Friday, February 13, 2015

Homeschooling Aria: Splash Math

I know.  It's been a while since any of us in Tansy Doll land have posted anything.  We've been busy making toys and living life but I wanted to talk about homeschooling, Aria, and math.

I started homeschooling Aria in kindergarten.  Kindergarten was really nothing more than lots of reading and lots of art.  I think I pretended several times to "get serious" but let's be honest, I didn't.  Good news is at that age, most people agree that children learn best through playing.  

She's officially in 1st grade this year.  I know myself well, I'm disorganized and chaotic.  I need a curriculum.  Aria doesn't; I do.  In particular, I was/am worried about math.  

I researched.  I read eleventy-one (Hobbit reference for those not in the know) reviews. I finally settled on Singapore Math.  It sounded great.  I think it probably is great.  Aria hates it.  

I tried to make it fun but she saw through my attempts.  The minute I'd haul out the manipulatives she'd groan if it were a good day and stomp her feet if it were a bad day.

Part of her struggle was that she simply didn't have the basic math facts down and she wasn't interested in learning them.  She started saying she hated math.  Worse, she started to say she wasn't good at math.  

Shoot.

I realized something had to change.  I wanted to stick with Singapore Math because I loved the philosophy behind it. However, one of the benefits of
homeschooling is a greater flexibility in meeting your kids where they are at and finding what works for them.  It was clear Singapore Math wasn't for Aria and that I would be doing her a huge disservice to continue with it.  But now what?

I'm back to researching curriculum.  In the meantime, I have to say I think I've stumbled upon a temporary solution.

The Splash Math app (www.splashmath.com).  I don't know why she loves it but she does.  There is an animated hippo that cheers her on when she gets a problem correct and let's her know when she's wrong.  She earns coins that she can use to buy items for a virtual fish tank.  But other than that, its pretty basic.


There is a nifty little report section for the parents to see how their child is progressing.  


The best part?  Aria stopped saying that she hates math; she stopped saying she's bad at it.  Plus I notice a marked improvement.  She's starting to memorize basic math facts.  She's starting to figure out how to solve problems using multiple methods.  She's doing math in her head!!

The only downside is that the app doesn't come super cheap.  It's $9.99 for first grade alone but while that may be a lot in app-land, I consider that small potatoes in terms of finding something that helps Aria learn and practice math in a way she enjoys.  

I know that many folks don't particularly care for the increasing role that technology plays in our children's lives and I can respect that but personally I am an "all things in moderation" kind of gal and I am so appreciative that this option exists.  Yay for options!

Oh and by the way if you have recommendations for math, language arts, science, or social studies curriculum for 2nd grade, send them my way and tell me what you like about it!!  :D 

~cheers!~
Robin