I feel like we’ve hit a wall with our math. I’m a bit stumped on where to go. I thought I’d type it out here, and see if any of y’all have any ideas . . . or encouragement . . .or tomatoes to throw.
Many of you know we did Miquon (hands on mastery) for k-3. We used America’s Math Teacher for 4th grade and enjoyed the simple problems, uncluttered page mastery approach. Last year we finishing Jump Math 5, also a mastery, simple, black and white simple program.
This year we moved into enVisionMATH 6, a Scott Foresmann – Addison Wesley product. I thought it would be wonderful. The first few lessons were. However, as we moved on, it was clear that the “Classroom Centered” math product was created to make sure there was an hours worth of in class information with homework to take home. Just a bit to much overkill for a homeschool family just wanting to learn math facts. The pages are so beautiful and full of so much information, but too hard for an 11 year old to work through on his own. Each day, mom pointing to where we should go – got a bit old – for mom.
A few weeks into the year, I pulled our Saxon 7/6 off the shelf complete with the DIVE cd for the tutor. At first, it went really well. Smooth sailing. Jon would watch the video, complete the practice problems easily, and then do odds or evens for the review questions. Saxon is Spiral, which means he can be introduced to a new topic or add a bit to a learned topic each day. A different topic, every day. And I remember this with Nathan, at about the same time. Around lesson 60, the topics get quite intense. After focusing on a new skill, one needs to turn around and practice 30 pieces of the last 60 lessons. Your brain starts to spin a bit. We find ourselves going back to the chapter or looking up a topic in the math dictionary for every 3rd or 4th problem. This turns math into an all morning ordeal.
Over the winter holidays, I researched KHAN Academy. I was looking for a product that could help Jon be more student led. I want to help him, and I do understand the math well, but we can lean on each other too much. I will want to ‘get through it’ and end up doing each problem for him out loud. This isn’t helping him. Khan comes with a video and then step by step solving tips for each lesson. I can help him, but he can be more in charge at finding solutions.
We’ve been using KHAN for a few weeks now, and I, the teacher, feel lost. The Knowledge map is so vast. There doesn’t seem to be a clear path of where to go for a 6th grade boy. They do have links to the Core Standards for 6th grade, but then, again, it is based on State Standards, a bit difficult to follow, or to put into practice. There are not videos for each core, or problems for each. There is no simple way to move through them, if there were. So – Again – Each day, even during our 40+ minutes of math – I have to help direct him on what to do next.
This morning I found two sites:
These share their video path. I looked up the path for Horizon and TT6:
I’ve tried plugging in videos using Saxon 7/6, but again, they change topics every day. Khan is mastery – 100 understood before you move on, Saxon is slices like Sedimentary Rock built up each day.
I’m not even really sure what my question is. Should I order JUMP Math 6? Should I order TT6? Should I switch back to Math U See style since we loved Miquon? Should I just chill knowing it’s 6th grade and we have a good 3 years of Middle School before sinking into Algebra? Sigh.
Hubby says he will help Jon with his math more. I looked at the enVision again today, and it is just too much on each sheet. I think, based on our supplies, we may either – Go back to Saxon, and stay focused for the rest of the year. OR Look into one of these teacher’s path’s videos and stay focused on their path this year.
Have you ever purchased a new curriculum mid year?
Thanks for letting my fingers think it out today.