Friday, January 30, 2009


I decided to start this series of posts with the subject we accomplish first each day. To me, Math and reading are the first priorities for my grade school kids. Math can be worked on independently so it works great to have Jetter and Social Butterfly get started on it while I do some school work with Builder.

Here's the lovely Social Butterfly working on her Math.

Social Butterfly is using the Saxon Math Curriculum. This year, fourth grade, is her first year in the program and she is doing well. Saxon is used not only by homeschoolers, but in some schools as well. It is challenging, but the lessons are very clearly explained. The thing I like about it is that it uses a "spiral approach" which means that as new concepts are taught, the older concepts are constantly being reviewed. This was the program we used with Night Owl and I was recently told by his highschool Math teacher that "he was very well prepared for Highschool Algebra". I chalk that up to Saxon, and his natural math ability (which comes from his Dad!) Social Butterfly is a little more like me so Math is a challenge. But, as I said, she is also doing quite well with this program.

Jetter is using a different program (he will switch to Saxon in 4th grade). The program he uses is called the Abecka Math Curriculum. Abecka is a curriculum company that is Christian based. The curriculum is used by homeschoolers and those in some Christian Schools. It is challenging and also uses the "spiral approach". Jetter likes is because the book is colorful and the pages have some illustrations which makes it engaging. He has no problem with Math. He has even been known to help Social Butterfly with hers!

Builder's Math is done Montessori Style. Since he's in pre-school we are covering the basics. Over the years I have collected quite a nice array of Math manipulatives. Here's Builder choosing something to work on:

I use a program for Builder that is a series of workbooks. It is quite simple and he finds it fun to do, but I think most of what he learns comes from the Montessori Materials and other manipulatives. All the kids have started with these and Jetter still often chooses something from this shelf when he is done with his other work. In this next picture, Builder is being a bit silly, but he is also working with Cuisenaire Rods.

So there's Math at the Good Shepherd Academy!

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