Thursday, July 22, 2010

Math.....our albatross!

We are accidental homeschoolers, this was not really a choice but it was in the back of my mind for a long time that it could eventually become reality. My oldest son is SO much like me when it comes to certain parts of school that it is scary. He has issues with Math, it is his albatross and it was and still is mine as well. I spent all my schooling years learning I had a mental math block, math issues, math learning it whatever you want.... math was never easy for me. I took algebra 4x in high school and really still have no clue about it. When my kids started school, my fear was having to help them with their homework and it be math. When my son started Middle School we knew trouble was brewing and it was brewing in Math. He was floundering, we talked to the teacher and she really did little to help him or help us. Her solution was tutoring 3 hours a day after school and not by her, but by another student. 4 weeks into the school year, she gave the students an almost impossible problem and 2 weeks to complete it. We sat down and worked on it as a family, figuring it out daily until we had it complete or so we thought. He turned it in on time and came home with an "F" on it. The teacher refused to explain what we did wrong. I was done, he was feeling as low as could be and we knew right there and then that we had to make a choice - homeschool! We haven't looked back over the past 2 years! But, I was back to the same feelings of math being an albatross for both my son and myself. I was the main teacher, could we do it or would math be our downfall. During a quick week of research, I found Time 4 Learning and their program was just what we were looking for, online-animated-adjustable levels for each subject. After a doing our first Math lesson, I knew that we could do this and it was no longer and albatross for either of us! I quickly learned that he was behind for his 6th grade level and we needed to find ways besides our lessons to catch up. He has a hard time with memory retention on paper but can describe to me a computer or video game in minute detail. I started searching for online math flash cards to help his memory retention. Amazing how many other child oriented interactive math programs there are out there. I knew if it was online and fun, he would get it and retain it! We are now getting ready to start our 8th grade year and while we still stumble over areas in Math, we have come a long way in a short time. He is caught up to his grade level and I do not think that he would be this far without Time 4 Learning or the online math flash cards and other interactive math programs we found! I consider that a success!