Homeschool Math Supplies
By Kathleen Cantor, 30 Jul 2021
Have you decided to homeschool your high school student this year? If the answer's "yes," you're not alone.
The number of homeschool students increases steadily by about 8% per year. That number does not include the 100% increase the U.S. saw in 2021 due the pandemic. But with changes to the nationwide curriculum and learning standards, it's not as straightforward as it used to be. Make sure you're equipped with all the supplies you'll need to help your child this year.
And while you might know about the core subjects, first-time homeschooling parents tend to forget about getting supplies for extracurricular subjects too. The right homeschool math supplies are important to ensure your child has a firm grasp of the concept you're trying to teach.
Essential Homeschool Math Supplies
Even if you're using a strictly online program, you'll want to keep your own stock of basic supplies in your home. Every student learns differently, so something as simple as a different approach could help when you or your student is struggling in a subject.
We've compiled a list of the most important homeschool math supplies to remember during your back-to-school prep. These are specifically for high school-aged students, so we're going beyond your basic number two pencils and Elmer's craft glue here.
Premium Magnetic 11" x14" Small Dry Erase Board
The Premium Magnetic 11" x14" Small Dry Erase Board is perfect for your at-home classroom. It isn't too large, but it's certainly big enough to help teach your child. It comes with six magnetic dry-erase markers in a variety of colors.
A dry-erase marker and board can have multiple applications. You can have a large one to use when teaching a new concept. You can also have a smaller one, so your child can practice concepts without using up tons of scrap paper. A smaller board can be used for quizzes or reminders about key points.
If you have a magnetic board, you can use it in conjunction with magnetic math manipulatives to better illustrate a principle. With a set of dry erase markers in multiple colors, you could teach concepts like graphing multiple sets of information or highlight a certain part of an equation.
Magnetic Chalkboard Set and Chalk
Once again, this may seem obvious. However, not everyone likes dry erase markers or boards. You want to consider which one is right for you. This is another item that would be good to work with magnets. You want to use the board with math manipulatives, but you also want it to serve multiple uses.
If you're homeschooling, you do not have endless amounts of room for homeschool math supplies. Just about every item you buy needs to serve more than one function so you can save space for other items and other subjects.
The Chalkboard Set gives you a magnetic chalkboard that is 15" x12". You also get 14 sticks of chalk that are in seven different colors, two magnets, and a magnetic eraser.
Common Core Cards
If you're working with a high school student, you'll be teaching a lot more than just addition and subtraction. You could be working in subjects from Algebra to Trigonometry or Statistics. Each of these subjects will have equations and terminology to memorize. Common Core study cards can help both you and your student master these subjects. Here are the most popular card options:
With these cards, you won't have to make your own or write out the equations and definitions repeatedly to help your child study. These can also help your child during self-study time. And carrying the flashcards around is much easier than a textbook for on-the-go learning. Since they're laminated, they store easily and can last several years as a reference.
These common core cards are grade-appropriate for high school-aged students. Besides conserving space in your home, you can use them for short quizzes, self-study, or studying in homeschool groups.
Math Posters (High School Geometry and Trigonometry)
Students, take advantage of the space in which you study! You don't necessarily have to share resources. You don't have to shuffle through notes. Instead, you can put up math some good old math posters to remind you of the important things in (math) life. These posters contain important formulae that you can quickly refer to when tackling a problem. Though it doesn't take the place of memorization, it is still a helpful study tool for those who need to break down information visually.
Having a set of these Algebra Tiles as one of your homeschool math supplies can give your student a hands-on experience with confusing concepts. There aren't a lot of math manipulative sets available that are aimed directly at high school students. But there's no age restriction on sensory learning.
Within this set, each tile represents a different quantity—including a constant variable as well. The tiles are all less than 5cm, making them easy to store. The kit also comes with a resource guide for parents so you can make sure you're using it as often as you can.
Geometry Shape Model Sets
If you are working on geometry this year, grab a pack of these Geometry Shape Model Sets. The 18 piece set includes basic 3D models of the following shapes:
- Rectangular Solids
The shapes can help you or your student learn spatial visualization and therefore improve space imagination. Students can also learn geometric construction and the relationship of shapes to one another. They're easy to grip and make it possible to visualize volume as they work.
TI-89 Graphing Calculator
A graphing calculator is essential to have in your homeschool math supply arsenal. Other manipulatives can be helpful, but a graphing calculator is a must-have.
The Texas Instruments TI-89 Titanium CAS graphing calculator is an excellent choice. It can help your student learn necessary high school math skills. They can calculate equations and plot graphs in addition to many other functions. Another reason to get this particular calculator is the ACT and SAT. Both exams recommend using a calculator the student has already used and is comfortable with when taking the exam. The TI-89 is allowed for use on both the ACT and SATs.
You have decided to homeschool because you think it's the best education for your child. So make sure you're prepared with a graphing calculator that your child can actually use on tests to help them get into college—and use in college, too.
Tips for Choosing Homeschool Math Supplies
Teaching with sub-par math supplies will make the school year a lot harder for you and your student. When you're buying homeschool math supplies, here are a few things to consider.
1. Are they grade-appropriate?
You wouldn't want to buy something for your high school student that's meant for a college freshman. It could make the math far more complicated than it needs to be. Being more advanced doesn't mean it's better for learning.
Ordering materials for lower-level students may not be helpful either. However, sometimes you can use those supplies meant for lower grades in creative ways. This can help students see the problem from a different perspective.
2. Can you use them more than once?
If you can, try to only order higher quality items. You don't want the supplies to break after using them only once or twice. Parents, if you are homeschooling more than one student, it will save you from having to buy supplies over and over again.
3. Can you use them in multiple subjects?
Students, try to think of ways you can reuse and repurpose your supplies for different subjects. Most homeschoolers don't have too much extra room in their home—especially compared to traditional classroom supply closets. If you find supplies that can work for more than one subject, they can save you storage space.
4. How complicated are they to use?
Math Manipulatives can cover a lot of different items. What you buy totally depends on you. What can you afford? Will you actually use the item? Will it help with the subject you're teaching? You need to know the answer to all of these questions before you buy math manipulatives.
In the End
Homeschooling isn't easy, but one thing that can help is having the right supplies. And students, if you were tasked with picking out the things you need for the year, choose smartly—the right supplies will help you out, too.
As you start or continue the homeschool adventure, you need supplies to teach each subject well. You do not need to have a ton of math supplies, just the right ones. Right for your budget, your home, you, and your child. Do your research, and you will find the right homeschool math supplies for you.
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