Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Puter Math for Sass- an update

I decided just before school started to switch Sassafras from Horizons Math to Teaching Textbooks.
I fretted over the change a wee bit.
Or maybe a bit bigger bit. Lots bigger. $$$ bigger.
I'd already purchased Horizons 6 and Teaching Textbooks is almost triple the cost. Triple.
But Mr. Steady and I discussed it and we thought the switch would be good for her. Last year was a struggle with math... I felt like I was breathing down her neck most days pushing and prodding her to stay focused, knuckle down and get it done. There was a lot of crying {hers and mine}. And we just didn't want to go down that road again. Not to mention a sweet friend reminded me of how Ms. Books struggled with Horizons 6 and did I really want to try that again?
Ah, nope.
So we bit the bullet and ordered Teaching Textbooks. I looked over the placement tests and at the textbooks (thanks to fellow homeschoolers giving me a looky loo) and decided that Teaching Textbooks 7 was a pretty good fit, even though it started out with a lot of material she'd already covered. It was already a grade jump and I just couldn't see myself pushing her farther... I wanted her to be confident in her abilities and do well. So 7 it was.
Mr. Steady and I decided, after looking over the material together, to have her do the first lesson in the book to get a feel for it and then after that to go directly to the first quiz. Thereby quizzing her out of the first chapter of the book. She did so well (only missed one) that we decided to move on to the 2nd chapter and quiz her out. Which she did. After that we started with the first lesson of chapter 3. She's been going gang busters ever since.
She loves her new math.
I love not breathing down her neck like a Mama (Darth) Vader every day.
She loves that its all on the computer.
I love that its all on the computer.
Automatic grading, Baby. Yahoo.
You heard me right- it grades and logs for you.
Oh the joy.
Another nifty part- she's doing it On. Her. Own. And getting it.
Oh, yes indeedy-- she's doing it all mostly solo. I sit nearby, working on math with Mr. Conductor and keeping an ear tuned to her lesson, but its all her and the 'tutor'. Her in front of the 'puter, clutching paper and pencil, listening to the CD-Rom instructor and working through practice problems that lead up (flow right in) to a lesson (around 20 to 24 problems). She gets two chances per problem (unless its true/false- then only one). We love how the tutor "walks" her through each missed problem step by step so we can see exactly where she went wrong in her figuring.(And the tutor never gets frustrated nor walks away in a huff, ahem. In fact- he will always graciously replay repeat if needed.) There's also some nifty bells and whistles... really. At the end of the lesson or after a particularly difficult problem there's computerized bells... and cheering.
She loves it.
I love it.
Her confidence is soaring.
Her lowest grade a 90% (she missed 3).
She's routinely finishing her math in 40 minutes or less.
No two hours and tears anymore.
We're overthemoon thrilled with the switch to Teaching Textbooks.
Now Mr. Conductor wants 'computer math'.
Oh, boy.

1 comment:

  1. First of all I want to take a moment to say that I love your blog! I have been following you since the Homestead blogger days; yours is one of the few that I still follow =D I find your blog an inspiration in many ways and a budget saver when things get tight (like right now, scary tight!)

    I am wondering which Teaching Textbooks level you would need for Mr. Conductor? If I can light a fire under Miss Birdy (my youngest), I might have some lower grades to sell in the near future. Teaching Texbooks works well for our family, but Miss Birdy wants to be an unschooler and drags her feet through everything :-(

    If you are interested in purchasing used TT you may email me at growingtowardthelight (at) yahoo (dot) com or reply here or post at my blog.



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