Back in January I posted a painfully honest post about how math was just NOT working out for us. The stress, agitation, and anxiety I was feeling must have connected with some of you because that post garnered tons of comments and emails. In fact, that post still gets a steady stream of traffic.
I appreciate everyone’s words of encouragement more than I can adequately say. It was such a rough time for me – floundering around like that without a true sense where we were heading. My fear of failure in math rapidly metastasized and infected all aspects of my homeschooling life. I won’t say I was on the verge of giving up; but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit I questioned my decision to homeschool more at that time than ever before.
I’ve had a few readers ask me what exactly about Singapore Math wasn’t working for us and as much as I try to pinpoint it, I can’t. I’ve stressed that I’m not mathy; I needed more hand-holding. In any event, as a natural consequence to my faulty planning and presenting of the material, my daughter struggled with grasping and retaining the lessons.
Here– A picture is worth a thousand words, right? In a couple pictures I’ll show you how I knew we HAD to switch.
Mira likes to draw. During school, she’s perfected the ‘doodle’. Seriously, ALL of her workbooks and papers have some stick figure scene or unicorn party drawn into the margins. Sometimes it’s related to the lesson but, more often than not, just some random doodle.
Here’s a glimpse of her Latin and phonics workbooks:
Cute, huh? I swear if she quit doodling during her lessons our school day would be done in half the time. I used to try and make her stop but she likes it, and if a couple minutes added to each lesson help us get through our day happily, then doodle away my dear daughter.
And sometimes, as in the case of the doodles in her Singapore workbook, they serve as warning signs:
There are pages of these sad despondent faces in her Singapore books. When these faces became the designated doodle to her math lessons– that, my friends, was when I knew with certainty that something had to change.
So after researching tons of curricula and even hosting a Currriculum Chat, I finally settled upon our next course of action:
We’ve only been doing it for a couple weeks now so I’m not going to attempt a detailed review at this time. I can’t say with certainty whether or not this is going to be the sought-after math curricula of my dreams. Already there are a few things about it that I don’t care for, but we’ve only just begun so we’ll stick with it and see how it plays out in the long run.
For me, the DVD video lesson component to Math•U•See is worth its weight in gold. Mira likes to see Mr. Demme interact with the students in his videos and she’ll race to answer a question before the children in the video.
So Sad-Face Singapore has been replaced with Math-Man. A creation Mira came up with while I was loading up the DVD lesson for the day.
For us, it’s a darn good exchange and I’m hoping Math-Man is here to stay.