Making Math Meaningful

Cornerstone pillars reasoning through concepts Christian homeschooling
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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin)

"Let me assure you that your child CAN understand math. Even if it is not their best subject, when they learn to understand it, math will become more and more meaningful to them." (David Quine)

"The chief value of arithmetic, like that of higher mathematics, lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers. The child may learn the multiplication table and do a subtraction problem without any insight into the rationale of either - without seeing the reason of them... A bag of beans, counters, or buttons should be used in all the early arithmetic lessons and the child should be able to work with these freely." (Charlotte Mason)


Making Math Meaningful is the original, award-winning,  hands-on manipulatives math program. It is the ideal program to elevate a child’s conceptual reasoning, because it uses math manipulatives to teach the child not only how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, but more importantly, why and when.

Written specifically for the homeschool family, Making Math Meaningful guides the parent to introduce each concept using simple conversations (“What I Am To Do” and “What I Am To Say” are provided for you). 

Students will be equipped to solve every kind of math problem or word problem, will have the understanding to apply their knowledge to everyday life, and will be prepared for algebra and other higher maths. Making Math Meaningful is truly the best mathematical education you can offer your children!


Too many children are “doing” math without understanding what they are doing. They are being taught to simply parrot back math facts, memorize math formulas, and plug numbers into formulas. Endless drill and practice is not the solution.


Every new math concept must first be introduced with manipulatives. Students must be given time to work freely with them.  It is important that students figure out for themselves solutions to math problems rather than being told or shown what to do. The focus must be to think mathematically, rather than simply memorizing math facts.

Levels Chart


  • Follows Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and methods for teaching math.

  • Written parent teaching script for levels K-4; Levels 5-6 and Algebra are addressed directly to the student

  • Every new concept is introduced using objects; the use of manipulatives is the key to understanding math:

    • Fun learning format with tangible applications to life

    • Ultimate tool for solving word problems

    • Foundation for abstract reasoning

  • Uses informal conversation to address real-life problems

  •  Integrates arithmetic, geometry, and algebra into the same lesson

  • Focuses on conceptual reasoning

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  • No seminars, training, or videos needed; perfect for the busy mom

  • Your children begin to think mathematically

  • Perfect for all learning styles:

    • Activities using manipulatives are perfect for the kinesthetic learners

    • Activities using natural conversations are perfect for the auditory learners

    • Activities using pictures are perfect for the visual learners

  • Math skills are learned without hours and hours of mindless drills.


Levels 1-4 of Making Math Meaningful are comprised of a Parent Guide and a Student Workbook. The Parent Guide provides scripted What I Am To Do and What I Am To Say for teaching the concepts and skills in a conversational and interactive format. The Student Book provides your children to opportunity to practice and apply what you taught during the conversation. The lessons are written to accomodate all learning styles. You will also need the Making Math Meaningful Manipulatives Kit for Levels K-4, as the student will progress from utilizing concrete objects, to pictorial representations, to symbolic/numeric representations in word-problem format. The lesson plans are clear and easy to use, and no pre-preparation is needed to teach Making Math Meaningful. Levels 5, 6, and Algebra consist of Student Guides, which direct the student through lessons and workbook-style activities. These formats provide simple and natural conversation about math with your children.


Today we have a weakness in our educational process in failing to understand the natural associations between the disciplines. We tend to study all our disciplines in unrelated parallel lines...and the things of man are never unrelated parallel lines.” (Dr. Francis Schaeffer).

  When I was designing Making Math Meaningful, I realized that Arithmetic, Geometry, and Algebra were an example of the problem Dr. Schaeffer was referring to. These three parts of mathematics were all taught as “unrelated parallel lines” -- that is, they were taught as separate subjects or unrelated chapters. This approach makes the teaching and learning of math very fragmented. As I began writing Making Math Meaningful I looked for ways to teach all three at the same time rather than as three separate subjects.

Purchase Individually:

NOTE: Because we have revised and revamped Making Math Meaningful Levels K-3, the new Student Workbooks will no longer match with previous editions of the Parent Guide.

What People Are Saying About Making Math Meaningful:

This program uses unique methods of presentation based upon sound research and a biblical Christian worldview. Detailed, easily understood instruction is given for the parent/teacher in the parent guide for levels K through 4. The guide directs parents in what to say and do, so the program must be presented one-on-one for those levels. Higher levels are presented directly to the student so students can work independently.

Cathy Duffy

Homeschool Curriculum Specialist