Tagged: math

How to get rid of your math curriculum

Math is the subject parents love to teach right?  Wrong! Even though I have a minor in math, I can still get frustrated trying to explain what seems like simple concepts to my children.  The traditional math curriculum utilizes a number of worksheets to cover each new topic.  At our house many times there is a search for the math book before we can even get started.  We have tried several different math curriculum. The problem we encounter is the different learning styles of our different children.

My goal is not to have my child finish their X grade math book.  My goal is for my child to master the math concepts.  I know I never mastered some of the most basic math concepts so I vowed that my children would master math.  Since we started homeschooling I have tried to chose curriculum with that goal in mind.

Most curriculum is still based on the grade levels with lots of workbook activities.  With math, you usually need instructions at all levels.  Sometimes while trying to teach my kids, I would show one of my kids a Khan video.  My daughter was having problems recently so I decided to look at Khan academy once again.  Below is an example of one of the Khan videos.


Multiplication 5:  2-digit times a 2-digit number: Multiplying a 2-digit number times a 2-digit number

I was surprised that Khan academy has been updated to taking tutoring to the next level and paves the way for eliminating math curriculum.  Now at Khan academy you can track your childs progress along with watching all the tutorial videos. Students can also practice on the computer with thier progress being recorded.  You can create a mentor account at khanacademy.org.  You can then add each of your children under your account.  To do this you just log into your account and then add /createchild to the end of the web address and then press enter

www.khanacademy.org/createchild

The only problem I had was that my passwords I chose were too weak and therefore not accepted.  Finally I capitalized the first letter of my password and it was then accepted.  Once you have added your children you can then watch their progress as their mentor.

Creating accounts for your children on Khan academy now allows you to track the progress of your children.  There are some other advantages also to using Khan academy.

Advantages:

  1. I don’t get frustrated with explaining again and again.
  2. They can watch the videos as often as they like
  3. Self paced learning – learn for mastery.
  4. Record of individual progress.
To see more of Khan academy in action you can watch the Ted talk about Khan Academy.

Last but not least there is also an iPad/iphone app for Khan academy.

So have I gotten rid of my math curriculum?  Not yet but in the future hopefully I can track the progress of my children with Khan academy.  Who know maybe one day I can just say we use Khan academy for our curriculum.  What do you use for your math curriculum?  Do you use a tablet in place of worksheets?

Math apps for the iPad

How to choose a good iPad Math App.

There are numerous math apps for the iPad.  How do you decide which one to buy?  If you ask my kids which app they like they would say “Rocket Math”.  While Rocket math is a good app it doesn’t always line up with my goals for them and math.

For instance my son is working on memorizing the multiplication facts.  When given the chance to play my son of course chooses easy math targets so he can collect more money and build a better rocket.  The rocket then becomes the object of the game for him not learning math facts.  While this does get him interested, it is not necessarily the best and quickest way for him to learn his math facts.

It is for this reason I decided on the iPad Math App Math Board.  Instead of using a math App to help my son learn, I decided to use Math Board to quiz him.  One of the key features I looked for was the ability to quiz on only one multiplication family.  For instance if my son needs help on the 7x’s tables then I can select an option to ensure that 7 is included in every quiz question.  While the cost at $4.99 seemed a little high you can try out the Addition only Math Board App for free.  My one complaint is that there are occasional messages about buying other apps even though I have the full version.  Other then that the apps is great.  One other feature that I try and shy away from with math apps is multiple choice.