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Math is usually one of the most expensive curriculums to buy. But if you are patient we will share how we found some of the cheapest math curriculums online.
In general, the cheapest math curriculum is The Good and The Beautiful because it’s free to download in PDF format. The next option is to get a used curriculum widely available from other homeschoolers. Just add the consumables and manipulatives which can also be arranged for very low-cost options.
Look for Free Curriculums
The range of free math curriculums available is numerous so we won’t go over the whole field. A quick search comes up with a dozen options, primarily online math curriculums. If you are clear about the topics for math you want to cover, you can also find free worksheets and lessons for the lower grades.
We found a website that has many worksheets sorted by level and you can print them out. Check out their free lessons, worksheets, and guides at Homeschool Math – free math worksheets, lessons, ebooks, curriculum guide, and more
Using a clear guide like The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer can be helpful to sort out what you need to study each year and gives great resources. But we would recommend using a trusted curriculum that has done all the work for you. It’s much easier to follow an open-and-go math curriculum and if it’s free that’s a bonus right?
The Good and the Beautiful offers their online math curriculum available for download and it’s free for levels K through six. It’s an amazing value and you could simply download the pdf and print it in either black and white or color at your local print shop.
We started our homeschool journey with the cheapest math curriculum we could find because we just wanted to get started. While our son was still in kindergarten we wanted to soft start homeschooling. That meant we got a few free curriculums to see how we could do it. Starting with only 10-20 minutes per day we gradually introduced our family to the homeschool life. We planned to let everyone get used to homeschooling. So any curriculum for us was fine.
But The Good and the Beautiful’s free online math curriculum was amazing so we also purchased the manipulatives. Our son enjoyed the colorful layouts and predictable formats. The games and overall pace were appreciated. It was an open-and-go system and we loved it. So actually we also used them for Language Arts as well, since that is also free for levels one through eight.
We wrote a separate helpful article about The Good And The Beautiful Math 1 Review (Dad’s Perspective).
Used Curriculums from Other Homeschoolers
Recently we got a free math curriculum from Saxon Math from a fellow homeschooler. Since they didn’t write in the textbooks we could reuse them. It also included the Teacher’s edition which is full of so many useful tips and extra explanations. We are so blessed to be able to receive a full set of these incredible textbooks and all we had to do is purchase a Power Up Workbook from Amazon. That is all you probably need for some curriculums.
The free math curriculum we got was Saxon Math Level 3 Intermediate, and the Teachers edition, plus Power Up Workbook. The total cost of those we just around $14.73 for the Power Up Workbook at the time I purchased it. The other 2 books would have cost about $75 for the student book and over $99 for the Teachers book! So it certainly pays off to keep in touch with other homeschoolers in the area. Not only can you learn and share but you can also find used curricula and books.
Don’t Write in Textbooks (Keep for Younger Kids)
Always check to make sure the books are usable and that the previous student hasn’t written their answers in the textbook but in their notebook. That’s the key if you want to reuse the books, sell or lend them out. This is especially useful if you have multiple kids to homeschool and you can save a considerable amount of money if you do this. Many math curriculums are made for you to do this and you just check and purchase the consumables and possible manipulatives.
The Saxon Math manipulatives are a good value and they can be found readily especially if you can get a used or free curriculum.
Create Math Manipulatives by Yourself
The cheapest math curriculum will be a free one plus making your own manipulatives. Usually, these items can also be easily bought if you don’t get them with the curriculum. Mostly all math systems require similar items as we have suggested in the list below.
- Counting blocks 10 to 100
- Counting boards for base 10 and 100
- Ruler, inches, and centimeters
- Tape measure
- Thermometor-Celcius and Farenheit
- Pan balance
- Wooden geometric shapes
- Play money, coins, and bills (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters)
If you need more details you can check out this website that goes into the details on how to create your own kit.
If you get a used curriculum you will most likely find a list in it describing the manipulatives that you will need for the lessons.
Free Online Math Curriculums
You might have heard about Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. If not, check it out because it goes step by step with daily lessons and you can also get an offline workbook. It really is incredible that they have created online games and drills as well as linked in all the resources for each lesson. For example, some lessons include a YouTube video, a downloadable worksheet, and a link to a game for a certain concept.
The site includes math from K through Algebra and there is also a range of other free lessons for other subjects as well. It’s well worth looking through for a free math curriculum and we even use it for supplementary material and fun. My son enjoys playing a few math games online.
“The development of digital technology in curriculums such as math may just be the road to successful curriculum reform. One that encourages and engages student curiosity, individuality, and their creativity.”
Computer-based math curriculum reform: Incorporating digital technology into teaching mathematics
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