"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Multiplication Made Easy?!

One of the nice things about homeschooling is taking things at our own pace.

Math, for example.

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that just the slight mention of the word can set off many tears in our home.

From the kids, and from me.

Math has always been a sore spot for Turtle, but it is especially difficult for Firefly.  She has, along with her Sensory issues, a distinct learning problem with math.  It is hard for her to understand, calculate, and take the time to do it right.

Plus, she hates it.  With a capital HATE.

So, my philosophy to this point has been to take it slow.  I want to make sure she truly understands the concepts I am teaching before we move on.  (More easily said than done, mind you.  She might understand perfectly well on Monday and have no idea what I am talking about on Tuesday...)

As a result, she is going into fourth grade and we are on our three's in our times tables.


Pretty much like we were in March, and keep in mind that we have continued our math through the summer.

Yeah, I know.

But then, guess what?  We got a chance to review Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy, created by Glenda Brown James.

ANYTHING that would make this process easier was worth a try!

Long story short, I love it.  Really. love. it.

And Firefly tolerates it, which is really high praise for a math activity.

When I received the program and tore into it, I saw a simple, spiral-bound book.  That's the whole program for the homeschool teacher.  The book includes:  philosophy, lesson plan, pre and post tests, multiplication table, weekly guide sheet, zeroes, ones, tens, and elevens, daily activity sheets, multiplication reviews, games, and flashcards.

The philosophy?  Genius, at least to me--I have cold sweats remembering how we learned the multiplication tables.  Ones.  Twos.  Threes.  Over and over, boring drilling.

Effective, yes, in MOST cases.  Boring, oh heck yes!

Ms. James brings in a whole new way to learn that really challenges kids to memorize the facts.  And guess what?  They don't learn all of the threes in a row!

She starts with explaining that many facts can be taught almost instantly:  zeroes, ones, tens, and elevens, as long as you understand their patterns.  When those facts are learned, there are only thirty-six facts left to learn, assuming, of course, that you understand that 3 x 4 is the same as 4 x 3.

Those thirty-six facts are broken down into six a week, with no pattern at all.  The child has flashcards and worksheets to focus on those six facts all week, and within six weeks, they have mastered the multiplication tables!

The lessons are short, one page each, with flashcard drilling included.  The weekly multiplication reviews are quick, and there are games in the curriculum as well.

We used this program every day and were able to complete our math time in about ten minutes (minus any groaning that had to be gotten out of the way first!)  I am really impressed with how well Firefly is learning her facts, and I think she is getting impressed with herself!  I would highly recommend this to those others of you stuck in a rut teaching those pesky times tables!

But don't just take my word for it:  check out what my crew mates thought of this program here.

You can order Addition Made Easy or Multiplication Made Easy from the website.  Both are currently selling for $24.95 each for the Homeschool package.

Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine (and my kiddos!)


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