Counting On: Learning Math at Home


Math. It has always been my kryptonite. I love history, fly through Shakespeare, and diagram Dr. Seuss in my sleep. But, I still have no idea who Pythagoras is, in fact what is a theorem anyway? And, if two trains are traveling at the same speed and leave at two different times, I’m more worried about the crash that’s going to occur when they meet than the time. I guess you’ve figured it out: math is not my forte. 

When we began homeschooling about four years ago, I thought “piece of cake, I can teach a five year old math.” Have you ever sat with a five year old and tried to explain to them that 4+2=6? It goes a little like this:

“What’s 4+2?” 

“8” 

“No, it’s 6. So, what’s 4+2?” 

“3?” 

“No, really it’s 6. So, what is 4+2?” 

“I know!!!” (Hope springs.) “…623.” Face palm. 

You see, I’m an adult. Clearly I can add and subtract and multiply- and if I can’t well there’s an app for that. The thing is, teaching and doing are two completely different things. Success at homeschooling is not measured by how well you aced those geometry tests in school but how well you translate that into teaching someone else. Some of us (me) need a little (or a lot) of help.


After several years of tears and frustration (from me), I realized I needed a solid math curriculum. That’s when I found Math-U-See. We went from daily tears over math lessons to excitement to flip to a new chapter and watch the instructional DVD. The thing we both love about Math-U-See is the outside instruction. Though I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to listen to me drone on day in and day out, sometimes hearing someone else say it is just what you need. Anyone can write a textbook, send it out, and leave mothers to struggle to remember the exact numerical value of pie (3.14 something right?). 

But, that’s not what Math-U-See does. Thank you Professor Steve Demme. Between the instructional DVD, the easy to use workbook, and the manipulatives (counting rods that my younger children like to design pizzas out of), math has gone from a struggle to a piece of cake, or should I say pie? 


Math-U-See: c/o Demme Learning 

**We received this years’ curriculum as part of a collaboration but have been using them for three years now. I love Math-U-See and so do the littles. Less crying over math and more time to play. All opinions herein are my own and the result of several years of experience (and two children) with the curriculum. I don’t recommend Math-U-See because I got it for free. But, I do recommend it to end the tears over math lessons and I mean yours.**




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