Thursday, December 2, 2010

Math, math, math

Our success with our beloved Singapore Math seems to have come to a screeching halt. We've been doing three-digit addition w/carrying, and starting three-digit subtraction. We've also done the workbooks kind of non-linearally so we've explored other topics like measuring w/inches, centimeters, grams, and pounds. She LOVES all that! Amirah can also do the addition/subtraction pretty well, but when she sees a whole page (maybe 20 problems) she melts down and says it's too hard. When she finally drops the fit she can finish the page pretty quickly.

After struggling with this for several weeks I think that's enough. I know she needs to gain greater speed with her math facts. I think in addition to working on those, we're going to switch over to Saxon math, either for a "holiday" or permanently. I gave her the placement test and she placed just one point shy of third-grade math, so I put her in second grade and we'll start pretty much at her grade level (halfway through second grade). If it's easy for her, I'm fine with that. Let her spend some time regaining confidence and getting faster at her math facts. In The Well-Trained Mind, the author states that Singapore Math enters the logic stage too early for optimal learning. We've loved it up to this point, so I'm sad to say goodbye. WTM strongly recommends Saxon and all the WTM materials have worked GREAT for us so far, so I'm going to give this a shot.

Homeschooling is HARD work, definitely harder than when I was a classroom teacher. I have so many more variables to deal with at once (big variety of subjects and ages AND keeping the house clean AND janitoring AND all the meals in between - this house has lot of LIVING done in it!). Sometimes I get overwhelmed, like in the last few weeks, and sometimes we just cruise forward. I'm looking forward to getting back into a cruising mode. (Soon, please, Hashem?!) But I love what we're doing, the kids are happy, we're learning so many, many interesting things, and the flexibility is marvelous.

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