I hate structure. I despise waking up to alarm clocks, cringe at the thought of doing the same thing at the same time every day, and whine at routines. But that’s me and my personality, and it’s not what my kids need. Structure is good for the children and it can be very important for homeschooling success.
Strange Curves covers some very odd curves, like the Peano curve which, even though it is of infinitessimal thickness, covers an entire plane, and fractals.
So what might this look like? Here’s an example. Let’s say your student is studying Algebra 1 this year. His daily work combined with test scores comes out to a 73%, a “C.” He knows he can do better. In the second quarter, he puts more time into this course and makes sure he understands the concepts before taking each test. His strategy and effort pay off. In the second quarter he raises his overall grade twelve percentage points to an 85%, a strong “B”. With strict averaging of both quarters, however, his semester grade results in a 79%, a high “C”, but a “C” nonetheless.
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.
Dislike of Curriculum – I hate this book! I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard that. This is one reason that it is good to get your curriculum from eBay or used book sales. Not every educational resource is going to be a good fit for you and your family. Try to keep your eye on your learning objectives. Sometimes an adjustment in the number of exercises or the addition of a hands-on experiment can make other components more acceptable. Don’t worry though, if you end up having to replace your R.S Aggarwal Quantitative Aptitude Book in Hindi, there is most certainly another mom out there who is willing to pay you for the one you are discarding.
At the end of the second quarter, lessons 31 through 60 including tests should be completed. Typically the grade for this second quarter is averaged with the grade of the first quarter to get a semester grade, the one that goes on the transcript and is part of the permanent record. Some parents decide to weigh the second quarter a little more heavily than the first if the student is performing better. Since most math concepts build on previous instruction, and if the student is showing improvement and a higher degree of mastery, this is certainly an acceptable decision.
The snake is the symbol on the death card in the Tarot. It is turn a new leaf, shedding your skin to a new life. Upon his attempts to walk a new path the snake busts a vein laughing and dies. So pitiful is the truth in Pinocchio’s attempt to change.
The author of Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits and other Mathematical Explorations is Keith Ball, He is a professor of mathematics at University College, London, and gives popular lectures on mathematics, as well as authoring graduate level books on math.