My son only enjoyed Math while all aspects of the proceedings included tangible items - fish counters, cuisenaire rods, number boards - and no pencil. Even though he does an incredible job at mental math and seeing patterns, he loathes math. Just the mention of the subject produces a facial expression that would send any sensitive hearted mother to tears. We have been using Saxon Math all these years. I liked the manipulative approach and the "meeting." We made it through the first three years, not easily. Saxon 5/4, which we used last year, lost the manipulative approach and used a pencil profusely to copy problems, etc. I worried daily that I would be the receiver of the "black spot (Treasure Island)." Math shouldn't be that painful. In fact, it could be great fun.
The first weeks of school we did some fun cuisenaire math puzzles and practiced some math facts. My son enjoyed these weeks, but as soon as the Saxon text appeared on the kitchen table, I lost him. I tried to get him interested, to no avail.
I e-mailed Mother Crone and sought her help which was a very smart move. She had abandoned Saxon Math years before and had some good ideas and, more importantly, support and kind words. I felt guilty that I had waited so long (until near crisis) to make a change. Homeschooling gives you the option to change direction and rethink any time resources are not working. So, why was I so stuck on this one program? Why did I insist that math needed to be endured? Why didn't I trust my son?
It will take me a while to do all the proper investigation to rethink an entire year of math and get new resources. While investigating some of Mother Crone's suggestions, I found and purchased a few ebooks that will get us through until more permanent decisions are made. Funny, the author, once responded to one of my entries lamenting teaching math. If I had listened, I could have saved months of torture for my son and for me. The ebooks appear clear, use sound math logic, and have plenty of practice, but not mind numbing quantities. Even better, you only have to print the pages you intend to use which saves tons of paper. Even though there are many typos (which drives me insane), I feel that these ebooks are a bargain.
Just losing the signal for misery (Saxon text) has made all the difference.