I’m really struggling with this one right now. As this is our first year homeschooling, we’ll be taking an extended break after summer is over. I feel like we need to collect ourselves and explore our path and find our rhythm after my kids friends go back to school.
At the moment my intention is to mainly unschool. I love the idea of my kids leading the way. I’m also terrified at my lack of ability to relinquish control and have an incredible fear of failing them. I am the first to admit, I feel MOST math skills taught in the upper levels will never be used by most people after their school days are through. There are, of course, exceptions depending on what one decides to do with their life and I want them to be prepared for anything.
I remember being shoved through school at hyper speed with nobody to help me figure it out. My mother was busy and wouldn’t have been much help anyhow since I apparently got my “math genes” from her. Math terrified me (and still does) because I felt like I needed more time to grasp a concept, but Oh well! It’s time to move on, keep up! I would sit at home and stare at my homework for what felt like forever and I had no idea how to proceed, so I would give up in frustration with very few (if any) problems completed. The next day I would feel anxious and sick waiting for the time to come when the teacher would come around the room collecting the homework and I would once again be unprepared and have to announce to the whole class that I didn’t have my homework, then sit there near tears as the teacher berated me for not deigning to do my homework. I didn’t understand it, how can you do something on your own when you don’t know what to do?! To this day I can see my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Howard, standing over me talking loud enough for even the classroom next door to hear, my face turning red with shame and embarrassment (I REALLY don’t like attention being drawn to me, good or bad, I turn beat red, almost PURPLE).
I want my kids to be prepared for anything they may wish to do in life. Abigail, my 9 year old, has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was 3. Caleb, at age 12, has no clue what he may want to do, which is fine, and I’m fully aware that Abigail may change her mind.
For the first time since we decided to homeschool, I am considering using a pre designed math curriculum. but which one? There are so many to choose from: IXL, Math-U-See, Right Start, Math Mammoth, Singapore, Mathematical Reasoning and who knows how many others? I am not wealthy by FAR and I don’t have a million dollars to keep trying different curriculums until we get it right. Of course, everybody I have asked on the subject has been super helpful but each have their own opinions and I have come no closer to a decision but I will be checking them out with my children and write a review of each one as we see them. Until then, below you will find a few items from amazon that we love and will be utilizing.