Thursday, June 24, 2010

Curriculum: Math

Thanks for the input on virtual vs textbooks as well as all your comments in my opening post! I have a feeling you all are going to be SO helpful to me as I navigate through all of this.

So, I have a question and it's a big on. Math..what do you use??? I know math may be an odd question to start off with, but the math program my kids used in the last school is part of the reason we're running away from public school! I promised myself that if our public school continued using "Everyday Math" we would NOT be enrolling our kids next year. We just can't do that curriculum again. I'm sure some have used it and have great success, but it was a total flop for my kids. Out of all the subjects, this has been the biggest struggle for me because we've already found one that was oh, so wrong for us. I don't have time to waste on another one that doesn't work, I've still got to go back and fix all the damage from years of "Everyday Math".

What have you tried? What didn't work? What has worked? WHY???? Yes, I want to know ALL the whys!

Once I get math figured out, the other subjects won't worry me so much, so let's get this one out of the way, shall we?

PS, my follow up post will be summery of the comments just in case anyone else is curious about the same thing. This way you won't have to check the comments for any updates! I'm thinking about you!


Naihe Family said...

My kids have really done well with Singapore Math. The only thing is you need to assess your kids, because it is a grade ahead. So last year even though Mychaila was starting 3rd, she started in 2A because she had been in public school. There were some sections that we did scan over because she already knew. Ani on the other hand started in K2 since he already understood the 1st semester book. Each Math website has an assessment for their books so that is also a great way to figure out where your kids are at. Math U See is awesome!!!! too. I love Singapore, because it did math the way I grew up learning but better because better visual pics.. The kids all love math now.

Abby said...

Oh I am so sorry! Maddie was taught "Everyday Math" when she started school and it made me so mad. It just doesn't made sense the way math can and should.

We've done Saxon Math from the beginning. It works because it introduces a topic really thoroughly, and then as it moves on to begin the introduction of something else - the new topic is related and the kids continue working on what they've already mastered. It's called circular learning. The thing I love about it most is that the kids almost always feel like they're good at math and they know what to do.

We haven't tried anything else but briefly considered doing Singapore Math because Saxon is a lot of work. There's the daily lesson (4x's a week) and then two worksheets with each lesson as well as usually a drill sheet. I had read a lot of good things about Singapore and liked how it seemed like it would require less each day, but I was considered about stepping in mid-curriculum. Not even mid-year or mid-subject...just mid-curriculum. Their layout of what is done when in each year and throughout the entire program is very different from Saxon and most American math programs, so I opted to stick with Saxon and do more to tailor it to our situation. So, we don't ever do the 2nd worksheet. But if my kids are struggling with a topic and needed the extra practice, I would assign it. We also don't always time the drills. And I start my kindergartners with Saxon 1, because the K level seems so tame. But when I do that, they only do one sheet a day, whether it's a worksheet or a drill. So it takes them longer to get through a lesson, but that way I'm sure we're going a good pace for them. Also, we've never bought the manipulatives packages. When manipulatives are called for in the lessons, I use what I have on hand to teach a topic. I remember once recently I was teaching about groups of tens and ones and borrowing in subtraction and it called for sticks or something or other...linking cubes probably. I just used toothpicks and wrapped a hair rubberband (those teeny ones) around ten of them. And I've used beans for counting.

Anyway...there's my two cents. :) You have my school blog address right? I'm thinking I sent it to you...let me know if I didn't though!

Abby said...

Oops...just reading over my comment again. That was supposed to say "I was concerned!" Not considered....hahaha

Me said...

We started out just using the Comprehensive Curriculum books that you can get at Sam's Club. They were fine, but not... um, comprehensive enough. Then I tried Abeka and it was a disaster. Then I tried Right Start Math, which is fun and hands on, but was too teacher intensive to use with 3 kids at 3 different levels.

We have finally settled on Singapore Math. It is sooo easy to use. I have the home instructor's guides and the textbooks that I occasionally use for reference, but mostly I just have each kid do one exercise in the workbook each day. Most of the time my kids can work independently.
Occasionally there is a new concept that I need to explain. Definitely have your kids do the placement test to figure out what level to start on.


Donna said...

Hi Molly,
We use Maths U see and love it. It's user friendly for both the kids and myself. Like Singapore maths there is a placement test on their web page.
Like everything in homeschooling you have to find what works best for your family.
ps check my website tomorrow for Ukulele blog!

Summer Spillane Jordan said...

we've always done saxon mom used saxon's easily explained and seems to make sense for all of the matter how they learn! just so important that you use whatever it is that helps them learn...we have lots of hands on stuff to help them (cubes and objects and coins), we play store a lot! just everyday stuff around the house becomes math games!

Anonymous said...

I love Horizon Math. We tired Math-U-See and it was too boring for my kids.

What I love about Horizon's is that it has a lot of review and the lessons are short and sweet (at least the K and 1st Grade ones are). My plan is to continue with Horizon's until my kids reach the Teaching Textbooks grade level.

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