Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Math, my least favorite subject
Although there are few of us in this world crazy enough to home school our herds, I wanted to bring some attention to the unique struggles we face as parents. I like to think of it as activism. Drawing awareness to human rights abuses worldwide.
Contrary to my exaggerations in this post, my kids do not sit around watching TV and playing video games instead of attending school. I know it looks that way to anyone who visits my house on a semi-regular basis, but it is simply not true. It's an evil rumor.
Right now, it is time to start assessing all of the things we need to cover next year. Because honestly, it's spring and this year is a total bust. After 3 years of this, you would think I could remember that all of the learning has to happen before daylight savings time kicks in again. And frankly, George W isn't helping me with that any. And my energy bills don't seem to have gone down much either. Can I have an amen?
Anywhoo. . .so I'm looking at math programs. Rebi and Evan have the choice of Geometry, Number theory, Algebra 2, Probability, and probably 32 other types of math I know nothing about. Because I am not a fan. Addition and subtraction? Sure. I'll even do some multiplication and division. Fractions, parabolas and the quadratic equation all go straight over my head. OK, maybe not the fractions, but don't ask me to divide them.
In addition to the choices of subject matter, there are at least 19 different ways to teach each one. Community college? Online programs? DVD's? Straight text book? Life of Fred? Art of Problem Solving? Teaching Textbooks? Aleks? EPGY? Honestly, the possibilities are endless. And opinions on each vary just like snowflakes. Ask 30 people which math program to use and no two opinions will be the same.
So, before August, I need to take a math class. Then, I will use my newfound skills to calculate the statistical probability of success for each child based on the inverse function of cost of programs versus retention of skills. I will even factor in the cost of switching programs in January when it becomes clear that my first choice was a total failure not only for my kids, but miraculously for every home schooled child on the planet. Because that's usually the type of course I start with. Trust me when I say, bargain shopping with your children's' education is not going to benefit anyone. Well, except your toes because you will still be able to afford pedicures. But the "inexpensive" programs really are cheap for a reason.