I feel like something of a “living math dropout” to admit that Sprite is using Teaching Textbooks now. It’s a computer based program, and she really likes it. Better yet, it’s developing some basic skills that we missed along the way and filling in some of those **gaps **that we always fear as homeschooling moms.

I’m not too terribly afraid of gaps* in general*, but with *math *a gap can really affect a lot of conceptual learning later on. So I’m working to fill in the chinks before we move on towards more algebraic thinking.

A second factor for using this approach is because of a *big mistake I made*. I had Sprite tested (standardized test — Iowa) early this year. Although her math scores were **not **bad, she translated the results into, “I am not good at math.” (She tested at low average for her grade level.) It’s been a huge problem for her confidence to be shattered with that test. I regret it terribly.

I guess that my **own **confidence was shaken a bit as well.

When I met with the consultant to discuss the results, she asked me what curriculum we use for math. I don’t think she’d ever heard of a living math approach. No matter how I tried to explain, she just looked at with confusion and not a small amount of **concern**. I started feeling *very *unsure of myself in that moment. Was I messing up with math? I admit that after the consultation, I bought some math test prep books at the Scholastic display. I wouldn’t have even *considered *a need for that before.

So back to Teaching Textbooks. I bought a level based on the TT placement tests, and Sprite is whizzing through it, doing two lessons a day and scoring well. This is working well to build up her confidence, but sometimes I still hear her express that anything less than 100% is “not good.” (What?! I can only guess that her contact with local kids who are *intensely *competitive for perfect test scores is creating this *delusion*.)

So we haven’t done any math games in a long time. No hands-on activities for math. Like I said, I feel like a living math dropout. For now it’s just TT lessons on the computer and in the spiral bound textbook.

We **are still **doing math history lessons from Livingmath.net’s curriculum, though. That’s the one bright side. And we both really enjoy those lessons.

Of course, I actually am **not **a living math dropout. I have every intention to get back into my preferred style of hands-on living math exploration. But for a *season*, TT is working. And in the **big picture**, TT **can **be part of our **overall **living math approach.

My plan is for Sprite to complete *Life of Fred Fractions* after working through TT. From there I’m not too sure. But I have lots of resources on my shelf to choose from at that point.

[I bought TT from CBD (affiliate link).]

Michellel says

I had quite a few friends make the transition this year to TT. They all seem to be doing well with it.

Peyton has been using MUS since 1st grade and was doing well with it. I tested him for TT, and he would have needed to go up a year in grade level. (Which I did not want to do.) Plus he decided he did not want to use a computerized curriculum. Anyway I switched to Singapore this year (for him) and am loving it. They use multiple hands on ways to demonstrate problems where MUS just uses the bars. (I really like the expansion there.) Moving from concrete to abstract reasoning.

I joined their message board (yahoo) and found many families there spend at least 50% of their day on math. (I was sort of surprised about it.) They do lessons, and then add in more critical type thinking things, from other resources. Singapore has some Intensive Practice books and multi step word problems they said regular US math just doesn’t seem to do it. So this year I have made it a goal to spend more time on math each day,

and also trying to add in some fun “brain” math too.

Alot of the people on Singapore said when they switched from XXX curriculum to Singapore they had to place their children back 1 -3 years.

As far as standardized tests well. (Some curriculum introduce concepts earlier than others. ) The founder of MUS comments on that on the website in a video. (He discusses teaching concepts at a grade level that might be more useful. He mentions how a 1st grade Standardized test might have questions about probability on it, but in real life it would never be something they need at that age.

Honey says

I have been considering using teaching textbooks for my oldest two next year. They will be in grade 6 and grade 5. They are very teacher (aka mommy) dependent for all subjects as we have autism, adhd, and some learning issues. I was thinking that this would be one subject where they could have a teacher (the computer) and I could find some time to fit in some preschool with the twins (who are begging for “school” activities too).

Blessings

Honey

Cindi says

Much encouragement to not feel so bad…I second them. I would just warn you about Life of Fred. I used it for Fractions and partially for Decimals. I think it can be a good supplement, but if your child already has some struggles in math, it may not be a good fit. I thought it would be excellent for my older daughter, but there are only 3 to maybe 9 problems per lesson. And I cannot remember about reviews. You have 5 chances to pass each chapter before moving on. Sometimes we used up all 5 chances and had to repeat some of those until we could pass!

This year we are using TT Pre-Algebra and my daughter loves it. I never hear any complaints about getting her math done. I do not regret the money spent for it.

Blessings to you!