Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ramblings about Accelerated Math with My Little Man

I have been in a tizzy about math the past several days. I really try not to plan math too much other than to say that this is what we plan to do next. You never know when a child will fly through lessons and when he will need to squat on a topic. One of the benefits of home education is that I don't have to take into consideration an entire classroom full of students. Anyway, Duncan has used Saxon 54, Saxon 65, and half of Saxon 76 and I had planned to use Saxon 87 next.

With Duncan the problem, in addition to his sloppy 8yo boy handwriting making workbook type materials look really attractive, is that due to Kumon, Key to Algebra Book 1, Math Mammoth Order of Operations, and Hands on Equations he has jumped ahead of his current material in Saxon 76. However, I can't just skip him ahead through testing or whatever, because he hasn't worked with some of the geometry presented in Saxon and it is integrated into the rest of the program.

Another problem is that it is pretty clear that at Kumon Duncan will be hitting Algebra 1 topics by next fall at the latest. Even if I slow him down by requesting less work and stall by requesting more repetitions, he will be hitting Algebra topics long before he could complete the second half of Saxon 76 and all of Saxon 87. Kumon is implicit learning, so I want to explain concepts at home before he hits them at Kumon. It is unlikely that he will want to sit still and listen to the whys of a topic if he can already fly through multiple pages of the topic and come out with the correct answer.

Grayson, my middle son, used Saxon from Saxon 3-87 alongside Singapore Primary Maths. I wish that I had never moved him out of Saxon. I don't really want to be in this same place with the little guy, but the grass is looking greener and all that.

After banging my head against this dilemma for a few days, I have decided that next semester Duncan will be using Key to Algebra Books 2 and 3 while simultaneously doing Math Mammoth Blue Series Geometry 1 and 2 (all the sections with unfamiliar material and any other sections that interest him). Key to Algebra Books 2 and 3 cover the pre-algebra material included in his current Kumon level and Math Mammoth Blue Series Geometry will cover the geometry that is in Saxon. He will also continue with Hands on Equations.

After this is finished, I have several good ideas for math, but I am trying to resist actually planning it.


  1. It is so difficult to keep up with them, isn't it? I find myself planning while cooking, cleaning, etc.

  2. Math is currently the hardest subject for me to plan for my oldest. She zips through things faster than I think she will, and then I'm left scrambling for what to do next. I'm so proud of myself at the moment because I found things for her to do in January and February. :P I'm trying not to think about March...