If you incorporate ideas by Ruth Beechick into your homeschool, you may use real-life methods for teaching math in the early years, moving through the manipulative mode and the mental image mode before worrying about the abstract mode.
Practically every item in the first grade curriculum can be taught using real-life methods. In fact, they are better taught in real life, including games, than in daily sit-down arithmetic lessons. Let the child spend real money at the store. Let him help make cookies.
With this foundation firmly planted, your children will then need to learn their arithmetic facts. When we reached this stage with our first child we invested in Calculadders — practicing a page of facts each day. But you can accomplish the same thing by using the worksheet generator from Math Fact Cafe without investing a dime!
You can build your own math fact worksheets covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (or a combination of operations) and decide on a font size, number of rows, and number of problems per rows.
There are also options that allow you to customize the range of the numbers used in the problem and in the answer. To work on just the 7 addition facts you might set the range at “7 to 7.” Or to keep the facts to adding numbers 0 to 9 (single digits) you would set the minimum number to 0 and the upper number to 9. You can read more about setting the range options on the help page.
Finally, generate the worksheet, answer sheet or have them automatically re-shuffle and e-mail you a new sheet each day!
If this sounds like too much work, pre-made worksheets are also available.
Another nice feature — interactive flashcards. These flashcards include the basic operations at the lower levels, moving to fractions, doubles, regrouping, and mixed operations at the higher levels.
Other features include: