A Little Help, Please?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
So we've decided to homeschool (except Mr R. He's doing wonderfully in his classroom and I think it's just the right thing for him right now).

Now, when last I homeschooled, it was for kindergarten. We did a lot of hands on, Mama-made unit studies (LOVE that LearningPage!)

Now, I'll have a 4K, K, 1, and 2nd grader. I did Montessori at home with the two littlies, and will more or less continue that. But for the older ones? I just don't have it in me to create and implement the Montessori math materials for them, even though Montessori Math is really, really cool.

So, I'm in the market for a math program. I've narrowed it down to three choices... Math-U-See, Miquon Math, or Shiller Math. I'm kind of leaning towards Shiller - it is Montessorian in its approach, and the first module covers grades 1-3. However, I don't know anyone who has ever used it (a lady at my church has Math-U-See, so I can go check it out in person. Several ladies on a email loop do Miquon as well, that's how I heard about it).

Price is a consideration... Shiller is $300 (everything you need, including manipulatives, for 4-8 year olds. Reusable. Well, you can buy flash cards separately - and these flash cards are different from regular ones.

Math-U-See is $55 for teacher and student kits for each level, plus an addtional $30-65 for manipulatives. I'd buy at least two levels (maybe three) = $200-250 for three grades. Plus, it's highly resaleable, in the event homeschooling stops working for us.

Miquon Math uses Cuisinaire rods, easy to find. It is supposed to develop a mathematical brain, a way of seeing patterns and how numbers connect to each other. The complete set of 6 books (they go by color, not by grade) is $39.00, and a set of manipulatives (74 Cuisenaire rods) is $9.50. A couple of highly recommended extras would run around $15, total. I have heard I'd need to supplement drills and repetition of skills, but that's easy enough with an Internet connection!

We tried Saxon Math K and it was a disaster. They hated it, I hated it.

I was totally leaning towards Miquon... until Shiller came on the scene.

What do you use, if you homeschool? Any thoughts? Just so you know, I like math. I think it's cool. I'm not afraid of the Pythagoras and have, more than once, used proofs to justify the quadratic equation. For some reason, first grade math curricula has me stumped!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 7/17/2007 09:54:00 AM | Permalink | |