Monday, April 23, 2007

PACEs Math- School of Tomorrow

PACEs are from School of Tomorrow and are similar to Lifepacs. There are 12 paces per subject, per year, where with LIFEPAC there are 10 books per subject per year.

We used PACEs for a half year to review fractions. PACES go over math in great detail, if you have a slow learner, this is great. There is lots of practice. If you have a fast learner, you can move fast through each math pace. You do not want the child to become bored, yet you want to make sure they are grasping the concept. They do have a placement test here which is online so you can find out where exactly to place your child in their math program.
You might also want to look at LIFEPAC to compare the two. Lifepac is having a 20% off April Sale. There aren't too many days left in April so if you decide on Lifepac, you have a few days left to get in on their sale. I have used Lifepac history and science but have not used the math. They do have a placement test online, which you can find at LIFEPAC website. Just don't forget.......
All Horizons Math and Language Arts Products Are 20% Off During April!

One more thing before I go, you can always order a book from each company and try them you can order them individually. That way you can compare the two side by side.

Happy Math Curriculum hunting!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Saxon Math

Saxon Math is a good program. In each lesson, they review other lessons, so the child doesn't forget. In each lesson, next to each problem is a reference lesson number, so the child can go back and find that lesson and review if they have forgotten. This has come in handy for us.
With Saxon in the upper grades, you have Geometry already incorporated in so there will not be a need for you to use a separate Geometry course. Cathy Duffy covers this in her curriculum manual (see link in previous blog or see home school stores links on right) However you will need to go up to Algebra two for a complete Geometry course. You can skip the Geometry problems and then in between Alg 1 and Alg 2 Get a Geometry course. Cathy Duffy does cover this information, she is a great resource and has been for me for many years.
You can order a DIVE CD to go with your Math Curriculum starting in 54. DIVEs are very reasonably priced for $50.00 at the time I am putting up this blog post. For those of you who are familiar with Video Math programs, you know this is a GREAT price. My daughter has reviewed all of the other math video programs and doesn't want to venture away from the DIVE. The teacher is humorous, a christian, and he doesn't sound like a "machine" as my daughter says.
For those unfamiliar with Saxon, when picking which curriculum your child should be in, please go to Saxon Home school and complete a placement test. This will insure that your child is starting Saxon in the place they need to. This is very important in math as you do not want to create any gaps in their education. Saxon 54 means it is for the average 5th grade math student or an advanced fourth grade student.
Saxon online also has an email set-up for students with questions on their math problems, which is great! Sometimes in math if someone else explains it, it finally clicks.
If you have any other questions regarding Saxon Math, please go to their online site Saxon Home school they have a great FAQ page.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Math Curriculum

Math is definitely a subject where you should not be jumping around in curriculum as this can create HUGE gaps of learning. If you are going to be switching see if the program you are interested in has a placement test so that you can place your child where they belong in that curriculum. Each math curriculum has different scope and sequences.

I am going to be taking a look at Math over the next few days and look at each curriculum that I have used and tell you my opinion. I will then go over some other math curriculum's that I think are excellent. If you want a good resource for math curriculum the books below are a great resource. I have used these and highly recommend them.

Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual 1997-98 : Elementary Grades (9th ed)

Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual : Elementary Grades (Chrisitan Home Educators' Curriculum Manual (Elementary Grades))

Monday, April 16, 2007

Curriculum Planning Time

Well it is the time of year for us homes choolers to start planning for the next year. Most of us are administrating our yearly tests (if required by state) and looking at new curriculum.
My advice is to make sure you don't become a curriculum junkie, what is a curriculum junkie? It is a home school Mom who keeps changing curriculums every year thinking she may have found something better. If you have something that works, why change it. If you change curriculum too much you will create gaps in your child's education. Especially in Math, English, and Reading curriculum's. Science, history, and health are subjects where you can explore different avenues without affecting the child's education. In the younger grades, stick to just reading books on history, science and health and get them from your local library. Then about 4th grade level, switch to textbooks if you like. You can design your own curriculum with books from the library using Kathryn Stout's Design a Study Guides. You can get them at Rainbow Resource for a decent price too. This is one of my favorite places to shop. Request a catalog from them, it is jam packed with information about every kind of curriculum you could imagine.
Another type of curriculum that home schoolers love is Sonlight curriculum. It is a literature based curriculum and all of the planning is done for you. You can just concentrate on your children then and not the planning. A lot of the books you can get from the library and they code those with a certain code so you know which ones ahead of time you need to buy and which ones you don't. It helps save you money in the meantime.

Over the next week, I will pick each subject apart and tell you what has succeeded for us and what hasn't and why. Have a great day and happy homeschooling!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Laws For Homeschoolers

If you are new to homeschooling or you want to review the laws in your state, the one place to go is , Home School Legal Defense Association. I would suggest becoming a member because they can help you with any legal matter that comes up. They also have updates on laws being passed, which is very useful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why do I homeschool?

Well I have home schooled now for 8 years. My daughter was in second grade when we started. She is now in 9th grade. I decided to pull her out of public school because she was gifted and talented and they had cut the program in her school due to funding. I also wasn't happy with the morals and values the school was teaching her, but that wasn't the only reason.
I also have a son who is 8, but he goes to public school at this time. Each kid is different and you have to make that personal decision about what is best for them.