Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2 VCF- Math and Science anyone?

Welcome back!  Are you having fun at the Virtual Curriculum Fair?  With the frigid temperatures we have has this past week (wind chills of NEGATIVE 50s!) I am for once thankful to not have a fair to have to head out to.  Yep, sitting in my comfy house, curled up in a blanket with the computer and looking at all the choices out there has been just fine with me!  Hope you have had time to do some exploring and maybe even find some new-to-you gems along the way in the Language Arts area.

Next up- Math and Science!

If you just had to take a deep breath to keep from hyperventilating or breaking out in a rash, you are not alone.  Those two words bring fear to many a pro homeschooling mom.  But, the good news is lots of us old timers have been there, done that and have some recommendations.  I am sure you will find that they are  as diverse as those that give them, but I am also sure you will find something that works for you and your child.

Here we go!

We are pretty boring in this subject.  Yes, we use Saxon math through the fourth grade.  Yes, it can be monotonous once you have used it 4 times, but I do think it does a good job explaining basic concepts those first few years.  The hands on manipulatives that it uses are great for kinesthetic learners and for those that have to keep moving at all times.  My son loves starting the day with the meeting book no matter how many times his teacher (that's me) would like to just skip it. Kids LIKE repetition, even if we adults do not.

Algebra 2 Teaching TextbookAt 5th grade we make a change.  After my first daughter did an upper grade of Teaching Textbooks, I was sold on their upper level math.  While rather pricey for some, I feel that it is worth it.  We have worked backwards and added a new year each year and so we now switch over in 5th grade. Funny thing, my 10th grader uses the book only, except when she is really stuck on a problem and then she will resort to the CDrom.  My 6th grader uses the CD only.  He is a auditory learner so it is perfect for him.  He keeps a white board at his desk, works the problems on it, and then inputs the answers. The newest versions of TT have automatic grading and shows problems missed.  Because everything in on the computer, it has freed up some of my teaching time with him and allowed him to work towards some independence in his schoolwork.

Two extras- We reviewed a company, Math Made Easy, our first year on Crew that sent us their Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy book and loved it!  With my last (he gets the best of the best being the last!) we will do that program over the summer between his 3rd and 4th grade year.  It can be done in six weeks and is a fast, easy way to teach multiplication.  It does seem that the company is no longer around, but I know you resourceful homeschooling mommas can find the program hanging around somewhere! It is worth the hunt.

The other program I swear by is Math U See's Stewardship program.  Think consumer math here. Our girls did Algebra 1 and 2, and Geometry and then used this as their 4th math.  Is comes with a workbook, textbook, CD and Devotion.  It is a simple program yet rooted in the word of God, teaching life skills that so many do not learn before they go off to college.  While the girls were not overly   impressed with the chapters about pouring concrete or the electrical stuff, the rest of the chapters made up for those!  Balancing checkbooks, purchasing a car, getting insurance- I assure you these are important things to learn.

SCIENCE-  I waver on this subject a little.  Part of me feels that science is an extra "fluff" subject until middle school age.  If this is you and you are not sold on science textbooks, I would recommend you get the Nature Readers from Christian Liberty Press and enjoy reading with your child for the first few years.  On the other hand, if you feel that science should be a full blown subject at a younger age, then Jeannie Fulbright's Young Explorers series is the best out there in my opinion.  There are currently 7 in her series  and can be done one a year.  If you want to read, just do that.  If you want to be more involved there are plenty of hands on activities you can do and corresponding note-booking journals you can by to work through.
As far as high school level science, we have worked with ABeka and Apologia.  Both are good, just depends on your style.  ABeka is more old school with tests and quizzes, while Apologia has tests only. I require all of my kids to do Biology and Chemistry.  After that they can choose human anatomy or Marine Biology.  The girls have three sciences on their transcripts, the boys will probably have four. Just the way we work.

A few extras- We recently had the opportunity to review EEME.  If this is something you can swing, DO IT!  Electrical engineering projects are sent one a month and directions and video are available on their website to follow.  Such cool stuff.  My son and husband have been doing them together and love them.  If you have kids of any ages that like hands on science the best place to look on line is at Supercharged  Science.  Taught by Aurora with just about every concept under the sun covered, your child could stay busy for hours watching and following her videos.  She wears me out, but the kids love her!

That's it!  Well, not really IT, but all I have for you.  There are so many good math and science programs out there.  I again encourage you to find out your child's learning style and then find the best fit for them.  Our kids are not made alike and one of the glories of schooling them is to be able to teach to THEIR needs.  Try something new and if it is not a good fit, move on 'til you find just the right program!

Head over to Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds to find the other mommas who are talking about Math and Science today- bet 'ya find something you like!

See 'ya next week for History, Geography and more oh my!

Participating bloggers!

Our {almost} FREE 2nd and 4th Grade Math Program by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Supercharged Science's Mathemagic  by Kristi K. @ The Potter’s Hand Academy
Math & Logic Resources by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
How We Tackle Middle School Math, Logic & Science by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
 A Peek into our Homeschool: Math & Logic by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Math and Logic: Patterns and Reasoning by Leah@As We Walk Along the Road
Discovering Science & Math w/ Apologia & Saxon  by LynnP @ Ladybug Chronicles
Make Math Fun: Your Kids Will Thank You by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Our Curriculum Choices 2014 ~ Mathematics by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
My Favorite Math For Boys by Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Math--Our Four Letter Word by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Math and Science anyone? by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
My 7 Favourite Math Resources by Kim @ Homestead Acres
Basic Instincts by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
Getting My Teens Ready for Algebra by Debra @Footprints in the Butter
Math We Love by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
2014 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Math & Science by Jennifer @ a glimpse of our life
Our Take on Math, the Elementary Years - Charlotte Mason-style by HillaryM @ Our Homeschool Studio</ p>
Tackling Math and Science from Multiple Angles by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World


*** Just a quick note.  I am not receiving any compensation for recommending these products.  All mentioned are my personal opinions only.  I added some links just to make it easy for you and linked reviews I have done in the past if you want more information.***


  1. I have heard of Teaching Textbooks. I haven't looked into them though. You have used a wide variety for science. I will have to look into them as well. I am always looking into something new to see if it will work for us.

  2. Although we are not using it this year I love TT. I might have some of my younger ones use it in the upper grades. Two of my kiddos are using MUS it seems to really work for them, still not sure what Pre-Algebra to buy. I'm debating between TT & MUS.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I've been thinking about getting Teaching Textbooks for our oldest as well. I'm glad to see it works so well for you!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.