Math in the Third Grade


Your child is in the third grade and ready to learn! Of course, math will be a major part of your curriculum, and an adequate amount of time needs to be spent on the subject each day. Of special importance is ensuring that your third grader knows his addition and subtraction math facts, as this is the year he’ll be learning about multiplication and division. If the basic facts haven’t been committed well to memory, other mathematical concepts become more difficult to learn. As a general guideline, by the end of this third grade year, your child will have learned how to:

• Write whole numbers through six digits
• Count money up to $100 using coins and bills
• Compare fractions
• Add and subtract whole numbers up to four digits
• Solve word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
• Know multiplication and division facts through 10
• Make estimates that fit a certain situation
• Use a symbol to represent an unknown quantity in an equation  • Identify the lines of symmetry in an object
• Calculate the perimeter of two-dimensional figures

Because math is one of the core curriculum subjects, it’s important to find a system that works for your child. Many types of homeschooling curricula are available, from systems following a Montessori and hands-on approach to those involving workbooks to those using a multi-media approach with the computer. Some curricula you may want to consider include:

Bob Jones University Press publishes a Grade 3 math kit that includes a student worktext and materials packet, the teacher’s edition and packet, tests, and the answer key.

Horizons Math 3 by Alpha Omega Publications offers a complete math set for third graders. Each set contains two colorful student workbooks with 80 lessons each and 8 unit tests. The teacher’s handbook, also included, contains lesson plans, answer keys, and final exams. Manipulatives (used in grades 1 – 3) are also available and are sold separately.

Lifepac Math Grade 3, also produced by Alpha Omega Publications, consists of ten colorful student workbooks that cover concepts such as place value, addition, subtraction with borrowing, perimeter, rounding, estimation, multiples, graphs, decimals, fractions, and measurements. A teacher’s guide is also available.

Math Made Easy Grade 3 Workbook by Dorling Kindersley Publishing provides practice on all the major third grade math concepts with special emphasis on division and multiplication facts.

Math U See Gamma is a manipulative-based course of study for third graders. Students working with Math U See Gamma should have completed the Math U See Alpha and Beta curricula or be able to add and subtract numbers with multiple digits. Topics covered in Math U See Gamma include skip counting from 2s to 10s, finding factors, single digit multiplication facts, double digit multiplication, place value to the millions, finding the area of a rectangle and square, and finding the area of a parallelogram and a trapezoid.

Miquon Math by Key Curriculum Press emphasizes mathematical relationships and patterns instead of formulas. The Third Year Program includes the Yellow and Purple Books, covering concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, functions, squaring, simultaneous equations, length, area, and volume. By the time students are in the third grade, they are graphing algebraic equations.

Modern Curriculum Press Mathematics Level C features a consumable student workbook and teacher’s guide. Besides the basic concepts and skills, this curriculum also teaches problem-solving strategies as well as critical thinking skills.

Saxon Math 3 includes a teacher’s manual, the student meeting book, and two student workbooks with fact cards. 140 lessons make up this math curriculum.

Shiller Math is a Montessori-based curriculum. Kit I covers concepts learned from Kindergarten through the third grade. This kit contains Scope and Sequence books, three lesson books and three student workbooks, twelve diagnostic tests with the answers, manipulatives, and an audio CD with twelve songs.

Switched on Schoolhouse 3rd Grade Math by Alpha Omega Publications is a multi-media curriculum for the computer. Concepts covered in the third grade include whole numbers, number patterns, place values, fractions, shapes, and word problems. Tests and quizzes are included as well.

The Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 3A and 3B for homeschoolers includes 2 student workbooks and 2 textbooks. A home educator’s guide is also available.

If you have a homeschooling support group or co-op, ask other parents which curriculum they prefer and why. Organize a curriculum share with other homeschoolers in your area so you can see the different types of curricula for yourself and consider all the options at once. Try out the one you think will work the best, but if your child is having difficulty with it, don’t hesitate to try another. As you do, you’ll find that homeschooling is not only a learning experience for the child, but for the parents as well!

Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

Photo from

Homeschooling Curriculum by

Leave a Reply