Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Looking for Math...

I have decided to completely break from A.C.E. for next year. This year I went "eclectic" in our home school approach. I think I have things pretty much figured out for everything else, I just need a new math. I want to find something that we love that will carry us through to the end and also prepare the kids for the future if they choose to go to college.

I have been thinking about Saxon math because it is so widely used not only in HSing but also in public and private schools. It looks like my kids would pretty easily transition into it for 4th grade from what they have been doing in ACE (that concerned me because I thought ACE was a little slow) and I've heard - from several people I know personally - that their kids found Saxon easy because it has so much review. That concerns me slightly because both my kids hate repetition - though Jozie can really use it - but I can always assign odds or evens as need be so I wasn't overly worried over that point. BUT...then I G00gled reviews for Saxon HS and read several negative reviews. Ranging from the kids thought it was boring and HATED math as a result to using it all the way through High School and not being prepared for college math courses. Of course there were those who said their kids loved it and one Med. Dr. who said her parents used it for her and all of her numerous siblings and she found it one of her favorite subjects through college because it throughly prepared her for college math...hmmm. I suppose if you hate something you are more likely to complain about it than praise it if you like it.

As you can see, I'm confused over that subject.

I am also thinking about Math-U-See because both my kids like using their hands and it's so much easier for Jozie to physically see her math like if she uses blocks or dots or even her fingers. But do you have to use the manipulatives if you don't want to? Luke seems to breeze through math without much instruction at times - sometimes I tell them to do what they know how to do and when they get to a certain page to stop because it's new and they need instructions. Luke will usually just keep going. I don't want it to be boring for him because he has to count blocks if he doesn't need to. I still have to do a little more research on this one - like is it something that you use all the way through high school or is it done by the end of elementary grades and they you have to switch again?

Jozie's GS leader has used Saxon math through for all of her kids except the youngest which she switched to Math-U-See for this year. She's got 6 kids I think and has home schooled them all most of the way through. I'm going to have to give her a call and pick her brain on the 2 different approaches.

Sorry this got so long - sometimes it helps me organize my thought to get them out in "print". :)

2 Comments For Risa:

Amie said...

I'm sure you know we use MUS. Actually, Isaac never uses the blocks anymore and Elijah rarely used them. Once they understood addition and subtraction they both quite using them.

Jamie said...

I was going to comment that I bet once they get to your kids level they probably don't really need the blocks. Hannah sometimes uses them, but not always...and she's only in Alpha. You could probably get away with it.

I've heard mixed reviews on Saxon too.