Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Current Math Curriculum

I'm really not fond of math, which is interesting considering my love of science. Consequently, my math skills are not as strong as they could be. For this reason, I wanted to make sure that Sam didn't end up with the same problem.

I ended up actually going a bit overboard. Sam is now doing math that is actually a few grades beyond what she should be doing. She's supposed to be in first grade, and she's actually doing third to fourth grade level work.

For example, today she did this:

Sam had a bit of fun with her numbers on this one, but you get the idea. As I was writing this post, I realized that Sam actually didn't show her work. If you notice on #11 in the picture above, Sam didn't show any of her borrowing work, yet she got the answer right.

I'm so proud!

But then of course she got the next problem wrong... It's always the easy problems she has the most trouble with.

This week we'll be starting her multiplication tables using these fun stickers that Greg actually found at the Dollar Store:

Although we haven't gotten to fractions and decimals yet, these stickers are just too awesome!

Greg also got Sam the perfect eraser... it's for BIG mistakes!  You know... like problem #12 above!

Every day, Sam completes one of these math sheets that I printed from one of my favorite websites for homeschooling worksheets. It's called The Teacher's Corner, and it has a wealth of worksheets. The math ones you can create yourself, so you'll never run out. I print about a month's worth at a time, and each sheet I make just a bit harder.

I'm quite proud of Sam, although she hates her math pages, she's actually getting quite good at them... when she focuses on actually doing the work. But having ADHD, that makes it a bit harder for her on some days. However, when she does focus, she only misses one or two problems.

To start her multiplication tables, I'm planning on creating the space game that we did when I was in third grade. My teacher set up a "race" and each student had a little spaceship and the goal was to get your spaceship to Pluto before anyone else. I admit, I was the first one to Pluto, but I was also very good at memorization and that's what we were doing - memorizing our multiplication tables.

I'm going to start by introducing the tables to her, with the stickers and the space game, and then explaining what multiplication actually is. I'm hoping to get her to understand that 3x3 is actually 3+3+3, and I'm going to use the stickers to help remind her of that instead of having her memorize the tables. I'm hoping this way, she won't have the problem I have where she forgets that 7x8 is 56, she'll just know it instead of having memorized it... if that makes sense.

Division is a whole other story!

How do you teach your kids math? Tell me about it in the comments below! I love hearing new ideas!

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