Saturday, January 12, 2013

What works for us...Math

Week 2 topic: Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science

Shortly after Miss K began soaring ahead in Reading , she became aware that Math did not come to her so easily. The novelty of the new curriculum in first grade wore off very quickly. We knew she needed something else but we were locked into the schedule of the virtual curriculum. In the end we supplemented with Saxon and vowed to find something better this year.

After some research we settled on Math in Focus (MIF) by Singapore math.  Each lesson has a guided practice section we do together and a lesson in the workbook. Our only issue was that it does introduce Multiplication and division fairly early on. Sensing we would need to revise a bit on skip counting and addition facts. I decided to bypass it and come back to it later in the year.

To be honest, I am a bit sneaky with Math. I discovered that as long as it doesn't 'look' like math, Miss K does not consider it an additional math lesson. Today was a good example. We use workboxes. The picture is from the first week of school in June (two apartments ago...did I mention we move a lot?)

Box 1: LA book
Box 2: Math lesson from the MIF text. 
Box 3:Spelling.
Box 4:MIF workbook pages for today's lesson
Box 5:Test prep practice (3 questions LA, 3 questions Math)
Box 6: Science Unit study (Currently Ocean)
Box 7: Time/clock activity
Box 8: Call to faith
Box 9: Color by number +/- facts pages (From enchanted homeschooling -awesome!)
Box 10: Reading
Box 11 math
Box 12: Boggle

Miss K had 5 'Math' workboxes, but the only groans about Math were when she was about to start with MIF. The groans on the Miss K scale were also only about a 2 (compared to 9 or 10s we were getting last year with the virtual curriculum). If we did 5 lessons of math from the textbook I could only imagine the response.

I have also tried to incorporate a Hands on Math activity each day that Miss K and Mini Piwi (3) can both work on.

Math happens all around us and I wanted Miss K to understand the importance of knowing how it works. She also needed to be able to see that it could be fun. If there isn't a project we can do to explain something then I usually end up doing an impromptu 'puppet show' using what ever toys I reach first. Yesterday, I had a (plastic) crab and a lobster explaining to Miss K about a mental math technique. If she's laughing, she's not getting frustrated and wanting to give up. It also kept Mini Piwi entertained.

I might sound relaxed about math. However, it is something that has had me praying for help and guidance. It is hard for any Mama to watch their child struggle with something. The 'I hate Math' comment still happens but we hear it less. When it does, I consider it a sign that we need to slow down and get ready to bring out the talking lobsters.

Check out all the other VCF posts on this week's topic: Math & Science

Delight Directed Middle School Science? by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
The Hardest Part of Math by Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy
A Tour Through Our Math and Science Life by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool What Works for Us…Math by Piwi Mum @ Learning & Growing the Piwi Way Math Art – Geometry by Julie @ Highhill Education It's Math-magical by Missouri Mama @ Ozark Ramblings Virtual Curriculum Fair: Fun and Games with Math by Tonia @ The Sunny Patch Discovering Patterns by Lisa @ The Golden Grasses Math for the Natural by Erin @ Delighting in His Richness Virtual Curriculum Fair~ Discovering Patterns by Karyn @ Teach Beside Me Too Many Math Programs or Not by Linda B @ Homeschooling6 Virtual Curriculum Fair:  Math and More!  by April @ Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum The post where I admit I was wrong by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset High School Math - Beyond the Textbook by TechWife @ A Playground of Words Discovering a World of Logic and Order by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory 2013 Virtual Curriculum Fair- Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science by Leah C @ As We Walk Along the Road
The Plans of Mice and Math (My Math in Focus review) by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
Rightstart Math is right for us! by Leann  @ Montessori Tidbits
Our Favorite Homeschool Math Curriculums by Wendy @ Homeschooling Blessings

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