Hi! I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!
Getting down to the nitty gritty. That’s what Math is. We all have to learn it. We homeschool mothers all have to teach it.
There are a lot of good programs out there. I’m only here to tell you about the Math that has worked for us.
First off, I have to tell you to not stress so much about it! It happens. Up until the end of grade three I don’t even start to think about teaching formal math. Before this time the kids learn to tell time, and learn to buy candy at the store, with money they’ve earned themselves for the most part. We count and we play board games where they need to count. Cards are good too for number recognition. Definitely nothing formal and “schoolish” about this math.
I have a daughter starting in grade 4 (or at least that’s the grade she’d be going into if she was in school). Homeschooling means we can relax about grades and focus on learning. A little grade 3, some grade 4, perhaps some grade 5, how about some multi-grade unit studies…it all works in homeschooling. This particular child needs to start learning her addition. At this age it goes fairly quickly. Memorization, however, is the key. The better she can memorize her addition, the easier subtraction, multiplication and division will be. No calculators until the higher math is introduced.
I typically like to start doing this before we break for the summer vacation, but doing it now works too. Work within your family schedule and ups and downs! If I get this covered now, in September we’ll have no problem starting in Saxon Math 5/4. All my other kids did.
This is what our book looks like. You can still find them used like here.
The new cd series looks like this
and you can find it here.
We have had great success with Saxon Math. My kids have succeeded in Math at the local high school, and I attribute it to the great way that Saxon teaches the Math. There are a lot of numbers to do each day and it can be quite time consuming, so we do every other number only. It works.
At the beginning of a new book, we spend the first little bit just going over the lessons together and answering the example questions. We continue like this, doing several lessons a day, until I find that the child no longer knows what they are doing and this is the lesson they start working on in their notebook. We can easily get through 20 or 30 review lessons before this happens. It gives us more freedom on those days we don’t do any Math. With each lesson, you only need to do every second number to succeed.
Another thing we’ve learned with Saxon Math, is that you can skip Saxon Math 8/7 and go right into Algebra 1/2. This has helped my kids when they get to the local high school, since Algebra hasn’t even been introduced yet to the other students and it is a concept that frightens them. Saxon introduces Algebra in such a way that the kids smoothly and easily make the transition. There is no place for fear in Math.
Working at the pace of the child, starting another book as soon as one is finished, my kids not only finish Algebra 1/2 before grade 9, but some have finished Algebra 1 and even started Algebra 2. Math is a subject in which not too many breaks should be taken because it can be forgotten so quickly.
Remember that with homeschooling we find the program that works for us. I didn’t start with Saxon Math, but I definitely won’t be changing it. Unless, of course, I have a child that really struggles with it. Then the child wins. Every time.
Don’t forget to pray about the direction your learning should take this year and every year. Advice is only advice. I got most of my advice at used curriculum sales from previous owners of the curriculum and from my research. Every program can work. Make yours work for you. If the child really struggles with the learning, find another solution.
Joy and laughter should be a part of every learning experience, not anger, frustration and tears. So remember, laugh out loud!