Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time For Teaching Textbooks

During our Fall Semester I have constantly thought about changing the curriculum that we currently use for math.  I've been back and forth about it simply because it is VERY important to me that my kiddos have an excellent grasp of math (mainly because I didn't).  I've been doing some research and had narrowed my top two choices down to Saxon and Teaching Textbooks.  I was completly annoyed with the Saxon website, having to sign into a guest book just to get to the product video, then having to sign in again to get to the Virtual Sample. I mean what kind of people holds the videos randsome to get email addresses...WHO??? Not to mention the 15 minutes of rambling about the research behind the design and layout of the textbooks.  I just wanted to find out what they would learn and would I be responsible for all of the lesson plans. Neither of which I found out during my 20 minute stint at the website.  So, I gathered up my limited patience and went elsewhere...specifically, to Teaching Textbooks.

My kiddos work independently for most subjects, at this juncture in their education, except for math.  I usually will prepare a lesson for them using our trusty E.D. Hirsch grade level series as my guide.  I then will have them practice the concepts learned on the dry erase board (which they love to do) as many times as needed, so that I can see that they understand the concept.  Next, I follow-up with worksheets from the Evan-Moor Math Skills workbooks.  I give them as much time as they need on any concept using this method.  I like my current method because of that, but it is the ONLY reason I like it.  

It is EXTREMELY time consuming using my current method, trying to find the right worksheets to correlate with the concepts from my E.D Hirsch books.  Duplicating hand-outs, because I don't let them write in the workbooks.  Researching the best way to teach a concepts such as decimals and conversions...cause I can't trust how I learned it. It's lots and lots and LOTS of work on my part.  I'm exhausted from just sharing it with you.

My plan is to find a curriculum that teaches them a bit more on their own, but to also keep them ahead of the game, which they currently are.  I reviewed the Teaching Textbooks and think that this is going to be the best fit for us.  Even though, after reviewing the placement tests offered on the website, I've determined that I may have to purchase the books that are a grade or two above my kiddos' levels. 

What I love about the Teaching Textbooks though, is that they are kid-friendly and conversational.  Both of which will appeal to my kiddos.  I love the fact that there are DVD's to explain every single problem that is in the textbooks and that my kiddos will be able to go over any concept as many times as needed.  The website itself has easily accessible samples (that you don't have to give out your email address for) as well as a demo of the grade book that is used to track your kids progress. AWESOME!  They had me at self-teaching DVD's.

Of course, I will keep you posted on how it goes.  If you have TT and have any comments or suggestions about this curriculum, or any other awesome math curriculum you've found...please share in the comments section.

Claudea B.


lyssa said...

They had me at self teaching dvds!! I love it! They had me right there too. We LOVE our TT and my daughter is 5th grade too. She NEVER complains about doing math, and shhhhhh - don't tell - but I NEVER have to teach her...I feel guilty for confessing that...I wish all our curriculum were this easy. My 3 rd grader uses Saxon - because someone gave it to me and I wasn't going to waste it - but I can't stand the boring repetition and the way the teacher's manuel doesn't teach ME when I'm confused about something! (Obviously numbers aren't my strong suit). OK I was supposed to leave a comment, not write a novel. Sorry! I came by thru The Homeschool Lounge and your thread about blogs. Mine is www.thedazeofus.blogspot.com if you ever want to stop by! I can't follow you cuz my "followers" and "following" gadget is being blocked by our router...I know, weird. But I'll stop back by here again soon. :)

Mama Know Best said...

Great comment, Thanks Lyssa! I found some really wonderful reviews at the Lounge on TT so I'm feeling much more confident about the curriculum. By the way, don't feel guilty about your confession...we do so much as moms and homeschooling, math is just one less thing we should have to worry about...especially for those of us that are allergic to it:)

Twisted Cinderella said...

I am in the process of changing things up too. Glad to hear your take on TT.