Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Teaching Arithmetic

Confession time. I do NOT love math. As Haus Frau commented in the last post, it has been said that there are math-minded people, and there are English-minded people. As I explained yesterday, I am definitely English-minded. That being said, I want my children to like math. I even want them to enjoy it. I have noticed that as I portray math as a puzzle to be solved, I enjoy it more. I still don't love it. (0;

I have homeschooled my children for eight years now. That's a lot of arithmetic! When we first started out, we used Miquon Math. It is very unusual, but I liked it, and so did my children. When they outgrew that, we went to ABeka. This is Abeka's strong point, in my opinion. I have to say that I really think they do a very good job on their arithmetic. We have also used and loved Modern Curriculum Press. They teach a lot of life skills at a very young age. For example, planning a fence for a garden, balancing a checkbook, etc. We have used some Saxon. I feel very neutral about this program. It does the job, but doesn't thrill me. We have also used Video Text Algebra. Now, this I like! The student watches a very short video every day, and then does the lesson. If you get stuck, you can call an 800 number and talk to a real person who walks you through the lesson until you understand it! We also use the Switched on Schoolhouse math program.

So, why so many different programs? With math being my least favorite subject, and my weakest link, I want to make sure that my children have a firm understanding of the basic principles. For this reason, we have completed two math programs every year! No program is perfect, and they all teach a different way. This way, all bases are covered. So for instance, if I had a second grade student, they would do one lesson of Abeka, plus one lesson of Modern Curriculum Press each day. Surprisingly, no one has complained to me about this. Now that we are using Switched on Schoolhouse, they do that math. Abigail who is in third grade also does a lesson of ABeka. Collin who is in seventh grade does a lesson of Saxon. Autumn, in eighth grade, does a lesson of Saxon Algebra 1/2. You get the picture.

What is your favorite Arithmetic program? Any suggestions for geometry, calculus, and so on?


Trella said...

My 6th grade is using Teaching Textbooks Math 7 and my 8th grader is using Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2. They both love it and so do I. I like teaching math, but not the upper levels. This has been perfect for us. My husband used to be a math teacher, but he isn't here during the day so this program has been perfect.

Karen said...

We also use and love Modern Curriculum Press. My question is, do you find corresponding lessons to work in both math books, or just go straight through the books even though they might be covering different things at different times? What I mean is, do you find the pages for division, etc. in each book, or teach 2 different areas each day?
Am I making any sense? I'm having a hard time trying to get my question worded correctly. lol!

Tracy said...

Thanks. I've never heard of Teaching textbooks.
Yes, you are making sense. No, we really don't try to make the lessons go together. I just start at the beginning of both books, and work through them. It has worked out very well this way. Sometimes it's a review in one book, but that is perfectly fine.

Kelli said...

Hi Tracy, I always listen with open ears when I hear homeschool moms talking about math curriculum! I still have high school algebra nightmares so I need all the help I can get! LOL I really like the sound of the math video program, I'll have to take a look at it!
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

My daughter *is* that math person, like her father and his father. Chief (Grandpa) would read math books as a hobby. When El was little I'd find her sound asleep with a piece of paper and pencil on the table...with math problems and answers done. A hobby. Weird. I think it's some sort of sickness I just don't understand. Chief was a scientist in the defense industry. Math person.

Me? I like English.

We used Saxon beginning with 2nd grade and are finishing with Algebra II. Since I'm not a math person I knew that it had to be something she liked and related to. She liked the cut and dry approach of Saxon. Black and white, no characters, etc. Just the facts, ma'am.