I posted before about how Mushroom has split off for math. We’re doing a whole spiraly, roundabouty, wibbly wobbly timey wimey curriculum. And while I usually adore things that are wibbly wobbly timey wimey, I would much prefer to do something more straight up Asian mastery style. But, hey, you take the kid you’ve got, right?
We’re doing a hodgepodge of things. He keeps a math journal, in which I put quick drills, a few “challenge” problems, some money math, some catalog math, and a whole bunch of other things. He’s continuing through Miquon and is almost done with all of the Red book and moving into the proper second grade Blue book. He’s also playing games a lot more and doing well at them. We have the Right Start Games, and while I knew the Right Start Curriculum wasn’t for me as a teacher, we’re enjoying the games a lot.
Below you can see a selection of the sort of math journal pages we’ve done so far, in case you’re curious.
But here is the lovely thing. He seems to be less afraid to do math and put out an answer. I have discovered he actually likes having a math “drill.” He understands that it’s practice of ideas he already learned and seems to get that if he makes a mistake, then it’s just a mistake, not a total failure of concepts. What an amazing thing!
And he occasionally makes some great leaps. We read The Greatest Guessing Game, which is a Young Math Book (I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I adore the Young Math Books!) about division and Mushroom began dividing things left and right.
He has been doing more real life math more comfortably. The other day, after doing arrays in Miquon, he arrayed the Christmas cookies. He added up the money he had spent for Christmas so far as well.
But here is the best bit. I apparently checked out a book quite a long time ago from the library and then lost it (it seemed to have fallen into a funny corner of the car during transport). It was an early 80’s title with slightly psychedelic monster illustrations called Crazy Creature Number Puzzles. It’s possible for me to not known when it came from because our public library does not assess any fines on juvenile materials. I know, you’re jealous, right? Anyway, I discovered it from who knows when and instead of returning it (I’ve probably accidentally renewed it too, anyway), I made Mushroom do some of the problems in it. They’re easy enough for K-2nd grade math, though they’re tricky enough that it might take you a minute or two to figure them out (well, not most of them, but a few of them took me a minute or two). But he did them! And then he said to me when I assigned some more, “I really like those Crazy Creature Number Puzzles.” Yes, that is a direct quote that I have not made up. Really, this was his biggest hurdle, being able to be patient enough to sit and think through a problem and try different solutions until he got the right answer.
So I’m feeling pleased with the less curriculum approach right now.
PS – Sorry if the image sizes are a little wonky. There’s some sort of image sizing bug on my blog!