Curriculum Reviews - Math and Logic

Yesterday, I shared our Language Arts curriculum choices.  Another vital area of study is math.  No matter what they study, we believe our children need to learn to read, write, and work with numbers. {the three R's}

Math ~
For math, we begin early with hands on learning, counting, and sorting.  Often we pull out the manipulatives and allow the children to play with the counters, shapes, and various items.  Starting in the year before kindergarten, we use Saxon Math K.  It introduces math concepts slowly.  We use the entire curriculum with the meeting book and manipulatives.  I tend to only use the extra writing sheets if necessary.  I'd rather not over tax a preschooler with repetitively writing numbers.

Once the child begins kindergarten {aka 'official school'} we use another year of Saxon.  This time it is level 1.  The child progresses at their own pace.  Although we use the entire curriculum with the meeting book, workbooks, and lesson scripts, we will alter when necessary.  Saxon Math tends to offer a great deal of review, and for the child who thoroughly understands a concept the review can become tedious.  The worksheets tend to be the exact same problems on both sides.  One side is to be completed during the morning and the reverse is to be completed later in the day.  While this is a beneficial review, it can be a bit too much, and sometimes, we opt to just complete one side per day.  Some of our children have progressed through Saxon Math up to and including level three by the end of second grade.  Some of our children have only used Saxon for preschool and kindergarten.

Typically, we have either moved into Horizons Math in first grade or third grade.  If the child begins Horizons Math in first grade, they start with the first grade level books.  If the child transitions from Saxon Math, in the third grade, despite being one level ahead in Saxon, I will place them in the grade appropriate level for Horizons Math.  Horizons Math tends to introduce concepts a bit ahead of a typical school schedule.  The cyclic, or spiral, approach to learning still offers plenty of repetition, but builds the child's mathematical knowledge in a slightly different manner.  Horizons also tends to move through concepts a bit faster than Saxon Math.  We then use Horizons Math through the Pre-Algebra level.

Logic ~
Though we have yet to do formal logic lessons, we have begun to lay the ground work for critical thinking and logic.  

Some of our favorite resources for critical thinking come from The Critical Thinking Co.  Our children thoroughly enjoy both the Mind Benders and Red Herring Mysteries.  The children work through the Mind Benders series on their own.  We prefer to work through the Red Herring Mysteries as a group.  It is fun to discuss each problem or mystery and determine different solutions. 

During the middle grades, we begin to delve a bit more into logic using The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox.  Both books are written by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn.  So far, we have only used these books with our oldest son.  Each book has a conversational tone.  The relaxed approach to learning a few logical terms and ways to organize arguments has made learning a bit about logic easy and enjoyable.

Related Posts:
Early Learning: Math Manipulatives
Learning Math Concepts
Math Resources for the Middle Grades
Learning Logic

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