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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are on our second math program in as many years and while it is a big improvement over last year, I'm sick of math on paper and so are my kids. We really like Family Math. We like playing board games. We like cooking together. I'm really scared to stop using a curriculum, though. We don't use much curriculum over all and the little we do use we make work for us (rather than the other way around), but there is just something about math that makes it seem different.<br><br>
I guess what I'm looking for is some feed back from moms of older kids who have either not used math curriculum or have taken long breaks from it.
 

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I'm not a parent of an older child, but I have a younger sister who didn't like formal math lessons. Because of her, we ended up playing a lot more math based games. We did unit studies about money, simple accounting, family math type games. We did clapping games and bean-bag tossing games while reciting multiplication tables. It was a lot of fun. The rest of us benefitted from my sisters lack of mathmatical interest. She is now 25, in college studying child development and really, there isn't much math in her life besides the "games" we played as children. I say, treat Math like the other subjects you are studying and find a way to make it interesting instead of thinking it has to be dry and analytical. If they want to become physicists later on, their interest will drive them. My sister definitely learned math better when it had a practical "real world" application, such as building a dollhouse.
 

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two things--- i think maybe i would look at some scope & sequence somewhere maybe world book online to see what exactly dc is 'supposed to know'<br>
then I would observe my kids to see what exactly they need to be working on, weaknesses or strengths--<br>
then i'd go ahead and take a month off<br>
reevaluating later to see if where everyone is at <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> for peace of mind if you are worried<br><br>
then as well-- we use bits of here and there instead of a math program, the kids love playing computer games as well as board games, our kids play a lot of card games that involve adding too imaginative games like playing store are fun you could search file folder games and make lapbooks together for math games/themes you have the right aged kids to get into lapbooking<br><br>
you do not need a math program or boxed curriculum with manipulatives to teach children math skills they need to be successful later on<br><br>
HTH a bit<br>
mom to ds16, ds10, ds7, and dd 5
 

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Never used a math program ever, here. Mine are 11 and 13 years old and we just don't see the need for a math program. We play games (Yahtzee, Monopoly, etc) and they handle and budget their own money (sometimes better than I do lol) Not only am I am confident in their math ability, I am so pleased that they just see it as an automatic everyday use as its needed skill. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Math is everywhere, so I say take a break from the program if you need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you for the feed back!<br><br>
I've gone over and over the scope and sequences. My kids are ahead for their grades in all the threads of math except computation. Fractions, telling time, measuring, geometry, etc. are really easy for both of them.<br><br>
My older dd understands the concepts of addition, subtration, multiplication, and division but she cannot manipulate the numbers (even small ones) in her head without objects (she has some other learning problems too and would most likely be labled with a LD if she were in school). We have math wrap ups, Quarter Mile, Caluculadders, ect. I was considering ordering Math-It, but since none of the other things has helped her it seems like throwing money at a problem.<br><br>
My younger DD is math bright but doesn't like any school work invovling a pencil. I'm not worried about her at all and she seems to be one of those kids that as long as she has good access to materials, she will turn out just fine.<br><br>
UnschoolnMa, do you worry about your kids being able to do formal math when they get to college? BusyBee makes a good point that if something they love and want to pursue requires advanced math, they could catch up, but I think Algebra is required for most every degree.<br><br>
THANK YOU
 

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Of course not! We've taken a total year's break from formal math with my eldest twice over the past 5 years. Whenever we've come back to it, she's burst forward with at least a year's worth of progress in almost no time. Enough to make me wonder why we do the formal stuff at all.<br><br>
Card games and dice games are excellent intermediate steps between concrete and abstract math. They're symbolic to an extent, but in a more concrete way than numerical digits, and they're concrete to an extent, but more abstract than manipulatives like counters. Money is also a terrific semi-abstract manipulative. It gets bonus points because it's a base-ten system if you remove the nickels, quarters and $5 and $20 bills, and because it's real-life stuff! Does your dd have an allowance or a money-making venture like a paper route or egg-selling business? That would help really get her interested in learning how to use and calculate with money. My three older kids are allowed to spend $5 at the grocery store each week on food. They generally buy chips or gum (yeah, it's barely food, I guess, but we count it) but sometimes they choose something healthier. This not only stops them whining to get me to buy them junk food, but it engages them in mental math, calculating how much they can spend.<br><br>
The "Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks" series of spiral books is filled with tons of ideas for math games. Most of them are designed to help kids gradually internalize math facts in abstract ways, but with the card-faces and/or dice dots there to help as necessary. You might combine this with some other games like Monopoly, Countdown, Snakes & Ladders (play a version where you can add, subtract or multiply two dice to get the most advantageous move), chess, checkers, Battleship or other grid-style games, for a daily session of games. You'll quickly discover a few that seem to "work" for your dd, both in terms of holding her interest and inspiring her, and in terms of increasing her comfort with simple mathematical computation. Another excellent game for the car, or anytime, is "I'm thinking of a number". You think of a number and give a clue or two. For example, "I'm thinking of a number with 2 digits that add up to 9." Your dd's job is to ask yes/no questions to correctly identify the number. She might as "is it more than 50? is it more than 70? is it 54? is it 63?" to get at the answer. My kids love this one, and they learn a ton playing it.<br><br>
Hope that helps!<br><br>
Miranda
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda KS</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">UnschoolnMa, do you worry about your kids being able to do formal math when they get to college? BusyBee makes a good point that if something they love and want to pursue requires advanced math, they could catch up, but I think Algebra is required for most every degree.<br><br>
THANK YOU</div>
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I think they will do fantastic. The fields both kids have expressed interest in (thus far) do involve higher math, and they both realize it. I think the way that our lifestyle has just been an environment for where these things are just part of life, and that they understand how to problem solve will lend itself well to college math. Also it has to do with dedictation and an understanding of how to study. A sort of "how to find out what you don't know" thing. Research skills, trial and error, and the like make me feel like they will also enjoy the process of getting into algebra and similiar things. At this point my son plans to get much of his math and science credits out of the way at the college before 18, so he can just move foward with the core requirements of his majors. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys so much for all this great info and support. This feels so right to me and yet so scary at the same time. I'm printing out your responses and keeping them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I had a great talk with my DH and about this tonight and he is supportive too. So.....we are putting the text books on a shelf and letting the kids know where they are.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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Take a break. No, the world will not end - lol. And I say this as a high school math teacher (tho I'm kinda new to it btw) - I have a few homeschooled kids in my classes (it's an alternative school). Have you tried digiblocks (for the computations)? I haven't seen math ladders but I don't teach the younger set.
 

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We never used a math "program. (14 years+ of homeschool/unschool) We have used the Key Tos from Key Curriculum press, but things like Saxon scared the daylights out of me, made me think of when I was in school, yikes! So I definitely did not want it for my children. We have always just incorporated practical math, daily usage of math, mental math, etc. My oldest is 20, has his own business. My 15 year old is using a correspondence school for a diploma, his choice, and he gets math here and there, but it is really useful math, like calculating interest rates and stuff a person would need to know. This is the child who taught HIMSELF to multiply at age 6 by touchdowns in football and playing yahtzee.<br><br>
My baby (6) is learning math by the same methods.<br><br>
Go for it!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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No math program here! Our world hasn't stopped. We do so much math everyday in real life. Just last night ds wanted to know how to figure out the area of his room! We play a lot of games and cook. He helps me grocery shop. Weighing produce and figuring out the cost. I could go on and on. My ds is pretty good at Math. He would really hate it if I told him we were going to start doing workbooks. However, he has workbooks if he ever chooses to do some Math pages.
 

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Nope, the world won't end. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> our house is really into math/science and we're not super stringent about math curriculums either. (at least when I'm not angsting about it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><br>
For Meaghan (now 12) I knew she was reasonably good at math, so delayed gettign her anythign more than busywork until just this past year. We use the Key To series becuase my two midle girls learn better when it is concept-based. The good thing about the Key To books is, if you want ot hold off until the kids are older, like teens and then they want to learn a concept, they can fly through the first few books and really learn it well.<br><br>
Also, you mentioned something about algebra - I bet they are doing it all the tiem, you just don't realize it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> They have plenty of time to learn it if they have to or need to. My oldest has his head stuck in a college text because he wants to, silly guy.
 
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