Monday, June 2, 2014

Math Plans for 2014/2015

First Grade Math

I've tried everything I can think of for math with Lydia, but it just hasn't been sinking in.  All my dreams of creative and alternative math methods have been thrown out the window with her.  I don't think it is a maturity thing either, I think it is just the way she is.  She just hasn't been getting it.  So for this year, I decided to go with the best, most thorough and incrimental traditional math program I could find: Saxon math.

When I first started looking into homeschooling, Saxon was one of the first math programs I heard about and I immediately dismissed it.  I consider myself fairly mathy and some of the other math programs appealed to me much more (Singapore, Hungarian, Miquon, Living Math).  I was sure I could make those work for my children.  But they just aren't, at least for Lydia.  Algorithms are what Lydia needs.  A deep understanding of number relationships is not.  Repitition and memorization are what she needs.  Spiral (constantly reviewing past concepts) and infuriatingly incremental are what she needs, so we're going with Saxon.

Honestly, it is a very respected, proven program that thousands of children have used with great success, but I am a little disappointed to go there.  Also, it is crazy involved!  I have a HUGE teacher's manual (like several inches thick) that is scripted (which I actually like).  I have two workbooks, a "meeting" book, and several masters.  Not to mention the tons of manipulatives that they require (which I mostly had on hand already).  Math is probably going to take us an hour or more a day.  But I am committed.  I am hopeful.  I really think this might work for her, and if it does, we are in it for the long haul, at least with Lydia.

I will not be supplementing Saxon at all this year, at least in the foreseeable future.  It is already so involved that I don't think I'll be up to it!


For Eleanor this year we will be finishing Essential Math.  She is already on about page 100 in Essential Math A and will probably finish it up in the month.  Essential Math B, from what I learned with Lydia, is much more challenging and I'm sure she'll need to slow down.  I also plan on trying all my beautiful math dreams out on her.  We'll be doing a lot of work with our cuisenaire rods and probably working through Miquon and possibly even starting Math Mammoth if she gets there.  Eleanor is very bright, but she is still very young (almost 4 years old), so we'll take our time and see what happens.

She will also be sitting in a lot on the verbal stuff I do with Lydia, like skip counting and counting backwards, as well as calendar and patterns, so I expect Saxon to benefit her too, somewhat.

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