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Math is a 4-letter word

It’s crunch time.  We begin school next Monday, since the girls begin Co-op a few days after that.  I’ve spent my entire day setting up Math.  Math has consumed me.  So this is a math review.  I sense that your eyes are rolling to the back of your head.

I can tell you that I love math.  That love is not shared by anyone else that I live with.  Or know.  Not long after we were married, Fiddledaddy asked me to play the banker in this little game of Monopoly because Math is not his gift.  It seemed natural since my accountant offered me a job every single year that I brought in my taxes.  You should see my check register.  It is a work of art.

Yes.  I could benefit from therapy.  But IT’S NOT IN THE BUDGET.  HAHAHAHAHA.

Proving that He has a sense of humor, God gave me 3 children who hate math.  And then to add insult to injury, He encouraged me to HOMESCHOOL them.

We’ve been through nearly every Math curriculum ever created, including A Beka, Math U See, Saxon, Singapore, and Accelerated Christian Education.  Some worked okay with one or another, but it wasn’t until I discovered Teaching Textbooks that I found a curriculum that worked well for all 3 kids.

Teaching Textbooks is a curriculum which has verbal and visual instruction on CD-ROM, and can come with a written student spiral.  It was created specifically for homeschoolers.  It begins with the 3rd grade and ends with high school Pre-Calculus.  I think it works well for most kids because the lecture is conversational, and includes bright colored interactive visuals.  So it appeals to the visual AND the auditory learner.


We switched to Teaching Textbooks when Emme was struggling mid-way through her 6th grade year.  It was an immediate relief, as it took much of the explaining off of my shoulders, and allowed her to work through the problems at her own pace, not moving on to the next concept until mastery.  There is just the right amount of review, and she knows immediately if her answer is correct.  If incorrect, she is able to view how to do the problem.  OH YEAH.  And it’s self grading.  I get the second edition versions which are Mac compatible and therefore self-grading.

I do like getting the spiral text, even though my kids show their work in a graph spiral (I get these from Office Depot).  That way I can still re-sell the text, but it’s nice to visually see the lesson in print, and know what topics are going to be covered.

Teaching Textbooks is not cheap.  I can attest to that since all 3 of my kids are doing it.  I’ve been able to buy it used in all cases.  I have had to purchase an occasional spiral text, or buy a replacement disc for one that is damaged.  This company does not mind that this curriculum is sold used among homeschoolers.  And their telephone customer service is awesome.

My math task today included installing Math 4, Math 7, and Algebra 1 on the computers.  I also make it a practice of burning copy discs so my kids aren’t using the originals and risking all the scratches, dropping, and general mayhem that accompanies disc usage.  The copies I make are only for our use and I destroy them when we’re finished.

I did run into a snag, however.  I spent a good deal of my afternoon trying to make copies of Algebra 1.  The first disc copied, but no others would.  I thought that perhaps I had defective discs, but then I realized that they might be copy-protected.  A quick call to the company confirmed this.  She apologized, but said that some of the newer versions (like Algebra 1) were copy-protected.  I completely understand this, since I can see where that might be abused.

So I’ve instructed my Algebra student that she cannot use her discs as a coaster, or a frisbee, or a weapon…

I also discovered a Math Worksheet website last year which allows you to customize worksheets to cover those topics your own reluctant student might need additional help with.  There are plenty of free topics, but I did subscribe for a year (I believe it was about $25) so that I had access to more specific math topics.


At one point this last year, one of my children (unnamed) looked up from her computer, “MOM, if I’m going to be a Disney Princess, I do NOT need Math.”

That’s where you’re wrong, my friend.  Math is the one subject you WILL use every single day of your life.

And that thought fills me with an unending amount of joy.


7 Responses to Math is a 4-letter word

  • Teaching Textbooks is AWESOME! I wish I’d discovered it long before #1 was nearly done with high school. He might have ended up at least tolerating math rather than hating it and thinking that he’s stupid… 🙁

  • LOVE TT!

    It’s nice not to be the OGRE that makes my daughter cry!!

  • We’ve struggled back and forth through various math curricula as well…still don’t think I have the answer. I’m curious to find out how well Teaching Textbooks prepares students for the SAT/ACT. My oldest has used Math U See most of her life, and I think it is woefully inadequate at preparing students for successful math scores on the SAT. We are trying something different, Chalkdust SAT Math Prep CDs, to help increase the score.

    Also trying tutoring with my youngest. Hoping that someone with a math degree will be able to make more sense than apparently Mr. Demme and I do.

    • I have heard that it’s not as rigorous, and doesn’t go as far as some of the other curricula. I honestly didn’t care as long as it could get *something* across to my son.

  • I love TT! My kids (and I) thought that they just didn’t “get” math before we started TT. I myself am good at basic math (algebra and above not so much!) but struggled with explaining stuff I just knew how to do after years of doing it. Enter TT. Saved my sanity! My kids are rocking their math! To me it’s worth the price. I usually buy used discs on eBay and buy the spiral workbook from TT directly. It’s important to me that the kids learn how to write out the math and not just do it in their heads. We plan on using it until graduation.

  • Jonathan is about to begin his third year of college (He was 3 when I gave birth). We have been through FAFSA, scholarships, blah blah blah. An we survived.

    Now Katie is thinking about going back to school, and filled our her FAFSA. Her reply from them stated what she is most likely eligible for for financial aid.

    She forwarded the email to both her brother and I asking for an explanation. Her brother’s immediate rely to us both?
    “Ask Mom. Why do you think I became a Journalist? Math makes no sense.”

  • We do love TT’s!!!!!! 😀 makes a big difference!