I’d read it in almost every book and website and advice column there was about homeschooling.

Make your own schedule.  Take off the whole month of December if you need to, but don’t, trust us, do not take off a whole month of math.

So, I took off a month of school.  I had Math Fact Cafe email me a page of practice problems everyday.  But somewhere in the hustle and bustle of holidays, I quit printing out those practice pages.  This was a break after all, why was I making her do math over the break?

I forgot all that wisdom I’d heard from every resource until we resumed our studies.  Reading?  Great!  Spelling?  Great!  History?  Took a few minutes to review then we were right back on track.

Then came Math.  I set her up with 18 counters, a ten-form chart, and the simple problem of 18-6.  She quickly remembered that the chart represented that 18 was 10 and 8. 

“So,” I prompted her, “all we have to do is find 8-6.  What’s 8-6?” 

She stared at the page. . .and stared. . .and stared. . .  “10!”

“No. . .”


“Hmm, if only there were eight counters and we could take six of them away,” I hinted.

She stared some more.  She did not remove any counters.


Oh dear.

I decided to come back to this later.  We’re obviously going to need to re-teach the whole unit.  Let’s just move on to the next unit for now. 


She laughed, “Ha, it looks like they’re trying to teach people shapes.”

I’m so glad I get to be a part of this.