Sunday, November 02, 2008

Math passages

Sophie finally got back to work and finished the final two review exercises in Singapore Primary Math. She's been mostly-done for a while, but we agreed that it was a good idea to do all the revision to kind of wrap it all up and make sure her retention is good. It was a long slog -- I think there are 7 long revision sections in the last workbook. But she did them, and did them well.

Over the past year we've enjoyed little mathematical diversions in an attempt to broaden and enrich her primary math education without moving forward too fast. But now she's truly on the cusp of secondary math and we're investigating possibilities. Teaching Textbooks is too slow and repetitive. Singapore New Math Counts is too college-like in its presentation for a 9-year-old. Life of Fred is under the exclusive ownership of Noah for the time being. We've looking into some of the Canadian school textbooks, since they seem mathematically fairly robust and don't partake of the odd American practice of giving kids nothing but algebra for a year or two at a shot, and then nothing but geometry for a year after that. Now we're looking into some other more esoteric fare. I think we'll find something fun eventually that will challenge her keen mathematical mind but not overwhelm her with dryness and density.

While I wasn't looking, Fiona finished Singapore 2B. She started level 2A last February I think, and after a bit of an early summer hiatus moved to 2B in August. She finished the first half in mid-October, was feeling the mathematical wind in her sails and ran with it through the second half. She still has a revision exercise left to do, but the content is all mastered.

A couple of weeks ago we were at our friends' place for dinner. Fiona was sporting her analogue wristwatch. Our friend asked her what time it was. (It was 6:15.) Fiona glanced at her watch. I expected her to say "3 after 6" or "6 to 3." She said "six-thirty." Well, close.

The reason we'd gone to the trouble of rehabilitating the hand-me-down little watch she was wearing was that I knew the Singapore unit on time was coming up, and figured she had half a chance at getting it this time around. And it was the very next night that she turned the page in the 2B book and encountered time. And it clicked. Just like everything else at this level has clicked. She's very much ready for the learning she's been doing and that makes it a very successful, motivating experience for her. So we'll move ahead, I guess, though I'm also going to make an effort to do some less curricular math exploration with her. My other kids have enjoyed Penrose and others of Theoni Pappas' books for children, and I think Fiona is probably ready for some of these.


  1. we also singapore maths and have lovely story books with ideas.
    quite a few he families in teh UK use CIMT maths. it doesn't run in a straightforward manner, and some v skilled mathematician friends suggest it is best to take it slowly and enjo it. the younger years are apparently far more rigorous, as the upper years concentrate more on getting o level aths, and are apparently easier than the primary years! there are online resources to place.
    an alternative resource in the UK gaining favour is the galore park series

  2. Thanks Helen. I've looked at the CIMT stuff before and was a little underwhelmed, especially as you say at the upper levels. I think we've actually pretty much settled on something already, but I'll keep the galorepark site in mind to investigate if it doesn't work out.


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