Experts and parents alike have found that using manipulatives (blocks, geoboards, rods, sorting toys, base ten blocks, tiles, tangrams, pattern blocks, etc) can increase a child's understanding of math concepts and can help the reluctant math learner become more receptive to math. Learn techniques for using manipulatives, the best manipulatives for the specific kind of math you are teaching, and where to find them.
Links and Items
Bead Sequencing Set
Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
Using Manipulatives in Your Homeschool
Let's Play Math!
This wonderful blog is written by a homeschooling mother who wants to make learning math fun. It is a place where you can learn about new ways of learning, teaching, and understanding math. Math is a game, playing with ideas. This blog is about the ongoing adventure of learning, teaching, and playing around with mathematics from preschool to precalculus.
How to Make the Most of Math Manipulatives
Marilyn Burns discusses creative and effective ways to use manipulatives to teach math. Much of her information is oriented towards classroom instruction, but there is great information for homeschoolers too. She discusses the seven "musts" for using manipulatives, how to introduce a Geoboard, pattern block activities, and more.
Math-U-See Users Group
This email group is for lovers and users of the Math-U-See program.
Homeschool Math Curricula Using Manipulatives
Shiller Math
ShillerMath publishes research-based math curriculum, music, manipulatives, flashcards, and workbooks for students of ages 4-13 (including pre-K and pre-Algebra), with beautifully designed lessons, diagnostic tests with answer keys, math songs, and Montessori-based manipulatives. No Montessori or math knowledge is required and there's zero lesson preparation - just read (or have your child read) what's in quotes and you're good to go! Students using this approach consistently outperform their peers. The ShillerMath curriculum includes authoritative materials and lessons used by thousands of Montessori schools worldwide and is the math curriculum of choice for thousands of homes and classrooms nationwide.
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Featured Resources

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The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space. 
Cuisenaire Rods Multi-Pack
Grades Pre K & up. An economical way to bring rods into the classroom. Pack contains six sets of 74 rods, six trays with, and Teacher's Guide. For use with 12-18 students.
Reading Made Easy
Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Reading Made Easy can be purchased here.
Spell to Write & Read
This teacher's manual, written by a homeschool educator with experience as a professional school teacher and private tutor, shows how to teach reading the "write" way. By phonetically teaching spelling from the start as the backbone for reading, all children can be taught, regardless of learning styles, to read and spell. If your student knows how to read already, this program can improve his or her spelling. Find out more about this product here.
America's National Parks for Dummies, Second Edition
What makes a trip to a national park so wonderful? For starters, America's national park system is more diverse than any park system in the world. You can stroll the seashore at Olympic National Park in Washington or Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, climb craggy mountains in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, or go underground into the world's largest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. You can marvel at the largest canyon on Earth (Grand Canyon National Park), ...