There’s always something

It seems like every homeschooler has some subject that they either can’t seem to get to or have trouble settling on the right curriculum. For us, that’s math.

Ani has been through so many math programs. Math-U-See, Singapore, Calvert, Key to…, Life of Fred, and more. Her year in public school really messed up her math skills. Her teacher was rather horrible and I don’t think he was actually teaching Algebra. Sometimes he’d teach something wrong and have to correct it the next day. Talk about confusing! She’s working on fixing her math issues using Alpha Omega LifePacs. She got all of geometry and three or four LifePacs each from 7th grade math, pre-algebra, and algebra 1.

Cameron started out the year using Art of Problem Solving. Fritz has been using Beast Academy (and Life of Fred, which he still is). And Adrian has been using a first grade math workbook someone gave us. Starting the last week or so of school before Christmas break (a little longer for Cameron), they are all using Math Mammoth.

Art of Problem Solving was decent for Cameron, but he often felt like they were giving these ridiculous problems to solve with very simple answers and were kind of tricking him. He got frustrated a lot. I don’t think it’s bad, and quite possibly will use it for Fritz in a few years, but for now, for Cameron, we decided a change was needed (he’s doing Math Mammoth 7).

Beast Academy is fun, but after doing half of third grade, I feel like it is more a math logic and puzzles course, not a regular math course. Fritz can now do cool things like square any number ending in 5. But he wasn’t doing much in the way of regular math. At his age, as happened to him in public school, lack of practice for the basic math skills often leads to loss of those basic math skills. He’ll still use Beast Academy (and Life of Fred) for fun and a supplement, but his main math now is Math Mammoth 4.

The workbook Adrian was using was mostly just a practice, non-teaching, workbook. He was doing fine. He was only to simple addition and subtraction and that’s easy for him. But it made sense to start him on an actual math curriculum. So he’s doing Math Mammoth 1.

I hope that the boys will stick with this one (at least as far as it goes, which is 7th grade), but given our track record I can’t guarantee it. I like what I see in it and so far, as little as they have done, it seems to be good for them all. Crossing my fingers that continues.


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