Friday, January 28th, 2011...3:51 PM
Math, Glorious Math!
Hallelujah! I found an algebra program that Cade actually likes. He was so excited yesterday as we began a new program. All year long we’ve been working hard on the Math-U-See Pre-Algebra program. And each Wednesday when it was time to begin, I would hear a series of grunts and groans.
Cade hated it.
*I* liked it because I understood it. Mr. Demme speaks to me and my way of learning. Therefor, I can relay the information to Cade. But Cade still hated the whole thing. It made me sad because I wanted him to discover that math could be fun if he let it. But we just couldn’t get there. We did have a very nice A-ha! moment a few weeks ago, but other than that it’s been a no-go.
So I bagged the MUS, at least for a while, and looked for a new way to teach Cade. One of the moms in our homeschooling group sent out a list of the top 100 educational web sites for homeschoolers. As I was perusing the list, my eye fell on the Hands On Equations because Cade has always been a very visual learner and I hoped that this would be up his alley. After watching the video on THIS page, I was excited. I downloaded one day’s worth of lessons so that Cade could have a preview. He seemed very interested so I bought the homeschool package and waited until Wednesday to try it out.
Yesterday we gave it a try. And Cade was so into it that he did four weeks worth of lessons in one sitting. He was so excited to have this very different way to approach algebra.
Basically, you use chess pawns to represent your unknown factor and you use dice to represent your numbers. He really liked the terminology, too. He would dutifully say, “I’m going to legally remove a pawn from each side.” Or, “I’m going make a legal move.”
He also liked the fact that there weren’t a ton of practice questions. And the guy on the video is an obviously eccentric guy who loves his math. His enthusiasm was engaging for Cade.
When we finished the day I asked him what he thought and he said, “It’s fun! It’s like solving puzzles.”