If you are not mathematically inclined yourself, you may want to ensure that you find a book with answers, or enlist the help of a mathematical relatives or friend to help your children if they get stuck, or have questions.
There are many online resources for maths too – you can find a few good ones linked from my maths resources page.
If your child is not interested in maths
Many children cannot see the point of maths, beyond basic arithmetic and the necessary calculations in everyday life. If your child is able to use a calculator, and can work out (for instance) how to double the ingredients of a recipe, and what change to expect in shops, then it may be time to stop worrying about maths. This is one of the advantages of home education: a child can study and work on topics he or she enjoys, rather than having to pursue a ‘balanced’ curriculum.
I happen to be one of those who enjoyed subject at school; I even did a degree in maths. But since completing it, I have found no use for calculus, trigonometry, advanced algebra or geometry. I don’t think I’ve even done any long division. Equipping your child for adult life does not necessarily have to involve complex mathematics.
If your child enjoys completing a Key Stage 3 maths classbook, or equivalent, he may want to consider taking a maths GCSE course. There are many options for home educators, although most are expensive. Check the GCSE page for details of the various ways that home educators can take GCSEs, either by college or correspondence course, or self-study at home.
If your child is not mathematically inclined, then there is probably no reason to take maths GCSE, unless he or she wants to follow some career which requires it. If that is the case, it should provide the motivation to work at the subject, first using key Stage 3 books which provide a good introduction to most GCSE topics, and then one of the many GCSE maths text-books.
Informal and enjoyable
If you prefer a more informal approach, and your child is interested in concepts rather than learning techniques and doing maths exercises or exams, an excellent book you might enjoy together from about age eight or nine is Carol Vorderman’s ‘How Maths Works’.
There are many maths pages on the Internet which you can use for interesting research, or different kinds of problem solving, whether or not you follow a course or use workbooks. One that we enjoyed is NRich Online maths.
Further reading on this site: