In common with many home educators, my approach has become less structured over the years. The children benefit so much from time to play, read, write, create and get wet and muddy outdoors, and I don’t want to interfere with that too much. I haven’t quite gone down the autonomous route, though I think that’s more about me than the children. I like a bit of structure, a bit of visible progress, but I’m well aware that the real learning happens mainly elsewhere. So I try to strike a balance, and the children have plenty of freedom, but we do tend to do a bit of formal Maths and English (among other subjects) several days a week.
There are many ways to learn and practise Maths, and using workbooks is only one of them. It’s probably not a good idea to get too hung up on them, but they have their place, and there are some really good ones among the droves of mediocre versions. A lot of the most commonly available workbooks are too busy and cluttered looking, with very little content and generally a waste of money, so I was really pleased to be offered the chance to review these ones from the excellent New Heinemann Maths series instead. They were sent to us by Junior Scholars – more about them to follow as we have since been to a lovely bloggers event at their shop in Watford. But for now, back to the Maths books…
Owl was sent the assessment book for (the end of) Year 5, which is the school year he would have just started, and he has completed the first few pages easily. I rarely seek to compare their work with school levels, as I don’t think it matters in the long run, and it is much better for children to learn at their own pace. However it is obviously nice to discover by chance that he seems to be well ahead!
Monkey received the Year 3 assessment book. Although he is not as confident as Owl, with a little encouragement he completed a couple of pages – he needed hardly any help, although he thought he did! So I’m pleased with what he can do, and I just need to find some ways to help him believe in his ability.
Rabbit has been given five year 1 activity books, and she chose to start working on one about Shape, Measure and Data Handling. She completed the first section about 3D shapes easily and confidently.
We had fun assembling a collection of 3D shapes from around the house too!
I am really pleased with the New Heinemann Maths series because they are simple, clear and easy to use, while covering a lot of detail. Highly recommended 🙂
We were sent the workbooks by Junior Scholars free for the purpose of this review.