This week the theme of the 2016 Virtual Curriculum Fair is "Discovering Patterns". The linkups will include ideas for studying mathmatics, logic, and some sciences. I want to focus on what we use for math. There are so many math programs available and it can be very overwhelming to pick one.
Back when I first started homeschooling Apple, I pulled together simple resources like workbooks and free websites. I also spent time using "manipulatives" from around the house like game pieces. She spent lots of time learning to count with little plastic blocks from the Don't Break the Ice game. She and Speedy both used our colorful Jenga blocks for all sorts of homeschool activities. If you have very young children, don't be afraid to use what you've already got to start introducing them to numbers and patterns.
When it was time to move to a formal curriculum, I felt so overwhelmed! I had a good idea of what kind of curriculum Apple would need, but there were so many choices. After asking EVERY homeschool mom I knew and doing a little research online, I decided to try Math-U-See. I am so glad I did. MUS has been the constant for my kids over the years. Apple started with Beta and is now working on Pre-Algebra and Algebra. Speedy started with Primer and is working on Delta now. They both have very strong foundations in math although only one is naturally mathmatically minded. I will have a fun MUS review coming for you soon so check back!
A few years ago, one of the kids was struggling with enjoying math. Although MUS is very successful for them, that year one student needed a little more motivation to learn math. I started searching for something new to add to our day. I found Life of Fred. While I wasn't so sure about the concept, I decided it was worth a try. Life of Fred is a fantastic motivator for your reader who may not love math. The funny stories hooked my kids right away! The short practice at the end of each chapter kept them from feeling overwhelmed by doing 2 maths. We have enjoyed Fred on and off since first starting it. The kids haven't had much time this year to work on Fred but we have the books on the shelf. Occasionally one of them will go work on a book on their own time. I know we will eventually work LOF back into our regular schedule as a supplement. I have recommended the books often over the years.
Last year we had the opportunity to review several online math programs. Both kids did very well moving in and out of different styles of online learning. They each came away with a favorite that they are continuing to use this year.
Apple is nearing the end of Unlock Math Pre-Algebra. Since she is working at a higher level than average for her age, I feel good about her using 2 separate resources to complete Pre-Algebra. It is a program she can use almost completely on her own, and it keeps a grade record that I can check as needed. Overall it has been a wonderful program for her as an addition to MUS. There have been a few lessons that she found frustrating because she wasn't able to catch on to the concept watching the video, but she has been able to maintain a B average in the course.
Speedy has completed the 3rd grade level of CTC Math. He was able to finish it fairly quickly, and he really enjoyed all the lessons. CTC allows the student to move between the levels, but I haven't been able to talk him into working ahead into the 4th grade level yet. He's hoping we get to review CTC again so he can work on it next school year.
Typically in the spring, I purchase all the curriculum we need for the fall. After a year on the Crew, we have quite a few resources built up to use! There are also great review items coming up for the rest of the year so I made the difficult (for an obsessive planner) choice not to buy much this year! I already have Apple's MUS Algebra I workbook, and I will need to purchase the MUS Epsilon workbook for Speedy for the fall. Other than that we are hoping to work with what we have or will be receiving. It's hard not to order a bunch of curriculum anyway because I LOVE new books. However this method will be much more budget friendly.
So for the 2016-2017 year, Apple will definitely do Math-U-See Algebra I and Speedy will be doing Math-U-See Epsilon. We also have some Life of Fred books that they will be able to use.
Do you have your 2016-2017 Math plans made yet?
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses - Thoughts on Math and Science
Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset - From Counting to Calculus
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World - How We Approach Math in This Homeschool Year
Annette @ A Net In Time - Struggling with Math, Loving Science
Annette @ A Net In Time - Lego Pulleys and Levers
Yvie @ Gypsy Road Hands - On Math with Special Needs Learners
Chelli @ The Planted Trees - Chemistry Using Living Books
Lisa @ GoldenGrasses - An Appalling Lack of Curiosity
Edie @ Carter Chaos - Our Favorite Ways to Study Numbers
Tracey @ A Learning Journey - Robot Area and Perimeter Art Project
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life - Math and Standardized Tests
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy - Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science
Sarah @ DeliveringGrace - Learning Multiplication Tables
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom - Multisensory Multiplication
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break - Science and Stuff
Kemi Quinn @ Homemaking Organized - Math in Our Homeschool for a Later Elementary Organized Reader
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory - Math and Logic - Our Steady Path
Laura @ Four Little Penguins - Math and Science Love