We made a mad dash to the homeschool bookstore this morning to purchase some much needed resources. It’s always a treat to hear the girls begging to look at their new math books as soon as we get in the car! (I was also amused to hear Violet, who was at least acting frightened of “6th grade math!”, say “this is easy!” once she got the books open. Yes dear, I tried to tell you. I wish they didn’t have grade levels on the cover — I like the systems where they have greek letter names or colors to designate the levels, so we don’t get so hung up on “grades.”)
(Our Kumon books are more about learning to write the numbers. I like these — they start with basic concepts of bigger/smaller, more/less, and move into graphing. Victoria has been arranging things in order of size lately, so I think this is a good fit. The Early Bird Kindergarten Math is a 2-year program for 4-5 year-olds, but it sure looks like you could move through it more quickly if you were so inclined. I was tempted to skip the 1A book entirely, but I decided we could just skip sections that we don’t find interesting and then move on.)
(I still want to get the Ed Zacarro problem solving book Jove mentioned. I decided to pass on the Singapore Challenging Word Problems 6 because I am not sure Violet’s problem solving skills are as good as those books ask for. In fact, I’m not sure my problem-solving skills are always up to their toughest problems! The Challenging Word Problems 5 was quite a bit tougher than the 5A/5B books, and I felt I ended up helping too much. I got the Intensive Practice workbooks because although they are also aimed at gifted students, they are not all multi-step word problems. I’m hoping that by going at a somewhat slower pace this year I can help Violet become more independent in her math learning, with an eye toward freeing me up to do more hands-on stuff with Victoria.)
New Geography Books from Modern Curriculum Press. I got two from the Maps, Charts, Graphs series: United States and Its Neighbors, and States and Regions.
(Disclaimer: I have purposely chosen something workbook-oriented so that it can be done during babysitter time. If I weren’t dealing with sitter-time, I might do it in a more “living geography” way. We get some of that in our history studies, at least. I saw a very cool Geography Through Literature that I would like to try, though. It says 3rd-7th grade, but it may skew younger. With some judicious alteration, it looks like something I might be able to do with the girls together! In any case, I will do what it takes never to see my children on Leno saying that Arizona is a South American country.)
Finally, I got the Catholic Mosaic.
(I think this book will be the push I need to be more intentional in our faith formation efforts, particularly with Victoria. We have some support for doing things with Violet through our parish program, a home-based program using Loyola Press’s Finding God curriculum, but I would really like to emphasize the liturgical year more strongly than we do in that program. Maybe I can beef up our Sunday School curriculum too!)
Sadly the store where I got to look carefully at these items (I’ve been going back and forth on spending money on the Catholic Mosaic for some time) is closing at the end of the year. If you live in Florida, you’re in luck: they’re planning on opening a new shop there after they move. Look for By Way of the Family.
Also, they are a wonderful online store for all homeschoolers, but especially Catholic homeschoolers. I hate to be a vulture, but as the end of the year draws near I’ll be watching for sales on Catholic Montessori stuff.