Math fun with Fred and Al

I attended the statewide homeschooling converence last month.  Besides a day out with my mother, I was looking for some new math for K and possibly B, some history for B and possibly science for K.  She is doing very well with her Marine Bio class and would like to do Chemistry next year.  It was a *possible* because I was holding out to see what there would be there.  This conference is decidedly Christian…which I have no problem with…but it limits which companies they will allow to attend and therfore my choices. 

Anyway…I ended up getting a B two k-6 zoology books from Apologia,  Story of the World Volume 1 w/activity book, some history books from Usborne and a dinosaur book. I picked K up a used Pre-Algebra book.  I was feeling kind of discouraged about her actually…unable to find anything I wanted for her.  I bought the Pre-Algebra book mainly because it was $5 and I figured if she couldn’t use it the C could.  Then rounded the corner of the vendor hall and found what I can only decribe as Math Nirvana.  There on one table was Right Start Math and directly across from it the HOME table which happened to inculde both Jacobs math and Life of Fred. 

I admit I got a little overecxited.  I had the urge to buy everything at both tables…but I restrained myself 🙂

After picking up LOF I knew it would work for K.  I had already decided to lay off the fractions for awhile and see how she did with algebra.  I was torn between the Pre-algebra and the Beginning Algebra books and ended up getting both.  K has settled into Pre-algebra and I’m brushing up on my skills using Beginning Algebra.  We are both having a great deal of fun. We both love the humor and the way the books make math relevent and I (for the first time in my life!) know how to figure out when a train traveling a 40 mph N and another traveling S at 60 mph will pass each other. 

Over at the RSM table I was interested in the  AL abacus.  I have always wanted to learn how to use one but have never been able to figure it out.  They had a vendor workshop and I decided to attend to see if I could glean some knowledge.  Boy am I glad I did!  They way the speaker explained math made complete sense to me and I knew it would be a good match for B.  I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in their full program, plus I knew that any amount of *review* would tick B off so I just purchased the AL abacus and the activity book to go with it.  I intended to have B use it to do the work in his Kumon workbooks. 

I spent a few hours working out how to proceed and introduced it to B today.  He used it to do 3 digit addition and he loved it!  His exact words were “I LOVE this!” as a matter of fact.  He quickly worked his way through a dozen problems and asked to do more.  As I suspected, it makes sense to him.  Yay! 

I haven’t really started with the other items I bought yet…mostly I intend to use them next year.  I may start with SOTW soon though as I have been rather neglectful of the history portion of B’s lessons this year.  *bows head in shame*


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