Thursday, January 18, 2007

While I'm Bragging...

Here's another brag.

We switched to Rod and Staff Math this year. I put Thomas in their 5th grade program. We skipped a few chapters in the beginning because it was review and he knew the material. We forged on. The first section on fractions we came to was completely different than we had learned last year, so I had him do the chapter. I scheduled our year so that we would complete the book by the end of the year.

Today, however, we sped things up a bit. We started a new chapter of fractions. I looked closely at the material, knew Thomas could do it, so I decided to have some fun. I turned to the first lesson of the chapter, put the hardest two problems on the white board, and had him work them. Done in 30 seconds. I went to the next lesson and did the same. I did it for the entire chapter. Wow, that kid knows his fractions. We moved on to the next section on fractions. We did the same thing. Done in no time flat.

So two chapters down in one day. Woo-hoo. Good going, Thomas.

I credit his "love" of fractions on the book we used last year. Barron's Painless Fractions. We worked through about 3/4 of the book last year. We had started fractions in Singapore and it wasn't clicking with Thomas so I did a quick Amazon search and order. I would either print worksheets from the net on the day's lesson or make my own for him to practice. The proof is in the pudding as it taught him well!

In reality, Thomas hates math. He despises math. I don't know why, but he loses his ability to focus while doing math. It's frustrating for him. He scores very high on math concepts, and even well above grade level on calculation, but he hates it. Math in this house takes an hour to hour and a half every day. And I'm the mean mom who makes him "strive for excellence" and keep at it.

One of the reasons I like Rod and Staff so much is that there is a lot of review and practice. Tons. You learn new stuff on one page of the lesson, do the practice problems, and the second page of the lesson is review and practice of old skills.

Thomas has told me many times that while he hates math, even he likes Rod and Staff because it helps him get it down cold. And that's the point.

So I guess this day will go down as a super-fantastic day for us on all accounts!

1 comment:

Angela, MotherCrone said...

That is awesome!!! Just think of all the wasted hours you might have spent otherwise!

Thanks for the book tip. While Girlie is able to do fractions fairly well, she is not getting it conceptually, and that book tip might help. We are on percents for a month or so before returning again, so I will check it out. I want her to be solid before prealgebra next year.