Rule #3: Get help. I’ve had the privilege of serving on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew for two years. The Crew has reviewed a lot of math resources and curricula. An abundance of math helps are available to a homeschooling family, and those helps do not come only in the form of curriculum. There are also video services that offer online instruction about the topic with which you need help. And there are websites that focus on just one area of math, such as multiplication. You can check out all the math reviews by reading through the blog entries for the Homeschool Crew at

Get help from your curriculum. If you really struggle to teach these higher math concepts, you will definitely want to buy the teacher’s guide for your child’s math curriculum. Most teacher’s guides are scripted to tell you exactly how to instruct the student, and many come with videos. This may be an excellent investment for you if you struggle with math.

Get help from your homeschool community. There are high school co-ops in our area where parents pay tuition for their child to take a class. The class is taught by another homeschooling mother. The students meet once a week for instruction and are given a week’s worth of assignments. This may be a great option for you if you are struggling to teach algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or calculus. If there isn’t something like this available in your area, think about starting a co-op! Get together with a few other moms and find out what each of your strengths is. Then, let each mother teach her strengths. There’s bound to be one mom in your group who loves math.

Rule #4: Keep it relevant.If your son or daughter is never going to need the higher maths, don’t do them. I find fault with public high schools that are requiring the majority of their students to take calculus. Concentrate on business or practical math, and skip the higher maths if your child won’t be using those in his or her chosen field. Every child should have to take business math, regardless of his career path.

Another type of math you could study for a year is budgeting for the home. This would include setting up and maintaining a budget, balancing the checkbook, doing taxes, and paying bills. This is a skill that none of our public-schooled counterparts are learning, and every 18-year-old should know how to do these tasks efficiently and accurately!

Rule #5: Do it every day. You may be tempted to skip math, especially if you and your student struggle. Resist temptation, and be sure to review your math every single day. The reason those math texts have thirty review lessons at the beginning of the book is that so much information is forgotten when students have the summer away from their textbooks. Math needs to be practiced every day.

Rule #6: You are in charge!If you don’t like the way a subject is presented, change it. If you think a math resource gives too many problems, do every other one. If you think your child already has mastered a particular math skill, test him and move on. We have skipped the beginning of almost every math book we’ve ever used. We school year-round, so there is no need for the review that most curricula include at the beginning of their texts. You’re in charge! You decide what is required and how much to complete in a day, a week, or a year.

You can do this! You can teach math! God has equipped you to teach your children at home. Stay positive. Make math part of every day and teach it every day. Get help. Do what works. You are in charge! You can teach all levels of math at home, where they belong.

Lori Lynn Lydell lives with her husband and two sons in rural Central Pennsylvania. When not homeschooling the boys or working for TOS as the Assistant to the Director of Operations, she enjoys knitting and crochet, playing the piano, cooking, and reading. The Lydells have a full house, with three dogs, one cat, and one Madagascar hissing cockroach! You can find her at

Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, Spring 2011.

Visit The Old Schoolhouse® at  to view a full-length sample copy of the print magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left. Email the Publisher at