March 11, 2013

How to tell your homeschool math program is working

Denise just posted an article How to Recognize a Successful Homeschool Math Program on her blog.  I enjoyed that a lot and recommend you read it too, no matter what math curriculum you are using!


She summarizes it this way:

If you are wondering how well your homeschool math program is working, pay attention to your children.

  • Do they understand that common sense applies to math?
  • Can they give logical reasons for their answers?
  • Even when they get confused, do they know that math is nothing to fear?
If so, then be assured: your children are already miles ahead of most of their peers. Their foundations are solid, and the details will eventually fall into place as you continue to play with mathematical ideas together.


She also notes her 'yardstick' for measuring math anxiety: if your child does not fear word problems, he/she is not suffering from math anxiety.

Photo by wecometolearn


There was a time when my second daughter actually relished word problems and thought they were the BEST part of her math work (it was about 2nd- 3rd grade). Now she said she still enjoys them, but likes mental math problems best (she just started 5th).

When it comes to mental math, I sometimes give myself a little challenge (such as when making an answer key to my books): can I do this problem mentally instead of a calculator? It's not anything I fear - it's enjoyable in a sense.

I feel this is similar to when people do crossword puzzles, solve Sudoku, or even play Freecell: you actually enjoy the mental challenge, right? The same can happen with mental math, or with math in general:- it doesn't have to be something fearful, disgusting, or repulsive -- far from that! : )



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