I finally did it. I plunged into the Montessori Algebra for the Adolescent album today.
I woke up today feeling awful, and napped for some of the mid morning. But this afternoon I decided it was time to at least start on the chapter for signed numbers.
My fear when I purchase, especially, or when I make materials, is that he will use it once and won't touch it again, or won't use it at all. I spent a good amount of time making the positive and negative counters, so I was determined that they would be used. (I made them out of foam sheets. One gray, one green. One with adhesive backing. Suggested by Jessica Welsh. Great idea. The positive and negative square counters are 1 cm by 1 cm. I cut the out the skittles by hand, and they aren't so great, but they'll do.)
I demonstrated the problems with the counters, and had him write the problems down in his math notebook.
It went so well! He already understood the concept of negative numbers, which helped. We worked quite a few problems. I started with units, like the example in the album, and he was feeling confident and asked to do multiplication. But instead, I decided he needed to continue with the addition and subtraction, so we worked up to using tens.
Math is the one subject I do not feel confident to teach, but I am determined. I have gone back and forth in my mind about putting him in school part time just for math, or hiring a tutor again, but I really believe in this method, and I want to at least give it my best shot before giving up on it.
I like this album, so far. It is thorough, and has a list of materials at the back, which I find very helpful. The only thing I wish is that albums came with an option to buy materials that match the album. It's time consuming to piece this all together.
This album goes through 12th grade, and includes a lot of math I've never used. I do like a challenge, so... here we go!
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