I suck at math. I always have. I was a junior in high school in a sophomore math class, with a tutor at lunchtime, and I stilled failed Algebra I. I think that the Devil put letters in math problems just to torment me. I look at Calculus problems and my eye begins to twitch (and I didn't even take Calculus!). So, imagine the anxiety I had over trying to teach math (yes, even elementary math) to The Monk. Jeez, I can't even tell you...
So, when I read about Teaching Textbooks on Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers website, I thought that this might be more up our alley. Boy, was I right!
I had no idea where to start when it came to teaching The Monk math. We started off with some generic workbooks from Scholastic or whatever, but I didn't really know how to teach math. We struggled through more complicated addition and subtraction problems. I searched for worksheets and memory poems and games, but still we struggled. Math time became a torturous event for each of us and, ultimately, The Monk began to dread math as much as I did. So not what I wanted for my son. Teaching Textbooks has changed all of that. Now, we don't use the DVD that comes with the curriculum, just the workbook (b/c, honestly, we are still only doing 3rd grade mathematics here), but I foresee that the DVDs will come in handy as the equations become more complicated. Right now, the workbook is working well enough. And it is working! The explanations of what is happening in the lesson is concise and quick. They are clear enough that I can explain them easily and so that The Monk can understand them. The problems are only a few short pages (we do two lessons a day) so that math isn't this drawn out process of complicated procedures. Both lessons only take us maybe a half an hour, and it allows The Monk to work more independently so that I can do other things while he is working, which helps ME out tremendously. He actually enjoys math now, and, b/c of the way that the workbook is laid out and how it explains things so I don't really have to, I am also less stressed when it comes time to do math. And, since I failed out of Algebra in high school, I have already promised The Monk that when it comes time for us to brooch that subject, I will get my own workbook and, together, we will figure out why the Devil there are letters in math problems.
Until then, cheers!