Thursday, September 5, 2013

Math 2013-2014

I love looking at my bookshelf and seeing all the Life of Fred books lined up alphabetically.  It is a rainbow of color and also a testament of how far Lilah and I have come with this subject.  Until I found LOF, Lilah detested math.  Despised it.  Abhorred it.  We tried everything, Singapore Math, Horizons Math, Aleks Math, nothing helped.  There were tears of frustration on both our parts daily.

One of the main reasons I keep blogging is to share what works for our family.  It was through Our School At that I came to know LOF elementary series.  We have three books left before Lilah enters LOF middle school texts.  These books have made her experience the entire range of human emotions from joy to anger to sadness to accomplishment.  

Every day she reads aloud to me and together we experience a day in the life of Fred.  I wonder where this book, Honey, will take us.

Grace declared she likes algebra.  It helps that she is self motivated to be on the same math level as her friend, who is a year older.  This year will require a greater investment of time, energy and effort on both our parts.  I ordered at textbook from Holt Publishing.  It is not fancy and was published pre-common core.  There is one answer for each problem and there are many problems to complete.  There is also a spiraling aspect which provides review for each lesson. 

In order for me to “teach” this to Grace, I need to do the lessons as well.  I love, love, love algebra.  To me it is a puzzle to find the missing piece.  I do the problems alongside her and we compare answers and sometimes see who can complete it first.  It was a lovely moment when Grace realized that all the math she has learned was to prepare her for this.  Now she understands why she spent the time and effort learning to multiply, divide, manipulate fractions, and work with decimals.  She is proud of herself for remembering the order of operations and having good computation skills.  

It is her desire to complete this massive text as quickly as possible.  I am going to have to work just as hard to stay one lesson ahead in order to be prepared to instruct and answer questions as they arise.    Right now I am extremely thankful for my algebra teacher, whoever he or she was, for I simply can’t remember, for teaching me so well that it has stayed with me all these years.  I fear I won’t be able to make the same claim for geometry, trigonometry or calculus......


Mary Prather said...

Jess, I (in a strange way) enjoy Algebra, too. This year Anna is doing Pre-Algebra (which is Saxon 8/7). It also has a spiral approach that I really like, plus I love the Teacher CD Roms for our computer ;-)

Go math!!! I'm so happy you share what's working for your family - we are all different and blog readers need lots of perspectives in order to make informed decisions.

Karen said...

Ahh Math. I wish you had been here Thursday. :) I wonder if it would be better if I had the Saxon teacher CD's. They are probably expensive! So glad Lilah loves LOF! :)

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