Friday, March 08, 2013

Tools of an old homeschool mom: "Key To" Math and more

Tomorrow night is our homeschool support group's annual curriculum show-and-tell; parents talk about new (or old) materials they're using, or just put it out on tables for others to look at.  It's kind of a lead-in to spring conference-and-catalogue season.

Remember how a couple of years ago I was wearing my "dinosaur t-shirt" over the discovery that Cuisenaire Rods were no longer such a hot curriculum item?  Well, tomorrow night I'll be wearing it again, I guess: I'm doing a five-minute talk on Miquon Math's big brother, the Key-To series, which has been around, seemingly unchanged, since 1971.  I heard about these worktexts when we started homeschooling, but we got into other post-Miquon math programs and didn't have a use for them until about three years ago, when Ponytails got to middle-school age and Mr. Fixit was teaching her math.  Since then I've also used parts of Key To Fractions and Key to Decimals with Dollygirl, and I'm thinking of ordering Key to Percents--one of the only ones we don't have.

So for show-and-tell night...other years I've brought the materials for a typical year of Ambleside Online (whatever year(s) we were doing at the time), or things we received during the year we were on the Review Crew.  This year I was thinking of bringing some stuff to celebrate our "veteran" status...this may also have something to do with the fact that I have a birthday sometime soon, and although it's not a particularly significant one, it's still edging me closer to that big double-digit. 

What would you bring to prove that you were homeschooling during the '90's...or the '80's?  What are the dead giveaways?

1.  Your set of Calculadders is not via download, not on CD-Rom, but stored in a file folder (unless you still have the cardboard box, like Carol).  (I plead guilty, although I have to say that we've only used them off-and-on.)

2.  Your Timetables of History goes up to only 1990.  (Guilty as well...but that's because I bought ours at Goodwill.)

3.  Your Timechart History of the World goes up to only 1998.  (And when I bought that one, it was new.)

4.  Your Saxon math books are all hardcovers.  (We have just one: Algebra 1/2).

5.  You have a set of Powerglide French stashed away...all on cassettes.  (Yes.  We do.  We got it used, The Apprentice used it, and I let her write right in the workbooks since I got such a good deal on it.  Now, of course...I can't get any more of them.)

6.  When you started buying books at friends-of-the-library sales, they were still clearing out books from the '50's and '60's (or even before).  (This is true...although I didn't have kids yet.)

7.  You still have some of those books.

8.  You still use some of those books.

9.  Your copy of For the Children's Sake looks like this:
10.  Or maybe like this.

How about you?

Linked from the Carnival of Homeschooling.


Anonymous said...

Sent by a friend:

Well, I'm with you - but probably a decade older...! I have McMillan Hardcover Math Texts, grades 1-3 which we bought from the publisher in the mid 80s - they were all we could get for curriculum and it was a breakthough that they agreed to sell them to individuals. And I sure miss the University Women's booksales of the same era when the books cost 25 cents and were wonderful old picture books and children's classics. I still have many I don't want to part with (I think you got a few dozen from me when I was purging one year ;-) )I have the Learnables French program on cassette - we had such fun with it...20 years later my kids still mimic the sentences they learned. And yes, my Saxon Maths were hardcover and my For the Children's Sake looks like yours :-) I also have a whole collection of original Dick and Jane and other 1950s readers purchased at garage sales in the 80's and used to teach my oldest 2 to read ! Worked great!Imagine!!:-)

Anonymous said...

Alas, I never (officially) homeschooled my son. Why I bookmarked your site, I don't know. Why I read your post today, I don't know. But I do feel a kinship with you.
My parents kept all the books my brothers and I owned as kids. As the youngest with the last grandchild, I inherited them. Lots of goodies from the 50's and 60's. Now that book publishing is moving to digital, I can't bear the thought of getting rid of them. They're even more precious now than they would have been. What will my son's wife (whoever she might be) think of inheriting both her husband's entire collection of childhood books (yes, many from library sales) and her mother-in-law's childhood books? Let's hope she's a librarian.
I actually worked in a public school curriculum office for a while. It was quite the thing for each new administrator to sashay in and announce that the reason the children weren't doing well on their standardized tests was the old curriculum! (We're talking two or three years old.) Out with the old! In with the new Wonder Curriculum!!! (at no small expense) Ummm. Did it ever make a difference? Not really.

Queen of Carrots said...

I think I have several of those . . . from being a homeschool student in the 90s.

Carol said...

Calculadders - ours came in a cardboard container - cost an arm & a leg getting them to Australia back then, Saxon books from 54 up in hardcover, same For the Children's Sake; how about Mary Pride's Big Book of Homeschooling - probably the first edition.

Anonymous said...

I was homeschooled in the early 90's myself, but I don't remember books like that. My mom did those Pace booklets. It is so interesting to look at how far we have come, from hard text books to computer,etc. It makes you wonder what are children will be using for their own kids, when they homeschool one day?! Great Blog Post! Enjoyed reading it :)