math curriculum for me? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I have allways sucked at math, it never seemed to click. I can add subtract multiply & divide but with great difficulty. To the point were I just accept change given back to me because working out if it is right would take to long. I need to sort this out for myself and our kids since i want to be able to help them with math & hs'ing.
But where do I start? I feel completely lost about this and rather embarrassed tbh. Anyone able to point me in a good direction to start?


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#2 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 06:42 AM
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I plan on using Math U See for myself. I watch the video and read the manual when working with my son and it's just an eye opener.

I am horrible at math, so bad that when we play Yahtzee I'm still adding while everyone else at the table is tapping impatiently. If it can do for me what it is doing for my son, then I will gladly shell out the $$ for a program.
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#3 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 01:03 PM
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If you don't mind a religious curriculum, I recommend Rod and Staff.

We moved so much during my childhood, and the schools never taught the same math concepts, so I have huge gaps in my math education. I was very nervous about homeschooling because of math.

I studied about different theories in math education, and decided that I needed a "mastery" curriculum with plenty of practice and drills.

I chose Rod and Staff arithmetic. With each year package, you get a teacher's manual that is amazing, a student book, and extra drills and practice sheets. From third grade up, the books are all nonconsumable so you can use them for all your children.

I recommend that you start with first grade, yourself! Read the teacher's manual for each lesson, because it thoroughly explains the concepts and gives examples. It literally gives a script for the teacher to say to the student, so the manual can "teach" you in that way. Then do the lesson, do the practice sheets, do the flash cards or whatever is assigned, grade your papers, and the next day, do the next lesson.

Then when you go to teach first grade math to your child, you will totally know and understand how to do it. While your child is in first grade, you can study the second grade book.

If you are not able to do that, then study the lesson the night before your child does it. That is what I had to do when my oldest was in fifth grade. Apparently I never learned fifth grade math. I studied the lesson and did the problems, and if I got stuck I asked my husband to teach me how to do it. That was with a different curriculum; with Rod and Staff I can understand it on my own.

I am passionate about math education, especially in homeschooling. Did you know that the United States is not really succeeding at teaching math in the schools? I've read so much recently about teachers not being able to pass the elementary math tests. I am not pointing fingers, here, because I wasn't properly taught math, either. I'm just saying that I think it is good to identify the problem and figure out how to do better with our children.

If we choose to homeschool, then it is responsible to tackle this lack. I appreciate your willingness to do this! It is hard. I used to feel so silly (and stupid) studying a fourth grade math book when I was over thirty years old. I think many people wouldn't, especially if they can do the things I can do, such as balancing a checkbook, ordering things out of a catalog, etc.

But I agreed with you that if we want our children to really understand and really be good at math, we need to try to learn it ourselves.

I am now doing sixth grade math. When ds moves to algebra, I plan to buy Teaching Textbooks and let the guy on the DVD teach him. I'll do the lessons along with ds at that point.

I do know many homeschool moms who use Math U See and do the lessons along with their kids. I prefer Rod and Staff, but Math U See has a great reputation, too.
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#4 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 01:11 PM
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i understand. math is not my strong subject either. i don't enjoy it, and i don't really "get" it beyond the basics. in college, i literally chose my major based upon the least amount of math i would need to take for crying outloud, economics was hard because it required so many math formulas(and i could even use a TI82 calcualtor!!!). my degree is in social work - math free and happy to be!! lol.

i have found that i am learning along side my dd in math. i don't "teach" her necessarily, but rather, we learn together. we both enjoy it & i hope it will continue through the years. if we ever get to crossroads that require more than i can offer - we will investigate options such as a tutor, etc.

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#5 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

Townmouse, I assume by religious you mean Christian? What is the difference between mus and r&s?


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#6 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 02:55 PM
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A friend of mine who had never been good with math learned a lot when her son used a program very similar to Math-U-See. I don't think that program is made any longer, but Math-U-See might be great for you, because it's so visual and even tactile.

Also check out FUN-Books page of math resources! Arithmetic Made Simple, sold there, might be a good book for you - there are actually a number of yummy resources on that page.

You can also find lots of helpful ideas, resources, and fun practice sites within the links on this math page. You might very well find some helpful ideas for yourself in the articles about exploring math with children. Then, look beneath the box of articles to find a list of annotated links to interesting sites and web pages: Go Figure!

Do aim to make it a fun project that you can succeed at - that will make all the difference.

I would strongly suggest supplementing whatever program you use with fun things like The I Hate Mathematics Book, and Math for Kids and Other People Too. These will help you see that you're not a hopeless as you think, and you can even enjoy some math. But be gentle and supportive with yourself and take yourself on as a project the way you would a child you're trying to inspire with a comfort or even joy with math. - Lillian
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#7 of 8 Old 07-04-2008, 10:45 PM
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The Developmental Math series and the Key To series seem like they're what you're looking for.

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13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#8 of 8 Old 07-05-2008, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone,

Elizawill I don't really want to wait for ds to be ready for math. He'll only be 4 this august and he's far more interested in life to sit down and "do" math. if he does get interested cool he can join in but otherwise its just me. Dh is very mathematically oriented and he has tried to help me but his brain is wired in a weird way, I can not get how he thinks lol!

lillian, Thanks for the links and kind encouragement Since it has taken me years to get to this point I am in no rush at all and will take as long as i need

phathui5 thanks for the links I'm going to check then out


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