Welcome to the 5 Days of . . . week of cool blogging, sponsored by the TOS Homeschool Crew. Want to know more about it, see my introductory post here.
Math, oh Math! Math is one of those subjects that either raises joy, fear, or mixed feelings in a lot of people. As homeschoolers, it has been a dreaded school subjects for many, moms and students alike.
I will have to place myself in the mixed feeling category when it comes to math. I do not mind Math, but sometimes it can be hard to teach it to my kids, mainly because one of them absolutely hates doing exercises. And, of course Math is best learned by practice, right?
So how does a mom evaluates how she is doing in teaching Math to her kids, especially when Math is one of those subjects that is foundational to any scientific career or pursuit? My oldest wants to be an engineer, yet he is the one who does not like practicing his skills (he hates any practice of any kind!).
I have found that Math is really a set of skills and concepts that one needs to know. Regular textbooks decide the how and the sequence of how these concepts need to be taught, and you have to follow along, whether or not the child can get it or not. As homeschoolers we certainly have the luxury of going at our children's pace, but if we follow a particular textbook, you often end up staling while the child gets his head wrapped up around a certain concept hurdle. This is definitely better than if he were in school, as there, he would be left behind, as "not getting it" is not much of an option; there is no time to wait in the classroom.
Despite this, between my son hating doing pages of exercises and the feeling of being constrained to a particular sequence, I was thrilled to find out about Math on the Level. Why, you might ask?
Math on the Level addressed both these issues: I chose my sequence, and I am only required to give the boys 5 exercises a day.
The philosophy behind this is that in order to understand something, a child needs to be mentally ready. If he is not, he will have a hard time. However, if you can't teach him something, teach him something else. Certainly addition, subtraction, multiplications are the basics, so no going around that, but besides that, the concepts to be learned in Math are very flexible when it comes to sequence.
Math on The Level divides these concepts between 4 books which covers all math concepts needed up to grade 8:
Operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, order of operation, exponents etc...
Geometry and measurement which includes telling time, graphs.
Decimal and Money which of course includes place value.
On top of these 4 books, which tell you how to teach the math concepts in questions, you also are provided with 2 other books containing ideas on how to make Math more fun and real, as well as general tips and helps on teaching math: Math Adventure and Math Resources.
I have to say I am more comfortable with a workbook to follow, as there is not as much work for me to do, but this approach was frustrating my oldest and making him hate Math. Since we started with MOTL (1 year ago), Math has not been as much of a struggle, even though I usually give them more to do than only 5 practice problems.
This is an example of a set of exercise for one day (back and front):
Now, are they learning? That's the goals after all, right? I have to say they are! The boys have progressed in their Math understanding and mastery. My boys are 1st and 3rd grade and they both can:
- Do their additions and subtractions with regrouping and renaming without any problems.
- Do 3 digits multiplications
- Adding, subtracting and multiply fractions same and different denominators
- Have a good understanding of word problems
- Tell time on a regular clock to the minute
- Have a basic understanding of measurement
- Calculate area and perimeter (still needing mastery)
- Have an understanding of family bonds and relationship between addition and subtraction, multiplication and division
a+a = 4
b+b+b = 12
c+c+c+c = b
d+d+c+c = 8
a+b+c+d = ?
- 1800-teachers great for word problems (Singapore material). It is a free membership site **** This site is no longer active, but any Singapore stuff is great.
- The math Worksheets Site.com
- Homeschool Math
- Helping With math
- Mr Printables
For online games:
- Cool Math Games
- Adapted Minds
- Sheppard Software
- Math Playground
- Cool Math 4 Kids
Other sites where you can find great Math resources are:
The blessing of MOTL is the freedom and flexibility it gives the teacher. We get to talk Math, play games and spend minimal time on worksheets.