Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Math Curriculum Choices 2012-2013

We have been blessed this year having the opportunity to review many great items for the Schoolhouse crew including several math programs. We will finish up summer school soon ... we school year-round. Our plan is to start the new fall curricula and subjects the first or second week of September. We are waiting until that point, because I didn't want to start new subjects or curriculum before we move to a new place. I haven't had much time to do intense planning like last year, because things have been hectic and crazy around here so it's a good thing I made a few decisions in advance. I will discuss our math plans after the update. It will be easier for me to discuss our curriculum choices and options in short bursts rather than listing our curriculum choices on one post. We have just been so busy packing and organizing for the upcoming move - it is hard to find enough time to sit down and type it all out.  Besides, I like to discuss the topics a little more in depth.

Addition and Learning Made Easy Update
I did want to give you an update on Alyssa's progress with Addition and Learning Made Easy. You can read my review post by clicking the link here if you haven't already read it. Last Thursday, Alyssa completed the addition fact program with complete success. I gave her the posttest and timed her while she worked diligently. All 40 addition facts problems were completed correctly and written neatly in 3 minutes and 20 seconds.  She was so excited!  She enjoyed the program and asked me if there were any additional activities.  I told her , "No, you finished the entire program and now we can move on to another curriculum."  She said, "Like Math U See!" The Addition and Learning Addition Made Easy program helped her learn the handful of addition facts that she was struggling with this year.  I hope that the knowledge will be retained and not just memorized short term. We will continue to practice addition facts with hands-on games, other curriculum, and Montessori activities. Occasionally, I will throw in a drill exercise or timed addition test just to double check ... to make sure she hasn't forgotten anything.

2012-2013 Math Curriculum Plans
We usually do school six days a week due to my husband's schedule. What?  Don't worry Alyssa gets plenty of time to play freely.  She plays with her puppet theater, kitchen, dolls, games, puzzles, etc. Please don't judge our decisions - this is what works best for our family. Our goal will be to take Sunday off for worship and to spend time with family and friends. As with any curriculum, these plans are subject to change at any time. 

Calendar Time - We will begin all lessons with calendar time. This activity will have to be another post because it involves so much.

Math U See Alpha - She completed Math U See Primer many, many months ago and will continue using this program. I bought the next level back in April at a homeschool conference with plans to use it in the fall. She has been eagerly waiting to get started and asks me several times a week, "When will we start Alpha momma?" I think she may be a bit excited about it. I do believe Alyssa will breeze through this level since it focuses on addition and subtraction. This curriculum usually is done on days when she goes to dance or gymnastics since it is easy to complete. We'll use this curriculum 2-3 per week. Sometimes I split a lesson between two days so that not all worksheets are completed on one day. There are some days that she is motivated and wants to complete them all on the same day. I know that many home educators feel that if a problem can be done easily, then the chid can move to the next lesson. There are only 1-3 problems per page so if you are using this curriculum for the first time choose what is best for your child's needs and abilities. Math U See uses manipulative blocks and worksheets (we put them in a sheet protector).

Right Start Math Level ALast year, the plan was to alternate these two math curriculums throughout the year to provide a variety of activities utilizing different approaches and to cover many topics. Right Start Math is a great balance because it is more hands-on and involves the addition of games. What child doesn't like to play games?  Even better the child can learn while having fun!  In the beginning, we followed the plan perfectly. Then, I found myself wondering if I were rushing her and trying to do too much, so we used the curriculum off and on until I completely eliminated the Right Start Math curricula from our schedule. It was more teacher intensive involving a lot more prep. I think I only thought that way, because I let the beliefs of others intrude on our plans. Never again ...  this year Right Start Math WILL be used alternately with Math U See Alpha. I know my daughter best and what she can handle. We both LOVE learning! I love the program even though it involves more prep time and regretted NOT using it the full year.  I haven't figured out which days will be dedicated to which curriculum yet, because it depends on her extracurricular activities. I usually spend 2-3 days per curricula.  The Homeschool Buyers Co-op will occasionally offer deals on this curriculum.  You can read about the co-op here.

Supplementary Programs
Professor B Math
This year we were introduced to a wonderful online advanced arithmetic curriculum called Professor B Math.  We will continue using this program after the above mentioned curriculums throughout the week at the end of our math time block. I carved out a certain amount of time for Math and once the lessons have been completed, we'll do a lesson or two in Professor B. The concepts covered in the first level simply amaze me! This program will give Alyssa the challenge that she needs and help expose her to concepts I know won't be covered in the other curriculums. You've never heard of Professor B Math ... well you can read my review by clicking on the link here.

Montessori Math
We have been doing Montessori Math for quite some time now. I will continue incorporating activities from this CD throughout the year. We were blessed and won their Deluxe CD-ROM Collection from Living Montessori back in April.  Thank you so much Montessori Print Shop and Living Montessori!! I am extremely grateful that I won this giveaway!!! We have been using and enjoying the curriculum items and products.

*There are other supplementary materials that we have to be used in conjunction with the two previously mentioned curriculums when it deems fitting.

Online Curriculums and Programs
We will also alternate the use of online math programs.
  • Dreambox - My absolute favorite online differentiated math program is Dreambox. We renewed our subscription through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. If you decide to join the HSBC, please join through my link because I will receive 100 Smartpoints. I use the SmartPoints to purchase additional curriculum for Alyssa. You can read all about it here. I have saved so much money on curriculum by joining the HSBC for FREE. Alyssa completed the kindergarten and first grade math concepts in less than 6 months without consistently using the program. She recently began the program's second grade math curriculum. The concepts are becoming a little more challenging so she's having to slow down and concentrate.  We will consistently use it this year and this online program is Alyssa's favorite by far. 
  • IXL - She also has a subscription to IXL Math which expires in November.  We most likely won't be renewing this subscription due to the lack of use and funds. She likes it but asks for Dreambox more often.  She will continue using this program at her own pace until it expires. IXL is also offered through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op at a reasonable price.
  • ZooWhiz - We will start reviewing this program at the end of the month.  Stay posted and come back later to visit my blog and read my review. Alyssa is overjoyed and has been counting down the days. We are currently using the free program with ads until we have been upgraded to a premium membership. As with any review product, Zoo Whiz will be become a priority and be used more often than the other online programs for the duration of the review. Afterwards, I evaluate the situation and make decisions as to how often the program will be used throughout the year. 

1 comment:

  1. This is nice option for kid’s maths learning. I think with this they can improve their mathematical workouts.