With schools affected by the COVID-19 crisis, more students are relying on the curriculum of homeschool math to continue their math education. But homeschool math through online tutoring can provide benefits that meet, if not exceed, the advantages of in-class learning – if done correctly. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, children learning under the homeschool curriculum perform fifteen to thirty percent higher on standardized tests than students in public or private schools. With the right kind of methodologies and practices, homeschool math can prove effective in improving your child’s math education.
In acknowledging its potential lies the ultimate question – what makes a great homeschool math curriculum?
1. Emphasizes conceptual understanding
To start off, a great homeschool math curriculum focuses not only on the “how” of solving math problems but the “why” as well; the foundation of conceptual understanding.
Simply learning how to solve a problem is just the basics of any math topic; genuinely learning about the process behind the answer shows you why the math makes sense. In doing so, the concepts in math become easier to learn and apply, engaging a student’s critical thinking in solving problems.
An excellent method in training a student’s conceptual understanding is applying math to real-world situations, like shopping for groceries, calculating change and cooking meals. In incorporating math concepts to situations people encounter daily, the student’s motivation and appreciation for math increases due to seeing its importance in everyday life. In a study by Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, eighty percent of students believed that their interest and understanding in math improved when seeing its application to real-world problems.
So when it comes to great homeschool math for students, solidifying a conceptual understanding guarantees more efficient learning, strong critical thinking skills and determination to successfully solve problems.
2. Allows ample opportunity for practice
To ensure a student’s academic improvement through homeschool math, the student needs a curriculum that enables plenty of practice in developing computational fluency.
Computational fluency basically means the skill of solving problems automatically and correctly, helping your child advance quicker in learning math and its concepts. The National Math Panel has stated that poor computational fluency can hinder a child’s progression in mathematical abilities, becoming a learning handicap as they face math difficulties in adulthood. On the other hand, children skilled in computational fluency are able to increase their exposure to complex problems, solving them with more ease and confidence.
The best way to master computational fluency is by simply practicing towards perfection. A great homeschool math curriculum involves letting the student practice solving problems over and over again, not stopping until it becomes second nature to them. There is a wide variety of ways a student can practice! From hands-on activities like games to written work, the choices are endless. Yet the end goal should remain the same: a clear understanding of the math at hand.
With time and space to practice consistently, your child can reach and maintain academic excellence through homeschool math.
3. Taught by an exceptional math teacher
Lastly, a great homeschool math curriculum is formed around a teacher who emulates the wisdom of a mentor, the discipline of a coach and the helpfulness of a friend.
As a mentor, the teacher has to be highly knowledgeable in math in order to confidently explain concepts to their students. With this knowledge attained from college, graduate schools, etc., they must also keep up with the current and most effective practices in math education. This combination of expertise makes it easier for students to trust in their teaching ability, increasing credibility as the students look up to them for advice and clarification.
In being a coach for students, the teacher must administer fair discipline to help them manage learning efforts and organization in studying homeschool math. Much like a sports coach during a big game, they explain the game plan and show them the ways in winning the game (game plan being the math concept, winning the game being solving math problems). When their students become frustrated with answering problems, the teacher doesn’t allow them to give up. Instead, they motivate them to realize where they went wrong, guiding them towards finding the right answer. As a math coach, they analyze their student’s performance, addresses their weak points and encourages them to reach their math goals and full potential.
A great teacher in homeschool math also holds the same qualities as a friend. They’re sensitive to their student’s needs, always finding ways to accommodate them on their journey to math excellence. They’re empathetic as well, understanding that everyone learns differently and is willing to explain concepts as many times as needed. Another friend-like characteristic that defines a great teacher is that their passion for the subject shows! Their excitement and enthusiasm in teaching about math will rub off on their students, making learning math an enjoyable and wondrous experience.
Homeschool math, when taught with the right methodologies, can ameliorate a student’s math education regardless of a class setting. In learning math through homeschooling, it teaches you that no matter where you are, you can always reach the goal of mathematical brilliance.
At Math Project, the COVID-19 pandemic has not hindered our spirits and efforts in giving children the finest math education. In fact, it has brought us to adapt our platform, providing our students with a safe and efficient environment for exceptional homeschool math tutoring. To start your child’s journey to math success, book a free assessment with us today!
How to Choose Homeschool Math Curriculum – kateshomeschoolmath.com
5 Steps to Overcoming Learning Gaps in your Homeschool – homeschoolon.com
How to Homeschool Math – homeschool.com
5 Tips for Improving Students’ Success in Math – edutopia.org
Choosing a homeschool math curriculum – homeschoolmath.net
Developing a positive math mindset – exclusive.multibriefs.com
How many times must students do it before they get it right?: New insights on math practice – renaissance.com
5 Important Characteristics to Become a Good Math Teacher – work.chron.com
Homeschooling Statistics – futureschool.com