Teaching Textbooks Vs. Math-U-See

From the very first day we started homeschooling (6 years ago), we used Math-U-See. I loved how you watch a video of the lesson, and then you do the worksheets that go along with that lesson. We had no problems with Math-U-See until my oldest son hit pre-algebra/algebra.

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My son would watch the video which took like 15 – 20 minutes, the videos up until this point had been relatively short about 5 minutes at the most, and then he would try to do the worksheets but he was finding himself stuck on lots of problems and really just not grasping the concepts.

Re-watching the videos at this point was not really an option, because then he would be spending about an hour on math and not doing any actual work.

Having me teach him the lessons really wasn’t an option either. I love doing math, up until a certain point. I will teach my kids; counting, skip counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, fractions, decimals, etc., but once you get to adding the alphabet into your problems, i’m out.

So, needless to say we were both a little frustrated with math, and we needed a change badly, like yesterday. So during the middle of the school year, i switched him to Teaching Textbooks online. What a difference it has made. He enjoys doing math now, and he is finally understanding all the different concepts.

There is also a big difference price wise as well, Math-U-See pre-algebra costs $182 vs. Teaching Textbooks online pre-algebra costs $67.08!

I love how Teaching Textbooks also grades all the work, all i do is login to my parent portal and check his grades to see how he is doing. No more grading paper after paper, they do all the work for me!

Now, this doesn’t mean we are done with Math-U-See, in fact i just bought the next level up for 2 of my kids for our next school year. I plan to continue using Math-U-See with my children, until they hit the pre-algebra level, and then i will switch them over to Teaching Textbooks.

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Have you used Teaching Textbooks or Math-U-See? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

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*Stock photo provided by Unsplash.*

My Homeschool Co-op Experience

When we first started homeschooling, i had thought about joining a co-op, but at the time it didn’t make sense as we were pretty unstable (moving state to state, pregnancies, etc.). Come January 2019, 6 years into homeschooling, we finally joined a co-op for the first time.

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Towards the middle of January, i had heard about a new co-op starting the first week of February. I had been praying so hard in the months leading up to that, that something might come along for our children, as i was just feeling like they were needing something more. Some other people to connect with, who live similar lives.

I went to the information meeting the week before the first classes were to start. I was honestly pretty nervous (being that i’m a really shy introvert) and was continually trying to talk myself out of going to that meeting all day long. But i’m glad i forced myself to go and even more pleased that we joined this co-op.

Most of my kids were on board for joining a co-op, a few were hesitant, but after our first day all of my kids loved it and couldn’t wait for the next week.

Now, because we have never been a part of a co-op before, i have nothing to compare it to. I do know, that since this was this co-op’s first year, things were pretty much trail and error. And i believe next semester will run even more smoothly.

If you have been wanting to give a co-op a try, but have been on the fence about it, I say go for it, the worst that could happen is you absolutely hate it, and if that happens you can always drop out. You won’t know until you try, right?

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*Stock photo provided by Unsplash.*

Homeschooling Multiple Grades

This is one of the things that scared me the most about homeschooling. How was I going to teach multiple grades at the same time?! It seemed like a daunting task when I first started looking into homeschooling, however it doesn’t seem that tricky now.

Today i’ll share how I homeschool multiple grades at the same time…

homeschooling multiple grades

For those of you who are new here, I currently have an 8th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader, preschooler, and a 2 year old* (*not pictured below).

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When we first started homeschooling I had a 3rd grader, kindergartner, and a 2 year old. My days then would be filled with teaching my 3rd grader all day long, while my kindergartner would work next to us on; cutting practice, writing practice, puzzles, etc. Then while my 3rd grader had some independent reading time, I would be teaching my kindergartner to read, or doing any other work with him that needed to be done.

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Now that I have 4 students things have gotten harder and easier all at the same time. Harder in the sense that sometimes they all need my help at the same time. Which can be very chaotic. Easier in the sense that my 2 oldest children are pretty much independent workers, so they need very little instruction from me.

The one thing that I have found helps me to teach multiple grades at the same time, is to have all the kids working on the same subject at the same time. For example; all my kids do math at the same time, then they all move on to English, then vocabulary, and so on and so on.

This makes it easier for my brain, in the fact that I don’t have to switch between graphing equations to diagramming sentences in a matter of seconds. My brain can fully focus on math, then on English, and so on and so on.

Another thing, like I just talked about, is my 2 oldest are pretty much independent workers. This helps a lot when you have multiple grades. But let’s say you have a 1st grader and a 2nd grader, both of which need a lot of instruction from you. How do you do it?! My advice would be to teach them the same thing, for example; last year we did My Father’s World curriculum for my oldest 2 and i was teaching them the same things for history, science, and Bible. Of course my oldest child would then have a little bit of extra assignments in those areas because of this grade level.

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My best advice I can give you, is to find what works best for you and your kids. That could be teaching one grade level in the morning, and a different grade level in the afternoon. Or teaching different grade levels on different days. Just do whatever works best for your family, and don’t be afraid to switch things up if it’s not working for you. That’s one of the perks of homeschooling, the flexibility to change things up as needed!!

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