Saturday, January 06, 2007

Math on Saturday

We have just started the Beta level of Math U See. Since J would be in 4th grade if he was in school, but is registered as a third grader (legal in OR as the compulsory education age is 7), he has to take standardized tests this year. Though he has a math brain, and understands concepts very well, he does not do well with his basic math facts. So we are still on very basic addition and subtraction. He does know a few multiplication facts, but not enough to be very useful so far. This does not bother me, except for the testing. Last fall I had him do a practice third grade test, and he did very poorly on the math part. Overall his score was 73%, which no doubt would put him above 15th percentile (the level required for homeschoolers) - mainly because of his strong verbal skills. Since the practice test included spelling but the "real" test does not, I would expect him to do even better. But the math is still a problem.

So we are trying to put a little more focus on basic math. Since the beginning of the book is review, we blasted through the first 2 lessons. Today we did half of lesson three. It was very easy for him: greater than, less than, equal. He enjoyed it and said it was like a puzzle. Neither child was particularly put out about "working" on a Saturday. E took longer and whined more but she got the work done.

This made me wonder if we have been moving too slowly in the past. In order not to burden them with too much tedious unenjoyable work, we have usually done 2 pages of MUS each day, along with some other, more interesting math (Mathematical Reasoning, math puzzles, problem solving type stuff). I'm thinking we should just plan to spend more time on math each day and get this done. This will mean splitting them up - since J gets the concept but needs the practice, just getting more practice might work well. E is a little slower on the concepts, I think. So we will be messing around with math once again.

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