02 May 2017

Day 43 / 106 - The Book That Revolutionized My Homeschooling

Friends.  I finished reading a book this year that has completely changed how I approach homeschooling my children.  It was not the Bible, or a devotional, or a book about Jesus (although those are all worthwhile).  It was not a book about Latin, or the classics, or history (again, all worthwhile reads).  It was not a book about how to, or how to not, or why you should homeschool (but I have many favorites there).  Nothing on Classical Ed vs. Charlotte Mason vs. Unschooling.  This book falls into a completely different genre.  Upon finishing it, I have gained more confidence and more knowledge to homeschool my children.  I feel adequately equipped to educate them through high school.  I can't wait to share this book with you.

Wait for it .... 

That's right.  The book is the math textbook, Saxon 7/6.  Crazy, right?

This year, I committed about 45 - 60 minutes weekly to work through this book independently.  Usually, I would treat myself to a latte, and rather than opening a novel, I would crack open this math text.  If you are unfamiliar with Saxon, there are 120 lessons in the text.  Each lesson presents a New Concept, a Lesson Practice (with about 8 - 10 problems to solve stemming from the New Concept), and a Problem Set (with 30 problems that review all previous lessons).  In an hour's time, I would work through four or five lessons, solving all the problems in the Lesson Practice, along with working through one Problem Set.  I would check my work as I progressed through the text.

But, let me tell you how this has changed my life.  I now know math.  I now know it pretty well.  Just from this one middle school textbook.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that last month I posted a plethora of math problems.  I was able to solve those problems (even the SAT ones) because of the skills I learned (or relearned) from this book.  My son is finishing Algebra I.  His math skill-set has far surpassed mine.  Yet, anytime he has had difficulty solving a problem in Algebra, chances are he missed a step with a concept that came directly from this book.  He would ask for help, and I would (and could) help him.  I believe that this book has given me the confidence and the knowledge I need to tackle higher level mathematics with my children.  More importantly, I am joyful about math.  It is fun!

As homeschoolers, we generally spend the most amount of time educating our children in what interests and excites us.  Naturally, those subjects ebb and flow.  Over the last 18 months, I have made it a high priority to help my children master mathematics.  The more I understand math, the more excited I become to have my children experience it, learn it, and master it.  Math has become the defining concept of our homeschool this year, and I could not be more thrilled.  I attribute most of our math success directly to myself spending an hour a week re-educating myself in the subject.  When homeschooling mothers value and commit to their own learning, that will positively influence their homeschool.  Believe me!

My advice to you, if you are looking for a homeschooling book to read and/or discuss during the next 18 weeks before Labor Day, I highly recommend Saxon 7/6.  You will not be disappointed.

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