November 21, 2008, Newsletter Issue #255: Choosing a Math Curriculum

Tip of the Week

For some people these are simple non-questions. If you unschool, then you would unschool math. If you use unit studies, math would most likely be incorporated into those. If you are still looking for a math curriculum, here are a few tips to get you started:

• Ask around. It's true that this may seem counter productive—everyone has an opinion on math! But, if you ask people that you know you can trust, they can add valuable insight. "We use XYZ and my 3rd grader hates it!" or "My 9th grader loved ABC."

• Sit down and evaluate what you want your child to accomplish that year.

• Do you want them to simply recognize numbers or be able to recite the times tables?

• Are they going to college? If they are 5, this isn't something to be concerned with. If they are 17, and have no math skills, this is definitely something to look at.

• If they are going to college, what kind of math will they need? My major in college was Architecture. Obviously, I needed more of a math background than if I were majoring in English. Be aware that some schools, especially Liberal Arts Colleges, have a specific course of study, no matter what your major.

• What is your math ability? This may not seem important at first, but if you don't have a basic understanding of math, you will need a curriculum that will walk you through the steps, and not just assume you already know.

• Remember that no matter what you choose, if it just isn't working, you can always move on, and try again.

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Sarita Holzmann
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

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