Sometimes we homeschool mamas don’t know when to make changes. Or we make too many changes and never settle on any one curriculum. I tend to fall in the former category. I find what works and we shall never deviate from that thing until Jesus comes back, Amen.
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that sometimes just because something is working doesn’t mean it’s what is best for my kids At That Moment.
We’ve done Math-U-See since Sam and Ian were in kindergarten. It works. I get it. They get it (usually). And even though long division reduced us all to tears this year, it wasn’t the fault of the curriculum. It’s because long division is straight from the pits of hell and it would stink in any curriculum.
That’s in the Bible, I’m sure of it.
This September, when we revamped our schedule, Andrew took over the checking of math homework. I still did the “teaching” (aka “sliding the video into my laptop and hitting play”) but Andrew was going to keep a closer eye on our progress. Because everyone’s motivation, including my own, was slipping.
He observed our progress for a few days and then we sat down for a meeting. We asked: What’s working? What isn’t? At first, we thought maybe the curriculum wasn’t a good fit. But more research and more study revealed that we were still very satisfied with the curriculum.
Were our kids just lazy? Had we burned them out on math forever by schooling year round?
We dropped to our knees and looked up to the skies and asked, “WHY, OH, WHY WON’T THEY CARE MORE ABOUT THEIR MATH SCORES??????”
Or maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but I know there was angst.
We thrashed about a bit more until we finally hit on a solution. We’re going to take a break. Not from math altogether. But Sam and Ian are going to get a respite after five books of Math-U-See. They’re going to do a “review period” with Teaching Textbooks.
They think it’s for funsies because it’s on the computer. I think it’s a vacation because we don’t have to grade their work. And yet, secretly, we’re reinforcing all those fifth grade math facts that are so important and yet so painful.
We’ve all agreed that, unless we change our minds again, this isn’t a break-up. The twins will go right back to Math-U-See when they finish this little interlude with Teaching Textbooks. Math-U-See is still what works for our family. But we think it will work even better for us after we take a break.
I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, let’s all say it together because I know you’ve been thinking it since you saw the title: WE WERE ONNN A BREAK!!!!
Here’s hoping this isn’t our own mathematical version of Ross and Rachel…