Advanced Math for Young Gifted Children

Homeschool Curriculum for Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus

When gifted math students finish homeschool curricula like Math-U-See, Right Start Mathematics, or Singapore Math, they need more challenging math problems.

Many homeschool math curricula serve gifted students’ needs. Student-directed learning paced to individual skill accommodates the asynchronous abilities of many gifted children. The flexibility to condense material and progress rapidly through a math program is highly appealing to many gifted homeschoolers.

Mathematically precocious gifted students may quickly exhaust resources of homeschool math curricula like Math-U-See, Right Start Mathematics, or Singapore Math. What happens next when elementary-age homeschoolers complete a twelve-year math curriculum early? Which homeschool math curricula teach the youngest mathematicians complex college-level mathematics?

Life of Fred- Fractions through 2nd Year College Math

The Life of Fred series is an innovative, eleven book series with a verbal approach to math. Life of Fred’s features include:

  • Math through story
  • Applied problem sets
  • Cumulative reviews

These math texts are the story of Fred, a five-year-old child who encounters problems in his daily life that require mathematical solutions. Young learners can relate to the character. Gifted readers will love a literary approach to mathematical concepts from whole numbers to computing the edges in a hypertesseract.

Math concepts are taught throughout witty text sprinkled with quotes from notables such as Bach and Einstein. Each chapter ends with “Your Turn to Play,” a chance for the gifted student to apply cumulative concepts to thought-provoking problems. Three sets of 10 review questions, called “The Bridge” follow every four or five chapters, and each book ends with a “Final Bridge” consisting of five sets of fifteen problems.

Hoagies Gifted points out that the series is subtly Christian, but engaging text and depth of material make the Life of Fred curriculum a strong choice for even the most secular gifted student with strong verbal abilities. Each text costs $29 US, with the full 11-book series including three answer keys available for $302 US.

Calculus by and for Young People- 6 Years Old and Up

For the gifted math student who is exhausting standard primary and secondary math curricula, Calculus by and for Young People is a text written for learners as young as six.

Originally published by Don Cohen in 1988 and reviewed favorably by Scientific American, a new 2 CD set selling for $65 US includes:

  • Calculus by and for Young People text
  • Calculus by and for Young People worksheets
  • Video “Infinite Series by and for 6 year-olds and up”
  • Video “Iteration and Infinite Sequences with 6 to 11 year-olds”
  • Video “Changing Shapes With Matrices”
  • “A Map to Calculus” flowchart/overview
  • “On Thinking and Doing Mathematics” poster

Don Cohen figures “if we start young people on this material, they will make lots of mistakes, but will have a good chance of understanding it later in high school and college.” If a gifted child seems interested, homeschooling parents should try Calculus by and for Young People.

Choosing a Homeschooling Math Curriculum for the Profoundly Gifted Child

Meeting the educational needs of a gifted mathematician can be challenging. Online math courses through universities like Johns Hopkins can be cost-prohibitive and require formal assessment materials supporting admission. Life of Fred and Calculus by and for Young People are two reasonably priced options for challenging mathematically gifted homeschoolers.

Life of Fred’s 5-year-old character will appeal to young mathematicians exploring higher math subjects. Calculus by and for Young People introduces complex mathematical concepts through exercises tailored to children. Both Life of Fred and Calculus by and for Young People can successfully provide the next mathematical challenge in a homeschool setting.

For young mathematically gifted homeschoolers requiring hands-on, kinesthetic, or visual-spatial curriculum, also consider Hands-On Equations.