Monday, April 18, 2016

HomeSchooling: Math

   Home Schooling, lets talk: Math!

   One of my favorite things about blogging is that you can reach out and connect with other homeschooling families, share reviews on different curriculum, and find out what works best for your family!  I wanted to start a new series where I can share some of the things that I've used, what works for us, what doesn't work so well, and so on!  So, for today, lets talk math!
    Math was never my strong suit.  I was good enough at it, going through Calculus in school, but it was honestly never my best subject.  I'm blessed with kids who really enjoy learning, and can understand math a lot better than me..  but it has taken me awhile to settle on a set curriculum for them!

What we use now...
  Teaching Textbooks:  Upper grade math
It took me awhile to take the plunge for teaching textbooks.  It's obviously an expensive curriculum, no one can argue that..  especially the newer versions (2.0 and above..  you can also find 1.0 at lower prices, which is what we actually have for Algebra 1)  can be pretty pricey!  We tried TT3 for my third grader last year, and the math was very easy for her..  almost too easy.  So honestly, I would not recommend this as a teaching tool for lower grades.  It seems somewhat behind some of the other math programs.  For the older grades however, it has been a gem!  My teenager loved TT7 and is ready to start Algebra I.  It makes Mom's life a lot easier, not having to relearn Algebra which I didn't do very good in the first time around, lol.  My teenager really enjoys the format, and I love the automatic grading, so its a win/win!  You can use this stand alone with CDs only, so if you can find it used somewhere, you don't have to have the book unless your student just really needs that structure.  It's a great program, especially for the older kids.  




So here's my story and experience with Fred.  I began my younger daughter in Apples although she was a second grader at the time, they recommend starting the elementary series in order.  We read through it together so I could get an idea of what the series was like.  It was an absolute delight!!!!  I loved reading about Fred, and she enjoyed it just as much!!  
Honestly, I need a really comprehensive program, and to me this seemed as more of a supplement.  So we stopped doing Fred for awhile and switched to Teaching Textbooks.  We liked them a lot, but my kids missed Fred!  So now we do use it, just as a supplement, but they LOVE it so much!  My daughter has now made it to Edgewood and my teenager is finishing up the intermediate series, and they absolutely love reading these delightful stories, and learn math along the way!  They are well worth the $16 you would pay for them!  So we are keeping with Fred, and starting it with my 1st grader in August as well.  I think he will love Freds adventures most of all!



When I first started home schooling I had no idea that we were able to find different things that would fit us, lol.  I imagined you just bought a one-for-all curriculum and went with it.  I tried Abeka and was very overwhelmed, even on the Kinder level..  so we went with My Father's World.  I really enjoyed that and its some of my best memories are with my little girl and that wonderful series!  But anyhow- on the elementary levels this is the math that they recommend.  I really enjoy these workbooks!  They are really inexpensive and they are full of great worksheets!  I enjoy getting these on the elementary levels for the kids to just do repetitive work!  They have Math, Bible, Science, and so much more!  Great buy!!  

Honestly, even though I read sooo many good things, I could never see us using this program.  I imagined it would be too boring for my kids and they would dislike it.  I sat my kids down when trying to decide what would work and let them watch a sample video to see what they thought.  Immediately, I saw a lightbulb go off in my third graders eyes!  She was sooo excited that she could understand what was going on!  She LOVED the ideas, so that day I ordered Primer for my kindergartener, and Gamma for my third grader, and could not be happier with this product!  I LOVE it, and they love it.  They connect well with the videos, and we all understand the concepts well!  They even use the manipulatives the right way.  They go through the videos themselves with me standing by. I give them a white board and the manipulatives and they follow along the lessons, and spend the rest of the week doing worksheets.  It is a wonderful program, I would highly recommend it especially on the younger levels!!!



We are learning Multiplications tables in third grade this year.  Math U see is great to teach them, to make them visualized (In Gamma, which is what we are in right now!) and we also love skip counting songs and schoolhouse Rock.  Learning the staples in Math are very important to me, so we are still also doing addition drills..  but this is something we came across and we really like it!  We were doing the free trial online, and then ended up purchasing the CD version.  It has lively songs, and gives fun ways to learn the times tables.  My very visual third grader is very fascinated by this, and she's picked it all up very quickly!  We all love this, and its been fun!

And also...
I honestly haven't opened this box, but we did order this game...
From amazon.  I think its imporatant for Math to be fun!  I'll put up a review when we get a chance to get it out and give it a try, message me if you would like an update when its on here!
Also, we always use spectrum test prep on every grade level, just to make sure we cover things that we need for test.  Since we seem to be struggling in one level, (not going to mention which one, so I put a picture of one that we are not even working on ;)  ) I ordered Spectrum Math to finish out the year.  Again, I'll put a review once we go through it for awhile, but we do enjoy the test prep.  Well, the kids don't really enjoy it, but it gives me peace of mind, and they are willing to do a lesson a day at least :)  You can even buy these at Sams club!  Which is our favorite store :)  Win, win!



So there you have it, our favorite things to use for Math!  We really haven't found anything that we particularly dislike, but any of all of these are great!  What are your favorite Math curriculum?


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