Well, well, well.
Pete hates math. I'm not sure why except that it takes longer than most subjects and he has to think. He offers no other reason than "it's hard". So, I'm pretty sure I'm right in my reasoning.
This is an area where I thought rote memorization was a waste of time and I was wrong. Poor Pete the guinea pig had to find that out. I figured the most important part of doing math was understanding the process, being able to find the answer, from from A to B. Memorizing facts was secondary. But in reality, and I probably knew it back then, knowing the facts makes the process so much easier, or rather quicker.
This year I came full circle and switched us back to Saxon. Pete is in 7/6 and each day starts with a facts drill - which he hates. I haven't been doing the mental math portion because we've been using mostly mental math programs for the past five years - he gets it - and I'm trying not to overwhelm him in the beginning. Next is practice problems for what we've just learned and then mixed problems. So maybe 30 problems in all. Not that much compared to being in a classroom and working problems and then working double that for homework. I remind him of this daily.
For the timed test, I give him five minutes because he needs it. He hasn't completed a full page yet in that five minutes and he probably should - this is where I smack myself for not boring him with flashcards. The remaining problems take him much longer than it probably should, again smacking myself. But I figure with all the drill and the built-in review, I should be able to get him up to par this year, at least that is my goal.
For RePete, math is intuitive. He wasn't ready to do a lot of school last year, so we touched on math here and there. When I could get him to sit still, we did a worksheet, or a math game. He loves games the most. Unrelated, he made up a card game called Bob. He's cracks me up!
I decided to start him out in second grade Saxon based on the skills he possessed from what little we did over the last two years and I wanted to make sure we covered all the basics. Just yesterday, he was doing a timed fact test on the doubles and when he came to 6+6, I heard him reasoning to himself, "5+5 is 10, so 6+6 is eleven...twelve!" We've haven't gone over any thinking like that, he just got it. He's even able to compute more complicated math problems because he understands what the end result should look like. Not that I've taught him, he just gets math like he gets science.
So, I think this will be a good year for math all around.