The Process of Math

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last Spring I started planning for the upcoming school year. One particular area I spent a while thinking about was The Girl Child's math.

When I sat down with her to discuss her thoughts about math, she thought perhaps she might like an easy-math school year. Fair enough.

The Girl has worked very hard the last few years wading through a bunch of Saxon Math. She's very good at it. Diligent. And when all is said and done, proud of herself.

I looked through a few options. At length. In the end, The Girl decided to work through a workbook style 8th grade level program. She knew it would be mostly review. The plan was to begin her 9th grade year, 2011-2012, with Algebra as most math programs provide. She felt she wasn't up for a heavy math year and to begin Algebra in her 8th grade year just felt like a heavy thought to her at that point.

So September rolled around and The Girl Child was happily anticipating wading only ankle deep into the new math workbook. Fairly immediately, she needed some help interpreting the instructions. She was feeling knee deep in icy waters since she was used to doing her own math these last 3 years.

We've muddled through to October and things haven't improved. I'm not impressed with the online support materials. The Girl is not impressed with the whole math situation. She's 1/3 the way through the workbooks and has done nothing more complicated than common multiples.

A meeting of minds - hers and mine -was called over hot chocolates. I told her my feelings: that she was putting a lot of work into being frustrated with basic math skills she had mastered long ago; that I felt she could work equally hard and further her skill set which would inspire confidence instead of the discouragement she was currently experiencing. She thought that made sense.

She's decided to look over some of the Saxon options available to her. She asked if I'd print her a placement test. I'd also like to get my hands on a copy of Life of Fred for her to peruse.

I told her that as part of our somewhat structured homeschooling style, she needed to work on some sort of math on a regular basis. But I wanted her to be clear that I was happy for her to choose her resources. I trust her to take some responsibility at this point in her learning.

I hope we'll have something decided on soon. But I suppose that this has been a good exercise for us. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the end.

~Mrs. A.


jugglingpaynes October 12, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

Marina seconds using Life of Fred. If your daughter is heavy into reading, it's set up more like a story with math concepts thrown in and than practice at the end of each chapter.

Peace and Laughter,

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