Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MATH!!!! (inhale, exhale)

From the very second I started looking over my math curriculum choice I began to doubt. I didn't doubt the curriculum....I think it moves at an appropriate pace, and the kids workbooks are super colorful and engaging. I was really quite excited about all my daughter would be learning. Why was I in doubt? Well, I was actually doubting my ability to teach good math skills. My math abilities are seriously lacking. I am very nervous about not giving my littles a good foundation in math. I quickly switched from Horizons to Saxon math before we even started.

Oh Horizons.....
.....how I wanted to use your brightly colored pages.....and your fantastic paced skill learning.....
Oh wait.....ugh....I need more than this from a teacher's manual. I was pretty bummed to see that there was no instructions to tell me HOW to teach a concept. I mean, really I know that K math is pretty simple stuff. BUT I honestly do not know how to go about teaching place value properly. It truly scared me to think that I would have to figure out how to present the material by myself (seriously, I had nightmares about it!).....so I had to find a plan B.
Enter Saxon Math. I used Saxon for a time when I was homeschooled. I vastly preferred it to the BJU we were using before. I will admit that there are no colorful workbook pages (actually all I have is the teacher's manual). I am a little bored with the pace (really slow....and maybe too easy for Annabelle). BUT......
.....look at this lesson plan. See the bold print! It actually tells me what to say!! Yes, it gives me a script. It tells me exactly WHAT to say and HOW to present the material. So, I digress, I will have to trade colorful, fun workbooks for a written script in the Teacher's Manual.
I will say that we are having SO much fun with these lessons. AND it helps me with doing our calendar time. AND (again), Annabelle is now counting very well up to 30! Still mixing up a couple teens, but she is doing great! :)
Introduction to graphing....

Pattern blocks and counting bears....good times.
I have come to the conclusion that this slower pace may just be better for Annabelle (since she really dislikes numbers). Once I gain some teaching confidence I may just switch back to Horizons. As it is, I will probably use it in coordination with Saxon or we will go directly into it when we finish Saxon K (so continue it from April thru August). How is everyone else feeling about their curriculum picks? Good? Bad? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know. :) Happy blogging!

jess_hak

5 comments:

  1. After much debate, I chose Horizons because it was a little faster paced. Like you said, the teacher's manual wasn't much to write home about: I was pretty bummed to flip through it. My SIL was talking about what her 2nd grade students were doing and after seeing those skills in the KINDER!! Horizons, I was a little nervous. However, having kids with no real dislike of numbers, I'm sticking to it for now. I wonder, though, ....about all of it! We'll see!

    Horizons is the only official curriculum I've purchased. I chose Rocket Phonics to use in conjunction with the Breaking the Code series. I am a math, science and art (random, I know) person so I feel ok for the Kindergarten curriculum. For today...

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  2. ...obviously, I'll need a little help with correct grammar and punctuation! ha!

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  3. We actually worked through two days of Saxon math K lessons per day. This sped things up a little. I also found that about half way through first grade I stopped using the printed lesson guide, or at least condensed the lesson as my kids were catching on without all the explanation. I will pray that happens for you and your not so scared of the math.

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  4. We just started Saxon K last week. We just worked on the pictograph in your post today. So far so good. I'm happy with my choice so far!

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  5. This is good to know for future reference! See? I told you I would be taking notes since you are ahead of me. You will make things so much easier for me, since I can see what is and isn't working. :)

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