Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with a Curriculum Change and a Birthday Party

I mentioned last week that I've been a bit concerned about the girls' progress with spelling and math. I've been trying to quell my anxiety because I do realize that individual children make progress at different rates in different areas of study and that each child also has areas in which she excels and areas that don't come quite as easily. I mentioned that I felt we were using good materials and persevering, so I intended to just keep at it.

And I do truly feel that way with spelling, for which I use All About Spelling (AAS) with both girls. In fact, my more natural speller is making quick progress with AAS, and my other daughter is moving along at what I feel is a decent pace for her. They both still make lots of mistakes when they're initially drafting paragraphs and essays, but I think that's because they're so focused on ideas that they don't think about mechanics. But they usually know the corrections to make when I point out errors involving rules they've already studied, so I know AAS principles are "sticking." 

But I knew even last week that I wasn't nearly as confident about math. We used Math-U-See (MUS) - in conjunction with City Creek Press - for a long time, and I still think MUS is a really good program...and that City Creek (which I still use) is incredible. However, we hit a bit of a wall late last fall because the heavy MUS emphasis on drilling the same concepts for weeks and weeks frustrated the girls.

So I ultimately decided to make a switch to Making Math Meaningful (MMM), which seemed similar to MUS but different enough. And we did that in November and part of December, but, in all honesty, it didn't feel quite right from the beginning; I suppose it works wonderfully for many families, but it was much better in theory than in practice for us. So, when we jumped back into our lessons in early January, I was in a quandary. In fact, I didn't really use our MMM books; instead, I simply worked on continued mastery, particularly of division facts, using our City Creek materials because I didn't want to hassle with MMM

And, actually, it was last week's Wrap-Up post that got me thinking about switching yet again. I suppose admitting - even in my mind since I was a bit evasive with all of you - that MMM was not really working was the catalyst I needed. So...one thing led to another and - lo and behold - we will be launching our journey with Teaching Textbooks (TT) tomorrow!
I really hope this is our ticket to long-term contentment with a mathematics program because, frankly, I don't like change. Clearly, I'll make changes for my kids' well-being - I've done so on a number of occasions even with curriculum, to say nothing of other areas of life - but I'd rather find a good fit and stick with it for the long haul, especially at this stage of the game. So I'll sit with each of the girls through their first lessons tomorrow and, perhaps, observe other lessons this week rather closely. But I'm hoping TT's engaging DVD instruction, coupled with its logical, spiral-style presentation of concepts, will be our way to make on-going regular progress sans any further significant obstacles.

Stay tuned.

In other news, my nephew - my only brother's only child - turned 16 at the end of the week, and we attended his party on Saturday. This nephew is a wonderful young man - I reported last fall how he'd made Eagle Scout - and it's a joy to spend time with him and my brother and sister-in-law.

I had fun with one of our presents to him - a little Matchbox car with a note attached explaining that we wanted to oblige him "because every 16-year old wants his own car." The gift was a hit all around - you can see that my nephew's grandpa got a kick out of it - and my nephew plans to share the joke at school on Monday.
I've been battling through an emotional funk since Saturday morning. But I'm aware of the couple of on-going issues causing my angst. No instant fixes but I know that diligence and perseverance will have me feeling better in a couple of days and will almost assuredly bring eventual success...maybe even a little of it by this time next week.

I'm linking up once again with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Click here to read other weekly wrap-up posts.


Alice said...

Great post! Now I'm going to look up City Creek and TT Math. Is the nephew one of your brother's or sister's boy? Cute idea for a gift!

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Alice -
CIty Creek is awesome if you have a visual and/or right-brained learner; nothing else worked for my child who is like that. And we did our first TT lessons today with great success...so, hopefully, that will continue.

My nephew is my brother's only son - and he is my only sibling. We have six nieces and nephews on my husband's side, but just Sam on my side. He is a truly amazing young man!

Alice said...

City Creek does look amazing. Stil to look up TT. :)

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