Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Math & Handwriting, the Programs

For this year, I purchased programs for both math and handwriting for First Son.

For math, I wanted a low-key program that would hit on such topics as the calendar, counting, greater than, less than, measuring, and perhaps some playing with addition and subtraction. I don't know how much he'll like math and I'm convinced anything he learns this year he could learn faster next year. I've glanced through the program and much, if not all, could be done in a very casual way around the house, which is exactly what I wanted: a well-known, well-respected program to ensure I didn't have any gaps, and to give me a bit of a break from planning every day as I'm doing with most of the other subjects, but one that wouldn't present too much too quickly. The manipulative kit arrived a few weeks ago and First Son has been begging to break it out but I've been putting him off. The calendar part of the lessons starts in September and I don't want to bother with modifying it every day (as that would defeat part of the purpose of purchasing the program).

We're starting our homeschool on August 24th and I've planned fun math activities for each day before September from Math Play! (Williamson Little Hands Series), a series we've enjoyed in the past. I picked very short ones that would fit into the 15 minutes I've set aside for math.

I spent a long time exploring different options for handwriting and came to the conclusion that probably any of them would do just fine, so I picked one a bit at random: Zaner-Bloser. The Seton materials are based on this method so I can switch to them later without too much trouble. I also like the idea of creating my own templates for First Son to copy. He's already gone through a bit of the book because it looked so enticing. I'm not sure if I'll get a first grade book for him or just use copywork for the rest of the year. Handwriting is one of those skills that just takes practice and I can't imagine the first grade book is all that different, though it might get boring.

All the other subjects we'll be exploring this year will be mainly self-designed with lots of help and suggestions from other moms and websites like Mater Amabilis.

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