Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 School Plans - Math

Math happens to be one area where I've finally settled on a curriculum. We went though several years of trial and error, more so with my daughter than my son. Not much has changed for 2010 other than the addition of supplemental material.

For C, 5th grade, Math U See has always been our choice, with the exception of using Singapore for one year. The format of Math U See works for him and we'll stick with it at least until we get to higher math. He's busy learning fractions this year.

J, 7th grade, however, has been a different story. We've tried numerous programs and supplemental material with some success and some failure. However, after several years of bouncing around, I've finally found a program that I'll use at least through Geometry, Videotext. I love the way Videotext explains the concepts. Its only shortcoming for us is that it could really use more practice problems. I discovered this after going through about a 1/3 of the Algebra program last year. J was understanding the material but just didn't have enough practice for the concepts to stick. I actually put the entire program away the last few months of the school year and used supplemental programs while I re-evaluated. I eventually decided our problems had more to do with J's attitude approach to math than it did the program. A little regrouping and discussing helped in that area.

We are doing a "re-do" this year, adding in the extra practice problems from the website (I didn't know these existed until the end of last year). I also purchased some supplemental materials from Math Tutor, which we've only had to pull out once so far this year, in the event that a concept needs more explanation or practice. We are on track to finish at least Algebra 1 by the end of the year. After many years of going in circles, we are in a happy math place.

I have (too) many math supplements around the house ready to pull out when one of the kids is needing something fresh and new. One day I'll have to post all the math materials that are sitting around just for fun. I added another to the mix this year. Both kids will be using Mathletics as a supplement. This was a recent review product that both of my kids asked to continue. A weakness in automaticity with basic facts is an issue in both and I was happy to renew their subscriptions. The live challenges will help with speed. Plenty of new material is on the site and we'll likely utilize plenty for a change of pace.

In the next post on this topic, I'll share our science plans.

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