50+ Books, Games, Apps, Websites & More for Homeschooling a Young Child who Loves Math

My firstborn is that child who LOVES math, numbers, and logic. Some children thrive when you keep them in lovely art supplies. Some children need to be outside. For him--keep the mathematics and logic challenges coming!

And I know he isn't alone. Online and in real life, I've met other parents who also have a tot and then preschooler and then elementary student who is obsessed with numbers and logic.

In our case, this looked like a two-year-old who asked many questions about numbers, then a three-year-old who was obsessed with page numbers and counting, then a four- and five-year-old who begged to do Life of Fred every evening, then a six-year-old who completed all of the math through fourth-grade on Khan Academy for fun.

I don't think his self-motivation to do math is "normal" but I know that he isn't alone. And his young age coupled with the intensity of his desire to do math has led me to collect and curate the best books, curricula, and websites for young children and math.

As with everything, the cost is definitely a factor in our homeschool, so these are also the most cost-effective resources I have found for my son and my family.

What ages are these resources for? That depends on your child. The ages I have listed below are for children who are very advanced at math beyond their normal years. For example, these ages do not work for my second son whose gifts at age 7 do not include advanced mathematical thinking. I will still use many of these materials with him, just at the more "normal" ages you will see listed on product listings for each item.

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Life of Fred Elementary Series (My public library owns these!) - Ages 4+

Life of Fred Intermediate Series - Ages 6+

Life of Fred Fractions - Ages 7+

Life of Fred Decimals and Percents- Ages 7+

Life of Fred Prealgebra Series - Ages 9+

Gattegno Mathematics Textbook 1 by Caleb Gattegno (Free) [can use issuu downloader to convert to PDF] + Cuisenaire rods - Ages 4+

Khan Academy (Free) - Ages 4/5+

Beast Academy - Ages 5+ - My son refers to the graphic novel-style textbooks as his "treasure"

  • Not ready to invest $100 per math year in Beast Academy? Try out their free printables for each book. They include interesting and challenging math games and activities.
  • We also save money by putting the workbooks in page protectors and using a dry erase marker which: 1) preserves the workbook for other children or resale, 2) makes writing is easier for very young children who aren't writing well yet, 3) forces you to correct the work immediately leading to better feedback, and 4) is less discouraging when your child makes mistakes as it can be wiped off and started fresh.

Games and Manipulatives

Calculator Cash Register - Ages 3+ - My sons learned so much from playing with this sturdy and large-faced calculator!

Melissa and Doug Clock - Ages 3+

Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock & Nightlight - Ages 3+ - We used this to keep the kids in bed until 7 am AND it teaches them how to tell time.

Hundreds Board - Ages 3+

Fraction Formula Game - Ages 4+

Cuisenaire rods - Ages 4+

Balance Beans Math Game - Ages 5+

Laser Maze Logic Game - Ages 5+

Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game - Ages 5+

Blokus Strategy Game - Ages 5+

Gravity Maze Logic Game - Ages 6+

Logic Links - Ages 6+

Chess for Kids by Michael Basman - Our favorite book for learning basic chess strategies beyond how the pieces move.

Tournament chess pieces and board - Small kids love using these large-sized pieces.

Magnetic chess board - Perfect for quickly whisking away from a toddler's grasp!

Math Apps and Websites (other than Khan Academy)

Beast Academy Playground - Ages 3+

Dragonbox Elements - Ages 6+

Dragonbox Algebra 12+ - Ages 6+

ExplodingDots.com - Ages 6+

Alcumus - Ages 8+ - Art of Problem Solving's free learning system.

Brilliant.org - Ages 8+ - Free version is a way to explore interesting topics.

Coding and Programming

Since coding and programming skills are all based on logic, I found them to be a great delight to my math-loving son. Fortunately, there are several excellent books, websites and courses available--all free or low-cost.

A Beginners Guide to Coding by Marc Scott (Book)- Ages 5+

Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock (Book) - Ages 5+

Programming in Scratch edX Course (Free Online Course)- Ages 6+ with adult help

Code.org (Free online courses for all ages, plus hour of code challenges) - Ages 5+

CodeMonkey -Ages 5/6+ Very good guided instruction on different coding concepts. My son really enjoyed working through the entire site, which took him less than 3 months. I like that they have monthly subscriptions for about $6/month.

Khan Academy Hour of Code - Ages 6+

Khan Academy Computer Programming - Ages 7+ - Younger learners can do java script and html/css courses.

Code Combat via Homeschool Buyers Co-op- Ages 7+ - For $70/year everyone in our household can learn to code with Python and Java. My son received this as a birthday present and has really enjoyed it.


Almost all of these are available used at very low cost. If you want to buy a few at once, consider Thriftbooks which is usually cheaper than Amazon if you can snag free shipping, which starts at $10.

Ages 4/5+ (maybe even 3+)

You Can Count on Monsters by Richard Evan Schwartz

Bedtime Math Series by Laura Overdeck

Millions to Measure by David Schwartz, Steven Kellog, illus.

How Much is a Million? by David Schwartz, Steven Kellog, illus.

The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas

Mathemagic (Childcraft How and Why Library Volume 13)

The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland

Ages 6+

Math for Smarty Pants by Marilyn Burns

How Much and How Many by Jean Bendick

Mathematicians are People Too by Luette Reimer and Wilbert Reimer

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky

How Math Works by Carol Vorderman

Murderous Maths by Poskitt Kjartan

Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sacher

More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sacher

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (only a small math part but lots of fun!)

Puzzle Books and Workbooks

To save money and maximize the fun I skip the earliest levels of workbooks and go right to the more advanced content. If my child seems overwhelmed by the amount of writing or the difficulty, we can always set it aside for a few months!

Ages 3/4+

My Book of Numbers, 1-120 (Kumon Workbook)

My Book of Money: Dollars and Cents (Kumon Workbook)

My Book of Telling Time (Kumon Workbook)

Ages 5+

Mind Benders Level 4

One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! by Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder

Greatest Dot to Dot Book in the World

Note: When money for math supplies is tight, I recommend 1) check the library, 2) request gifts of these materials for birthdays or holidays, 3) skip lower levels of apps, curricula, and workbooks to increase the difficulty, and 4) buy used (like on Thriftbooks).

Of course, there are many more resources out there to homeschool a young child who loves math, but these are our absolute favorites.

Please let me know if you have any favorites to recommend!

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