(20:114) ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Monday, June 30, 2008

If We Ever Get Through Saxon Math

I think, InshaALLAH, we will be going with Singapore Math next year. I like the thoroughness of Saxon Math but it is a sightly different approach than what I am looking for. It teaches the bare-bones essentials of math and lays a foundation that every child needs but it is repetitive and bland.

Singapore Math is more conceptual, using what they describe as "The Concrete > Pictorial > Abstract approach."
I printed the placement test for potential grade 2 students and it looks like she will be on track for the second grade math program once we finish the Saxon Math program for grade 1, InshaALLAH. You can see the placement guide here. Singapore Math also offers Standard (metric) or U.S. versions of their texts. We will go with standard since we are in Canada, InshaALLAH.

I thought that this year was going to be harder than the previous year simply because I planned to introduce my son into the homeschooling environment on a more formal level as well. However, he was a bit too young and I was too ambitious.

Every day he joins us in the classroom for a short while to help with art projects and listen to the Quran sessions, along with games and coloring (he loves to draw but isn't interested in coloring). I found out a lot about his learning style just by observing him. He has a good attention span and has a real interest in our Arabic sessions.

The new school year, InshaALLAH, will be his introduction to school, perhaps starting with the Calvert School Kindergarten program that I already have and assessing his progress at the halfway point of the upcoming school year. This means that I must revamp the schedule to fit in individual and group activities.

How will I keep myself from being overwhelmed? Well, for us, routine is always the key. And, knowing that I don't have to be a slave to a curriculum also helps. If I feel that my daughter won't benefit from doing a mundane task that the book suggests or it's too time-consuming or just plain ridiculous, we skip it. No guilt, no hassle. I never skip the important things, but I can think of something better to do than marching around the house saying the alphabet which she has known since she was very young.

If I don't plan accordingly, it can turn into a real mess, so careful scheduling is the backbone of our day and I know ahead of time if I can combine lessons or need to spend extra time or supplement a lesson. It saves a lot of time and I don't feel like I didn't provide a quality day for the children.

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