### Singapore Primary Mathematics, Grade Four

 Woodjie loves Pokemon!
Woodjie and Rose have just begun Singapore Mathematics Grade 4!  We have the US Edition, which is not aligned with the Common Core standards.  (Because why do that to a child if you're bothering to homeschool?)

Singapore Math comes with a semester-long textbook and a workbook for each student.  Right now, they're beginning Singapore Math 4A and when they are finished with that, it'll be time for 4B.  It will take us a fair while to get through the books because most of it is not busywork.  It's teacher-intensive and often needs a bit of explaining and classroom practice to be done well.

Usually I'll teach the concept from the textbook and go over the problems in the text with the children (using my dry erase board and bad drawings), and then allow them to do the workbook exercise on their own.

Often Singapore Math will encourage you to work differently with your child.  For example, in our lesson on place value, we actually got Post-It notes out and broke down the number 68,974 into 60,000 and 8,000 and so on.  I stuck the numbers on top of one another so the children could see that the "7" is really "70."  That's what the exercise is about; recognising that each part of a number has its own value.

I'd highly recommend this curriculum for parents who want to actively teach their children each lesson themselves.  If you're interested, I've reviewed it in a bit more detail previously when I used it to teach Emperor and Elf.

Wow, that was ages ago...

1. that's a good way to learn number values.

1. I thought it was a pretty nifty idea, too! I think they mean for you to buy some special "place value" kit but... pff. Not.

### Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK.

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series.

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

### Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

### Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap!

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D!

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: