Friday, May 25, 2012

Becoming Goal Oriented: Just What are we Trying to Accomplish Here: Math

Ok... I may not be the voice of math reason:001_smile:...but I have had a few kids who were not exactly....hmmmmmmmm.......mathy.

What are your goals? What are your child's goals? Is she headed to a STEM field?? Is he artsy? Is she musical or a dancer? Does he love history or literature??

Math is one of those subjects which, in my opinion, is not a hill to die on....but also not a hill to give up easily. IOW, carefully consider this child. Does this child need to finish calculus before college? Does this child want to study higher sciences? If yes...then get that child aboard....and other subjects may need to suffer for that child's needs.

Does the child need to complete just Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry?? Then a different path and pace may be required.

Is the child a late Math bloomer?? I was....Do you feel it is better to cover algorithms, or concepts? Does the child have number sense? Does the child think abstractly yet? Does the child cringe when the math books come out?

Sometimes, we need to take a BIG step back in order to go forward...Have the foundational skills been completely mastered? If not, where are the gaps??

Honestly, I think Mamma needs to evaluate goals and skill levels and move forward from there. I do not necessarily feel a particular program is at fault. I have used many of the programs suggested in homeschooling circles over the past 18 years....and quite honestly, I am underwhelmed. I think if someone had told me 18 years ago to consider the would have saved me biggo buckos and probably a good amount of my hair.

Ok...nuts and bolts advice.

--keep lessons short! Work to the point of learning, but NOT frustration. 2 shorter lessons may yield much more than 1 long one.

--don't be afraid to skip problems in the book that your child has mastered. Every once in a while...throw one in there as review. Most books review so much, it makes the kid crazy!!!

--when you hit a brick wall...either try a different book, approach...or come back later. Learn a different new skill and come back later. Some things can't be treated like that (fraction rules for one thing....).

--math is some homes is central to their schooling. In others, math is required but not central. Remember YOUR goals. Re-evaluate where you are often. Let your child see their goals...and expand them if they want.

Math should not be a battle. It should not turn into a war either. Yes, it can be hard...but we do hard things:D. It also doesn't need to take precedence over every other subject...even though for some homeschoolers, it does. Just saying....for one of my children, Art took center stage for high school. That child is a professional artist. SHE GETS PAID for her design work...not her math skills. she gets paid WELL!

For another one of my children health studies/biology/ rescue certifications was central. She did much more math and science than older dd. They both graduated from college with high honors.

They both needed to learn to read, write and do enough math to keep their checkbook, figure out expenses and do well in the college classes they needed to succeed in the degree field.

The GOAL. That is what we need to keep in mind.

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