I am BAD, awful and terrible at mathematics. I think it was all downhill after about second grade. I wanted to be a scientist until about fourth grade, when I figured out that scientists are not allowed to wear red lab coats. Well, that wasn't the only reason. I also discovered after one of the 11 moves we made during my childhood that I was behind and stupid at my new school in Australia. I THOUGHT I was smart, but I really wasn't. I was way behind. I don't think I stayed in any one place long enough to really master the lessons. This is just as well, because like I said, I'm terrible, awful and BAD at mathematics. It's one of the reasons D was reluctant to allow me to homeschool the boys.
But my sons Emperor and Elf think I actually can do math. Shh. Don't tell them the truth! Emperor even admired that I was able to help him with one of his math problems a bit ago. Yay for me... I'm able to interpret a word problem better than a seven-year-old! Whoo-hoo!
I know it's my weak spot. I've tried using the public school curriculum but I'm *not* going to teach it with lattice multiplication and other backwards methods that there is no WAY I can figure out myself, let alone pretend to explain. I teach with the answer key. Oh, um, you wanted to know about that line segment? Hang on (cough cough, turn around and look at answer book)... OH! I can explain that... What is sad is that I have learned several new concepts in this third grade math book. Did you know that when you talk about volume, area and perimeter, you're really talking about three different things? Did you? Come on and admit it now. You are not alone. You're safe here. OH! And when you measure these three different things, you talk about them three different ways. "Volume" is measured in "cubic units" because they like to pretend there are cubes of stuff there. Really!
So, anyway, then I bought Horizons because it's supposed to be a "spiral" curriculum as well. That means that if you don't master a concept the first time, it keeps sneaking up on you and biting you in the butt on subsequent lessons. You'd better get it the first time, or the teacher will pick up on it either the second, third, or fifteenth time you miss it when it comes around again. Sooner or later, it will haunt you badly enough to where you go and expend a little energy to learn the "how to" and get it over with.
I like Horizons. But I'm not enamoured of the teaching manuals. I have been, over and over and OVER AND OVER again, exposed to this idea that "Singapore Math" is really great. And it seems to be a consensus among math educators.
I'm really scared of it, though, because by the middle of fourth grade, they're covering things I don't know how to do. I have taken geometry in high school, but all we really learned was which colour pen to do each line segment in. I'm not kidding; our geometry teacher had seven different chalk colours and we had to have nice, neat little books and we also learned to draw a circle.
I was in *those* classes in high school. Yes, I am ashamed of myself. It was PUBLIC SCHOOL, though, so all y'all talking about how certified teachers teach so well need to shut up because it produces math stupids like me, ok?
And do you know what? Sending Elf and Emperor back to public school, where Elf was abused, is not an option right now. I'm going to have to learn this math stuff with my children. And it's time for me to go the next level and get the Singapore stuff and learn it already.
I'm so scared!!! I get headaches just thinking about numbers. No, really, I'm not kidding.
I keep putting making the actual purchase off. I finally found a distributor and figured out exactly what I wanted and enquired about why this company didn't have the "standards" version. They wrote back and said, well, "standards" version is made for California schools.
Suddenly, maybe the US version sounds better. I need to think more about it and dally some more though. Maybe it will go on sale while I think about it? Maybe some "how to teach an old lady some math" lesson will pop up on YouTube and be free? And I can watch it in five minutes and be over my math phobia?
Ok, I know that this is my weak spot and that I just have to go ahead and learn the stupid math. Though I don't wanna. I'm going to publish this and then I'm going to order it. I'm going now. Ok, here I go. Mmmm... going...
All right. #publish# already.