I have decided, mid year of course, to switch math curriculums for Anna. I did very well in math, but I am very much a "just tell me how to do it and I'll do" kind of person. I don't really care that much why it works, just show me how. The math curriculum that I have been using with Anna since we started homeschooling is called Singapore Math. It has a tremendous track record and is very effective, but it is slightly unconventional. It focuses a lot on mental math and then moves to concrete "how to" kind of stuff. I really have liked it and it hasn't been too difficult for me to teach, I've just had to shift my brain from what is my normal way of thinking. This year, though, has been more challenging as Anna moves into slightly more advanced math. I was spending way too much time figuring out how to explain it to her. I knew how to do the problems, but they were presenting things in a way that was not conducive to how I thought about them. Make sense? Instead of being able to just teach her the way I understand, I was having to first teach myself how to teach her the way they were presenting concepts.
I have always planned on switching to Saxon Math as that is what I used from seventh grade on and liked it very much. I just wasn't sure when I would switch. I really believe the verses in the Bible that talk about asking for wisdom and that the Lord will give wisdom when one asks for it, so I have developed a habit of just asking the Lord for specific wisdom in different aspects of parenting, homeschooling included, and just watching for His direction and answers. He promises to give it, and He has never failed me. It has always been quite interesting, actually, for me to be actively watching for His leading and seeing how He sends it!
So anyway, I decided to switch, gave her the placement test, and was blown away when she tested to be able to skip two Saxon books and move directly into the 7/6 book!
The other side of this is that I am feeling a great sense of relief and very settled regarding math right now. I feel my decision to use Singapore at the beginning has proved successful, and I have a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to teach my children. I think the concern lurks somewhere in the back of the minds of many homeschool moms if they are really doing a good job, if their kids are really getting it, if they are really on track, etc... Vindication... Such a wonderful feeling...
And not only am I at peace, Anna also now has a sense of pride and accomplishment that I could not give her without it just coming across as "mom being encouraging", she has been able to see it for herself, and to a homeschooling mom, that is priceless...a little self confidence can do wonders for a nine year old girl :o)