Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My favorite things

You probably already know my feelings on teaching math. You may recall my saying it makes me want to rip my hair out.  I have confessed my struggles in my abilities to teach the subject. I really toiled, prayed, and even cried over which program to get for second grade. I spent hours researching every math curriculum I could find. You may also recall my goal at the beginning of the summer to test out all the free samples of Math curricula that I could find in order to find the perfect one. That never really happened, here is why. 

You may remember that back in March a friend of mine gave me boxes of homeschool stuff. In those boxes was a second grade math book and teacher book. It was Making Math Meaningful by David Quine. I had flipped through it but after looking at bright colorful pages from Kindergarten and first grade I thought these pages looked so boring. Also, I was worried it would be too much work every day. As it was, my son would cry to complete the 6 problems he had on one page. 

When I went to the FPEA convention, I looked through every single Math book I saw. I looked at every single set of manipulatives. I tried to learn all I could about every math program. At the final hour, I still felt no more certain than when I had arrived. I was waiting for a lecture to begin that I was not convinced I needed, I think it was about lapbooking, and I was flipping through the other options when I saw David Quine's name. I got up and ran to the opposite side of the convention center to hear him speak. His lecture had nothing to do with Math. It was about bringing God into your home but I felt the Holy Spirit convict me. God had chosen this curriculum for my son. Who am I to argue?

After the lecture I went and talked to Mr. Quine. I told him that God was leading me to use his math program and that I was afraid of Math. He said, "You can call us anytime you have a question, any hour." I saw that I did not have the right manipulatives and I asked him if they were necessary. He said no, "You can use things around the house. I don't ever want teaching at home to be a burden." I bought the set anyway just to make it easier on me.

BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE! My 7yo is mastering things that I still can't do. The use of mainipulatives make things concrete and now he is beginning to visualize the numbers instead of having to put them in front of himself or count on finger and toes like I do. He has no problem completing what I thought was going to be more work. In fact, he gets it done in less time and with little to no complaining.

Last week, I watched him solving word problems, which I always hated and was never any good at. He had gotten 14 as his previous answer. The next problem started out with the number 11. He looked at his 14 chips, started pulling them out of the pile one by one counting backwards. GEEZ, I am 31 and I can't do that. LOL. I am not ashamed to admit that anymore either. After all, I went to public school and my math deficit is one of the reasons I homeschool my kids anyway. I can only imagine what I would have been capable of if I had used a math program like this when I was in elementary school.

I am so proud of my 7yo! I am thrilled with my hubby's teaching abilities and willingness to take such an active role in our homeschool. Finally, I am beyond pleased with this math program!

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