I guess you all know by now that I'm not a curriculum switcher. I make my decisions based on thorough research, and that's pretty much that. I then I spend my valuable time thinking about other things. Like where to go on holidays, or what books I absolutely need this week. Important stuff.
The other thing I do rarely is change my mind mid term. Actually, I don't think I've ever done that.
Until now. Let me elucidate.
I've been becoming increasingly concerned about Jemimah's maths. Now before you leap to your feet in alarm - or worse, in glee - let me reassure you that I still love MEP maths. I think it is a great fit for our daughter, and I have been incredibly impressed by her progress in this subject.
And that is precisely the issue I've been grappling with: My nine-year-old Grade 3 daughter is halfway through MEP Year 5 maths.
She is going too fast.
I am beginning to see her enthusiasm wane as she gets into more and more complicated concepts, and I really, really don't want her to start disliking a subject that she is so very good at.
Which led me to Simple Charlotte Mason's Business Maths Series - something that I've been looking at for a while. In this programme, kids use their maths knowledge to run a virtual sports store, pet shop or book store. Of course in Jemimah's case it just had to be a pet store!! They practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They learn about budgeting, making sound financial decisions, paying accounts, balancing a ledger, and about managing a profitable business. And hopefully at the very same time, they have fun!
And so yesterday, I bought a virtual pet store. It's called 'Jemimah's pet paradise', and it is owned by...well...Jemimah. Obviously.
Today, she developed a logo, printed promotional stickers and posters and decided on her inventory. Keeping within budget, of course. Tomorrow she'll decide on a mark-up and make price stickers. Pretty soon she'll be open for business.
Today she spend her whole afternoon doing maths. I wonder how long that amazing state of affairs will last! So far, so good. Actually, I don't think she really believes that it is real, that this is what she's doing for mathematics.
I'm really excited. Having looked through the teacher's book I can see practice in a significant number of the maths skills she's mastered in MEP up to now. I can see application. I can see that Jemimah will begin to see the relevance of maths to every day life.
I haven't decided yet how we'll incorporate the programme into our term. You've heard of the term de-schooling, I guess? Where you do no school to sort of recover from being at school? Well, for a short time we're demathsing. During this period our Pet Store is all we'll be doing. Later, MEP will return. Maybe once we've finished the whole kit and caboodle; maybe before. I don't know yet.
I like this programme because it's giving maths practice in a relaxed but realistic way. It's rigourous but in a very different way from MEP. It's exciting and challenging.
I think it will slow my girl down in just the right way.