My child is working below grade level in math. Do I have to purchase the curriculum from the grade below as well?

The question of grade level placement is one we get asked frequently. Many children are uneven in their acquisition of academic skills, which is one reason homeschooling is so wonderful. You can adapt the curriculum to serve your child’s particular needs and abilities.

It is not uncommon for a student coming to Oak Meadow after studying elsewhere to find gaps in content or skills that need to be addressed. When you come upon material that assumes prior knowledge that your child does not yet have, simply stop the lesson and take as much time as needed to go over the new skills or information. Once your student is comfortable, you can resume the Oak Meadow lessons. With adaptations like these, each student can feel successful with the material.

Let’s say your child is in third grade, but working below grade level in math. Our third grade math curriculum does assume prior knowledge of most of the multiplication tables. While it is not expected that the student will be comfortable with multiplication and division, it is necessary for them to have a basic comprehension of all four processes. This can often be done very informally, using math games and manipulatives. Sometimes working for a few weeks before beginning the curriculum is enough to familiarize the student with the necessary basics.

Once the grade level work is begun, you might have to adapt the math lessons to your student’s abilities, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. For instance, if the 3rd grade assignment is to give your child 20 math problems using all four processes, you could sit with them to help guide them through the borrowing and carrying until they are more comfortable with it. You might also let them use a multiplication table (one that you’ve created together by hand—it can be very colorful and beautiful, if you want) until they start to memorize their times tables.

In the upper grades, you can easily allow your child to work at a lower grade level in math, if necessary, since we include math in its own separate syllabus beginning in 4th grade. Also, keep in mind that we post the latest resources for homeschooling families every day on our Facebook page. You can post a question if you are on the hunt for math resources or more helpful tips.