Is Your Math Program Not "Working"?

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I used Saxon Math for years. Then, the year I hit Algebra 1/2, my progress ground to a standstill. After failing to muscle my way through the textbook, it was time to try a new math program.

I switched to a different approach and rocketed ahead in math again.

Sometimes a math program simply doesn't "work" for your student. Like me, the same approach may have worked for years before you need to change it up. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we have the ability to change programs as needed.

The first step in resolving an issue is figuring out what the problem is. I rather dislike troubleshooting, but it's a part of life--especially in the world of websites. For example, we kept getting reports that some testimonials were disappearing when people were trying to upload photos for Sonlight's Photo Contest. We tried to replicate the problem and couldn't. It wasn't until late Monday morning that I realized the problem may have been a character limit somewhere. We ran some tests and, what do you know, that was it: The only people who experienced the problem were those who were writing long testimonials. How frustrating for you! We quickly fixed the issue, but it was so late in the game that most of you had already encountered the problem.

In the case of math programs, it may take a while before you can put your finger on the problem: Not enough hands-on? Too much repetition? Not enough review? Too many new concepts? Not enough explanation? Too much explanation?

The second step is to find the program that will work. This is often much easier once you know what the problem is. You can read about what each math program offers, and find the one that addresses your child's need.

Still not sure? Have a few questions? Want a second opinion? Chat with a Sonlight Advisor who can help you decide based on her own experience with math programs.

And, as always, if you're looking for an excellent math supplement, I'd be remiss not to remind you of those fantastic MathTacular DVDs. ...granted, I'm a little biased <smile>.

Have you ever had to change your math program? Do you enjoy troubleshooting when something isn't working?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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