Sep 072009

I’m planning on having my son work one addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problem daily just to to make sure that he remembers the methods. We’ve fought and fought over him doing most of his math in his head. It might not be so much of a problem if he got all the problems correct. But he does not. He definitely understands math concepts for which I’m very thankful. That is what I’ve stressed. But, I’m realizing now that he doesn’t KNOW his math facts adequately, and he does not do well at computational math. I knew his speed was poor and we are drilling multiplication facts to help with that.

I’ve come up with several possibilities for delivering the problems.
1. Worksheets

I’ve been looking for a free worksheet generator, but I’ve been unable to find one that generates a small number of problems, do the mixture that I want, and make the problems complicated enough.

2. Write the 4 problems down on the whiteboard daily.

That’s definitely an easier option that continuing to scour the internet for the software I want. However, I know myself and I’m afraid that if the daily problems are dependent on me writing them daily it won’t happen.

3. I could make up the problems and type them into his assignment sheets.

I can’t format them like a worksheet, but he could write them in his notebook. And writing down the problem is a lot of the issue, so maybe that would be the best solution.

I’d appreciate suggestions for worksheet websites and any other advice. (I, of course, reserve the right not to take it LOL)

Sep 252008

We use Singapore Math for our math curriculum. We have always used Singapore math for our math curriculum.  I really love Singapore Math.  Really, I do.


But, it is lacking in drill.  I knew that going in.  Homeschoolmath,  Well-Trained Mind, and Time4learning all say basically that.


OK, so we’ll drill. But I found out early on that my son that can sniff out extra work like a bloodhound does NOT do drill well. I tried timed tests to make it like a fun game. Those made him nervous. Writing multiplication tables? Forget it! These methods made my life miserable. Yes, I know, there are definitely some character issues that need to be dealt with. We do work on those and the Lord gives me windows of encouragement enough to keep me from total despair. But I digress.


To teach his multiplication tables I took some time away from Singapore and used 10 Days to Multiplication Mastery.

That didn’t work very well either. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do his multiplication tables or that he didn’t understand multiplication. It was just that he wasn’t very quick.

Did I mention that my husband values speed? He is of the persuasion that math facts should be instantly spit out. This is also the man that memorized all the nations and capitals of the world for fun. But I digress again.


So, basically I quit. I decided he knew his multiplication facts. He’ll practice them as he uses them. It’s good enough. Math got better. He was still somewhat slow in computation, but he seemed to be getting it.


But yesterday we were doing a review lesson in my beloved Singapore Math. It was so terrible. He really hates the review lessons not because of the review per se, but because they’re in the textbook and he has to write on a separate piece of paper. After a couple of hours to do about 10 problems, I checked his work and about half were wrong. The kid actually argued with me that 8X8 is 68 and that’s how he had learned it. So today I pulled out the multiplication flashcards because it was obvious that my no-drill philosophy was failing. However, when I went through the flash cards he got them all right and with reasonable speed. Huh?


Now I’m not sure what to do. I think I’ll continue with the flash cards daily to see if his speed will increase. He didn’t complain so at least that wasn’t so bad.


At least my days are never boring!