There is an orderly, logical order in which the human brain processes concepts for mathematics. You build one concept at a time, and should not add more concepts until the student has mastered the previous. Trying to push concepts too soon on children who have not mastered the basics, will only serve to frustrate them later in life.
The above information comes from years of speaking with expert math instructors who are frustrated with the "new math" and the way the standards are pushing children to perform complex operations on concepts they have not learned.
We break down the concepts for our members. (Note - we started with pre-algebra, since this is the area that tends to give learners the most difficulty and if they don't get it right, it will continue to give them difficulty.)
CLICK THE PINK BUTTON to enter our Pre-Algebra page and learn more about teaching this critical topic.
The following is the correct suggested order in which to learn math according to our experts:
If you are a parent who does not feel equipped to teach higher math, do not worry!! The absolute best and most expensive curriculum packages can still frustrate a family when the child needs immediate help and the parent has no knowledge of the concept to help them. But there are other ways to get help.
If you bought a math curriculum and you still find that you and your child are frustrated most days, then we highly suggest a math tutor for your child. Homeschooling does NOT mean you have to do everything yourself, it means you have taken the responsibility upon yourself to ensure that things get done. You can - and many wise homeschoolers do - utilize outside resources such as tutors. Public school teachers don't make nearly enough money and are usually willing to take on side gigs. Check with friends in your church congregation or neighborhood, they may know of a brilliant math teacher who needs some extra cash or who might be willing to trade something you have for one-on-one tutoring.
There are many wonderful programs you could enroll in online which offer tutoring as well. Often times, money spent on a tutor far outweighs the benefits of purchasing yet another math program.
Additionally, we highly suggest dual credit college courses for Algebra and higher math. We talk more about early college credits in our Plus member archives in our Homeschooling High School and Beyond course.
The following videos and articles are offered to PLUS members to help you teach math in fun and creative ways: