Friday, October 7, 2011

Math Update (LD, 3rd grade and DD 1st grade)

Life's been rolling along, but it's been hard to find time to post. Partly because odd jobs have taken up my spare time -- painting a hallway, cutting wood for the wood stove in our homeschool room, creating a new garden for some more blueberry plants, mountains of laundry and trying to clean and catch up with the house. It's left little time for the computer.

One thing I haven't written about is our math changes this year.  We started out with Right Start Math back a couple of years ago. While I loved it, I couldn't be consistent with it during our international move.  Then we made such good forward progress with games and Spectrum math workbooks that we stalled out (with Right Start) this past year.

This year we decided to give Saxon math a try.  It is a wonderful curriculum and covers some new concepts in new ways. Still, it doesn't go over the math facts the kids have been working on as much as I'd like, so we alternate days between Saxon and Spectrum math (and other work/games/clock cards, etc.).

LD for example, is working on Saxon 4/5.  It introduces things like 2+5+3+2+3+1+N=30 or find the next three numbers in the sequence 21, 28, 35, ___, ___, ___ .  How many days are in the 10th month of the year?  That's all great stuff, but LD still needs to work on straight facts like 6x8. So he does a daily multiplication page (I made a large collection of multiplication sheets using this website. Each of his worksheets has just 12 problems, but he needs consistent, daily practice.) And he does subtraction/addition problems in Spectrum (3) like

that involve borrowing (or for addition carrying). He's also working on simple division (fact families) which his curriculum hadn't covered in much depth yet.

DD just started Saxon 2 and seems to really enjoy it. I'm not sure how well LD would have done with it since it requires a bit of writing (write in the missing day of the week, for example), but she's happy with math time now (yay) and we're just starting Spectrum 2 to supplement it this week. (So far so good.) We still do a LOT of games, work with clock cards (and games) and work with the place value cards and other activities from Right Start.

So that's a quick glance at our daily math time.

By the way, I bought much of our Saxon math curriculum used from and had great experiences with all the people I bought from.  Except for the worksheet packs for Saxon 2 which I bough for $16.29 from here. Right now I'm primarily using the worksheets and am not using the teacher's instruction manual very often (for Saxon 2). I just glance at it from time to time (but not daily). Saxon 4/5 is a hardback student text book that LD works out of directly. We read the new concepts of each lesson from his text together and then he goes on to do the problem sets on his own, writing his answers on a separate sheet of paper.

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