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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Math Woes

I think I've been following the math book at the end of the yellow brick road. I've been skipping down the road, thinking I know what lies ahead, only to get there and find out it's not what I expected.

Wait. Maybe my problem is I'm following the wrong yellow brick road!

I have an idea of what I want. I just don't think it exists.

I want a mastery approach that also has plenty of review (daily if possible). I want a program that is challenging and that encourages them to think outside the box, at least some of the time. And I want a program that we can follow for a good, long time. I don't want to skip around, continually searching, which is what I feel like I am doing.

Here's what I've tried so far.
 Saxon Math 3, Home Study Kit   -     
        By: Saxon

Saxon. Hated it. The incremental approach drove me bananas. I felt like there wasn't enough practice on the topic introduced that day, and then the next day it was a completely new topic. There was no opportunity to move any faster through the books or to go into any greater depth on a topic.

Singapore. The jury is still out. We've been using it for two years, and I mostly like it. Mostly. More or less. I feel like I should like it because so many other like-minded folk do. It is mastery, and it is challenging. It makes kids think outside the box. And yet... sometimes the way topics are introduced just don't make sense to me. I end up explaining it the old-fashioned way, which negates the approach.

Thinking about trying this Calvert book for Curly. For Little Bear... maybe A Beka? maybe stay with Singapore? BJU Press? HELP!

I have two solid math students (Tiny Dancer is too young). One is very advanced, and the other is a little advanced. I am open to two different math programs, if I must. I just don't want to/can't spend a fortune.

I am good at supplemental materials.

We have tried Beast Academy. I really liked it, but I think it was too "mathy" for Curly. I have a hunch Little Bear will eat it up.

Life of Fred. HUGE hit in our house. We all love the stories, and no one seems to realize they are learning or doing any math. Works especially well for Curly who leans (I mean tips the scale) to the verbal side. Everyone looks forward to seeing what Fred will be up to next.

Miquon and Cuisinaire Rods. Everyone raves about these. I used them a lot when I taught first grade in public school. We haven't latched on to them at home as much as I thought we would.

This year we are going to try out these Challenge Math books. They look really cool.

And lots of math games. Especially Yahtzee. Lots of Yahtzee.

Anyone out there want to tell me what to do  have some good ideas of what spine to choose?

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