by Byron Davies
(Tempe, Arizona, USA)
As a part-time teacher in an urban school with plenty of at-risk kids, I'm very impressed with JUMP Math from http://jumpmath.org. (We no longer homeschool -- both ours are in college now.)
Developed by John Mighton, the author of The End of Ignorance, JUMP Math provides a sequential approach to K-8 math as symbol manipulation rather than pizza manipulation. Mighton knows just what order math concepts and skills need to be learned in -- because later ones depend on earlier ones -- and provides plenty of exercises to teach the needed skills.
I used the technique to teach simple fraction addition and simplification to an eighth grader who hated math -- in one hour. And I used it to teach fraction addition with different denominators to a ninth grader, again in about an hour.
Reply by Diane:
I had not heard of JUMP Math, so I checked out their website and like Byron, I was impressed. I was able to flip through the Teacher's Guide online. Mighton goes into great detail of why he starts with fractions. Fractions were a difficult transition for a couple of my children. As I look back, maybe it would have been easier for them had we started with this program.
As Byron mentioned, JUMP materials only go through the 8th Grade. But they are certainly a program worth looking into! Thank you, Byron, for sharing this with us!