Re: SURVEY: Teaching math
- We started late with homeschooling. My son was already a teenager. He was the one that really wanted to do the homeschooling. I wanted to, but having a full time job, it just didn't seem possible - translation: He really wanted this to work, because if it didn't, he went back to public school.
When we started, I tested him in all subjects with a test purchased from Alpha Omega. The results were not pretty. He had a lot of work, catching up to do. I didn't announce he had a lot of catching up, I just went to that grade level and started from there. He whizzed through it at first and it slowly (and sometimes rapidly) got harder. He'd walk away, but come back, maybe in a few minutes, maybe in a few days. If he didn't, I'd put that aside and go back a bit. Today he proudly will announce that "I love math, I've always been good at math.' He's right, it's always been a successful subject for him.
With math, the rules are always true when establishing the basics. He likes this. We can always go back to see what the basics are and then build on that to go forward.
Algebra & Geometry, we followed the books and workbooks some - but the best assistance I found was on line resources, an on line computer class and other friends and family (that sometimes didn't even realize they were teaching geometry) - like when my brother-in-law showed us how to build kites and started into geometry. Or when my sister, a landscape architect is explaining designs, floorplans, etc. Having a slightly younger, public school, student as a friend also helped, as my son always wanted to be able to be ahead of him enough to "help him." You always learn the most when you are teaching.
He also uses math daily as a cashier & customer service representative, selling, refunding, exchanging & discounting items that range in price from pennies to thousands of dollars.
I hope this helps.
[MODERATOR: It does. Thank you, Joyce. I admire very much the way you've been
able to homeschool in your difficult circumstances. Isn't it interesting how
very much kids really love to learn? -- lmg]
- With my now 11 and 9 yobs, we started with Miquon math. They did very well.
Miquon is an open-ended approach that focuses on concepts rather than
memorization. The children learn the facts by exploring them. It usings
Quisenaire Rods, which are these plastic, color-coded incremental rods.
This worked wonderfully for my tactile learner and my visual learner. I sat
with them both and helped them work through the pages. They also played
with magnetic numbers on the fridge and made up their own math.
My dd moved right into math, having had time to play with the rods and watch
her older brothers. I can't remember ever sitting and working with her on
addition and subtraction. I just gave her the book when she was 6 and she
started doing math. She understood the concepts of addition and subtraction
by playing with them earlier. Multiplication and division were simply
natural extensions of addition and subtraction.
My 5 yob has been completely unschooled to this point. He's picked up
addition and subtraction from life. When eating M&M's, he's counted them
and sorted them and learned, from his own play, that if he has 5 M&M's and
he eats 3 of them, he'll be left with 2 M&M's. Now we do simple "written"
math together and make it fun.
I plan on allowing my 3 yog to learn in the same manner. Once she
understand,s then I'll work more formally with her, but still with a
My 11 yob is teaching himself algebra using the Key to Algebra workbooks. I
realize that this is pre-algebra but I think the fact that he's motivated
and learning on his own is very important. It will mean more to him I
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