I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Math...As Serious As It Needs To Be.

When I was in school, I hated math.

And I do mean hated math.

I could write a 20 page paper over the societal implications of The Scarlet Letter without hesitation, but my word, once letters entered into my math problems, I was out.

I guess that's why it never offended me that when people found out I was homeschooling our kids, their first response, almost inevitably, was, "Wait...what are you going to do about math...?"

I have sort of bounced around over the last few years about how to tackle this issue.  I didn't want to buy a whole curriculum set every year because, honestly, I needed to either actually understand it myself or have someone else teach it, and those sets tend to contain a workbook and a teacher's edition with little more than a basic overview and the answers.  I spent so many days and nights in tears trying to find something that I could teach but also something the kids would enjoy at an affordable price.

Then I met Fred.  He is a 5 year old math professor.  He is so cute and funny and entertaining.

This is a new and interesting way to approach math that I haven't seen in any of the curriculum packages I've poured through, and honestly, I'm a bit smitten.  Rather than page after page of problems and drills to work through, Life Of Fred teaches children (and their mothers in some cases) math through real-life scenarios that Fred finds himself in in a novel-style story where he encounters the need for math and learns the methods to solve his problems.  Never again will I look at a math problem and think, "Now when would I ever actually use that in real life??" because I can see exactly where it would be useful!

I really love this because even though we use it as our base curriculum, it's great for a supplement.  If you have a kid in school who doesn't seem to "get" math, this is a great set of books to order to help explain the "why" behind the concepts.

We are starting now with the elementary series, but this program runs through some college-level math courses, and even in elementary, we are learning things that we will build on to make middle and high school-levels easier to understand.

We do add a few extra worksheets or games throughout our week to reinforce what we are learning through this series since there are only a few practice problems as the end of each chapter, but with this approach to math, even I, the Hater Of All Things Numerical, am actually understanding it in a way that makes it possible for me to teach it, too.

And bonus!  I hear Isaiah giggle his way through his math lesson every day.  He has even requested to do math on days we aren't even doing school just so he can see what is going to happen next!

I would strongly recommend the Life Of Fred series for anyone who wants to learn not just the "how," but the "why" behind math in a funny and entertaining way!

Click here to check out the website!

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