I had mentioned previously that I wasn’t completely happy with our math curriculum that we were using. I had originally started with Saxon Math. It is a great program. It teaches concepts in a building spiral, however, it had just started out too simplistic for Hannah. Many of the early concepts that it had us doing, she mastered in preschool.
We have been homeschooling now for three months, and I have learned several things already about how to make it work for us. One is that you don’t have to stick to the textbook. I decided that we would keep using the text a few days a week, but on other days, we would follow more of a living math concept.
Living Math is learning math through literature, games, play, and real life. We read picture books with math concepts. We do math in the kitchen together. She plays games with her dad. This week, we are studying about whales and dolphins. One day (if it stops raining!), we will go outside to measure and draw with chalk the size of the different whales. We count down the days to our next big adventure!
Once a week, we drop Olivia off at preschool and head to the grocery store to do our math lesson there (and get groceries). One week, she has her own list and has to keep track of how many we need of each item. The next week, she may keep a tally mark of each item we pick up and count by fives to know the total. Another week, she may have to find different shapes in the packaging. Once she has learned more about money, we will add that in to our grocery store math.
On days that we use the textbook, I take the activities up a notch to keep her engaged. Instead of matching the correct number card to the stack of pennies (as lined out in the textbook), Hannah writes the number. Sometimes she will spell the number word, and occasionally, we do our math using Spanish numbers. Everything we do is hands on. I haven’t opened the workbook since those early weeks.
Hannah loves to solve logic problems and work on brain teasers. We pick a few of those to do each week as well. We work some out of our Lollipop Logic book. It teaches analogies and relationships on a primary level. Hannah also loves to solve simple Sudoku problems especially when I find fun themes like Halloween or Star Wars.
I love where we have our math program at the moment. I feel like it is actually challenging her as well as teaching her those basic concepts. Olivia is already practicing her living math, too. She carries around her purse with her phone all day listening to her numbers. And, she knows her first few numbers, too. Only because she mimics me when I count to five for Hannah to obey! Oops!