The more a child understands why they need to learn something, the less likely they are to resist it. Including maths practice in everyday tasks, playing mental math games in context (work out the discount, calculate an angle, count jam jars) can help homeschoolers understand why maths is important which incentivises them to learn. Using textbooks that are fun as well as ‘academic’ can help home learners to enjoy the subject which again, in turn, encourages them to progress.

Maths in our Homeschool

Although we use online courses as our core math curriculum, a textbook that can be used as a reference book is an essential learning tool to recap the skills and formulas taught in the online classes.

‘How to Be Good at Maths’ follows the order in which maths is taught in the UK primary school curriculum. It’s a visual guide making the textbook less overwhelming than many standard textbooks, and each mathematical concept is presented logically, broken down into manageable chunks. It is such an accessible textbook that our children refer to it independently outside of maths class.

This is Not a Maths Books encourages readers to have fun with maths and is a great alternate maths lesson to include on a home-ed timetable; alternating lessons between ‘core curriculum’ and fun.

Maths for Mums and Dads‘ is useful for home educators to refresh their own knowledge before (or at the same time) that homeschoolers are covering the topics.

Maths for Mums and Dads + This is Not a Maths Book

Maths for Mums and Dads promises to take the pain out of homework by explaining to parents the concepts their child is learning. It’s a great guide for parent-teachers – easy to understand while being slightly more complex than the textbooks homeschoolers use… it’s always good to be one step ahead!

Maths Factor

Maths Factor is an online programme which follows the same format as the ‘How to Be Good at Maths’ book, with the addition of video lessons.

Children are able to work through the maths curriculum independently and if there’s a topic they don’t understand, you don’t need to be a ‘maths teacher’ only a ‘substitute teacher’; guiding the lesson, watching the tutorials and figuring it out together.

Maths Factor and How to be Good at Maths were our core maths primary school curriculum, supplemented with worksheets to revise knowledge learnt (Teachers Pay Teachers / / Ed Place).

Next Steps and Alternatives

KooBits Math

KooBits Math, an online programme that aligns with the Singapore maths curriculum – one of the best in the world – would be an excellent alternative primary maths curriculum. The programme claims to boost maths skills by 30% in just 20 minutes a day.

Koobits Math emphasises maths (and learning) skills, not just mathematical knowledge and is designed to be used with ‘minimal supervision‘ – perfect for student-driven home education.


IXL is another fantastic online mathematics curriculum. Learning maths is broken down into grade levels (ostensibly following American curriculum targets but applicable for the UK homeschooler) and students unlock levels as they demonstrate mastery of maths skills.

IXL maths uses more of a school-style approach than Maths Factor, as students progress through grade levels rather than skill sets. While using Maths Factor, we used IXL as an additional curriculum – once topics had been completed on Maths Factor, our homeschoolers would repeat the topic on IXL making sure they still understood when questions were presented in a different format.

One aspect of IXL that makes it a great curriculum choice for home education is the option to tackle the maths problems via examples or video tutorials, making it approachable no matter what the homeschoolers’ learning style.

It is also a great option for tracking your child’s progress using the website’s Diagnostic proficiency tests. This feature of IXL makes it a perfect online curriculum for home educators as it allows you to create personalised learning plans for each student based on the analytics of their maths knowledge.

Using IXL for home-ed maths.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is an excellent home education resource across subjects. As a parent-teacher, I particularly appreciate the Get Ready courses for maths which we assign bimonthly (or thereabouts) to check their learning progress.

Khan Academy has a more textbook feel to the website making it a little more daunting for homeschoolers to tackle alone without prior subject knowledge, but if your home-educated child is a logical, tick-box style learner, this might be a positive.

Practical Application of Maths in Daily Life

Shopping, baking, DIY, painting all offer the chance to apply maths skills in practical ways – angles, geometry, algebra, percentages, division, estimates…once you start including maths in everyday conversations, the easier it becomes to make it a habit. If you need inspiration, Maxzone Academy has an entire section dedicated to ways in which you can apply maths to real life.

The book ‘Maths on the Go’ has some fun ideas of how to make maths more playful that are fun for primary school ages – ideas like working out your age in dog, cat and hamster years and ‘Guess my Shape’ – a mathematical mash-up of Twenty Questions and I-Spy’.

Make maths fun

  • Lego is a fantastic maths manipulative to use to turn lessons into games
  • Monopoly (which in itself is maths by virtue of being money-based) can be played by adding additional maths rules into the game – percentages/multiplication/division of property
  • Sudoku is a winner for logical maths. Color-coded sudoku works well as an introduction to the game for younger kids)
  • Complete puzzle books
  • Explore the mathematical simulations on the PhET website. An incredible resource for science and maths, the simulations make learning maths concepts fun and many simulations are accompanied by a ready-made maths lesson. It’s a great home-ed resource.
  • Watch Countdown!
  • Prodigy Maths

Prodigy is an online game our homeschoolers still enjoy even after using it for years. It’s a game-based learning platform that aligns with curriculum to solidify over 1500 maths skills! and practice skills. Every maths question every time they play has, to date, been unique. It’s a home-ed subscription that is worth the money if your learners are reluctant to practice maths (but the free version is almost as good).

  • Draw using maths principles (geometry/ Fibonacci etc)
  • Chess and backgammon are excellent board games to include in home-ed. Both teach strategy and logic, skills any maths learner needs.

Math Geek Mama is an excellent site for home educators. The ‘Classroom Strategies’ page in particular has great ideas to make teaching maths more fun with lots of downloadable resources.