Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finding the right math program

I'll admit, after all of these years homeschooling you would think I would have it all down pat as to what curriculum works best for us. Sadly after eight years I still have much to learn as what curriculum really works best. We've had our fair share of duds as well as that great curriculum.

I've found that I really like Christian Light Curriculum. I think for the price and how the curriculum is put together its well worth it and children really learn quite a bit from it. I really liked the Christian Light Math when I used it with Marilyn. Thought it wasn't her favorite her math skills really improved quite a bit that last half of the year.

I have found that curriculums like Calvert and K12 , though very good in their own right are to time consuming for families that have more than two children. Sometimes it can be to time consuming for even those with more than two. I think it would work well if I just had one child. But since I live in the real world I don't I have four and the more independent the curriculum and the less lesson planning I have to make the better.

With all of this said the girls are going to go to private school this fall and the school uses Saxon math. I used Saxon once before with my 2nd daughter Katie and it worked REALLY, REALLY well for her. I had used the K and 1st grade and she just thrived with it. What made me stop using it you ask? Well for one we were with a cyberschool for 1st grade. So I was juggling both Calvert math and Saxon so it lined up with her tests that we had to send back to the school. It worked just fine for 1st for us but by the time we got to 2nd grade we had Maggie and well,,, I then only had time for one math program and Calvert won out since I had to turn in tests to the school. So for the past 3 years its been nothing but tears for math for Katie. Her believeing that she is stupid when it comes to math and in all honesty that's not the case at all. Saxon works for Katie and it also works well for Hannah. I used the K12 math with Hannah last year and it worked just fine with her but not this year. Hannah needs more review just like Katie.
So if you've read this far you will no doubtly guess that I caved in and bought Saxon for the girls. The point is two folds as it will help them to just dive right in with math when they go to St. Thomas this fall and it will help catch them up on the things they just weren't understanding.

So for now Katie is loving math once again. That lightbulb has finally turned back on once again for her. Hannah is understanding math much better finally, and Maggie loves her K math.
I also bought the 6/5 for Marilyn in hopes it helps her. I feel she is lacking in something somewhere and after taking the diagnostic test this is where she placed. Not sure if it was lack of taking the time to do the test or if this is really where she is but we'll go with it and move on from there. I'm not sure if Saxon will fit Marilyn well or not. She is such a picky kid when it comes to school books in general. I think in the end Marilyn is just going to have to get over it and do the math.

1 comment:

Laura O said...

I'm in the midst of switching my 7th grader to Teaching Textbooks. We've been using Math U See, which I still love. But, with the baby requiring more time and making more noise than eldest son can tolerate....I wanted something that is more kid driven (as they watch/listen to lectures on the computer first.) TT is a bit expensive, but I was fortunate to find both Math 7 and Pre-Algebra for a good price.

Another option is to try an online math program that can help her bridge the gap. My boys are currently using Mathscore (as we got a few months free with our TOS Crew review). But, I really loved the way ALEKS worked. After an assessment, the computer decides what areas a child knows well, which they are ready to work on, and which areas need to be saved for later. Sometimes you can find a promo code for your first month free. Mathscore gives you a 2 week trial for free.