Monday, February 27, 2012

Math Programs I have Loved. . . AOPS

I have written about The Art of Problem Solving classes and web site in the past, but it is worth sharing about them again.   It is truly a  very unique web site.  AOPS offers online subject classes for  Prealgebra  and up.  Their  classes are very affordable, and they are OK  with a variety of ages taking their classes.  The classes have a  big emphasis on problem solving, and your kids come out knowing math.   You can also participate in up to 3 online-class-sessions before dropping  the class for a refund.  AOPS continues to update and make their programs more user friendly.  I find them extremely responsive to my questions and appreciate their customer service.
They also have a  FREE program you can use called Alcumus.   Art of Problem Solving's Alcumus offers students a customized learning experience, adjusting to student performance to deliver appropriate problems and lessons.  They have a wealth of problems available for your student to solve.

The Art of Problem Solving does a nice job with gifted math students.  What I also like about them is that if your child is serious about math they have a very good reputation among colleges and math minded people.

Hope this helpful.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Math Programs I have Loved. . . . Teaching Textbooks.

I have a confession to make.  I love math programs.  I am constantly in search of the perfect math program.  Not as much fun mind as the search for the perfect purse, but still pretty fun.  I am always hoping that one of these days I will turn up the math program that will meet all the needs of all my children and be life changing.  At this point, I have not.  I actually have five different math programs going in my house.  So over the next few months I am going to share "Math Programs I have Loved."

I wanted to start with Teaching Textbooks.  Teaching Textbooks is a fairly new addition to our household math programs.  I bought it out of sheer desperation for my daughter.  Let me explain, I love math, and  I come from a long line of women who are very good at math.  My grandmother was playing competitive bridge up to the age of 94 while doing all the math in her head.  I pride myself on being able to figure any percent off in a matter of minutes.  My daughter is not like that.  She gets frustrated and does not have the love of numbers that I possess.  We both cried during math instruction.  I needed something that was positive for her, rewarded progress, and would help teach her math independently.  Teaching Textbooks did this for us. 

To begin their program they recommend you take a placement test.   I highly agree.  It was a very accurate in placing my daughter in the correct level.  You can also test the program online which we did.  That also confirmed it would be a good fit  for  my daughter.   They promised that I could return it within 30 days if I did not like it and that sealed the bargain.  I bought it at the Midwest Homeschool Convention.

When I talked to the Teaching Textbook staff at the convention they told me they do not like to talk about grades, but levels in their program.  Remember, I was desperate and would have called it whatever they wanted me to.  I would say the program is probably behind other programs at the same level, but, I do not think that is a big deal.  If your child switches into it and is doing harder work, the placement test will take them up level.

We bought the CD's and the textbook.  I am glad we have the textbook, because she shows her work in the book.  It is also nice to have a hard copy of what she is doing.  Plus,  I think it is good practice to be able to do math on paper.  Most high stakes tests are still using paper.  

For my daughter this is a fabulous fit. She is happy, there is no more crying, and we are better friends.   It has been worth every penny I paid for it.  We are on our second level.

If you have a child who is gifted at math and runs through things quickly.  Then I am not sure if this is the program for you. I think the repetition and spiral topics in the curriculum would probably be annoying to them. 

Hope this helps,

Monday, February 06, 2012

Blogs I follow. . .

I have to tell you I really enjoy reading others blogs.  I have to set a time limit on my reading time.  It can be so addicting.  I love blogs with contests and specialized interests.    Here is a random list of some.  Maybe there is one that will speak to you.


Lisa McAfee has a blog.  She homeschooled her two boys all the way through high school.  Her blog is Schoolmarm Ohio  She posts twice a week.  She has the looking back advantage.

My friend Amy posts about homeschool, autism, and gives away great stuff at Growing Fruit.

My friend Tammy shares her Charlotte Mason homeschool approach including homeschooling  a child with Autism.  She has blogged  for many year at Aut-2B- Home in Carolina. 

Large Families

Raising Olives is a large homeschooling family.  She has great contests and I enjoy her pictures. She has some practical homeschooling ideas for big families.

Smockity Frocks is another large homeschooling family.  I always love reading about people who live in Texas.  I mean that.  They just live larger or something.  She is pretty funny.  More good contests.

Large Family Logistics.  You have heard my love of this one in a previous post.    She does not post often, but I enjoy her posts.  She loves organization and it speaks to me.

My all time favorite author is Patricia Veryan.  She is rather obscure, but still a favorite for me.  Nancy Eads keeps her fan club going at Patricia Veryan Fan Club.  

Just a random aside.  Tell me your favorite blogs.  I am always looking.