31 January 2007

RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Frankly, little geometry has been done around here lately. We had The Week Everyone but Mommy Was Sick (which stretched into 2 weeks by the time MrV caught The Dread Disease and was hanging around the house). And we had a week of doing other, non-Geometry math stuff.

During The Week Eveyone but Mommy Was Sick, I had time to think about what we’re doing in various subjects, and consider tweaking our programs. I also had time to read emails, particularly from the RightStart yahoo group . Lo and behold, I started reading that we were supposed to be doing Challenge Math concurrently with Geometry. Huh. Somehow I had missed the boat on that! We own Challenge Math, but haven’t done anything with it since we worked through the first chapter last year.

I ended up going to the RightStart website , and browsing around. Looking through the bulletin board , I found all sorts of recommendations -- you can do Level E and Geometry concurrently for an older student (really, several of the lessons repeat ... I don’t think my 11yo would’ve done well with this system, partially because I would’ve found the redundancy annoying for me and confusing for her, but I could see it working well for another family). For younger students you can work through Challenge Math and Geometry. For older students you can work through Geometery, the make sure to complete all the fraction games in the game book. It’s all about customization.

Well. The problem with customization is that the parent (that would be me) actually has to think. Ew. So much easier to use a boxed curriculum and blindly follow it, know what I mean? Or else just copy what someone else says they're doing for their kids (no names mentioned, but there are certain homeschoolers whose blogs I read very carefully, taking notes on what is studied when).

We ended up spending a few days on some of the final fractions lessons in Level E (and also a day playing with the final Moebius strip lesson, cutting up paper strips and looking at various Moebius scarves and baskets I’ve knitted).

When we returned to Geometry Kid1 wistfully remarked, “I really liked doing math together.”

So, I think we’ll be going between Geometry and Challenge Math. Who knows, maybe we’ll throw in some Singapore math.

By the way, I also found an errata page for the Geometry book, which I printed off. I then promptly lost track of where I found it, so no link. It was fun reading through and saying, “Hey! I remember that problem! And how we figured out it was wrong!”

Lesson 91 Finding the Center of Rotation

On the worksheet the student is to figure out what circle the oject should rotate around, then draw the images of the object. Kid1 claims the last problem is impossible because not enough information is given. I suggest she just give it a whirl with whatever seems likely: “Why don’t you try rotating point R over to point T?” The downside is that she could possibly do a bunch of work and not have it come out perfectly the answer, then (heaven forbid!) have to re-do her work taking into account her new knowledge. She really, really does not want to do this -- doesn’t want to explore until she come up with the right answer. She wants to do this quickly and get it over with.

With a heavy sigh she tries rotating point R to point T ... it comes out okay. Whew! I feel like we’ve dodged a bullet.

By the way, this lesson used the mmArc Compass. I finally got around to getting one at Hobby Lobby, using my 40% off coupon (really, though, it only costs a couple of dollars).

Lesson 92 More Double Reflections

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a fit about math -- the sort of day where the pencil is hurled across the room, the paper is grabbed in that I’m-about-to-rip-this-to-shreds manner, the choked sobs of , “this is impossible; I hate this” are heard.

I suggest stopping and coming back to it later. Go play the piano. Then come back to it ... today, or maybe tomorrow. Maybe it will make more sense then.

And the next day it does make more sense.

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