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An Elementary Writing Curriculum

Virtual Curriculum Fair Week Two: Discover Patterns, Mathematics, Logic and Some Science



This is week two of the virtual curriculum fair. Last week , we looked at the good and bad of language arts programs.  You can find my post on that here.  This week, I'll share what has worked (and not) for us for mathematics, logic, and some science.

Let's begin with math. Math has never been one of my favorite subjects, so it is something that I wanted to make easier, better, and more relevant for my children.
What didn't work for us:
* ABEKA- When I began our schooling using all ABEKA resources, math was one of the things that led me away from ABEKA.  There is sooo much busy work in the elementary curriculum.  And, my oldest child could memorize the way to do things and get most of the answers correct, but she had no idea of the concept that she was learning.  I was very concerned about what that lack of concept was going to do when she reached the upper level maths.  So we switched to:
* Math-U-See- This was one of those curriculum choices that I made based on gushing recommendations from friends.  It looked so good at the homeschool convention.  It worked for others.  And, when we began using it, I did see how it helped my children to grasp the concepts better because of all of the visuals and manipulatives. But, the biggest problem I found with Math-U-See is that it is not cyclical.  So, all year is spent on one main concept- addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, etc.  But, other topics are not covered that year. So, Kathryne hit fifth grade science needing an understanding of working with decimals and percents, but she hadn't covered that.  And, Charles, my child that needs variety, was so bored that he hated math.
What I love:
* Saxon- I turned to Saxon in desperation.  I had heard some criticism that Saxon was very time consuming.  But, I found it to be just what we need.  There are plenty of hands on opportunities- especially in the early grades.  The lessons are cyclical, meaning that some of the same information is repeated year after year in increasing depth.  There is a great combination of new material and constant review, so my easily bored learners have plenty of variety in each lesson.  I do admit that after the first year, I haven't bought the teacher's guide for the lower grades, and we don't go through every single word for word step like the teacher's guide lays out.  We do have a math meeting each day where we cover the calendar, counting, patterns, and new concepts for the day.

Logic: I had never pondered teaching logic as a school subject.  I wasn't taught formal logic.  But, at a convention a few years ago, I heard a speaker talking about the importance of logic and giving some suggestions for beginning with middle schoolers.  I haven't tried a large variety of resources here.  I've mostly stuck with her recommendations, but they've worked for us.
* The Fallacy Detectives- This was a fun and interesting book that gave some beginning logic instruction, particularly in the area of recognizing logical fallacies.  The kids had lots of fun with this one, and even my little girls got into listening and identifying logical fallacies.  They've remembered it well, and now enjoy calling themselves and others on the fallacies.
* Intermediate Logic- This is the book we're using this year.  It is much drier than The Fallacy Detectives and not as enjoyable to the kids.  I like it because I personally like the study of logic.  It is organized into short lessons with plenty of chance for practice and review, so it is doable for the older kids, though not their favorite.  They are 7th and 6th grade, and I think I probably could have waited a year to start book one and it may have been easier.

Now, because my children are relatively young- 7th grade being my oldest, we haven't really ventured into the more math related sciences, so I'll save our discussion of science until later when we deal with general science.

You can read about other language arts choices at these blogs:
Math Lapbooks---Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 by Angie Wright @ Petra
School - http://pebblekeeper.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/math-lapbooksvirtual-curriculum-fair-week-2/

Our Choices For Math by Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
http://www.gchomeschool.com/2012/01/our-choices-for-math.html

A Magnificent Math Manipulative by Letha Paulk @ justpitchingmytent
http://justpitchingmytent.blogspot.com/2012/01/magnificent-math-manipulative.html

Our Math Choices - Virtual Curriculum Fair by Tristan @ Our Busy Homeschool
http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/01/our-math-choicesvirtual-curriculum-fair.html

Math Using Hamburger Paper by Debbie @ Debbie's Digest
http://debbiesdigest.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-using-hamburger-paper.html

Math Literature?!?! by Christine @ Crunchy Country Catholic
http://crunchycountrycatholic.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-literature.html

Learning Math at My House by Jessica @ Modest Mama
http://www.modest-mama.org/2012/01/learning-math-at-my-house.html

1st, 2nd, 6th Grade Math in Our Homeschool:  How We Got HERE by Susan
@ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
http://homeschoolheartandmind.blogspot.com/2012/01/1st-2nd-6th-grade-math-in-our.html

Math Facts or Fun?  Why Not Both! by Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
http://oramblings.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-facts-or-fun-why-not-both.html

Heart of Dakota- The Fine Details- Part 2 Science by Lynn @ Ladybug
Chronicles http://ladybug-chronicles.blogspot.com/2012/01/heart-of-dakota-fine-details-part-2.html

Learning Math Block by Block by Laura O in AK @ Day by Day in Our
World http://daybydayinourworld.com/2012/01/learning-math-block-by-block/

Plugging Along with Math by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family
http://www.fencedinfamily.com/blog/2012/01/plugging-along-with-math/

What's Working and What's Not:  Math Edition by Leann @ Montessori Tidbits
http://montessoritidbits.blogspot.com/2012/01/whats-working-and-whats-not-math.html

Math Anyone? by Cindy @ For One Another
http://www.for-one-another.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-anyone.html

Ahh, Math. by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
http://schoolinginthesun.blogspot.com/2012/01/ahhh-math.html

Flying Without a Parachute: Math with no Curriculum by Pam @ Everyday
Snapshots http://everydaysnapshots.blogspot.com/2012/01/flying-without-parachute-math-with-no.html

Math in Our Homeschool by Christine T @ Our Homeschool Reviews
http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-in-our-homeschool.html

Math, Math, and More Math by Dawn @ tractors & tire swings
http://tractorsandtireswings.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-math-and-more-math.html

Thinking Mathematically- How I Choose Math Curriculum by Kristen @
Sunrise to Sunset
http://sunrisetosunsethomeschool.com/2012/01/09/thinking-mathematically-how-i-choose-math-curriculum/

Discovering Patterns:  Math, Logic, and Some Science by Christa Darr @
Fairfield Corner Academy
http://christadarr.blogspot.com/2012/01/discovering-patterns-math-logic-and.html

The Science of Math by Brenda Emmett @ Garden of Learning
http://myhomeschoolgarden.com/2012/01/09/the-science-of-math/

"Mom, did we do math today?" by Chrissy at Learning is an Adventure
http://learning-adventures.blogspot.com/2012/01/mom-did-we-do-math-today.html

Math, Math, and More Math by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
http://homeschoolingforhisglory.blogspot.com/2012/01/math-math-and-more-math.html

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your math "history." It's always helpful to know why certain things didn't work and why other things did. We had a similar experience with RightStart Math to the one you describe with Math-U-See.

    And thank you for joining the Virtual Curriculum Fair. ;0)

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  2. My son loved Fallacy Detective. He's using Traditional Logic this year. We have Intermediate Logic (an older edition), that we tried. But we went with Traditional Logic because it had DVD's. We just weren't getting to Logic when he needed someone to go over it with him.

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  3. I should take a look at Traditional Logic. I would like having the DVDs.

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  4. I've had Fallacy Detective on my shelf for years. I like it, the kiddos not so much!

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  5. I have always wanted to add logic to our day, but did not know where to start. Thank you for the recommendations.

    ReplyDelete

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