Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Back To School

We've been easing into school here, slowly but surely, for the past 2 weeks.  David is full speed ahead on Algebra and English 8 and Biology.  Rachel happily does workbook pages, while Susie is assiduously learning to circle 3 of the ducks and 5 of the clowns in her little kindergarten book.  And Brian?  Well, I started him with just history reading the first week, a little grammar and geography added in the second.  So today, I rather trepidatiously brought out his math book, thinking that maybe - this year - he wouldn't find the arithmetic quite so onerous.

Reader, I was wrong.  The poor kid didn't even say anything - he just sat on the couch and wept big silent tears as I attempted to convince him that this year it would be FUN to do math.  EASY, also.  Just a little bit, OKAY?

A pox on all those how-to-homeschool books, I say - wouldn't you know they provide no guidance on how not to break your sweet 10-year-old's heart whilst teaching him basic arithmetic?


  1. Oh my. I just started homeschooling my kids, and in my first week, my 10 year old boy was weeping over math. Which, in a larger sense, is why I took them out of school in the first place, so I basically STOPPED the math tears and tried again the next day with much, much lower expectations for him. That went well. But thanks for posting this...I know you are a veteran homeschool mom, so it's nice to see that maybe, just maybe, his tears are NOT due to actions of mine...maybe math just sucks for some people. Thanks!

  2. It's not for basic math, but when you get to fractions (we only had addition, subtraction, and multiplication down pat---kinda---and we're learning division as we go) try The Life of Fred series. We LOVE Fred. Yo-Yo chortles with glee when I say it's time to do math. Quite different from last year...

  3. Cheer up.

    Once they go to college you can't actually see the tears any more.

  4. This is Brian? The one who loves legos? What grade is he in math?

  5. No great wisdom here. We liked Singapore. But they don't like math except for the youngest, and he just has a math brain.
    Have you had him use this website? http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html
    or maybe there is a book out there that uses legos to teach math?

  6. Mmmm...I feel his pain on the math. But yay for the ducks and clowns and GEOGRAPHY lessons! (see today's post for my thoughts on THAT.)

  7. What grade is he in with math? Helping cook is good for learning fractions. :)

  8. my heart goes out to brian ... math always reduced me to a puddle of tears. tell him to marry someone good in math and let them worry w/ balancing the checkbook, taxes, and paying the bills (that's what I did).

    blessings ... hope all is well.

  9. I hope this doesn't sound wrong but it's so good to hear that even veteran homeschoolers have these issues. My oldest has hated math from day 1 (you even counseled me during one of our 'roadblocks') and I think we are on Math Program #4 (or is it 5?) to see what "works" for her.

    Surely Linda Dobson or Cathy Duffy have run into this before! Or that lady with 19 kids who homeschools! Severe Math Aversion must be a real condition!

    My heart goes out to both of you.

  10. A Mom on Spin made me LOL with her comment!

    My oldest 3 are math brains, and I loved using Singapore Math for them. My youngest simply cannot "get" his basic math facts memorized. I may have to go back to playing card games to reinforce math facts (mine and his both). *sigh* I feel like crying with Brian, because I don't have the answers.

    I used to be a member of a yahoo group called "Lego Lovers, Pencil Haters." I don't know if they still exist.

  11. I second the recommendation for Life of Fred. The Boy likes it -- it's a silly and gentle approach to math.

    We're almost on a homeschool schedule, but I can't get The Boy to do anything when I'm not watching. And it's not like I'm standing over him with a cattle prod -- apparently, it's just more fun when I'm along.