Monday, January 11, 2010

My mind, my acorn pile: Trying out Math Mammoth

The third (final) year of Miquon Math is always the hardest here--and it doesn't seem to matter exactly how old the Squirreling is. Possibly it's the year with the oddest assortment of topics, coming at an age when more typical third-grade math programs concentrate most on operations (along with some time-telling, money and measurement). As I described earlier in the year, I broke down the year's work by weeks and topics, wrote each week's work on a file card, and added notes of possible supplements. It hasn't been bad--we're on track with the cards, and the Mathemagic book is a real success--but I've still been feeling that, even with computer drill games and Calculadder work, there are still some holes in Crayons' math understanding. Not that anybody needs to panic at this age, but I get the impression from her too that math lessons are somewhat less than delightful. I wonder too if, in one sense, she really does know what she thinks she doesn't know, simply because it's not all straight in her head. I think that's what made All About Spelling a success over the past couple of months: she needed to gain some confidence but also to organize some of the knowledge she had stored up so that she could pull it out and use it. It might be that Timmy-Tiptoes part of being a Squirrel: dropping those nuts down deep through the hole in the tree, but not being sure exactly what went down there, or how you're going to get them out again later.

And besides, I know that, one way or another, we're going to be looking for another curriculum for fourth grade and up, because Miquon will be done. There are so many things out there to try now: Math-U-See, Right Start, Life of Fred, Saxon, JUMP, Mathematics Enhancement Programme--everybody has their favourites.

So when the Review Crew offered us the chance to try out one of Math Mammoth's full-curriculum workbooks, that didn't sound like a bad thing at all. We decided to go with MM's Light Blue series for third grade--starting today with an addition review.

This isn't a review yet, but there will be one when we have shaken up the acorns enough.

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