She has never loved math. She struggles. She comprehends the concepts but when it comes to putting pencil to paper, numbers end up in the wrong place or there are the wrong number of zeros or the decimal point isn't where it should be and the whole thing falls apart even though she GETS the overall concept. And forget memorizing facts with flash cards. I mean, just forget that scene altogether. For a while I thought maybe she was a bit dyslexic, but she can read with no problem.
Have you ever heard of dyscalculia? It's like dyslexia but specifically with numbers. If it were really bad, I might seek out a professional diagnosis and some outside advice. But her struggle is just bad enough to know that she dreads math work and that's bad enough for me. So if she had this, what would I do? Back in the beginning of the year I claimed that she could just do the book I got her and suck it up. But that's not really true and not really why I'm homeschooling. Why am I in charge if I'm not gonna change stuff up when it needs to be changed?
See also: Monday morning is the perfect time to give oneself a research project
A lot of the math programs were just expensive, colorful versions of what I've tried in the past. The drawings aren't the problem. The concepts aren't the problem. DOING the math is the problem. And she's not being difficult. I know my child. I know what she's capable of when she's being lazy and when she truly cannot do any better than the materials are allowing her to do. So how can math be different? Is it even possible? I mean, math is math, right?
*giggling with glee* No! Wrong! I found something!
Obviously there is some seriously budget printing going on here, y'all. But guess what? I like saving money. No problem there. Then I read the note to kids and parents on the sample lesson pdf and I was hooked.
Katie, my Saxon using, tedium-loving child was not interested at first. "How can REAL math be fun?" She was sure it was planet loser-ville and she does not roll like that, yo. But finally she came over, looked at the algebra sample, did some of the practice work, laughed at the ridiculous story and said "So I'm allowed to do this too?"
Yes, child! Yes, you may also learn a high level of mathematics and actually enjoy yourself while doing it!
So on their way to our casa of impatient children are books for all three of my school aged peeps. If we love them: Thank you Lord! If we don't: Hey, that didn't cost very much. And they're non-consumable for optimum resale.
This is the first time in my life that I've been truly excited about a math program. I mean...math. Practical applications of algebra? Then geometry? Then trig? Then CALCULUS? Ehrmagherd. I cannot wait!