys to progress in their spelling skills without loads of angst and frustration.


Handwriting

One of my son’s delights is jokes/humor, so I was thrilled to come across Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles. Students practice writing words from jokes and riddles in cursive, then write the jokes and riddles themselves in cursive. Students can even cut out the jokes and riddles to create a booklet.

See my review of Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles here.

We started using this workbook this summer and will continue using it until we’ve completed it. He’s also writing out the final draft of some of this writing assignments in cursive, so I’m not sure yet if we’ll need to find something new once he’s done with this workbook.


Writing

5th grade curriculum choices

We’re continuing using IEW’s Student Writing Intensive, Level A since we didn’t finish it last year. This is another very good curriculum that became great after I customized it by creating checklists and graphic organizers to fit my son’s preferred learning method.

Once we’re done with Student Writing Intensive, we’ll probably try IEW’s All Things Fun & Fascinating.


Science

I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot of science experiments this year, so I wanted a science curriculum that didn’t have science experiments as an integral part of the program. I also wanted to allow my son to continue with more delight-directed learning for science this year since I plan to move him to something more rigorous next year.

Since one of my son’s Delights is Minecraft, I decided to let him choose Skrafty science courses. He chose to start with geology. He should finish it in a couple of months, so if it goes well I’ll let him choose another course.


History

5th grade curriculum choices

For history, I chose BJU Press’ Heritage Studies 5. I’ve taken a unit study approach to history in the past, but really wanted a basic textbook curriculum this year to give myself a break. I like Heritage Studies because it approaches American History from a Christian worldview and has a colorful activity manual. I was also happy to discover that it includes mapping, vocabulary, and suggestions for hands-on activities.


Technology

5th grade curriculum choices

My fifth grader will continue learning about coding with a DK workbook – Coding with Python and JavaScript. Last year we used DK’s Scratch workbook, and it was very well done. So we’ll continue with DK as my son learns “real” coding.

I don’t know that we’ll finish this workbook. Coding is something that requires a certain personality, way of thinking, and level of maturity. If my son ends up hating it, I probably won’t require him to complete it. So I’m seeing this more as an exposure to computer coding.


Spanish

5th grade curriculum choices

We tried using Flip Flop Spanish last year as a group. While I really like the hands-on way this curriculum teaches Spanish, learning as a group didn’t work for us.

5th grade curriculum choices

For this school year, I decided to have my oldest learn Spanish on his own. I wanted to use Flip Flop Spanish since we do have it, but wanted to adapt it to allow my son to work independently and with a written element. So I’m experimenting by creating copywork worksheets based on Flip Flop Spanish. I’m also recording phrases for my son to listen to and repeat using the voice memo feature on my phone.


Typing

5th grade curriculum choices

My oldest used Typing Instructor for Kids to learn how to type a couple of years ago, but he came to me a few months ago and said that he was struggling with typing and felt like he needed more practice. So I put Typing Instructor back into the rotation. He loves the games and looks forward to typing practice.


5th grade curriculum choices

Extracurricular

Cub Scouts – My fifth grader will continue with Cub Scouts this year. I was somehow surprised by how much learning happens in Cub Scouts. The many shared experiences are a great way to make friends, and it’s also good bonding time with Daddy since my husband deals with all the Cub Scouts stuff. This coming up year will be exciting for my oldest since he’ll be moving up to Boy Scouts!

Homeschool Co-op – We recently joined a local low-stress homeschool co-op that focuses on social activities like park days with some educational opportunities thrown in. Just another way I’m trying to socialize my kid. 😜

Those are our homeschool curriculum choices … for now. I usually evaluate how things are going in December – adding, subtracting, and/or changing as needed.

5th grade curriculum choices
Homeschool 2nd Grade Curriculum Choices 2019-2020

Homeschool 2nd Grade Curriculum Choices 2019-2020

Today I’m sharing my homeschool curriculum choices for the 2019-2020 school year for my 2nd grader, along with why I made these choices for this particular child. Of all of my kids, these are the choices that were the most difficult for me to make because my beautiful blue-eyed boy really hates working one-on-one, but he’s not quite ready to work independently. So sometimes it’s a Struggle. But I’ve got my fingers crossed!

(You can also read about this year’s curriculum choices for my fifth grader and kindergartener.)

Before jumping into my second grader’s curriculum choices, please remember that you and I may be working toward different requirements for homeschooling, depending on where you live. So please inform yourself about your local homeschool laws! (I talk more about the importance of that here.)

Ok, on to our particular choices…

(Our general weekly schedule is toward the end.)

2019-2020 Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2nd Grade

Group Subjects

In years past, I tried to save time in our days by doing history and science as a group. This worked pretty well for our first few years of homeschooling, but became more difficult as the boys grew older and their personalities and learning preferences became more apparent.

Last year, after defining what I know of their Learning Preferences so far, I realized that a group environment was not an ideal way for any of my boys to learn. So I let go of the group paradigm for the most part. For now, we still do our memory work (religious studies, poetry memorization) and read-alouds together.

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Individual Subjects

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Morning Work

2nd grade curriculum choices
2nd grade curriculum choices
2nd grade curriculum choices

Morning Work for us is a binder that includes calendaring activities and any other work that either can be done quickly or doesn’t really fit in anywhere else.

For now, all I have in his Morning Work binder is a set of calendar pages that I’ve created for him in order to get accustomed to the way a calendar works. He also writes out the date in order to sneak in some spelling practice for days of the week and months. Besides, writing out the date is something that he needs to learn how to do.

Later on this year I plan to add some copywork/tracing of geography terms and maybe some history vocabulary.


Bible

My second grader reads one devotion from 365 Devotions for Kids each day independently. I chose this book because he loved The Beginner’s Bible, my absolute favorite Bible storybook. He loved The Beginner’s Bible last year so much that choosing 365 Devotions for Kids seemed like a no-brainer.


Math

Math-U-See has been a staple in our homeschool from the start, but my second grader decided that he didn’t like using the math blocks that are integral to the program. So I went on the hunt for something different for him.

I landed on Horizons Math, which is new to us. I chose this curriculum because it’s colorful and provides a variety of activities each day, which I thought would appeal to my second grader. It’s a spiral approach to teaching math, which is not my preference, but at this point the best math curriculum is the one that gets done while causing the least amount of drama in my house. 😜 We’re still getting acclimated to it, so not sure yet if it will meet my drama-free objective. 🤞

If you do choose this curriculum for yourself, you may want to pick up the worksheet packet, too, so that you don’t have to make copies of the many worksheets at the back of the book.


Reading

When my second grader completed the second grade level of Hooked on Phonics last year, we started reading through this I Wonder reader and will complete it this fall. I chose it because it has character-building stories, and was not disappointed because it has sparked productive conversations about behavior, habits, and heart matters. I also like that it includes both short stories and poems.

After completing this reader, my second grader will switch to a reading list that I’ve put together for him. The reading list is comprised of books that my oldest read when he was at this reading level, so we have most of them in our home library already.


Grammar

This is another new-to-us curriculum. I chose Evan-Moor’s Grammar & Punctuation for Grade 2 because it addresses one grammar concept at a time and then provides several days of varied practice for that concept before moving on to something else.


Spelling

This is my biggest fingers-crossed moment right here! We’ve used All About Spelling since we began homeschooling, but my independent second grader hated all of the one-on-one work it required, even after I customized the way we use it. I chose Spelling Power because it looked like I could customize it to cut out most of the one-on-one work and allow him to work independently. And bonus: it’s supposed to be the only spelling curriculum I will ever need!

After receiving the book and reading through the lengthy introduction, I saw that they highly discourage customization of the program. Honestly, that kind of made me chuckle and kind of made me roll my eyes because no curriculum is perfect for every single student as-written. But I gave their method a go, just to see.

I’ve realized that no, my instincts were right, I need to customize. So we’re still in the process of finding just the right way to use Spelling Power that will allow my son to progress in his spelling skills without loads of angst and frustration.


Writing

My second grader loves stories and fun pictures, so I chose Usborne’s My First Story Writing Book for him to give him an introduction into writing. I chose it because it covers the basics of story writing, like characters and setting, in a fun and interactive way.


Science

I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot of science experiments this year, so I wanted a science curriculum that didn’t have science experiments as an integral part of the program.

I chose the Carson Dellosa Interactive Science Notebooks because they are a fun, hands-on way to learn and organize new science concepts, they make suggestions for simple “experiment” types of activities that I can handle in this season of life, and they provide a way for my student to process what he’s learned in his own way.


History

For history, I chose BJU Press’ Heritage Studies distance learning curriculum for my independent second grader. I’ve taken a unit study approach to history in the past, but really wanted a basic textbook curriculum this year to give myself a break. I like Heritage Studies because it approaches American History from a Christian worldview and has a colorful activity manual.

I initially purchased just the textbook and activity manual without the distance learning option, but quickly decided to add on the online portion since my son really hates receiving instruction one-on-one. He very much enjoys having the instructor on-screen rather than in his face. 🙄


Art / Handwriting

There are only so many hours in the day, so the subject of art has low priority in our homeschool. And my second grader, who struggles with perfectionism, refused to draw anything. It’s cool with me if art isn’t his thing (it’s not my thing, either), but drawing and sketching went from a mere Dislike to a Difficulty and stumbling block in his other studies.

So I chose Draw Write Now to get him started on drawing since I used it with my oldest in the past and it worked well for him. Sometimes you just have to go with what’s worked before and hope for the best. My oldest also hated drawing to the point that it became a problem, but after working on drawings in this book once a week, he got over it and doesn’t hesitate to make his own little sketches. I’m hoping and praying for similar results with my second grader.

We’re using these Draw Write Now printables from 1+1+1=1, which include the handwriting portion of this art/handwriting curriculum.


2nd grade curriculum choices

Extracurricular

Cub Scouts – My second grader will be continuing with Cub Scouts this year. I was somehow surprised by how much learning happens in Cub Scouts. The many shared experiences are a great way to make friends, and it’s also good bonding time with Daddy since my husband deals with all the Cub Scouts stuff.

Homeschool Co-op – We recently joined a local low-stress homeschool co-op that focuses on social activities like park days with some educational opportunities thrown in. Just another way I’m trying to socialize my kid. 😜

Those are our homeschool curriculum choices … for now. I usually evaluate how things are going in December – adding, subtracting, and/or changing as needed.

2nd grade curriculum choices
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices – 2019-2020

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices – 2019-2020

Today I’m sharing our kindergarten homeschool curriculum choices for the 2019-2020 school year, along with why I made these choices for this particular child.

(You can also read about this year’s curriculum choices for my second grader and fifth grader.)

Before jumping into my kindergartener’s curriculum choices, please remember that you and I may be working toward different requirements for homeschooling, depending on where you live. So please inform yourself about your local homeschool laws! (I talk more about the importance of that here.)

Ok, on to our particular choices…

(Our general weekly schedule is toward the end.)

2019-2020 Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Group Subjects

In years past, I tried to save time in our days by doing history and science as a group. This worked pretty well for our first few years of homeschooling, but became more difficult as the boys grew older and their personalities and learning preferences became more apparent.

Last year, after defining what I know of their Learning Preferences so far, I realized that a group environment was not an ideal way for any of my boys to learn. So I let go of the group paradigm for the most part. For now, we still do our memory work (religious studies, poetry memorization) and read-alouds together.

Individual Subjects

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Morning Work

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

This is the first year that my little kindergartener is doing Morning Work. Morning Work for us is a binder that includes calendaring activities and any other work that either can be done quickly or doesn’t really fit in anywhere else.

For now, all I have in his Morning Work binder is a set of calendar pages that I’ve created for him in order to get accustomed to the way a calendar works. He updates our wall calendar with the appropriate date, then updates his Morning Work calendar.

Later on this year I plan to add some copywork/tracing of personal information, like first and last name, home address, and phone numbers.


Bible

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

The Beginner’s Bible is my absolute favorite Bible storybook because the Bible stories are faithful to the original without being dumbed down, and the language is for the most part accessible to early elementary students. I chose this book because my older two read through this book in past years and loved it so much that it’s now falling apart! Hopefully I can keep it in one piece long enough for my youngest to enjoy it this year.


Math

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Math-U-See has been a staple in our homeschool from the start, so I decided to use Math-U-See Primer for my kindergartener. I chose this curriculum because I like its mastery approach to teaching math, and also that new concepts are introduced only once a week or so (the way we use it), with intervening days being dedicated to practice and review.

You can see my review of Math-U-See here.


Phonics

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Hooked on Phonics was my choice for my little one because I’ve used it with my older two boys in the past with great success. My youngest actually started the kindergarten level of Hooked on Phonics almost a year ago, so he’s almost done with it. When he’s done with the kindergarten level, we’ll move on to the first grade level.

You can see my review of Hooked on Phonics here.

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Besides Hooked on Phonics, we also read a “real” book each day. Right now we’re working through the Bob Books sets that I have. My son LOVES these little books, and they’re a great way for my little one to feel like a big boy with a big boy book.

You can see my review of Bob Books here.


Handwriting/Grammar

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

My kindergartner used the pre-k level of Handwriting Without Tears to learn how to write his uppercase letters last year, so we’re continuing with the kindergarten level to review uppercase letters and learn how to write lowercase letters. I chose this curriculum because I love the gentle and clear instruction and have used various levels with all of my kids.

You can see my review of the pre-k level of Handwriting Without Tears here.


Science

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot of science experiments this year, so I wanted a science curriculum that didn’t have science experiments as an integral part of the program. And besides, I need my kindergartener to learn the very basics of science.

I chose the Carson Dellosa Interactive Science Notebooks because they are a fun, hands-on way to learn and organize new science concepts, they make suggestions for simple “experiment” types of activities that I can handle in this season of life, and they provide a way for my little student to process what he’s learned in his own way.

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

We tried out this Kumon Sticker Science workbook last year, and my son loves it. We’ll incorporate it into his other science studies this year.

You can see my review of this Kumon Science Sticker Activity Book here.


History

My kindergartener will not be going through a formal history curriculum this year because I feel that it’s important that he get a better understanding of the world at large first by learning a little bit about geography, but he will be participating in some American history activities with my older two boys.


Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Geography

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

For geography I’ve chosen Skill Sharpeners Geography, Grade Pre-K. I actually meant to purchase the kindergarten edition, but this arrived so I guess I got a bit click-happy in Amazon. After looking at it, I determined that it’s appropriate for my kindergartener. I chose it because it has fun, simple activities that are age-appropriate.


Art

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

There are only so many hours in the day, so the subject of art has low priority in our homeschool. But after learning how to hold and use a crayon correctly last year (thanks, Handwriting Without Tears!), my little one developed a love of drawing and crafting in general. So I wanted to give this newly revealed Delight its place in my kindergartener’s school work.

I chose this Scholastic Step-By-Step Drawing Book because the drawings look age-appropriate and I think that, after becoming accustomed to it, my son will eventually be able to work out of it independently.


Extracurricular

Cub Scouts – My kindergartener is so excited to join his brothers in Cub Scouts! I was somehow surprised by how much learning happens in Cub Scouts. The many shared experiences are a great way to make friends, and it’s also good bonding time with Daddy since my husband deals with all the Cub Scouts stuff.

Homeschool Co-op – We recently joined a local low-stress homeschool co-op that focuses on social activities like park days with some educational opportunities thrown in. Just another way I’m trying to socialize my kid. 😜

Those are our homeschool curriculum choices … for now. I usually evaluate how things are going in December – adding, subtracting, and/or changing as needed.


Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is published by Evan-Moor. This workbook is marketed as “Connecting School and Home,” but I’m using it as a gentle math curriculum in our homeschool with my preschooler.

Preschool Math Curriculum Workbook Review

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and colorful activity book for preschoolers that introduces a wide variety of math concepts. Math concepts introduced include number & operations, measurement, algebra, geometry, etc. The wide variety of activities used to cover these concepts (coloring, drawing, cut and paste, matching, dot-to-dot, etc.) have been delightful to my workbook-loving preschooler.  

Structure

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is divided into 10 units. All units cover the same basic math concepts using different themes. For example, Unit 1 is about monkeys, Unit 2 – cookies, etc.

There are about 125 pages for your student to complete, with a tracking form and answer key at the back.

Teacher Prep

As long as you have crayons/colored pencils, scissors, and glue handy, this should be an open-and-go workbook.

Student Time

Each page in this workbook should take less than five minutes to do, which is totally appropriate for a preschooler. Kids that love workbooks, and especially the types of activities in this workbook, may want to do several pages at a time. So, unless you have your student use this workbook only once a week or so, and do other math activities the rest of the week,  your student will likely complete this workbook in well under a year.

To whom would I recommend Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive and Visual learning methods since this entire workbook has puzzle-like activities.
  • Students that could use some work on their fine motor skills – the coloring, drawing, and pasting will help with that.
  • Preschoolers that want to use a math workbook “like a big kid.” 🙂

I would NOT recommend to…

Students that still struggle with holding a pencil/crayon.

My Best Tips for Using Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

  • Allow your student to do as little or as much (within reason) of this workbook as he wants in each sitting.
  • Be sure to talk about each concept with your student to gauge for understanding.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

The Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and gentle way to introduce math concepts to a preschooler, and was one of my preshooler’s favorite books to work in.

Math-U-See Curriculum Review

Math-U-See Curriculum Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. Math-U-See is a hands-on mastery-based math curriculum published by Demme Learning. I’ve used several levels in our homeschool with two of my kids so far. Each year that we used it, we used it for the entire year and completed the book.

Math-U-See Review

Math-U-See is a mastery-based curriculum, where each level is mostly dedicated to covering just one or two topics thoroughly (ex. addition and subtraction for multiple-digit numbers, division for single and multiple-digit numbers) rather than the spiral approach of jumping around to different topics. Therefore, rather than naming each level for a grade, each elementary level, with the exception of Primer (kindergarten) is given a Greek letter (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.). With this different approach to teaching math, it’s important for students coming from a different curriculum to take a placement test to know where they should be.

Curriculum Elements

The core elements of Math-U-See consist of:
  • an instruction manual (contains answer key)
  • a student workbook
  • an integer block kit.
In addition to these core elements, you can also get:
  • an instructional DVD
  • a test book
  • skip count song CD/mp3’s
The upper elementary levels also require additional hands-on elements. For convenience, these various curriculum elements are sold as sets, depending on what you need.
  • If you’ve never used Math-U-See before, you should purchase the universal set for your particular level.
  • If your student is moving to the next level, you should purchase the level-up set.
  • If a younger child is moving to a level that an older student has completed, you can order the individual elements that you need.

Structure

Each level of Math-U-See has about 30 lessons. The student receives instruction for each lesson either via the instructional DVD or a parent (with the help of the instructional book). The student workbook contains seven worksheets per lesson (1A, 1B, 1C, etc.). Worksheets A, B, and C are for practice of the new concept taught in that lesson. Worksheets D, E, and F serve as systematic review of concept learned so far. Worksheet G is intended to be an enrichment or “fun” worksheet. You can also create additional worksheets online with the digital pack. The worksheets sometimes have an example problem filled out, but it does NOT contain instruction on the new topic. So the student will require instruction on the new topic from the instructional DVD or parent. Since color is important for some students, you should note that the worksheets are very plain and not colorful. The test book contains a test for each lesson, along with unit tests and a final test. The answers to the tests and worksheets are in the instruction manual. It’s up to the parent to decide:
  • how to give the student instruction
  • which worksheets the student will do
  • whether or not to use the tests
  • whether or not to grade

Additional Purchases

While the integer block kit is a hands-on method of teaching, some students may require something more or different. For example, we had great success with the Dice Activities for Multiplication activity book. The game Sum Swamp is also popular for early elementary.

Teacher Prep

Teacher prep will depend on your student’s learning preferences and how you decide to use the curriculum. If your student receives instruction from you rather than the DVD lessons, it’ll help to review the lesson in the instruction book ahead of time. But you should have to give instruction usually just once a week or so.

Student Time

Again, this will depend on how you decide to use the curriculum (worksheets) and how well the student understands the new concept. I’ve had my students do two worksheets a day (one lesson practice worksheet and one systematic review worksheets), one worksheet a day (progressing through the workbook), and even just a couple of worksheets a week. For early elementary, I find that twenty minutes is usually enough time. But by fourth grade (long division!), you’ll want to schedule about 45 minutes.

To whom would I recommend Math-U-See?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)
  • Students that do well with Interactive learning methods since Math-U-See is workbook-based with hands-on elements. A student that does well with Visual and Spoken Word learning methods will appreciate the instructional DVD.
  • Students that prefer One-on-One learning if a parent will be providing the instruction. After introduction to the new concept each lesson, Independent learners will prefer to work on their own.

To whom would I NOT recommend Math-U-See?

  • Students that strongly prefer learning via the Written Word because instruction is not included on the worksheets and the instruction manual is written for the teacher/parent.
  • Students that do not enjoy Interactive/Physical learning methods since the integer blocks are an integral part of the curriculum.
  • Students that do not do well with One-on-One learning if they also are not Visual/Spoken Word learners since that would mean receiving instruction from a parent and not the DVD.

My Best Tips for Using Math-U-See

My best tip – do not move on from a lesson/concept until the student has mastered it. Future learning will build upon the current lesson, so moving on before a student is ready to will only lead to frustration, loss of confidence, and maybe even despair – for both parent and child! I’ve found it helpful to step away from the curriculum if my student is struggling with a concept and find another way to practice it using my child’s most preferred learning method.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Math-U-See

While not the most exciting or fun-looking math curriculum out there, Math-U-See is solid, relatively easy to use, and does a good job of helping students to feel confident in their math skills (as long as the parent/teacher doesn’t rush the student through the curriculum!).
math u see
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