Math Curriculum - Kindergarten (Beginning Readers) to 3rd Grade


Once your child has learned his numbers and begins to read, introduce simple addition and subtraction.

This can begin as early as four and as late as seven or eight. Here are some good resources to for all learners, especially the Visual & Kinesthetic:

  • If you prefer a textbook series, I highly recommend the Math-U-See program. I wish this were available when I was teaching homeschool! It espeically works well for kids (and teaching moms) of Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory learning styles. (For your traditional Read/Write or advanced math students, see below.) It teaches with manipulatives for the Kinesthetic and Visual Learners and video instructions (VHS or DVD) & music (skip counting songs on cassette or CD) for the Auditory & Visual Learners. The teacher's manual includes instructions and the answers. The student workbook includes practice pages and review. There are three practice pages for each lesson so that you child can do one or more depending on his particular needs. Following the practice pages, there are three review pages which includes one or more problems from the current lesson as well as one or more problems from all the previous lessons so that your child will not forget what he learned earlier in the year. Again, you decide how many problems your child needs to do. I also love the way Mr. Demme integrates learning time & measurements into the curriculum. It's very effective! This is my favorite math textbook series. The only thing that could make it better would be color illustrations to appeal to us artistic types!

  • Hershey's Kisses Addition Book. Introduces simple addition concepts in a fun and delicious way! ISBN 0439241731.

  • Hershey's Kisses Subtraction Book. Introduces simple subtraction concepts in a fun and delicious way! ISBN 0439337798.

Begin daily drill work of the basic math facts as they are introduced.

I recommend spending 5 minutes per day on math drills using a variety of different methods of drilling — flash cards, hands-on manipulatives, computer games, and songs. Here are some recommendations:

Math Shark. Math Shark is great for all learners. It drills addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, and percentages. Math Shark is also a handy calculator.

U Can Do, Exercise and Memorize by Can Do Kids Videos. Here's a video for your Kinesthetic, Visual and Auditory learners. Students exercise while practicing their math facts. I have a friend who borrowed this from me all the time until she finally got one of her own! Buy directly from the publisher:

Flash cards. Make your own or buy them at Wal-mart. Also available online - see below. They're inexpensive and work well for the Visual and Read/Write learner.

Learning Wrap Ups - excellent resource for the Kinesthetic learner. Your child wraps string around a plastic rectangle to practice his math facts. If he wraps the string correctly, the lines on the back will match up. These helped my son a lot. Available in:

Math Computer Games. I recommend that you limit the time your child spends on the computer for several reasons. Here are two: (1) They need lots of physical activity at this age. (2) Using the “hunt and peck” system for typing is hard to break when you later want to learn true keyboarding skills. However, using the computer to drill math facts is very effective on kids who like the computer. My advice is to buy games that use a mouse, not the keyboard (at least until they are ready to take touch typing) and to limit computer time to 30 minutes per day. Also, don't get one that is too difficult for your child. It will only frustrate him and won't want to use it. Check your local software store for more titles.

  • The Quarter Mile Math: Grades K-3 Single CD-ROM by Barnum Software. I like software because your child competes against himself, not the computer. He chooses to be a horse or a race car for each race. The goal is to win the race against the other racers (which are your child's previous scores). Excellent for the Visual and Auditory learners and kids who like to learn on the computer. The CD not only includes every math drill possible, but phonics drills also.

  • Reader Rabbit Math Adventures, 4-6. Covers addition and subtraction. UPC B00005IB4R.

  • Reader Rabbit Math Adventures, 6-9. Covers math skills normally learned in grades 1 through 3: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. UPC B00005IB4S.

  • Jump Start Advanced First Grade. Covers addition and subtraction. UPC B00008OE6J.

  • Multiplication to Music. Classical Math to Classical Music. Children sing the math tables to classics. Composers include Mozart, Bach, Bizet, Beethoven, Rossini, Schumann, Haydn, Strauss, Chopin, Handel, and Schuber. I love this and so will your Auditory Learners!
Begin to introduce telling time, simple measurements, and reading simple graphs, as you continue increasing addition and subtraction skills.

For the Read/Write learner, workbooks are effective and easy for parents to use. The Visual learner will like them better if they are colorful. Kinesthetic, Auditory, and Visual learners will do much better in math if you give them a variety of math curriculum, including manipulatives, interactive computer games, videos, hands-on activities, board games, and audio tapes. See below for resources. All learners should do some workbook pages in order to prepare them for the read-write world. If you have a child who has difficulty writing in workbooks, have him work the problems with manipulatives or answer orally, if possible.


  • Horizons Math, Grade K, Student Workbook 1 and Horizons Math, Grade K, Student Workbook 2. Use Workbook 1 for the first half of year and Workbook 2 the second half of year. You really don't need the answers for this as you will be working with your child. (NOTE: For your child on a slower pace use only Workbook 1. Save Workbook 2 for first grade.) Colorful illustrations make this an excellent choice for your Read/Write, Visual and advanced student.

First Grade:

Second Grade:

Third Grade:

Math Enrichment Curriculum

Your child may need extra practice on measurements, telling time, and/or word problems. Your Kinesthetic and Auditory child may need hands-on activities or verbal instruction to master a math concept. In that event, discontinue the use of his textbook and add some of the following resources as needed. Remember, you don't have to finish every textbook every year. Your curriculum is there to help you, not for you to be a slave to it. Use only the pages you need and skip the ones you don't. If you get behind, you can catch up later by following the plan outlined in Teaching Math Grades 4-6. The object is to learn math, not finish textbooks!

  • Math for Fun Projects: Ages 7-9 Hands-on games and experiments that teach fractions, numbers, patterns, shapes, graphing, measuring, time. This is a great once-a-week textbook break for the frustrated Kinesthetic and Visual learners. Lots of cutting, pasting, building, and games. ISBN 0761307893.

  • Math Snacks. Using various snacks such as animal crackers, gummy bears, watermelon, celery sticks, trail mix, pumpkins, raisins, graham crackers, lollipops, and more help kids leran patterns, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurements, geometry, time, graphing, and estimation. ISBN 1576903230.

  • Google Power: Multiplication Vacation DVD. Your kids will learn about our world, music, art, history and space while practicing math. Includes 18 songs and dialogue, math rules multiplication facts 0-13, skip counting, a lesson from The Learning Lady on early multiplication and googols more. Story line: THERE'S BIG TROUBLE ON EARTH! Nena and the GoogolKids are having trouble learning their times tables! Send in the Googols, who use their powers to make multiplication an exciting adventure that journeys "from the jungles deep in Africa, to the icefields of Antarctica" and even into outer space! Follow Azatara, Cozmo, El Mundo the Great Wizard, and their friends Mr I. and Gary Q, as they use music and exploration to learn all about multiplication.

There are lots of resources on the internet that can help reinforce your child's math skills. Check here for a list of my favorite Internet Resources for Math

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes