I AM HOMESCHOOLING. POST 1: THE MATH BOOK

Ay, yi, yi, I am homeschooling this year. (expletive deleted) Fun.


In any case, this is the workbook my daughter’s school used last year, and it was a private school (that went out of business that I switched to after the racism at our public school was simply unchecked). Being as it was a very expensive private school I made the guess that it had picked fairly reliable materials. As we could not afford the private school one-bit, I guess it’s just as well that it went out of business, or I would be paying to have her enrolled in that school and also be acting as a homeschool, basically, which would double-suck.


Last year, when the school went on lockdown, our daughter brought this home (for 4th grade), and if we needed any help we asked the teacher, and it was fine. Our daughter learned math with really zero Zoom meetings of any substance, so I attributed it to the book, and my help understanding concepts.


This year I bought one, on Amazon, for 5th grade (And, no, neither Sadlier or Amazon is giving me a kickback.). First thing to note, even in a private school with a class of only 14 kids, they only got about half way through this. In homeschool we do math once or twice each week for about 2-3 hours total each week. Important to note, when you homeschool there is a LOT of time to fill. I’m guessing, in K-12, most of that time is filled with trying to get kids to sit still, and to stop passing notes, and to transition subjects in an orderly manner, and, not to put too fine a point on it, the time is mostly taken up with crowd control. So, like, for a 45 minute math class, about 15 minutes is actual math. What a bleak outlook on school for the kid who does not need crowd control, or who would like to explore something longer in math, or history, or etc. Is public school shoving the bare-minimum down kids’ throats like so many foie-gras geese? I mean, it seems to me it must be.

In our 2-3 hours/week my daughter is either doing the worksheets, discussing math with me, or taking a math test that I create based on the workbook. No homework, right? Because it is all homework. And each test I create includes concepts from every single unit we have covered, so, yes, the tests get a little longer each time. But hey, I have one student. I’m not about to let her go forward not really “getting” it.

I get it that math is confusing. It is not hard though. I reject that. It is confusing, like reading the directions on how to install a dishwasher. Once it has been explained to you properly, you can do it. I teach English in community colleges, and maybe my mastery of understanding what I read helps here, but, also, I like math. So, we don’t have too much trouble.


But, sometimes, I feel there is a concept I need to re-explain to myself as much as teach it to my daughter (exponents anyone?).


For that I was going to the absolutely wonderful (&free) Khan Academy. And I know I will again.


But, last week I broke down and called Sadlier. Turns out if you don’t need the answers (I don’t) you can buy the student textbook and get all you need to teach with for waaaaay less than the teacher’s edition. Perfect. 🙂 I bought 6th grade (textbook and workbook) too, because I think we are going to motor right through 5th grade math this year, and I may as well have us ahead if we manage to get into a charter school next year. I don’t know if I could send her back to public school. If Trump loses the election it might be safe, but I don’t know.


On a side note, Sadlier is very definitely a Catholic company. I am very definitely an atheist. I have absolutely zero concerns about the religion bleeding into the non-religion textbooks. We are using math, grammar, and vocabulary. This week’s vocabulary lesson is Emily Dickinson. What’s not to like? I think it’s a good curriculum, homeschool-friendly, and much cheaper than the canned curriculums you can buy.

Anybody else doing non-religious-motivated homeschooling out there? How’s it going for you? Am I excluding people who homeschool because of religious reasons? Yes. Yes I am.

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