If ever there was a subject that would prevent me from homeschooling, math would be it! Oh the frustration I suffered over math homework as a child. The thought still makes me tremble. And the real irony is, when I got to college, I fell in love with accounting. Charts and bookkeeping and organizing numbers into categories or allocating them into separate accounts…oh my goodness…someone was finally speaking my language!

But give me letters instead of numbers? Fractions? Cosines? Theorems? Polynomials???? Are you kidding? My math brain shut down somewhere around 9th grade algebra.

I know the importance of math and I didn’t want to pass my math insecurities on to my kids, so I needed a curriculum that I was comfortable with. I also figured we needed something that we could use for a long time since math tends to build on itself. I found exactly what we needed in Math U See.

“Mr Math”, as we affectionately call him, has a video teaching segment for each chapter and also a teachers book that provides more detailed explanations and examples for me. There are student workbooks, activity sheets, and a test booklet. There is also a set of manipulatives available, which both my kids enjoy playing with outside of school time as well.

So far the math we are learning is not too hard. The problem is I have a daughter who, like her mother, shuts down when math doesn’t look like it should. We’ve done a little bit with letters in place of numbers (which really threw her for a loop) and word problems (again, it doesn’t “look” like she thinks a math problem should look), and most recently, we are rounding numbers into the hundreds and she looks at me like I have 2 heads.

After a while, I have to enlist the help of her dad. One, because his math brain works very well and he may have a new, more creative way to teach the same lesson. And two, because apparently saying the same instructions, only LOUDER and LOUDER, doesn’t seem to work.

And then there’s my son. His favorite subject is math. I don’t know when or where, but he learned to add. He is now teaching himself subtraction. Two weeks ago he asked me what this “x” means and I told him it was multiplication. He wanted to know how to do it so I gave him a simple explanation like, “well, the problem says 2 times 3, so that means it wants to know how many are 2 three’s?”, and since he can skip count all the way 6, he started doing that on his own as well.

He loves to play all kinds of math games. On the computer, board games, or card games, it doesn’t matter. He plays them competitively, smack talk included, and usually wins. His biggest math bummer are the worksheets, which he is holding here, and thinks writing from 1 to 100 is “dumb”.

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