Saturday, 14 January 2017

Maths: a subject in progress

This is the third post for the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2017. This is a five week series of posts from a variety of different bloggers around various areas in home education. 
My first post was about Starting the Day well and last week's was about poetry: A Poetry Feast.

This week's topic is Patterns: maths, logic and some science. Maths is, unexpectedly, it is a subject about which I feel a bit wobbly. Up until this year,maths has been a strong topic. We certainly aren't a mathsphobic family: Middle Son is studying maths in the sixth form and Eldest Son has a maths related degree. Maths gets discussed around the table and jokes sometimes have a maths related punchline. So what has gone wrong?

Younger Daughter is on her third year of the Galore Park maths books and Youngest Son started the first book during the last academic year but they have both got stuck on topics. Fractions and tables to be precise. I like the way that Galore Park is a spiral curriculum and have sometimes gone back to the topic in a previous year when children have got stuck but this year has felt like thick mud! 

This autumn, I decided that we had to reinvigorate our maths. There were some additions

We decided to have a break from Galore Park and used the Nessy Numbers programme for a few weeks. We used the time telling part of this first which was great for sorting out fluency and changing 12 hour to 24 hour times. It was fun and removed the tension. Neither child is dyscalculic so I don't know how effective it would be in this scenario.

We are also using Nessy for extra times tables work.

Our other addition is something that we have used before with Middle Son but not with the younger children and that is Khan Academy. This has proved helpful when a particular topic has proved difficult and we are currently using it for fractions. We have never used Khan Academy as our main curriculum but more as way of helping with difficult subjects and having an explanation that doesn't come from me. It has been great for this: free, with explanatory videos and practice questions.

We plan to move back to Galore Park slowly but with these additions and substitutions as necessary. 

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences this week:

Finding Our Math Equilibrium: Our Plan for 11th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd Grades + Free Printables! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Math (doesn't) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind
When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins
Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Science & Math for Struggling Learners by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre
Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time
One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017} by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
When You Don't Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

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  1. Neat to get a glimpse of materials used on your side of the pond. :)

  2. I just downloaded the Bedtime Math app and want to start using it daily!

    1. We have really enjoyed this app. It can be used at so many different levels,too.

  3. I need to take a look at this Bedtime Math. We love adding games and anything "fun" into our math learning!

    1. It is worth a try, particularly, as it is free but we have enjoyed the app too.

  4. Thank you for sharing how you are changing up things to inject some fun into your math studies. :)

  5. The glory of homeschooling- finding what is right for each particular child!