Teaching Kids Math

After struggling with the repetitiveness and colorlessness of Saxon Math, when my oldest was 6, we switched over to Singapore Math and have successfully used it for each of the kids through level 6B. We use the US edition, and have the kids take the placement test on the Singapore math website and get 80% or more in order to pass and move on to the next book.

Singapore Math

Some benefits of Singapore Math is that there are lots of pictures to help the kids understand the concepts before putting those concepts into numbers.  It is fun for the kids, the pace may be a little fast for some, but there are plenty of extra practice problem workbooks you can use- or just print off extra practice problems online.  There are things to color and puzzles to figure out.  The story problems and the method they teach is really great in helping the kids really think through the problems, understand what is being asked and then be able to solve them without algebra. I love math, so I did not need extra help in explaining the concepts, so Singapore Math worked well for us. 


Extra Worksheets
I also use themathworksheetsite.com to print off extra practice problems. They have 5 minute drills for multiplication tables that are especially helpful in getting the kids to memorize their times tables well. They love beating the clock and it is a great celebration when they can finally finish the whole page in 5 minutes. The site is really great too for addition and subtraction and division, you can input how many problems you want to have on your worksheet and which numbers you want to use. So definitely go check that out no matter what curriculum you choose!
You can also use other random workbooks you can get at the grocery store or wherever.
Working Through the Books

For mastering the skills in Singapore Math, just doing the problems in the workbook with a few extra worksheet problems was enough for the kids to pass the test on their first time until level 2B- 3A. Then they would finish the workbook, take the test, fail, and then I would have them go back and do most of the problems in the text book also. I would go over it with them as they did it and then they would usually pass the test the 2nd or 3rd time.



Here is a link to Rainbow Resources page with many of the Singapore Math books:


Here is a link to the Singapore Math site to get the practice tests:

( I will update the links, they are currently not linked up as Singapore is not promoting the US edition- but you can get the tests by searching for them specifically, so I’ll update that soon)

Finishing Singapore Math

Once they finish Singapore Math level 6B, I print off all the placement tests again and have them take them all again and they are surprised at how easy it seems. They feel confident moving forward to the next level which is Pre- Algebra. Pre- algebra usually goes fairly smoothly because they have been well prepared with Singapore Math.

Upper Level Math

We’ve found that for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, and Geometry that the McDougall-Littell textbooks are great. We purchased the teacher’s editions of each so we have answers to the tests as well, and we just have them work through the book and help as needed. We also have a Trigonometry textbook and a Pre-Calculus textbook but so far we haven’t been able to do those. Some of the up and coming kids likely will though. Sometimes I have had to sit with them to get them through it, others of my kids just work through it and figure it out with minimal help. But Math has to be done regularly.

I wanted to get them through Calculus since I completed Calculus in high school, but moving to France sort of messed up that plan. I have had to let go of my dreams of them learning Calculus- instead they learned French. And it turns out that the ACT only tests through Algebra 2 with a couple questions of Trigonometry. So far, they have not wanted to go into engineering or math, so Algebra 2 is sufficient. They have been able to do some formal logic study also. So it’s fine and it’s good for college entrance as well.

Here are links to the books we’ve used. They are excellent. In fact, my daughter who had decided to take Algebra 2 at the high school her freshman year was so relieved to go through our Algebra 2 book and find that the explanations were way better than what she had had at the high school. She really didn’t get it at the high school and I was sorry I hadn’t had her do math at home or with the online school in NH, VLACS. I didn’t realize how bad it had been for her. But on a good note, she really appreciates homeschooling now and has done great in college so far- mostly all A’s.

Here are the links to the McDougall Little math books we’ve been using.

Pre- Algebra Teacher’s Edition

Algebra 1. Teacher Edition

Geometry. Teacher Edition

Algebra 2. (not finding the link to the teacher’s edition will update later)

Trigonometry. ( not finding the book we use, will update later)


I’m sure there are other curriculums that may work better for you than these. I know homeschoolers who have been successful with Saxon, Math- U-See, and others I can’t remember off the top of my head right now.  The important thing is that your child learns math, feels confident with it and doesn’t give up!!

Hope this helps!! Happy learning!!


Amber is the mother of 8 kids ages 19 - 6 including 6 boys in a row and a set of twins. She has a lot of experience with homeschooling, parenting, getting kids to do their chores, cleaning and keeping it all organized. She currently lives in France with the 6 boys- the oldest is on a mission for their church in Tahiti, and the next daughter is headed to college in January!