Choosing a Math curriculum for your third grader can be overwhelming, considering how many options there are in the market. However, there is no perfect curriculum, but there is a right Grade 3 Math curriculum that you can adjust to cater to your child’s needs. You can tweak the math lessons depending on your child’s response to each one. They might be better at one concept than they might be with others. So, it’s up to you which part of the curriculum to focus more on.
When deciding the best curriculum for your homeschooled child, there are five things you need to remember.
Determine what you need in a Grade 3 math program.
You need to determine the difficulty level, procedural vs. conceptual, and cost of the curriculum.
Most of the curriculum you’ll find in the market offer almost the same topics. However, you have to consider the level of difficulty that your third grader wants to tackle. The most important goal here is for your child to learn to love math instead of despising it. If your child loves solving challenging problems, find a Grade 3 math curriculum that has topics that have difficult assignments.
There are curricula with a more conceptual approach, where they focus more on explaining why math works a certain way. For instance, it explains why you need to add fractions with different denominators by first determining a common denominator. These curricula work best for kids who love looking at the big picture first before moving on to the nitty-gritty details.
On the other hand, procedural curricula have a direct approach to getting the right answer. These programs also mostly use pencil-and-paper techniques. They focus on the steps of each calculation, such as how to find the common denominator. These curricula work best for children who love lots of concrete and specific examples. They are also ideal for those who often have difficulty with math.
On top of these factors, look at the cost of the curriculum given your other expenses. While education is a good investment, you also have to spend on other living expenses for the entire family.
Find a program that can build your child’s confidence by reinforcing their essential Grade 3 math skills with regular practice. This way, the time, energy, and money spent on the curriculum will be worth it.
Consider the curriculum established in your province.
Canada does not follow a national curriculum as it allows its provincial governments to establish one for their schools. Ontario updated its curriculum, which they started to implement in September 2020. They released sample rubrics and activities by grade level and subject to help teachers include activities and evaluations that meet the curriculum goals.
Another province that rolled out a new curriculum this 2020 is British Columbia. Expect all subject areas to integrate two skill pillars, such as math and literacy. Each subject must also include the core competencies, such as creative, communications, and critical thinking. The province’s Ministry of Education gives instructions on what to teach, but not the schedule or what teaching methods to use. Their new curriculum promotes big ideas each subject can give the students as a takeaway. It also defines curricular competencies that students have to achieve and specific content that they need to know.
Narrow your list down to a few Grade 3 math programs that you will examine at a more in-depth level.
Now that you know what factors to consider when looking at different curricula options, this should help you develop a list of math programs that passed your criteria. It would help to look at reviews of the top programs in the market, read what homeschooling parents’ forums have to say about these programs, all while keeping in mind the factors mentioned above.
Print samples of the Grade 3 math programs and consider how you feel when teaching it.
Looking at your list of programs to consider, visit these programs’ websites, and print some samples. This will give you a good idea of how it will feel to use the book when teaching your child. Ensure the layout is clear, the lesson feels right as you read through them, and you feel excited while imagining about teaching its classes.
Think about how much time you will have to set aside to teach your child and consider how much extra time you’ll need to gather the necessary supplies.
Consider how your child might feel about each lesson in the Grade 3 math program, then imagine whether they will enjoy the activities in it.
It can be tempting to fall for a curriculum because of its neat layout or its rave reviews. However, you will still be the one to use it and teach it, and your child will be at the receiving end of each lesson. Make sure that you feel good about using the program and its lessons can teach what your child needs and wants to learn.
Keep everything simple.
The decision-making process can get complicated if you start to overthink about what your child might need and like. This might get you thinking about combining programs or shopping for more supplemental programs. You might waste more time trying to mix more than one Grade 3 math program instead of focusing your energy on teaching one.
If you want to buy a supplemental program, think hard if your child really needs it. You might find its lessons covered in the main program that you’re considering.
Now, buy the best Grade 3 math program that you feel good using in your lessons with your child. Don’t concern yourself about whether it is the perfect one for your child or not. It’s enough to choose what you think is best for your child, given the first three steps mentioned above.
Once you’ve bought, downloaded, and printed the program, focus on preparing one math lesson after the other for your child. Your commitment and care as a teacher will make whatever curricula you choose a valuable investment for your child’s education. Enjoy the lessons!