This is what we’re using for maths at the moment (dare I say, this year?!)
Last year we tried an online curriculum (Maths Whizzi), a few National Curriculum workbooks and Singapore Math but nothing really felt right. With the online curriculum, our experience was similar to other bloggers in that the children started out really keen but over a few weeks enthusiasm took a nosedive and maths became “hard” and/or “boring”. Maybe because online programmes reward children for completing lessons with points (which can be saved to buy eg “toys” in a virtual bedroom), which erodes natural, intrinsic motivation to solve the fun puzzles that are maths.
Then I stumbled upon Math Mammoth which I could immediately see has several big advantages:
(1) It’s available as an eBook which saves me any issues of having to track down a UK supplier and/or pay huge postage costs. I love eBooks!
(2) Although it’s American, it comes with a separate British section on money to replace the dollar section.
(3) There’s no separate teacher’s book to juggle while teaching. Everything is in one main worktext.
(4) The material is clearly laid out so I don’t have to lesson plan. All I need do is have a quick glance at what’s coming up so I have an idea of what I’ll go through on the whiteboard together before C and J practise.
The notes even guide you through a process to let you know how many pages you need to cover each week if you want to finish the course within your homeschool year – one of those obvious planning points that hadn’t occurred to me before! Not that we’ll necessarily do every single sum, but I find it useful to have a rough idea of where we are, to make sure we cover the important bits.
Both C and J are pretty quick at maths, but J is exceptionally quick, so I’m using Math Mammoth (light blue series) Grade 2 (British Year 3) with them both. They seem to be enjoying working together, and having C alongside helps me cope better with J’s (utterly foreign to me!) whole-to-parts visual-spatial learning style. J gets to see that there can be advantages to working through the steps before shouting out the answer, and C loves helping explain the steps – I remember she once told me that helping the other children was one of her favourite things about school!
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