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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homeschool Math Blog
Math teaching ideas, links, worksheets, reviews, articles, news, Math Mammoth, and more--anything that helps you to teach math.
Homeschool Math Curricula Using Manipulatives
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.
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.
Featured Resources

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Diana Waring--History Alive!
Diana Waring--History Alive! produces books, tapes, videos, and history curriculum for the homeschool market.
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
Now you can realize the joy filled homeschool of your dreams! This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason's writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason's books were soon republished for a new generation. After ten years of intense study and successful application of Miss Mason s principles with her own children, Karen wrote A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning ™. Today's parents can now see what a C...
Kinder Dolls: A Waldorf Doll-Making Handbook
This comprehensive guide for beginners and experienced doll makers shows how to create many different kinds of handcrafted dolls from natural materials. Handmade dolls with their simplicity of expression and design leave children’s imaginations free, rather than being confined by perfectly finished dolls made of artificial materials. Instead, these dolls encourage the magic of creative play and bring children the gift of imagination in which they see themselves as “makers.” Incl...
Elementary Geography
Elementary Geography is a reprint of the original work by Charlotte Mason. It includes her ideas about teaching children about their world, with poetry selections throughout the book. Explores ideas of place from space to our earth, seasons, map making, and topography. Written in a pleasing conversational style, it is useful for understanding teaching methods, memorization, and copy work. 
A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American education and suggests solutions for revitalizing the system — prescriptions that run counter to current trends.