Today’s iHomeschool Network Hopscotch topic is math instruction. **At the middle and high school level we are all about problem solving- taking basic skills and applying them to a problem** whether the problem is higher level math like trigonometry or a practical issue like building a project or creating a pattern.

## Strategies for Teaching Middle & High School Math in Our Homeschool

**LEGO NXT**– programming and using the LEGO Mindstorms kit to perform tasks. Our family is a FIRST LEGO League family, but at home our NXT kits get a lot of use**Computer programming**– With online programs such as Scratch and Alice, we can broaden our students’ experience with computer programming. Our 8yo actually program simple commands in C++ and is working his way through a book on Java.**Games**– We are still a family of game players. Playing fun games that require spatial reasoning or simply hardcore calculations is a fun diversion. Equate is a math crossword game that goes way beyond Smath.**The Crafty Side of Math**– A big part of our 8th grader’s homeschool is her sewing. She will work out math as she needs it in her sewing and works hard to see a problem get solved. Two links to explore sewing math: The Making of a Wizard & The Crafty Side of Math and Jules Verne– R13 is making a fabulous steampunk gown for her American Girl dolls. Keep in mind that R13 drafts her own patterns and designs her own apparel.**Test Prep**– I can hardly believe we are at the point where Ethan is practicing his test taking skills for the PSAT. He has practiced in a mock testing situation twice and we’ve been going over things at home.**Applied Math**– Need more ideas? Try some from the list I made for Uzinggo.

## What about Upper Level Math in Your Homeschool

**Probably one of the main concerns of homeschooling parents is how to handle high school math** when they don’t consider math their strong suit. We tackle this in a few ways.

- First,
**the curriculum we use is written to the student**. So, the first pass at the concept is from the text. **They try out the problems**and check their own answers. If they get stuck, we’ve got a few options.**I help them sit and take another look at the problem**– I’ve had math through Calculus, but I am not an expert. However, I am successful at helping our kids to look through a problem and see where to go next. I can often look at their work and see where they strayed in their process. This helps them to get back on track.**Reteach**– if they really are struggling, I take some hints from my Math on the Level manual and teach the concept in a different way. I rarely have to do this, but when I do it helps a lot. Of course, once we enter high school math MOTL is not the go to resource. It works very well for middle school math.**Dad can save the day!**Dan is an engineer and he is confident in his math abilities. He steps in when the kids are really stuck.**Kahn Academy****& Uzinggo**– We also pull from online tutorials to get back on track or to have something explained in a different way than their textbook offers.

## Our Favorite Middle & High School Homeschool Math Curriculum

**Math on the Level**– A lovely living math approach which allows you to teach math concepts when your student is ready not when a publisher tells you to do so. This one goes from Pre-K through 8th grade pre-algebra. I have a detailed post on how we use Math on the Level in our homeschool. It’s a home base where even I can check on a concept before teaching them to my kids.**Life of Fred**– Our primary math program for high school is Life of Fred. I get a lot of questions about this and you can read about our decision to use Fred and how it’s a fit for our family by clicking on that link. It’s one of my top 3 posts here at Blog, She Wrote.**Family Math: The Middle School Years**– Love this book for fun, practical, hands-on activities for middle schoolers. There is plenty in this book to help students with algebraic concepts. I can’t believe this one is out of print, but I cannot find it on Amazon.**Yummy Math**– This is one of my favorite sites for picking up instructional packets on applied math. You’ll see a math activity which applies to any number of everyday/headline type stuff. There is an endless supply of applied math activities devoted to middle school students.

Join other bloggers in the iHomeschool Network for a look at teaching math in your homeschool. You’ll see how moms of gifted and special needs children approach math at home.

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drkgood says

This is the first I have seen about Yummy Math, but it looks really great. I have done a bit of research on Life of Fred and purchased one of the books. I like them for the same reasons you mentioned. Since I just took my daughter out of school a couple of months ago, I am trying to teach her both 4th and 5th grade math and then let her start applying those basics through LOF later this spring.

Heather Woodie says

Great plan. Enjoy Fred!