As I was saying, the last few weeks I've really appreciated some of the advantages of homeschooling. This appreciation has not come at the shining success of our educational pursuits. It has been earned through the frustrations and trials of learning addition and subtraction.
Lydia quickly caught on to the concept of addition and subtraction, and she was great figuring out problems, as long as she could use manipulatives. Her math book quickly moved on to double digit problems and using manipulatives for every one of those quickly became cumbersome. Soon she was frustrated and shut down. She wasn't even able to complete problems she easily figured the day before. I was getting frustrated. We were getting nowhere.
This is where the individual attention that comes with homeschooling is such a blessing. Instead of her falling behind while the class moved on, we are able to slow it down and work at her pace. She has been playing a lot of math baseball in an effort to sharpen her skills. We also pulled out a workbook that we didn't use last year. The pages are very simple, and she flies right through them. It all serves to strengthen the foundation and make math a less overwhelming subject to her.
She still needs manipulatives a lot more than I'd like, but she is getting quicker and gaining confidence. So much confidence in fact, she is teaching addition and subtraction to her four year old brother. For several days now, after her lessons are done, I've found her sitting with Nolan and a beginning addition workbook page. It is simply adorable.
Our math curriculum is set aside for now. There is no pressure to get through the text or to keep up with the class. Lydia is learning addition and subtraction at her own pace. Right now that pace requires a lot of repetition and patience. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility to provide her with that.