Okay, so what about the academic stuff….like Math?

Wondering about Math? Math phobic? If you’re likeing the whole benefits of home school thing, then perhaps you’ve thought about math, and wondered how you could teach this subject?

How were you with math in school? Did you like it? Did you struggle? Were you pushed through the system even though you hadn’t mastered a math concept? If you were, then you aren’t alone. Myself included. Even though I never failed math, my computations were slow, and word problems sometimes baffled me. I didn’t always know if I was supposed to add, subtract, multiply or divide. So, why praytell, would I want to teach math? How can I have (gasp) confidence

mathusee.jpgWell, for one, teaching elementary math gives me the mathematical education I never had. I am methodicaly learning again, right along with my children. Mom gets excited when she notices a number pattern or little mathematical “trick”. My enthusiasm, therefore; is real. It is also catching. Something good to have when teaching math. No need to pass on my own phobias. They vaporize with my own discoveries. This actually helps my confidence. For instance, let’s look at the 9 times tables:

9 x 2 = 18

9 x 3 = 27

9 x 4 = 36

9 x 5 = 45

9 x 6 = 54

Notice the number pattern? The numerals in the solution have a pattern. The first column of numbers increases in increments of 1, and the second column of numbers decreases in increments of one. Also the two digits in the solution always add up to nine! How cool is that?

You can also buy math curriculum that caters to your childrens’ learing style. We have been using Math-U-See for four years now and it has worked really well, particularly if your children are visual or spatial learners. The manipulatives are unique and easy to use. As my oldest is entering Grade five next year, we will be switching to Saxon Math 6/5. She rarely uses the manipulatives anymore and is ready for more abstract concepts.

For more on teaching homeschool math, refer to The Well Trained Mind, chapter 6 The Joy Of Numbers: Math

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3 Comments

Filed under Math

3 responses to “Okay, so what about the academic stuff….like Math?

  1. I’m ok with the math we’re doing now, grades 4 & 6, but I know there will come a time when I’m re-learning it all. I was never great in math, but could always get through it. I’ve really enjoyed Math U See as well, the boys like it too (which is I guess the important part!)

  2. i am struggling with a math curriculum. My daughter is overwhelmed with having too many problems on a given page as such I am struggling with what to do for a 2nd grade curriculum. I looked at a number of curriculum but have never checked out Math U See. I will add that one to my list of items to check.

    Thanks!

  3. We used MUS for 2 years with Emme. And I loved it! But, I’m going to switch to Saxon for both girls this year. When we were more than halfway through Alpha, I noticed that she wasn’t grasping some concepts. She totally got stuck on (-8) and could never solve for the unknown without manipulatives for the tests. I’m going to start her midway through Saxon 1 and get some basics down before moving on. I also like how they incorporate measurements, months of the year, measurements, telling time, etc.

    I got to hear Mr. Demme (from MUS) speak at the homeschool convention recently. What an awesome Godly man! I’m hanging on to the curriculum. One of my other kids might embrace it better. We’ll see.

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