As you begin your search for a math curriculum that works for your elementary aged child, you need to remember that there are three areas of math to cover: facts, computation and concepts. If math has already become a struggle for your child, then you will especially want to break math down into these three areas. Spread math over the course of the day with short sessions covering these areas in separate sessions.
I feel you simply cannot stop a child from learning. Traveling will teach them great amounts that you just can not learn from books! And you realize, unschoolers do well on a regular basis. How much more might you be able to have great results if you’re unschooling all over the globe? Go for it! It will be a great educational fun, in addition to an experience not to be skipped! Simply expose your kids to information all during the trip. While you travel, have them read books on each location, and learn a bit of the language. Learn naturally as you go along. The year isn’t going to be lost – it will enrich you and your children, and help to make them a more appealing college applicant!
I am a note taker, so this is a no-brainer for me. As the day progresses and just before I leave, I compose a letter for the teacher, letting him or her know what we accomplished, any issues we may have had (behavioral or otherwise), and any stand-out students for that day.
A scope and sequence book will tell you what your child should be doing in math according to age and grade level. This book is a handy reference to always have on hand so you can be sure your child is staying on track. A good scope and sequence book will break down math into each area and you’ll know what your child needs to accomplish for that school year.
I can make a couple of recommendations. If you are planning to travel for an prolonged time, give some thought to taking a RS Aggarwal Quantitative Aptitude PDF. If you can encourage your kids to be consistent with math, it will help YOU to feel like the year isn’t lost. It is quite easy to accumulate 3 science credits for high school even though you take a year off. Math skills, on the other hand, are usually lost if they aren’t used. If you have them do a little bit of math each day, it could help them to maintain that information. Even if they just accomplish a few problems, it can help keep those skills! If they are working at a high school level in math, consider getting an SAT work book, and just working on a couple of math problems each day.
Rather than focusing on completing math homework assignments in giant gulps, she broke each part of the algebra assignments into steps. If a problem was focused on finding a variable such as X, she’d teach my son how to slowly find the solution to each problem. She’d teach him to isolate the variable, solve the equation and check his work. Each step was important.
What they do understand, however, is that Mondays are pajama days. My daughter has Children’s Chorale on Tuesdays, so we have to make the hour-long car journey and we listen to audio books on the way. Wednesdays are co-op days, and the kids have classes with their friends and study Art, History, and Science. Thursdays have piano and singing lessons and Fridays are library days.
While these issues may affect you to varying degrees, I have one more tip to share; it’s my secret weapon. When my kids were having trouble staying on track, I created a homeschool game. I made a deck of cards for each subject with my printer and colored cardstock. On each card was three assignment options, each with a different value attached to it. The child could move ahead on the generic game board the number of spaces that corresponded to the assignment they chose. It was wildly successful and they still beg for it today. A little creativity can go a long way. We hope that these suggestions help you to keep peace in your loving homeschool family.