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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Math...Our Four-Letter Word

This post is part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair for 2014--a great group of bloggers has come together to talk to you about what's working--and what's not--inside our homeschools.

Some affiliate links may be included.  See full disclosure here.


You know what?  I think I've come to really hate that word.

Maybe not the actual word, so much, but I definitely hate what the reactions to the word are in our house.

Screaming, crying, writhing on the floor, temper tantrums.

Oh, how I wish I was exaggerating!

See, my girls are not math brainiacs.  They don't like it, it's hard for them, and they, truthfully, don't see the point in it.  And as their non-math-brained Momma, I have a really, really hard time making it fun or more relevant for them.

So what do you do?  You have a subject that your children hate that you hate to teach.  

Over the years we have been homeschooling, we have run the gamut of math programs and curriculum, and I've finally decided to try to take myself out of the math equation as much as possible.  I figured that I would rather be their ally in math, rather than the enemy.

If all I have to do is tell them to go do their math, but then am there to try to help them with the work, it seems to make us slightly more friendly with each other throughout the process.

Slightly.  And it depends on the day.  And the hormones.


But, here is what we have settled on this year in our homeschool:

Turtle is using VideoText Interactive Algebra.  We were blessed to be given it to review at exactly the same time that we were beginning to panic about how Turtle would complete Grade 7 Math, PreAlgebra, and Algebra I in the course of one year.  (The program she wants to go into next year as a Freshman requires Algebra I to be completed first).  Thanks to VideoText Interactive, she will complete PreAlgebra, Algebra I, and even some Algebra II if we stay on track.

I encourage you to head over to my review to get the details, but basically, she watches the video lesson, we go over the notes, we work through the problems, and I grade.

She still hates math.  But she's doing it, and mostly understanding it, and I am her guide--not the mean Algebra monster-mom.

We've gone computer-based with Firefly as well.  After a few years of struggling through Singapore Math with her, I handed over the task to Teaching Textbooks.  Again, she watches the lesson, I go over it with her if she has any questions, and then we work through the problems.  

She also still hates math.  She'll tell you she hates the Teaching Textbooks man, too.  But she only hates me for the part when I tell her to go turn on her lesson and complete it.

My, Bug, on the other hand, seems to have only an "inherited" hate of math.  He will tell you he doesn't like it, because, honestly, I think he thinks he's not supposed to like it.  He's good at it, though.  And when we're not looking, he might even smile through a lesson or two.

Right now we are using Singapore Math 1B for him, as recommended by our Heart of Dakota guide.  At his level, Heart of Dakota provides the teaching activities for the lesson, as well as a guide on which pages to do in the workbook on which day.  I still don't feel like I'm a very good math teacher, even on a first grade level, but he is getting it.  He has learned a ton, and he might even enjoy it, deep, deep down inside.  Next year, I'm planning to go back to computer-based with him, and use A+ Tutor Soft for 2nd grade.

I would love, love, love to hear from you all on what you've done to help your reluctant math learners.  So far, we've found what works--kind of--for us.  What's worked for you?  Did you find the elusive easy button?

Take a peek at what we've used to conquer math in the past:

And make sure to see what my bloggy friends are using, by visiting them through the links below...

You are welcome to link up your post as well...


  1. Saxon and Teaching Textbooks user here, but I am thinking about going back to Video Text for my boys! I love that you can get credit for all the levels in a shorter time!

    1. We are really "enjoying" Video Text--as much as Algebra can be enjoyed, anyway. I mean, I am. Not her...



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