What About Math?Why? Math education is best completely individualized. Students need to be free to go faster or slower than any perceived "standard". Consequently, for a complete Math education, you'll need a book. I HIGHLY recommend Saxon, starting with their middle grade curriculum because the primary materials move too slowly for gifted kids. I start my kids in Math 54 in Kindergarten, but we only do a few problems from each problem set per day (2-5, based on the child's interest level). By Second grade, I have them doing a full lesson each day. I buy my Saxon used off craigslist or borrow it from the school district (many districts provide books for homeschoolers). Saxon also includes online components and, for the upper grades, DVD instruction. The online components are free, but the books are not. Why do I recommend Saxon for gifted kids? Four reasons: * The books are self-contained, with lessons and practice, so the child can advance beyond the parent's knowledge as quickly as they care to. * The books emphasize math facts mastery, something gifted kids often don't do automatically (once they "get it" they want to move on and not bother to memorize all the facts--they know how to figure it out!). * The books use a "spiral" approach to math, bringing problems from previous lessons into each problem set. This serves two functions: it keeps kids from forgetting the stuff they breezed through initially, and it keeps them from getting too bored (gifted kids often can't stand to do 30 problems on one topic--unbearably boring). * The books are logically, sequentially organized, high quality math education, with one lesson building on previous lessons and leading to future lessons. It is never too hard or too intuitive, and the kids come out knowing their math--for real--when the books are done. Gifted kids (the non-math-whiz variety) "get" the math really fast but often work past it, get it done, and fail to internalize the lessons--so when they see the concept again in ten years, they have to think through it again instead of just Knowing. Saxon solves that problem. If Saxon is not an option for you, there are free options online. Just be aware that parents report spending more on printing workbooks than it would have cost them to purchase new ones online through Amazon.com. One work-around we've used to avoid the printing costs is to do the worksheets on the computer screen using a dry-erase marker or crayon (which wipes off with a dry paper towel or rag). We've only tried this on old CRT monitors with glass screens though, so I can't vouch for the safety of your laptop or flatscreen monitor with dry erase markers. Alternately, I've had my children write the answers in a separate notebook just like they do with a math text, do the assignments verbally, or, for very small children, draw on the screen with just their finger (to circle the correct item, for example). Houghton Mifflin puts tons of resources, amounting to a complete K-6 math program including teacher pages, online through their resource center. These are not the actual texts, but if you start to click through, you'll find all the worksheets and teacher pages you need to teach math. Choose a book, then choose your level, and then click on "extra help" for lesson materials, "extra practice" for online worksheets, Look at "Math Background" on these books for teacher help, or check out this teacher support site or this teacher site, both of which teach you how to teach math. The very best section of their site, though, is this one. Choose the level, and you'll find Math background (teacher speak for "what you need to know in order to teach this lesson"), Vocabulary, teaching tools (including printable rulers, 3D shapes to cut and glue, graphic organizers, etc.), leveled practice (this is where they hide all the worksheets--six different worksheets per lesson), problem solving strategies with activities/worksheets, investigations, activities designed to be done in the home, teaching models (which actually make really nice print lessons for gifted kids), and Weekly Reader connections (articles about non-math things with math-focused activities to pair them with). You can also click on Parent's Place and find even MORE resources. McGraw Hill also includes a significant amount of online materials for their K-6 math texts. There are no worksheets, but there are video lessons, online activities, and all the lesson quizzes and tests. Softschools has k-6 math worksheets and online activities. Click on the grade level in the top bar. Online Math Learning is a complete K-12 program, but it doesn't claim to be a complete curriculum. You might pair it with a good outline or scope and sequence to be confident you've covered everything. It also includes resources for other subjects in each grade level, and you can search by skill instead of grade level if you'd prefer. Math ABC is complete K-6 Math education, with online worksheets and video lessons (on some assignments, but not all yet). There are no printables, but they do have free online progress tracking if you log in to a free account. AAA Math is a complete K-8 program, with online lessons followed by practice, play, and explore. Kidzone has complete preK-5 Math in printable worksheets and online practice quizzes. This is a Canadian curriculum, so any money lessons will be in Canadian money. MEP Math is a complete K-9 Math program, printable with teacher's manuals. It is produced in the UK, so the money lessons don't apply in the US. I highly recommend this program. Free World U has a complete PreK-12 curriculum, including a complete, online Math program. No worksheets, but plenty of online practice cards, and the lessons are presented to the student up front (instead of the parent having to read them from a lesson manual). Lesson Pathways, a preK-5 complete curriculum, includes math. They have collected worksheets from across the web to fill needs, but not all links take you directly to the worksheet you need--sometimes you have to go through several menus to get it. IXL is technically a subscription service, but you can do the activities for free--it just won't track them for you, and some days it limits the number of problems you can do (but some days it doesn't seem to). These are all online, not printable. If you want printable practice sheets (which you need in higher math), you can google for them. This is a lot like Math ABC, but without the instructional videos. Schmoop has a complete free online interactive math course in Pre-Algebra. The BBC has Math I and Math II (for ages 11-16) and Higher Math online. These include lessons (labeled "revise"), a few activities, and tests. It's not a complete maths course, but it does cover every subject British students are tested on. CK12 has middle school and high school math textbooks. They are free, printable, and customizable and include lessons as well as activities. Some also include teacher's manuals. Khan Academy has complete math video lessons. Gifted kids like these because they move pretty fast through the material. There are online practice components. No worksheets. You can go to their YouTube page and search "Singapore Math" for a handful of 3rd grade lessons. He also has Developmental Math videos that complement the upcoming Hippocampus Developmental Math series (not yet released, but I've seen previews--very cool.) Hippocampus has high school and beginning college level maths. Unlike many programs, these lessons include video materials, print textbook materials, and tests (with answer keys). Brightstorm is another high school math program available. They have video lessons with a real teacher. The print materials are not available, so you'd have to google practice worksheets. Mr Meyer's Algebra is a complete online course. Welsh site NGfL Cymru has math worksheets and packets in each of its grades, or Key Stages. The lessons are also found grouped Here and Here and Here and Here and Here. Dugopolski's Higher Math can be accessed through links and instructions found here. WOW Math and Algebra Free do video and print lessons in Algebra. There are also detailed outlines of what a child should know if you want to create your own math program by searching for activities, worksheets, and YouTube videos to teach the concepts. CSUN has produced Unit Tests for K-8 Math that can help a DIY-er. Also of value are the Math Vids and MathTV. There are printable worksheets at Funny Face Math, School Family, Rick's Math, and a million other places online, and online worksheets at PeakSmart. Generally speaking, all math programs end up being repetitive and boring for students, so be prepared for that. Many of the online programs teach the lessons in the same way each day and have very similar activities each day, changing only the numbers in the problems (and sometimes not even that very often). This is not a necessary evil inherent in the subject (see Fun4theBrain and Timez Attack for examples of non-boring math drills that are actually effective), but a habit of curriculum designers who are making things as easy as possible for themselves for students who don't demand any better (because Math, as it is traditionally taught, has always been boring to study, unfortunately). There are a lot more resources here: http://wheresthemath.com/parents/math-help/ and at the Learning Lynx Blog and Library--check out the Math Index. |