Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homeschooling Update - January 2010

My 5.16 year old son is just about done with the Kumon Math books. He finished Grade 6 - Fractions & Decimals last week and just has the Grade 6 - Geometry & Measurement workbook to complete over the next 1.5 weeks.

So what next?

Well, I did something that normally I wouldn't do. I spent a whopping $43 for the above books - The Life of Fred - Beginning Alebra and *companion*. Click graphic to enlarge.

You see, for a math geek like myself, BUYING such a math book is like, well, Tiger Woods hiring someone to teach his child the golf swing!

But that particular book series is a bit of a juggernaut in homeschooling circles.

Having seriously contemplated writing my own textbook(s), I bought these books as much for me as I did for my son. I'm very interested in the unconventional approach and style of these popular, and expensive, Life of Fred books. The author, who sells directly on his site, must be making a mint. Click the link and read the sample pages for yourselves.

Obviously, as I always do, I'll provide a thorough review after we finish the book.

As for my writing aspirations...

I am taking notes on every little thing I do as far as teaching my brood. Maybe, one day, there'll be enough grist there to fill up a book. Though I'm skeptical that I'd ever write a lengthy book on a subject that's already had so much written about it. Maybe my approach to math would occupy a chapter in a larger educational treatise? But that's about it. Math is simply not that complicated so I see something inherently wrong with these 300 page books on basic addition or subtraction.

As for my daughter, the 3.58 year old Princess...

She's finished a few of the introductory Kumon workbooks already. She's on Alphabet Games at the moment. She writes sooooo much better than her brother did - and that by itself should go a long way to facilitating her learning. For example, even now, though we're doing 6th grade math, most of my son's difficulty comes not from comprehension, but from sloppy penmanship: not keeping numbers in columns, writing too big, too small, too close, mismanaging paper space, etc. These errors are rampant among even college students, in my experience. So much of math is actually just *english* and *discipline*, IMO.

As I promise before, we've picked up the *art work*. We try to sit down and sketch for 15 minutes each day. As the book prescribes, I draw with my children. Actually, I'm quite good!

Also, the Prince has to do scale work on the keyboard almost every day. Essentially, at this early point, we really just want him to mess around on it a bit.

Soon I'll have him try stuff that I know he'll enjoy:

No comments: