As we head back to homeschool there is one subject on my radar that we made some serious headway in last year and I want to continue the momentum going for next year. Math My beautiful, intelligent, brilliant daughter has had a love hate relationship with math since about the end of the 1st grade on. Oh the woes we've gone through in Math each year. My baby learned to read years ago with no problems whatsoever. She breezed through learning phonics and reading like a champ. She sails through her spelling lessons and tests with such ease that I wonder why I am wasting my time testing her. She reads her history course books for fun and has even taught me a few things. But when it comes to Math it was all thumbs. What was I missing? What I was missing was my daughter's style of learning. How she learned best. I should have gotten a clue when I saw how much she learned from the Richard Scarry videos when she was very young (I know I probably could have waited a few years before letting her watch those but hey she learned her ABCs and counting too!). You see my daughter is a visual and audial learner. I got those titles from 2 books in my collection… Homeschooling and Loving It! and The Key to Learning Anything Between these two books I've been able to observe my own daughter and determine that, yes, she learns best with visual representation accompanied by audio. But with math the visual representation sometimes (not all the time) needs to be more than just problems on the board and an instructor telling her what's going on. Sometimes it needs to be acted out, presented in stories, or even every day play. So through trial and error here is what we found to be working with math in our homeschool. Storytime for Multiplication Tables Then I was reminded about a Times Table program. Times Tales. I had heard about them when she was but a baby but never thought to look into the program. So Times Tales was right up her alley. The times tables learned through small stories. Ingenious! Play Store and Real Store for Money Addition and Subtraction
- Playing store with her cash register. We bought our daughter one of those toy cash registers when she graduated from 2nd grade. As I continued to add to her felt food stash she has great fun playing grocery store with her friends and family.
- Helping me keep tabs on our grocery and shopping totals. We carry a calculator and the Sweet Peanut keeps a tally for me on what my total grocery bill will be. She takes her job very seriously and catches me if I make a mistake.
- Calculating costs for things she wants to buy with her allowance. When she gets her money she sets some aside for tithe, savings and then figures what she has to spend. This also helps her be responsible with her money and understand a bit how her dad and I are managing the household finances.
Division This one was a little harder. While yes we could sit around and divide things all day long it was the act of actual dividing that stumped her but the steps to completeing long division. So I made a colorful chart and, according to the Sweet Peanut, this has helped the most. You can print this Long Division Chart off here. It's not perfect but she says it works for her.