Let me be very honest with you. Just because you have all the support you could possibly have time to view, math will not always feel easy. That's because we're not just teaching math, we're growing the character of our children. And as a group, children like to do things that are easy and like to avoid things that feel like work! OK, maybe it's not just children who do that. But sometimes it is a good thing to intervene and help our kids find a way through the particularly overwhelming moments in their educational careers. Here are a few suggestions for helping them through the rough times in math:
1. First, you need to know that Primary Mathematics 6 is an honors level Pre-Algebra course. Students who finish that level, including all of the books that I recommend, are fully prepared for Algebra I. That means that finishing PM6 by the end of 7th grade puts your student on the honors math track with Algebra I taken in the 8th grade and being prepared for Calculus I in their senior year. Finishing PM6 at the end of the 8th grade allows a student to be on the regular math track with Algebra I in the 9th grade and Pre-Calculus as the last math class in high school. If your child is overwhelmed, consider slowing down for a bit, maybe you could make it your goal to finish one 'week" in the syllabus in 7 school days instead of 5.
2. Second, know that not all weeks are equal. In each Primary Mathematics level, there are sections where the student learns subjects like bar graphs, angles, area and perimeter. Those problems are very different than the one that require a lot of computational skills. You could work hard to finish the section you're currently working on and then move to a much less intense section in the book. Then go back and tackle a more intense section again after you've had a bit of a break.
3. Although I set the standard at my house of completing every problem in every book, it reality of course that didn't always happen. If I shortened our assignments, I sometimes had my students do every other or even every third problem in the IP word problems section. If they missed one, I had
them go back and do one right before or right after the one they missed. That's an easy way to shorten the assignment AND to reward the student for accurate work!
4. If you had to, you could leave off the CWP book altogether since there are excellent word problems in the IP book. I hesitate to say that because you can complete that book by doing about 2 word problems a day. That's just excellent consistent, regular, fabulous brain-food. Teaching our kids to think logically and in an organized fashion should be a top priority. But they do have word problems in IP so I could possibly see letting that go.
5. Finally, I would refer you to another Blog post that I wrote called, "How to get the most of Singapore Math® Live." It describes for you my idea of what a week of math might look like at your house. Maybe there is something in that post that would spark an idea that would be helpful to you! You can click here to read that post.
On the one hand, it would be lovely if our kids never felt like anything was too hard for them. But I really do believe that we are giving them great life skills when we ask them to achieve something that feels difficult. The challenge - and the excitement when they achieve their goal - are all a valuable part of their educational experience. But it's also a good thing to balance that with compassion and help them learn the skills to manage their emotions during that time. Hang in there! It's not an easy task. But it's a task worth doing.
I presented a workshop at THSC convention in The Woodlands, TX in July of 2017. Grab a glass of tea and allow me to share my passion for Singapore Math with you!
Would it surprise you to know that I've learned a lot over my 16 years of homeschooling? But as a former high school math teacher, I was shocked to find that one of my earliest lessons was "How to Think Mathematically." While working through the Singapore Math® Primary Mathematics series during my early years of homeschooling, it became clear to me that i had been taught to "do math" but not to "think mathematically." Teaching my four children with the Singapore Math curriculum over a 15 year time span has changed the way I approach math at all levels.
Singapore Math® curricula helps students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that prepare them for success in upper level math courses. Each of the Barnett children is very different in personality and giftedness, but they all have extremely high math scores and one of them is a National Merit Scholar. Through completing the Textbooks, Workbooks, Intensive Practice, and Challenging Word Problems books, they developed exceptional skills, both "doing math" and "thinking mathematically." It has/is serving each of them very well as they continue their years in academia.
Singapore Math® Live is essentially the same plan that we used in our home. This unique support program will allow you to do an even better job than I did! You'll have a comprehensive plan, daily instructional support, and ready-answers for the difficult problems. I am passionate about helping your family excel in math., Let's work together and watch your children soar!