Okay, I've only got a few minutes before my day really begins, but I want to write something positive about homeschooling so my dear friends aren't worried about me. I don't want anyone envisioning me in a fetal position on my closet floor with bits and pieces of a well-meaning teacher's guide scattered about. Or a math book. Oy.
That leads me to a great thing about homeschooling...
If something's not working, we can change it!
We've been using Math-U-See with Emma & Jeffrey for the past few years. Since it was working quite well, I don't know why I decided to switch to Teaching Textbooks this year. I think it's because I wanted them to work more independently, and TT can be done without practically any parental involvement--in theory. The student watches a clip from a CD-Rom and then does the practice set in the workbook. An answer key allows the student to check his work, and another CD-Rom shows how to work each problem if the student can't find where he messed up. Teaching Textbooks is well done, thorough, and I'd recommend it to anyone--well, anyone who benefits from a spiral approach to learning. Unfortunately, that's not us.
So, guess what?
We're going to back to Math-U-See, which uses a mastery learning approach. A lovely friend of mine has loaned to me the MUS Pre-Algebra DVD and Instruction Manual for the year. (Thanks, Lily!) I only had to purchase the workbook, and it's already on its way. You'd think this math curriculum was a Christmas present, judging by Emma & Jeffrey's reaction. Emma was willing to chip in for the workbook herself! (I didn't let her.) And as I tucked Jeffrey in bed the other night, he said, "I guess if I went to public school they wouldn't be able to change curriculum just for me. I'd have to suffer through it, even if it wasn't really working for me."