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My Favorite Mathematics Curriculum

Over the years (often as a result of my overt distaste for Saxon math) I have been asked again and again to share the homeschooling materials/methods we use to teach math. Multiple times just this week I’ve been asked for a list of my favorite math curriculum. So here they are.

First, I highly recommend reading About Teaching Mathematics by Marilyn Burns. It’s foundational understanding that will help most any homeschooling (or not!) parent.

Please note, I’m not claiming these are the end all be all of math. They are just resources that:

  • Align with my math philosophy
  • Work
  • Are affordable

Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments! The more ideas and input, the better!


Refrain from formal. Math is all around in the real world. Just notice it, point it out, name it. Make it fun!

  • Count everything: shoes, forks, bananas, stairs, blocks
  • Play with stuff
  • Do hands on activities
  • Use blocks
  • Divide things up (especially cookies—here is no 3-year old on earth who doesn’t notice when they don’t get a fair fraction!)
  • Measure things in steps, in hands, in dolls, in legos
  • Compare things: bigger vs. smaller; heavier vs. lighter; taller vs. shorter

Grades 1–3

Grades 4–8

Grades 7–8

Grades 9–12

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Cannot Keep Track

Mom: How did your date go?

Monica (19): Fine, but I almost called Tanner “Tristan”!

Mom: Tanner? Your date was with Trevor?



Righteous Sassing

Monica (18): I’m really good at sassing people in my head. I wish I could to it in real life and still be a good person.


Easy Date

[Sam walks into my office late Friday afternoon.]

Sam: Hey, honey, do you want to go on a date?

Samson (16): Is is that easy?


Overheard at the Boys’ Second Breakfast

Talking to his 15-year-old brother, Samson.
Caleb (12): It’s called skills, bro.
Mom: “It’s called skills, bro”?
Caleb: That’s what you say when you totally own someone.
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Kicking It Old School

[Driving to karate with the boys. Trying to find a radio station they like.]

Mom: How about this one?

Caleb (12): Well…not really.

Mom: What about this one?

Caleb: No.


Caleb: Mom, really I only like songs from 2010.


Not Getting Married Today

Mom: Samson, what was your favorite part about Saturday’s Warrior?


Samson: (15): Monica.

Mom: What was your second favorite part?


Samson: Her husband.



Sass In Your Frass

Caleb (12): Mom, just so you know, I’m going into my teenage years. So it’s not my fault if I’m sassy. It’s just biology.

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Tickets to Provo City Center Temple Open House

The Provo Tabernacle was a staple of my youth. When I was a child (pre-stake-center days) our stake conferences were there. My parents took us to see the Utah Valley Symphony a gazillion times in that venue. (The first, second, and third chair had each been my violin teacher at one time or another.) My sister first soloed with a symphony there. Kim and I practiced for our stint in the children’s choir singing in the (last ever) June General Conference in the tabernacle. I sang there with the BYU A Cappella reunion choir in (I think?) 1998. I watched my nephew sing in Amahl and the Night Visitors there. I had the convocation for my BYU graduation—complete with my blow-up doughnut, having just given birth to my oldest child—in that building. And on and on.

Provo Tabernacle BurningThere are hundreds of fond memories from that building floating around in my subconscious, not the least of which was sneaking away from my parents to run up and down (and up and down) the spiral staircases in the corners. In spite of it’s rather dilapidated condition, I was very sad when it burned.

Sam and I and four of our kids attended the temple open house last week. The new temple is utterly glorious. The pictures do not do it justice. [click to continue…]


Mormon Hacks: Preschool Edition

Thanks to Common Core and other cultural problems—you know, like legal mandates that allow boys to use the girls’ dressing room if they feel strongly enough about it—we’ve had a massive onslaught of new homeschoolers coming down the pike. As with most experienced homeschoolers (we are finishing up our 22nd year), I am getting endless questions about how to start, where to begin, what to do. (I do homeschool consulting at the same rate as blog consulting, if you’re interested.) From personal experience I know it can seem overwhelming to think you will direct the education of your own children when you have only known the government school paradigm, as I did.

Mormon Hacks: Preschool Edition

All the discussion has me distracted from my real life (where my “baby” is 12 years old) to thinking about early education and foundational philosophies. If you’re thinking about enrolling your little tyke in preschool or otherwise getting formal about schooling your little ones, please read on!  [click to continue…]