Tuesday, August 27, 2013

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices - Math

For Math this year, I went with BJU Press Math 3 for The Boy.  I really searched and considered lots of different math options for us this year.  I noticed last year that The Boy was not thriving in math.  He still came out of the year with a B average, which is totally fine, but I noticed that he simply wasn't retaining the different foundational math concepts the way I expected.  I could also tell that he wasn't enjoying it at all.  His goal each day was just to get done with it.  That's how I knew I needed to up my game in math.  I realize that everyone isn't going to love math.  I don't even like it, but I don't tell my kids.  I just feel that 2nd or 3rd Grade is just too early to begin loathing a subject. 

I knew I needed something that would really guide me and give me the tools I need to best teach math this year.  I'm still so used to having a minimal budget for materials, so I did lots of research before making my purchase.  I looked at so many well-known math curriculums like Saxon, Teaching Textbooks, Math U See, and Horizons.  I looked at everything that had sample pages on Amazon and Christian Book Distributors.  After much thought, I went with BJU because I find the teaching book to be so helpful.  I also particularly liked what I saw of the sample pages.  The fact that BJU teaches kids to think about math the same way I was taught is really helpful to me.  They've helped me articulate the very principles I've known all my life.  The Boy and I have also already enjoyed the manipulatives. I've learned the value of visual learning in math in this month we've used BJU. 

Will we use it again next year?  We started Chapter 3 today.  It's still too early to tell, but so far, so good.  I will say that it's been an adjustment to spend an hour and a half on one subject, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I will also say that it's by far the most I've ever spent on materials for one subject. I had to buy the worktext and the manipulatives brand new, but I was luckily able to find the teaching book, tests, and answer keys on eBay for a good price.  That helped quite a bit.  The good news is that I'll be able to reuse the teacher's guide, answer keys, and manipulatives again with Prissy in a few years.  That would mean we'd only need to buy a new student worktext for her. 

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