Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Math Lessons

Yesterday’s post ended up mostly about Lilah’s math program this year.  Grace has been working on a different program, the Key To Series.  This is the antithesis of Life of Fred.  It is a series of workbooks on one topic that move from the basic introduction of the concept to what I would consider 9th grade math levels.  

  • There are different ways to approach this math series.  You can do one concept start to finish.
  • You can have all the series and move through the first book of each, then the second, followed by the third and so on.  
  • Or you can simple do what feels best for your child.
We started this summer with Key To Fractions.  Grace completed every book in the series.  
Book 1: Fraction Concepts
Book 2: Multiplying and Dividing
Book 3: Adding and Subtracting
Book 4: Mixed Numbers
I felt that after Fractions we would move to Geometry.  Grace completed half the series.  

Book 1: Lines and Segments 
Book 2: Circles 
Book 3: Constructions 
We began Measurement.  It made sense for us to jump around a bit to make sure that she was getting review in each concept.  She completed books 1-3 of Measurement.  

Book 1: English Units of Length
Book 2: Measuring Length and Perimeter Using English Units
Book 3: Finding Area and Volume Using English Units
In measurement she reviewed area, perimeter and volume.  There were several problems that called on her knowledge of common denominators from the fractions study.  

Because Grace plans to intern this winter at WSCU, I want to make sure she has a solid understand of the concepts of mean, median, mode and range.  When I googled what area of math this technically falls under it comes up as pre-algebra, so that is what I cam calling it!  In order to give her a life application to this, I ask her to collect the forecasted high and low temperature for our area of CT from multiple sources.  Using this data, she calculates the mean, mode, median and range daily.  Being able to manipulate data is critical for what Grace plans to do so she is beginning to work with her father, who is an expert in the program Excel.  More to come on that later.....

Then there are always the consumer math experiences.  Grace and Greg have a Saturday tradition of shopping at Trader Joe’s.  Recently Greg taught Grace about unit cost.  Let me back up by saying that during these trips they usually purchase a chocolate bar (or two) and those are my treats during the week.  When they are gone, I know they are gone until the next Trader Joe’s trip.  I will not purchase chocolate for myself during the week.  Imagine my distress when Grace realized it was far more cost efficient to purchase an entire 1lb bar of chocolate rather than one or two little bars!  I was dismayed.  Don’t these people realize I have no will power?  Don’t they remember that I won an award for worst Mother of the Year when I ate every single piece of my child’s valentine candy without their consent?  There is no way this candy bar can be opened.  No. Way.  It sits still in the kitchen cabinet unopened.  Yup.  Love life math lessons.....


Anonymous said...

The chocolate bar story made me laugh. Jason and teh girls bought me a BIG bag of mini Heath bars at Hershey Park and those were my treats through Hurricane Sandy...really helped A LOT!

We have found that Math U See really works for us. There are times when the girls love it, times when they tolerate it...but they are remembering the concepts they learned previously. I am, however, considering using the Charlotte Mason pet shop math in the spring...mainly because I see an etsy shop in the future and I think Allie is almost too old for the program...I know you used that program...any insight you can give would be appreciated.

Jessica said...

I wish I had found LOF three years ago. It would have saved us so many tears....... I am so glad Math U See works for you. That is one we did not try!

I like Business Math. I reviewed it on the blog:

I personally like the sports store more than the book store. The book list is all classics and at the time Lilah did not know many of them. The learned so much from this. We finished 6 months of the unit. It runs for a year and no matter what any reviews say, it is a lot of work to complete each month, especially if you are not letting the child use a calculator exclusively. At some point I would love to go back and finish it up.

If you search business math, you will get a few posts from our time learning.
I think your girls would enjoy it and would benefit from the real life lessons it teaches.

Susan said...

The chocolate bar story made me laugh too :) I also LOVE chocolate, and have very little will power when it's around.

I have been interested to read your two posts about the girls' math lessons. It's great that LOF works so well for Lilah. Tears shed over math work are no good! My girls have read the first two LOF books. They thought they were OK, but they weren't that impressed. I decided not to buy any more for now. Lately, surprisingly enough, they've been enjoying working from a book called Mastering Essential Math Skills (recommended by Jenn at Little Homeschool on the Prairie). They seem to like working through some of the problems, understanding the concepts, and moving on. I am thinking about the Key to Series for that reason...dealing with the nitty gritty of math with no extras. We still also play games, read living math books, and focus on real life math at every opportunity. Thanks for sharing your math experiences!

Homeschool said...

They have pound chocolate bars at Trader Joe's???!!! WOW! I agree very bad idea...they also have a delicious very creamy cheese with truffles...bad idea again. Must stop going to TJ's! Yay for Grace and her math. I am happy it is working out so well.

Frogcreek said...

Kaya is loving LOF, as is Ev. Marlin was not so much of a fan and so I found Math Mammoth. It is kind of similar to Key To, but I needed it for multiplication which Key To did not have. She is liking it! I also got a add and subtraction one for the boys as LOF did not have enough practice for them to really retain much. They have not tried it yet as it just came yesterday... However, I must add that Lilah takes LOF to a whole new beautiful level! Thanks for sharing it!

Jessica said...

The "Key" is finding what works for your family, isn't it? We can all write reviews and express our love for one product or another but what Lilah likes may be torturous for another child. I am just thankful after two full years of math battles, we have something that works for her. It seems that for so many families math is the biggest struggle of homeschooling.

Jessica said...

Have not had the cheese with truffles....why did you have to share that?! One more thing to tempt my nonexistent willpower!

Jessica said...

She does. She totally embraces LOF and now my dining room walls are covered with her research. LOF assumes that outside work will be done for memorization of the facts (+/-/x). She is still working to memorize her times tables and I wish I knew why she can memorize whole recipes but not her multiplication facts. I don't get it. She understands the concept but just can't seem to be bothered to remember that 8x6=48!

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