Thursday, October 27, 2011

I forgot to title my post!

So, math...I was uber picky about the curriculum I chose for math. Uber is my new favorite word.  It's a nifty little word.  The little things in life make me happy.  Kind of like the little things in life that drive me crazy.  For example: The daily changes that Facebook seems to make always throw me for a loop. There I go on the downward digression spiral.

Anyhow, when choosing a math curriculum I wanted something that would challenge my kiddos and provide them with all of the skills they needed to be math geniuses.  I had heard great things about Math-U-See but felt that the boys had such a different foundation that I would not see the success I wanted to .  So I chose this.

I really, really like Singapore Math. Each grade level comes with two textbooks and two workbooks.  Take Cooper's books for instance.  He is in third grade. He has a 3A textbook, 3A workbook, 3B textbook, and 3B workbook.  We simply used these books last year and I found that this was not enough practice for them.  So, this year I also purchased these.

Except that I purchased them in the specific grade levels for my fellas. Fridays are mental math days.  Let me tell you, the boys lurve this (tongue in cheek). I am also really thinking about purchasing this.

I am undecided about this one though because, there are lots and lots of word problems in their text and workbook. Singapore Math loves a good word problem.  Some of them are quite challenging.  In fact, I have called or emailed my sweet hubbie with one or two of these problems, only to be told that he would have to get back to me.  I love the challenge factor with these books.  I am not crazy about the lack of instruction these books provide.  Jay is working on divisibility right now and these books have nothing to say about divisibility rules.  I had to pull that in extra.  Those few simple rules make divisibility soooo much easier.
When I was teaching math, I went to a workshop for Singapore Math.  I liked it then and having used it for an entire year, plus this year so far, I still like it. 
What I add to the mix
I open each math lesson with a math warm-up.  Generally, this warm up is multiplication practice, fact families, or the such.  Sometimes we pull out the flash cards and sometimes I put 10 problems on my handy dandy dry erase board.  The kiddos love to write their answers on the board.  The also have to put them in their math journal.  Math journal you say?  Yes, math journal I say. We keep a math journal on top of what we already put in our notebook.  Vocabulary terms, warm-ups, and the like go in our math journal. I also intend for the boys to put together a math vocabulary dictionary this year, complete with terms, definitions, and illustrations.  Coop-bug loves, lurves, loves to illustrate.  It is a release for him to draw.  So, I let him any opportunity he gets.  It provides something concrete for him.  Like me, he is a visual learner.  Jay on the other hand is a very auditory learner. Fact is, he is very auditory himself, VERY auditory!  I am pretty sure Lucie Rose will be a visual learner also with a tendency for the kinesthetic. She needs to manipulate things right now.  She needs a lot of hands on but that could just be her age. 

Math is certainly one of those things homeschooling parents need to be picky about.  If you are uber ( ;) ) picky like me, you should check out the Singapore Math program.  If you are not impressed, do not stop there though.  Check it all out and see what is available.  You need to be happy with your choices. 

Uber love,

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