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
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Intermediate Level
Grades 2-5. Idea Book designed for use with Cuisenaire Rods.
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.
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.
Flip Over Math Manipulatives
Grades 1-5. Tub of over 500 manipulatives includes Pattern Blocks, Connecting People, Cuisenaire Rods, Coins, and Bean Counters and can be used with the Flip Over Math Books. This 49 page book (others sold separately) is written to NCTM Standards and provide hands on activities from basic math skills to advanced problem solving.
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.
Math-U-See Users Group
This email group is for lovers and users of the Math-U-See program.
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.
Homeschool Math Blog
Math teaching ideas, links, worksheets, reviews, articles, news, Math Mammoth, and more--anything that helps you to teach math.
Homeschool Math Curricula Using Manipulatives
Making Math Meaningful
Making Math Meaningful is a wonderful beginning. It lays the strong foundation for understanding math. Every concept is introduced with a simple conversation (which is provided for you) using math manipulatives. You are spending quality time with your children talking about each math concept. The conversations are simple. The activities are easy to do. The lesson plans tell you exactly what you are to do and what you are to say. Perfect for the busy mom. There are no seminars to attend and no videos to watch! Simply pull the book from the shelf and start teaching. Each child has his own student workbook. Levels K through 4 give you a written script to teach each concept and skill. Levels 5 and 6 and Algebra are written directly to your child. Your child will simply pull the book from the shelf and teach himself. There is no easier math manipulative program for mom.
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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Greenleaf Press
Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sections in the catalog covering each major historical period in order, with a variety of biographies, reference books, and historical fiction. For Israel, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation there are Greenleaf Stu...
The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
This ambitious reference guide lives up to its name. Practically three inches thick--and we're not talking large print here--it's packed with titles, ordering information, and Web site addresses. From where to send away for a kit to make your own Chilean rain stick to how to order a set of Elizabethan costume paper dolls, the book connects families to a world of learning possibilities. Book titles, short synopses, authors' names, publishers, and years of print make up the bulk of the guide. Clas...
Total Language Plus
Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the most effective and learning should be enjoyable. The "discover, do, drill" method is employed throughout the TLP program with activities focusing on thinking skills. These comprehensive novel studies cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, a...
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. 
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
This book will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school. Two veteran home educators outline the classical pattern of education—the trivium—which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind: the elementary school "grammar stage," the middle school "logic stage," and the high school "rhetoric stage." Using the trivium as your model, you'll be able to instruct your child in all ...