I received compensation from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for writing this post but all opinions are my own. We decided to pull Henry out of public school 3 years ago due to issues we had with the system and bullying. Henry has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. This means he has issues with behavior, his balance, the way things feel, noise levels and being in crowds. Yes, pretty much everything you find in schools! We got tired of kids teasing him for being different and getting notes sent home about his not “fitting in” with the other kids. It was like they were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. We decided to pull him out of public school and teach him at home. We struggled with figuring out how to do this homeschool thing and had our successes and failures! After about a year, we became more comfortable with our homeschooling routine. This was in part because of the tools we used while we were teaching. Here are my top 5:
5 Things You Need For Successful Homeschooling
- Dry Erase Board: We quickly learned you can go through a lot of paper when you homeschool. We decided to save a few trees and get a large dry erase board and a variety of dry erase markers. We have also been known to use the markers on the windows in the car when we are working on the road!
- A Timer: Henry has difficulty with the concept of time. You and I may be able to judge how long 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes would be. Henry has trouble telling you if 5 minutes or 30 minutes has gone by. Using a timer has been a huge help when timing how long he needs to work on a particular project.
- A Lap Desk: We do not have a desk, which is one of the things we love about homeschooling. Sometimes we sit on the sofa or the floor of the family room and sometimes we lay in my bed or ride in the car ! I love the flexibility of this and using a lap desk, which is so portable, makes having a work space super easy. We take ours everywhere!
- Tablet: As much as I fought the idea of the kids having a tablet, we found pretty early on we needed one for homeschooling. Because most of what we do for our lessons is online, we had to either have a second computer or a tablet. Because I use the family laptop for work, we decided to get Henry a tablet for his schoolwork.
- Online Resources: I was surprised at all the awesome tools for homeschooling available online. Many of them are free and some you need to pay for. I have learned paying for the resources Henry gets the most out of is well worth the money. One of our favorite online tools we have been using lately is the Go Math! Academy.
Henry has difficulty with math and I have struggled finding the right math programs for him. I have purchased a ton of books, and only a few of them were useful. I probably spent $200 on math text books, workbooks, answer keys and guides. I can tell you it was not worth a fraction of what I paid because they were not effective, they were boring and in the end, a waste of money. With the fun and exciting interactive Go Math! Academy online math program, Henry is interested, engaged and learning like never before!
Signing up is really easy and you get a 14 day free trial to see if you and your child will love Go Math! as much as Henry and I do. If you like it, you can choose to pay $10 per month, $50 for 6 months, or the best price plan, $80 for the entire year, and this is good for up to 5 children. Once you sign up, you fill in your child’s name and their grade level and you can choose from an outer space or a jungle theme. From there, a dashboard will appear and you can choose an area of concentration like adding or subtracting, division, fractions or learning about angles.
We chose to work on multiplying by tens, which he has had difficulty with before. After going though a few problems, we got stuck, so we just clicked the “Help Me” button for an explanation of what the problem was looking for. From there, Henry was able to answer most of the questions and when we were done, we received our score. We realized we needed more help, which is fine. At least I have a starting point and we know where we need help. I can also access the parents dashboard for additional help.
The GO Math! school program is so popular, more than seven million students worldwide use it. Because it is aligned with the goals of the Common Core State Standards, you know you are getting quality material your child is expected to learn. The GO Math! curriculum at-home learning program is perfect for homeschool families or families with kids in public who need extra help. You will find hundreds of fun and interesting video lessons which are taught by top notch. You can search by grade and topic for homework help, skill refreshers or homeschool lessons. The math help tips are designed to help parents like me to be able to understand the new math standards, which are different from what I learned in school.
Your child will have engaging video lessons, practice exercises, motivating awards and rewards, fun math games, and more! I can tell you Henry absolutely loves the Go Math! curriculum and we plan to use it daily for our math lessons. It is well worth the price because I know he is learning and having fun, unlike the $200 in useless books I bought! Be sure to follow Go Math! on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
What grade is your child in and how could you use Go Math! in your home?