Sunday, July 29, 2012

Math Made Easy

Of all the subjects I have to teach my sons, it's math that scares me the most. I'm determined to give my boys a solid foundation in math that will hopefully carry them well beyond my own limitations in the subject and prepare them for whatever secondary education they might choose.  In all likelihood this will mean employing tutors at the high school level, but during these early years it's been a matter of selecting the right program. 

At the kindergarten level, I freestyled.  I photocopied pages from many different workbooks, like Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Kindergarten (Comprehensive Curriculum√†) and  Number Practice Pages (Write-and-Learn, Grades PreK-1),  used flashcards, and played counting games.  It worked out well enough, though no matter how many practice pages we did my son was still writing certain numbers backwards occasionally. 

For first grade I ordered this book from Amazon, and I'm so glad I did! (Click on the image to learn more about it and view some of the inner pages.)

The math programs recommended by The Well-Trained Mind seemed a little pricey and boring, and while I think a lot of repetition and practice are important, I also felt my older son would benefit from having some color and fun in his math workbook. (I should note that while I didn't feel these programs were right for us, many families have had great success with them.  Check them out; they may be just what you're looking for.)  I still photocopied the occasional page from another workbook or printed one from the internet when I felt my son needed some extra work on a particular skill or concept, but overall we stuck to this one book and it suited our needs very well.  My son was especially motivated by the progress chart in the beginning, which came with special gold star stickers.  For each page completed he added a sticker to the chart; seeing the progress he was making gave him a real sense of accomplishment.  I highly recommend Math Made Easy: 1st Grade Workbook, Ages 6-7.  I plan to continue to use the series, and have already ordered books at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade levels for my oldest boy, as well as Math Made Easy: Kindergarten Workbook (Math Made Easy) for my younger son.

To check out the books in DK's Math Made Easy Series, click on the images below: