Coby, our fifth-grader, has used three different Math curricula for the past five years. First grade it was Lifepac, then followed by a local textbook called Realistic Math for two grade levels. For the fourth grade, we tried Singapore Math’s My Pals Are Here and Lifepac again.
At the end of his fourth grade, I was also already searching AGAIN for a curriculum that would fit Coby’s needs. We were set on using Steve Demme’s Math-U-See until I saw this local book used by our new homeschool provider. Math For All is locally published textbook by Don Bosco Press. The Don Bosco School has been known as the one of the pioneers in technical education here in Manila. So, I did not have any qualms choosing this textbook for Coby. At first, I found the lessons a bit confusing probably because of the various Math techniques Coby and I have learned from the past. Later on however, Coby has shown a renewed interest in Math and was proven by his perfect scores and ease in remembering the lessons. I became appreciative of this curriculum when I saw the change in Coby’s confidence in Math.
Let me share you what I love about Math For All :
First, the lessons were well-explained and simply presented. Each lesson starts with a problem and the solutions were broken down into simpler forms. After each solution or technique in solving the problem, 10 to 15 questions were given as exercises.
What Coby and I do is to study one solution and do the exercise right away so that he could process the lessons slowly and retain the technique. The book has enough exercises for the child to chew on but parents can still opt for more practice exercises if they want.
Second, the pages were printed on white paper which highlighted the colored pictures and drawings. This is a must for visual learners like Coby. Also, the story/word problems were in the Philippine setting which makes it more relatable.
Third, games were added as well as art projects and activities as additional exercises to master the lessons and to apply to everyday life.
Fourth, the book does not only deal with the academics but also focuses on the values learned on each subject matter. Coby learned patience, helping others, and friendship at the end of each lesson. The lesson on Division related to arguments between friends and how should respond to this predicament 🙂
Lastly, it’s not as expensive as the other curricula I mentioned earlier. I don’t mind using local books as long as it works for us. Homeschooling need not be expensive 🙂
After years of scouting for a curriculum that would fit Coby’s learning style and my teaching style, we finally found the work that works for us. Math For All will not only be for me and Coby but also for Jianne as she will be using the same curriculum next school year.