Happy Math Month! We are starting a whole month of math. My nerdy guys love math...me not so much! I am trying to love it and hoping that homeschooling this month will help me even more. And (if I am being honest) also stop me from stressing about the test Jake has to take the end of April that will prove me as a great teacher or failure. I am starting to see why teachers in NC stress so much in public school and basically just teach for the end of grade test! In NC all you have to do (we do much more than this obviously...but according to the laws) is take attendance and give your child a bench mark test at the end of the year (they don't even care what your child makes on it-just that they took it!). I however have moments of uncontrollable anxiety that I am failing as a homeschooling mom and that my child brain is turning to mush...Is that normal for your first year of homeschooling? Please tell me it is and let me know that "this too shall pass"...Any who! Jake is a smart kiddo, does really well on tests, and why I stress is beyond me but I do (especially when I have just worked 3rd shift and been up all night and rented my child a video game so in my tiredness I feel less neglectful...is neglectful a word? wait...is tiredness even a word?). So, math month is supposed to make me feel better....and of course further my child's education! That is really the main point I swear...
For March=Math Month we are going to have all sorts of fun (I am trying to psych myself up for this...) focusing on math in every subject we study. We are going to read math books (cool ones of course), do math projects, and of course celebrate Pi day (March 14th...get it 3.14...it is a math geek thing. I am trying to understand it myself...).
Some of the resources we have been using for math (or will be using this month) are:
1. Khan Academy. Have you checked this site out? If not you should because it actually makes me (a self proclaimed math hater) have fun with it. Enough said. Seriously the guy doing it is a genius and he will make you 1 too.
2. These are the NC standards for the 5th grade (no problem for Jake at all) and this site (click on either of those and it takes you to the same site...I just got a little link happy there) sets it all up and gets it in 1 place for you. You can pick the state you live in and it will tell you what your child should be studying. I have had this bookmarked for like a year (since we were thinking about homeschooling) and haven't used it all that much (because we have been using workbooks, I will tell you about in a second, more) but we will be more this month. I will let you know how it goes. I think it looks pretty cool and the few times we have used it we have liked it.
3. Abeka is the curriculum we have been using this school year (for math) and it lays it all out for you. When to do speed drills to keep skills sharp, what to review, and when to have quizzes and tests. Pretty fool (me being the fool...) proof. It can get a little boring after a while though...No offense Abeka! I think you have a great product, but in my opinion (and my child's) worksheets do get old after a while. Somethings you just have to do! That is why you do other fun things like....
4. Family Math: We.Love.This.Book! It isn't like you could base your curriculum on it (maybe you could if you are smarter than I am in math...) but it really gets the math juices flowing! It is basically games you can do with your child that make you use that part of your brain that is all "mathy" and stuff. Does reading my made up words and incorrect grammar make you concerned for my child's educations? :) Check it this book and you will love it!
5. Math for Smarty Pants. This is another book I got for cheap at a local consignment homeschooling store (how lucky am I?) and haven't used yet...Sad I know but there are so many hours in the day and I would much rather spend them trying to convince my child that writing can be magical!....Just kidding I don't do that...(much)...It is the whole right brain, left brain thing. I am the opposite of Aaron and Jake. They try to pull me over to the dark side (the math side) and it hasn't worked...and vice versa (they both hate to write)...Jake is a math and science guy but pretty much a smarty pants all around. This book caught my eye for 2 reasons: 1. it was cheap. I am sucker for a good deal. 2. It tells you no matter what you are a smarty pants at, you can do math and like it. I think my own unwillingness to like it has made me not get into it too much but I will remedy that this month! Seriously this book looks like a whole lot of fun and I was saving it to use for March=Math Month (I really was I swear).
6. One project we will be doing is making pies on Pi day. We will each pick a recipe and use our mad math skills to double the recipe to share with a friend. This will give you an idea of what math geeks do on Pi day:
7. Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land. I have never seen it but Aaron has been looking for an excuse to get it and here it is. I am actually excited about this. How can math not be fun when Donald Duck is involved!
8. Language Arts and history are going to happen through some very cool books my mother-in-law got me from a school in SC that was changing...to some other kind of school?..I can't remember the whole deal but the school was getting rid of books and she grabbed a ton for me. Historical Connections in Mathematics is the name of the book and we have volume 1 and 2 (thank you again Nana). We are going to do some reading in them and write what we learn about in mini reports..that type of thing.
9. Jake is also going to fix this:
little kiddo bench for Nee for another math project. He will have to use some measuring skills to figure out the size (length, width, etc.) of the pieces he will need to fix it. We will show you the after when he gets it done. :)
I am determined to make this fun. Jake is totally psyched (he has already determined that September is Science month) and him being psyched is making me psyched...That is as excited as I am going to get about math people...I am trying. :)
Have a happy Math month! Do you have any suggestions on books or activities that can make math month more magical for us unbelievers? If so PLEASE (yes I am begging...) let me know. See how much I love my child? Enough to dedicate a whole month (and a 31 day one at that) to my least favorite subject. That is love people! Aaron I am sure is proud, being that he is a major math geek. (He was a math major and is a math teacher for those of you who don't know.) He is going to have to help me out with this one!