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
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.
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.
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Primary Level
Grades K-4. Each 120 page book contains worksheets and has selected activities that cover the major math standards. Each page outlines the grade level, materials needed, settings, learning experiences, and are based on NCTM Standards.
Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
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.
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.
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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Drawn Into the Heart of Reading
Drawn Into the Heart of Reading was developed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time, perfect for the homeschooling family. It is designed for use as an entire reading program or as a supplement to an existing program for students in grades 2-8.
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Author Douglas Wilson makes the argument that education must have a foundation of religion, which informs worldview. Education is the asking and answering of questions, and learning to read and write is simply the process of acquiring the tools needed to do that. 
Discovery of the Child
Maria Montessori went beyond the conventions of the day to seek a new way of knowing and loving a child. In THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD, she describes the nature of the child and her method of working more fully with the child's urge to learn. With 16 pages of photographs.
Considering God's Creation
Life science truly comes alive with this 270-page lap-book style notebook for 2nd-7th graders. A Charlotte Mason type discovery approach is easily implemented with creative activities, music and topical Bible studies, making this program a perfect choice for a homeschool family or a classroom. It may be used as a stand-alone science course or as an invaluable supplemental resource for any other program. 
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Primary Level
Grades K-4. Each 120 page book contains worksheets and has selected activities that cover the major math standards. Each page outlines the grade level, materials needed, settings, learning experiences, and are based on NCTM Standards.