Math help!

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  • Stacie
    Participant

    I’ve been watching and reading Richele Baburina’s Charlotte Mason’s Living Math DVD/book and I am in LOVE with the idea “doing math” the CM way, but I’m a bit hesitant.  I have a terrible habit of being enthusiastic at the beginning of the year, but then as time goes on, I lose steam and find myself overwhelmed, dropping things that aren’t well-planned out.  I do not want that to happen with math lessons!

    I have 4 kids, ages 3 to 9, and we have tried MANY math programs out there, but math is still a struggle for my 9 year old.  He’s very hands-on and we had tried Rightstart Level A and a little of Level B when he was little, but I got overwhelmed with how parent intensive it was and we switched.  Now I’m wondering if we should go back.  I’ve also considered Shiller.  They both seem like they would be a good fit for my son…anyone have experience to share with either (especially Shiller…it’s hard to find Shiller users out there!)  I cringe at the thought of buying yet another bundle of manipulatives, but I’m just not sure I’m ready to jump into math without a guided curriculum and RightStart and Shiller seem to be somewhat CM minded.  My 7 year old has done really well with Saxon (math seems to be more intuitive for him), but I’m at a crossroads with him, trying to figure out where to go from Saxon 3…not sure he’s ready for Saxon 3 intermediate and not really wanting to use Singapore again, so I considered just switching all the kids to the same program, whatever it is that I choose.  Any thoughts?

    retrofam
    Participant

    I tried CM math with Ray’s Arithmetic books,  but I grew frustrated and switched again.  My dd was struggling with the manipulatives and trying to see the concepts. The biggest problem was that I was getting frustrated.

     

    I am convinced that the very best teachers/tutors can teach from any curriculum and do a fabulous job.  When teaching math, that is not me.

    Use whatever curriculum you can teach enthusiastically and patiently from long term.  For me that is Christian Light math, which is more traditional than most.  In the levels we have used so far the story problems are part of a common theme,  and they try to make them mirror real life situations.   We stop and play Right Start games or practice the concept other ways when it gets too hard, or we need a break.

    For my highschoolers who do not struggle with math,  they like Math-U-See.

    I looked at Shiller, but didn’t use it.

     

    Hope that helps:)

    Richele
    Participant

    Hi Stacie,

    I’ve seen your question and look forward to giving you a detailed response soon.  It’s so doable and I think you’ll maintain your excitement and enthusiasm as you see the results as, in Charlotte’s words, “…there is no subject which the teacher has a more delightful consciousness of drawing out from day to day new power in the child.”

    Warmly,

    Richele

    Richele
    Participant

    Okay, Stacie, first I’d like to refer you to my in-depth post on RightStart.  You may include Shiller in that discussion as well as it is also a Montessori-based math program.  I’ll give you a chance to digest all of that (I believe it will pop up right to where I address RightStart specifically otherwise you may have to scroll down) before discussing enthusiasm, steam, and planning.

    Would you mind telling me how many students/children you have in formal lessons?  Thanks.

    Richele

    Stacie
    Participant

    Thank you Richele, for the link. Your response about RightStart was enlightening…well done! I have 4 children, 2 in formal studies, ages 7 and 9. I’m not so concerned about the early years…the DVD and the book have given me confidence in teaching early arithmetic. Plus, it is like starting at the beginning with no worries about where to start!

    I’m more concerned about my 9 year old…he’s begun multiplying bigger numbers (although honestly I think he understands the steps well, but doesn’t have the understanding of why he must do those steps). I have not finished the book or the 2nd DVD, so I may be worrying prematurely, but I wonder how to teach topics like long division using CM’s methods.

    In addition, the moment I feel confident about CM’s method, I catch a glimpse of the scope and sequence of some fancy curriculum and I imagine I will end up missing something! There are so many tiny things covered that it seems overwhelming to imagine going it alone!

    Truthfully, I am frustrated that curriculum companies prey on our math weaknesses and our lack of confidence as math teachers and make their packages not only costly but so complicated that we doubt our own abilities to teach math even more! I just imagine some of the greatest minds (including our country’s founders!) and I cannot imagine their rooms filled with colorful plastic manipulatives and snazzy math songs in the background. What joy to be told that common household items are sufficient and preferred!

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