Wild Math Review

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With their wide range of multisensory and hands-on activities and projects, comprehensive math coverage, flexible scheduling and rich nature-connection, Wild Math books can be a fun, effective and engaging way for homeschooling families to learn math while instilling a love of the great outdoors. 

What We Like

Full color, well-illustrated and clearly written
Exploration-based, multisensory math learning
Tons of activities to choose from
Excellent connection to nature and the outdoors
Interesting game and book recommendations
to supplement learning
Very flexible as a curriculum
Offers ready planning sheets

But watch out for

Can require prep and planning before lessons

What Is Wild Math?

Created by former educator Rachel Tidd and her environmentalist husband Leo, Wild Math is a secular homeschool curriculum that blends math instruction with outdoor-oriented learning and exploration. 

To teach, the program replaces traditional drill and worksheets with a wide selection of topic-relevant hands-on activities, exercises and games that families can do in the great outdoors or even their own backyards. 

What Ages Or Grades Is Wild Math Intended For?

Wild Math is aimed at homeschooling students in K-5, with the program broadly on grade for a typical US public school and touching on the knowledge and skills for each of those grades. 

Being a homeschool math program, of course, Wild Math’s materials can be used by students learning outside a traditional grade progression, such as by those learning at a more advanced level and those who are a bit behind in their math.

In fact, the program is highly flexible and often offers suggestions for modifying its physical and kinesthetic activities and exercises to suit younger students, such as those who may be learning alongside older siblings, but that also might be useful for younger children who may be academically advanced by still physically developing, which we like. 

Unfortunately, unlike some other homeschool math programs out there that we’ve looked at, Wild Learning doesn’t really offer a placement test for its curriculum. 

This can make finding a place to start a bit more challenging for those switching into the program from another, particularly for those coming from curricula that follow a more unconventional pace or scope and sequence of learning. 

To their credit, however, the company does encourage interested parents to personally email them for help in placement if they need it, something we feel is very nice and potentially quite useful. 

What’s Included In the Curriculum

Each level or grade in Wild Math generally includes two resources – the curriculum itself and a weekly planner to organize its year’s worth of learning. 

As a result, the curriculum is fairly compact. 

While the lessons do occasionally offer recommended books and while the activities themselves can require some common household goods, by and large there aren’t a whole lot of learning materials for parents to buy, store and maintain over the course of a year. 

This is particularly true as Wild Math’s lessons are highly modifiable and encourage parents to customize activities to suit individual needs and, of course, whatever limitations may exist in their immediate natural environment. 

One thing parents should note, however, is that, unlike most other math curricula we’ve looked at, Wild Math materials are digital-only, meaning they are downloadable PDFs rather than pre-printed and bound textbooks. 

While this does make them easy to store and highly portable, and of course (re)-printable (always good for students who tend to rip or tear their books over time), it does mean that parents who don’t want to work from a tablet or computer will have to print and the bind the materials themselves at the start of the year (or on an as-needed basis).

Wild Math Books 

The Wild Math books themselves provide the essential instruction and activity ideas that form the basis of the program’s learning. 

These books are digital PDFs and, depending on their level, are pretty short at only around 50-124 pages long.

The books are, as might be expected for an elementary level math course, written to the part and are full color and pretty nicely illustrated, with pictures, text boxes and more accompanying the main text and generally making lessons more pleasant to read through. 

picture showing full color illustrations and diagrams found in wild math

Wild Math is, on the whole, pretty clearly written with short, easy to understand lessons and plenty of help boxes scattered throughout that serve to introduce math concepts, help parents explain them using various activities and exercises and provide helpful teaching tips, customization ideas and lesson troubleshooting. 

As a result, we believe the materials are pretty user-friendly and not that intimidating to use or learn from, particularly for parents who aren’t themselves huge fans of math.

Interestingly, Wild Math books are filled with various external internet links that, like Usborne books, lead to various articles and resources that can deepen learning.

Parents can, for example, click on the links (or open them on a computer) and find alternative explanations, demonstrations, studies, educational tips and more. 

Wild Math also includes, at times, recommendations for picture books that parents and students can read alongside their lessons, such as 100 Bugs.

These books are related to math and tend to introduce concepts in a way that are a little less intimidating and a little more interesting to younger students and, beyond that, can add a bit of a literature-based connection that some parents will appreciate. 

There are also, at times, lists of games and hands-on learning accessories, such as wooden dice, trundle wheels or manipulatives, that can help with learning and overall enjoyment, although parents will have to purchase these separately. 

One thing that parents should keep in mind with Wild Math as a curriculum is that, in general, it isn’t all that directive in that it doesn’t give parents a specific script to follow or a series of steps that they must adhere to in order to conduct a lesson.

Instead, the books tend to offer key instruction and teaching tips alongside a number of activities and exercises to choose from that parents can choose from based on what they think will be most effective or interesting to their student. 

This approach to learning can, of course, have its advantages and disadvantages. 

On the one hand, it does allow parents a good deal of freedom when using the curriculum, particularly when it comes to pacing and activity choice, which in turn makes it a lot easier to customize to suit student needs and homeschooling goals. 

On the other hand, without a lot of in-depth direction and with a lot of activities and explorations to choose from, Wild Math can require parents to spend a little time prepping and planning their lessons compared to some others we’ve seen.

This can be a bit more of a challenge for very busy/time poor families, as well as those who are perhaps less comfortable or certain about their ability to teach.

Wild Math Weekly Planners

Beginning in 2023, Wild Math has begun bundling pre-made weekly planners along with its main curricula. 

These planners are also printable PDFs and are around 40 pages or so long. 

They each contain ready 4-day suggested schedules that parents can use to organize their weekly lessons, and hopefully divide each lesson into their component skills and suggested activities.

picture of weekly planner included with wild math textbook

They even provide a list of materials that parents will need to prepare for those activities, list any games or books that might be suggested that week to deepen learning in given concept, and even provides parents with a space for teachers notes, letting parents record any topics that students might need to further review or practice, which is always nice. 

In our opinion, the inclusion of a weekly planner with the main text represents a significant improvement over previous editions of Wild Math, where pacing and scheduling was largely left to parents aside from some broad suggestions provided at the start of each guide and, to some degree, in each section. 

While perhaps creating a good degree of flexibility and customization, many parents tended to have an issue with the need to budget time for daily or weekly schedule planning on top of the many other chores and tasks that homeschooling can involve. 

Adding a ready schedule that parents can follow, even if it is merely a suggested schedule, should go a long way in addressing this potential issue, in our opinion, and should add to the program’s overall ease of use, particularly for new homeschoolers. 

Interestingly, Wild Learning has made these planners available to owners of previous editions, which can be helpful for those still using it or teaching younger siblings, although it should be noted that they aren’t free and cost around $5 per grade. 

Approach to Teaching Math


Similar to Math U See, Singapore and other programs, Wild Math takes a mastery approach to teaching math.

In other words, each book is divided into different and separate topics and subtopics (through its unit structure) in math that students tackle one at a time, over a period of time, until they’ve developed proficiency and understanding in it and can move on to the next. 

Once students do move on, topics don’t really repeat themselves, which is in contrast to a spiral-based curriculum that would have topics be taught a little at a time, reappearing in greater depth over the course of a year and/or in subsequent grades. 

This mastery approach allows students to dive more deeply and for longer into a particular concept, giving them time to really develop an understanding of it, which some students and parents very much appreciate. 

It’s also, by default, a very much more student-oriented or centered approach, with the student’s own pace and skill being the main driver for moving on to a new topic, rather than a scheduled sequence of topics. 

Interestingly, though, and unlike some other mastery programs we’ve seen, Wild Math has introduced an element of spiral review to it, with later years having dedicated units that review key skills (such as brief addition and subtraction and place value reviews in grade 4).

In this way, Wild Math can help prevent and ameliorate skill gaps that can develop over time in mastery programs, as many students tend to lose their sharpness in certain concepts without at least some periodic practice and review. 

With that said, a mastery approach does mean that students will spend several lessons on a given topic, which can be a little frustrating at times for students who enjoy a quicker rotation of learning and concepts introduction.

Conceptual math

Like Singapore Math, Math Mammoth and some other math programs we’ve looked at, Wild Math tends to focus more on helping students develop a stronger understanding of math, particularly when it comes to the why of math.

In other words, the curriculum spends time exploring concepts and helping students understand why certain concepts act and function the way they do, rather than simply teaching them how to solve problems. 

To do so, the lessons and activities spend a good deal of time helping students explore math concepts, functions and algorithms (like arrays, divisions, fractions) in many different ways, helping them work through the underlying logic and reasoning behind them, rather than simply relying solely  on rote memory work.

The program also tends to acknowledge, encourage and even teach different strategies for approaching math, which can be a far cry from more traditional problems that focus on one way of doing things and punish students for deviating from that method. 

This conceptual approach to math can lead students to develop a deeper understanding of math and quantitative thinking, and help them develop stronger critical thinking and flexible problem solving skills, particularly when it comes to dealing with new or unusual exercises.

It can also make Wild Math a useful supplement to more traditional, procedural programs, such as Saxon Math and others, who may be looking to balance a strong drill and practice approach with concepts-first explanations, resources and activities. 

Hands-on outdoor learning

On the whole, Wild Math is a very hands-on, kinesthetic math curriculum.

The programs resource stand out compared to other math programs as, instead of relying on traditional reading/writing-based math worksheets, drill and exercises, the series instead reinforces instruction and math learning through a wide variety of activities, games and hands-on experiential learning methods that either take place outside or that otherwise use natural materials.

For example, Wild Math may model division by creating arrays with a number of natural items (such as stones) and then having students divide them into several rows. 

For example, students taking 24 stones, splitting them into 4 rows of 6 stones essentially end up modeling the equation 24/4 = 6. 

Now, not all Wild Math exercises and activities are necessarily nature-based – some may involve moving around stuffed animals or even family members, while others may involve reading explanations from books – but by and large the curriculum is very action oriented and tied to the great outdoors (hence the name).

picture showing hands on and exploration nature of wild math teaching approach

As a result, math learning with Wild Math tends to be far more explorational than other programs and can be very engaging, multisensory and interesting for students.

It can also help students better understand wahat they are learning about, as they have greater opportunity to examine concepts from different perspectives and with different senses, which can lead to improved outcomes.  

Ultimately all this makes Wild Math a natural fit, in our opinion, for Charlotte Mason families, where nature walks and activity-based learning are more heavily preferred, as well as for kids who simply love to get up, touch and visualize what they are learning about.

That said, parents should be aware that the program really doesn’t include any tests or traditional math worksheets, which can be an issue for those who do well or prefer a bit of drill-based practice and traditional reinforcement and who may need to supplement. 

How It Works

Wild Math is a fairly open and flexible homeschool math program, all things considered.

Each year’s materials can be used as a full curriculum, with the company offering year-long 4 day week schedules with each guide book, or as a supplement to another curriculum, with parents picking and choosing from its different activities, games, projects and more to add to a spine. 

The Wild Math books are divided into units, with each unit exploring a different topic or concept in math.

For example, the 4th grade Wild Math book touches on: 

  • Place value
  • Addition and Subtraction review
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Measurement
  • Time
  • Data
  • Patterns and algebra
  • Geometry
picture of wild math fourth grade book showing structure and units inside

Each of these units are then subdivided into several parts that parents and students go through sequentially.

These include a concept introduction and activities (the bulk of instruction, exploration and practice), word problem examples, book recommendations, game and board game recommendations.

At later levels, there are even projects that help students connect their math learning to real life practice applications or problem solving, such as by building a sundial, building an anemometer and so on, which is kind of cool and helps align the curriculum with more current and modern standards for teaching math. 

The lessons themselves are fairly interesting and activity/exploration-based. 

The books start off with a list of math topics and concepts that are covered, as well as a list of materials that might be needed or that might be recommended to help a student learn.

They also provide a good deal of help in preparing and organizing these materials so that they can most effectively be understood and used, a bit of prep that we found to be well worth it when we looked at the program ourselves.

Rather than offering endless pages of textbook-style instruction for parents to read aloud or work with, the books instead take an activity based approach and offer parents a plethora of outdoor and hands-on activities to choose from based on time, student interest and other personal criteria, which often both serve to explain and demonstrate a particular concept. 

screenshot of activity options available in wild math

For example, to demonstrate the concept of patterns, students might go outside and use a magnifying glass to find repeating patterns in certain objects, build a pattern out of rocks and sticks and guess what number comes next or even visit the zoo to find and sketch patterns they observe on different animals. 

In this way, students learn and practice math by doing, engaging and manipulating real world physical representations of math concepts rather than simply reading and writing about it.

From time to time, the books will offer parents teaching tips and help conveying certain concepts, such as by suggesting certain mnemonics, methods for extending learning or even by providing tested strategies to help students. 

At the end of each section, parents and students may find a list of recommended books (picture books or other engaging texts the authors have found interesting and helpful) that students and parents can pick up and read in order to delve deeper into the topic or to hone their understanding and skill with it. 

screenshot of book recommendations found in wild math

At older levels, the books tend to include a section for helping students get used to word problems, which we like and feel can really compliment the program’s more hands-on, conceptual work.

These questions tend to involve parents asking a variety of traditional word problems, such as if a person walks 9/10 of a mile each day how many miles will they have walked in a week, but the curriculum does encourage parents and students to work things out using natural materials or with manipulatives when possible, such as by using sticks instead of food in certain questions, which is nice and consistent with the programs overall methodology.

Some levels also contain applications-based projects towards the end of a unit, which tends to have students work on several skills and concepts covered thus far.

These projects are also quite hands-on but tend to be a little more involved than the activities, with students often building something and putting it to use to solve a particular problem.

For example, in the fourth grade, students might have a paper airplane contest that has them build several designs, record and chart how far they fly, create an average for each design and come up with a “winner.”

Parents are then encouraged to ask pertinent questions that can help draw out students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills and extend their learning a bit more. 

One thing we feel parents should note is that Wild Math does not contain tests or traditional worksheets. 

While students may, at times, be asked some thought provoking questions or even have to fill out some short answer questions, by and large it is an activity-based program that places a stronger focus on understanding and reasoning, rather than drill and assessment. 

Those looking to integrate testing and traditional quantitative assessment can certainly do so, although they will need to supplement it to the program on their own.

Is Wild Math A Secular Or Religious Homeschool Curriculum?

Wild Math is, in our opinion, a secular math program.

Its books make no reference to God, the Bible or any other religious material, sticking mainly to math and natural exploration. 

As a result, we feel the program can be highly useful for those looking for a secular or neutral math curriculum, but may not be the most ideal for those looking for a faith-based or faith-integrated option. 

Pros and Cons of Wild Math



At under $40 for a year’s worth of learning, and often using materials found around the yard or in nature, Wild Math is a surprisingly affordable homeschool math program that should fit most budgets. 

Exploration-based, multisensory learning

Wild Math relies on a wide variety of hands-on and kinesthetic activities, exercises and projects to help students both learn and practice math, allowing them to explore and interact with math concepts in a guided and often very intuitive manner, something that students (and parents) may enjoy far more than a typical drill and worksheet-based approach.

Tons of activity options to choose from

Wild Math units are often filled with a huge number and variety of activities to choose from, allowing parents to better customize learning to fit student (and homeschool) needs. 

Illustrated and full color

Wild Math is filled with full color pictures and charts that not only make them a lot more interesting to go through, but also can serve to demonstrate project and activity outcomes, making lessons a lot easier to teach.

Interesting book and game recommendations to supplement learning

More than just activities, Wild Math also includes a considerable number of math related book and game recommendations that can help enhance learning and make lessons a lot more interesting and fun for kids.

Very flexible

Wild Math is not a prescriptive program and, through its variety of activities, adaptable scheduling, teaching tips and strategies, and game and book recommendations, gives parents a good number of options and ways to fit learning to their particular style, needs and preferences.

Offers ready planning sheets

Wild Math has also begun offering homeschooling families ready planning sheets that they can use to help organize and manage their weekly lessons, an improvement to previous editions that should help reduce the need for so much prep work.


Lessons can require some prep before starting

Wild Math isn’t the most directive or scripted program we’ve ever seen and parents will need to spend time preparing lessons and choosing what activities they would like to tackle with their students. 

In addition, as an activity-based program, parents will have to look ahead and gather and prepare materials before each lesson, which can take some time.  

Who Is Wild Math Ideal For

Families who love outdoor learning

Most of Wild Math’s activities take place in the outdoors or make use of natural materials, which can help students develop a love of the environment around them as well as helping them learn to tackle math.

Students who enjoy hands on exploration and activity-based learning

Wild Math uses numerous hands-on, multisensory exercises to introduce, demonstrate and practice math concepts, which is good news for kinesthetic learners and kids who love to get active. 

Families who hate traditional testing and drill

Unlike most traditional curricula, Wild Math doesn’t rely on formal testing or endless worksheets to develop math skill, which can make it a lot less intimidating and far more attractive to students (and parents) who hate drill and assessment.

Those on a strict budget

With a full year’s learning costing less than $40, and heavily relying on materials that can be found around the house and outdoors, Wild Math is a highly affordable curriculum that should fit most budgets.

Who Is It Not Ideal For

Those looking for a religious homeschool math program

As mentioned previously, Wild Math is a secular homeschool math program and so may not be the best option for those looking to integrate math and faith-based learning.

Those looking for an open and go program with no prep involved

Being a customizable and flexible homeschool program means that Wild Math does require a bit of preperation and thinking on the part of parents before each lesson, which can be a bit of an issue for those looking for a heavily scripted, open and go program. 

Those who prefer traditional testing and worksheets

Some students do well with an activity-based, explorational approach, while others thrive on fluency-building drill, straightforward worksheets and, of course, periodic formal testing. 

Wild Math is definitely a program that’s more ideal for the former, rather than the latter, student.


Note: Prices correct as of writing, all prices in USD. 

Each grade in Wild Math includes its essential text, where the instructions and activities are located, and accompanying weekly planners. 

These resources are available as PDF files, available for download after purchase.  

Depending on grade, a grade of Wild Math costs between $27 to $32.

In addition, those who purchased Wild Math in the past and are interested in picking up its weekly schedules can do so for about $5. 

As always, parents should check for the latest prices for the program, as well as for any deals or offers that may be available. 

Is It Worth The Price?

On the whole, a year’s worth of Wild Math is fairly affordable compared to most homeschool math curricula out there and yet we believe it can provide a lot of value to the right homeschooling families. 

The series introduces and helps students practice key K-5 math topics using a wide variety of interactive and multisensory activities, games, projects and exercises, an exploration-based, concepts-first approach that can make learning math a far more engaging, unintimidating and fun experience.

Wild Math also includes a very strong outdoors connection, with activities either taking place outside or making use of materials from the natural world, which can both stimulate a student’s imagination and help them develop nature and their environment, wherever that may be.

Finally, the curriculum is also highly flexible, offering parents a lot of choice (and advice) when it comes to selecting activities, scheduling lessons and generally customizing learning around their students’ needs, rather than adopting a one-size fits all approach. 

Bottom Line

With their wide range of multisensory and hands-on activities and projects, comprehensive math coverage, flexible scheduling and rich nature-connection, Wild Math books can be a fun, effective and engaging way for homeschooling families to learn math while instilling a love of the great outdoors.

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About the Author

David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.