Ramblings About Math

mathI promised the people who bought my “Overcoming Math Frustration” audio that I would observe to see if my children finished their Teaching Textbooks faster when they did their workbook first, then afterwards turned on the computer to type in their answers. After using this program for nearly a year, I can now answer that question with a resounding yes. It cuts the time down considerably. Just this morning my second son said that he had done two lessons in one hour.

Maybe I need to skip him to a higher level. That’s odd, because he’s already 3 years ahead, and my oldest son is 2 years ahead. I don’t want both of them in the same grade level because my oldest son has a mathematical mind, and there’s no reason to make him feel stupid, like his little brother is smarter than he is; because he’s not. My oldest son is definitely more brainy. Maybe this makes me a bad mother, to not let my second son progress to catch up with his brother, but I refuse to do so…

I asked my second son what his grades were (on the two lessons he just did), and he said 95% and 100%. I am so much enjoying not having to grade the math of my two oldest sons. I totally love that it’s self-grading.

My oldest son takes an hour to do his Teaching Textbooks math, as opposed to the two hours he used to take on Saxon math. By the way, Saxon has the highest SAT scores, so don’t ditch Saxon unless you’ve prayed about it. I get no money from any of these companies, and I’m only giving you my blunt opinion, as always. Teaching Textbooks is extremely expensive; the cost alone is prohibitive for most homeschoolers unless you plan ahead and use your tax refund money or Christmas bonus for it.

My younger two children are still doing Horizon, with a little bit of Math U See thrown in to jazz things up and help them see the math concepts visually. Well, one night while setting out my children’s math, I accidentally switched math pages. My 5-year-old daughter was doing a page on multiplication the next day. When I walked in, I was flabbergasted that a first grade math program would have multiplication. (Yes, she’s one year ahead.) She was so proud of herself, and her brothers were impressed by her mathematical prowess.

I grabbed the page off the table and asked my third son where his math page was. He showed it to me. He said he had finished it already because it was so easy. “Didn’t you notice it was your sister’s math? Why would you be doing addition when you’ve been doing multiplication? And can’t you see the numbers are way bigger?”

My third son started laughing. “No wonder it was so easy,” he said. His poor bleary-eyed mother needs to pay closer attention next time…

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(By the way, if you click on the picture above, you will see that my daughter likes to turn her numbers into smiley faces on her math.)

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8 Responses to “Ramblings About Math”

  1. I have used Abeka for math which is a spiral method like Saxon. It is killer, but all the counsel I have received from veteran homeschooling moms says it’s worth it in the long run. We plug on!

    • Susan says:

      I used Abeka for teaching at the Christian school the first two years that I was a teacher, so I’m familiar with it. We ended up using Horizon, then Saxon, then Teaching Textbooks.

  2. Craig says:

    I haven’t commented for a long time – but I heart coming by and seeing how you work through this amazing thing you do. And it is amazing. It really is. Always analyzing and trying to figure new ways to evaluate, and teach, and love your kids. I’ve just kind of been in awe – and remain so. And now – with the artistic math – I had to chime in. Awesome!! God Bless and keep you and all of yours Susan. I really hearted this post. Thank you.

  3. Oh so reminds me of my early days in home school with my first four…we used Saxon until they started double credit math in high school…I am now using a borrowed Teaching Textbooks Alg from a friend…don’t know the results yet because this one isn’t ready for college.

  4. Thara says:

    Heya. I struggled initially to find any resources. So after a while in order to find cheap math workbooks, I took a look to see what options existed. I now use five a day questions at a basic level to teach other skills like counting. I adapt the questions that I happen to find however. I used to use the old free exam papers to teach them about their colours and shapes. Check out the range of books at the local bookshop in addition. We play fun board games to work on taking turns and patience. Monopoly Deal is great for teaching basic math. So is Rummikub.

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