Remember when I was thinking about enrolling my oldest in a Kumon program? I took her to an assessment and learned about the program. I’m telling you, I was tempted. I was tempted because I thought it would take all the pressure off of me to get her up to speed on her math.

Then reason kicked in. Reason in the form of $100/month tuition. I gathered from the assessment that the goal is mastery plus speed. They figure out where the kids have mastered concepts quickly and start them there to build confidence. They then work them up little by little. They do homework every single day. They don’t do any direct teaching. And the $100/month is for what again? Paper I guess.

Anyway, being the loyal Math-U-See users that we are, I went to the MUS website and played around with the worksheet generator. I made my own “Kumon” like packets for Maddie. The file on my computer is called “Memon.” Get it? Because it’s me making the worksheets instead of Kumon? *groan*

Anyway, I made several worksheets with 125 problems on them each. She was blazing through them in about 4 minutes each and getting 100% right. Success. And confidence. We’ve had no math struggles this week, even in her normal MUS lessons. She just needs it proved to herself that she can do this.

Today we moved up to concepts one step harder. Again, 100% correct and fast.

The goober has been yanking my chain all this time. She can do this. SHE CAN DO THIS!

I think she has surprised herself. She likes that I’m making the sheets for her. She sort of even likes the timing aspect of it. We’ll eventually move up to the hard-for-her stuff that she so easily gets stuck on, but I think by the time we get there she just might have forgotten that she’s “supposed” to hate math.

And we’re accomplishing this for the price of some printer paper and ink. No tuition, no drive across town.

That’s my kind of math program.



7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Katie (aside from making a plethora of silly videos of herself) has been busy learning to read this year. She will complete lesson 100 of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
this morning. I told her in November that if she made it all the way through I’d take them all out to see a movie. Problem: there aren’t a lot of great choices in kid movies available in the theater right now. I’m rather picky about movie selections when paying to take four kids to the theater. She wants to see Hotel for Dogs. I’m kind of leaning toward Inkheart. We’ll see later on this morning I guess.

2. I’ve purchased the 100 Easy Lessons book twice now. When I was teaching Maddie to read (many moons ago), this was THE book. When it was Chloe’s turn, The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading became THE book. In truth, I like Ordinary Parent’s Guide much better and it did a great job with Chloe at that time. As such, I gave away my copy of 100 Easy Lessons because I figured I didn’t need it anymore. Wrong. Katie really needed that method with the arrows and such. She needs the constant reminder to go from left to right. The OPG wasn’t doing it for her, so I had to repurchase 100 Easy Lessons.

Moral of the story? Don’t get rid of anything until all of your kids are past the age of needing it. You never know – what didn’t work for one very well might be just the ticket for another. I learned that in 1 Easy Lesson. One easy, expensive lesson.

3. A lot more of my high school class has joined Facebook recently. They are now posting pictures. Pictures like this one:

Miss Ballinger's Class 1986

I’m the jailbird in the front row. 6th grade, 1986. It has been officially confirmed that yes, I was indeed the dork I remember myself to be.

By the way, the teacher in this photo is one of my favorite teachers of all time. She taught Social Studies and really made us feel like we’d been to the countries we were studying. She went to many of the countries herself and had all kinds of things to show us and food to share. It was a great class. Good job, Miss Ballinger!

4. I’m not sure I like remembering what a dork I was in school.

5. I had a raging headache from 11:45pm Wednesday through 5:00pm Thursday. I had no hope it would go away at 3:00 Thursday and canceled everything I had scheduled for the rest of the day. It finally went away. So thankful.

6. We’ve been back in the full swing of school for a good three weeks now. I need another extended break so I can get my planning act together again. I discovered this free web-based lesson planner and hour tracker last week. It could very well be the solution I’ve been looking for. Now I need the time to figure it out and input everything.

7. The girls and I took a picnic lunch to the seminary today and enjoyed it with one Andi Ashworth. The weather was cool, but not cold. The company was delightful. I only see her once every 18-24 months. It is worth the wait every time.