I get many questions from parents in regards to curriculum, school placement and so much more. Since so many people have the same questions i’ve decided to publish some in a series. Q&A with Teacher Terry!
Thank you S.S. for writing in with this question:
Q: Why is my child working on fractions in math book at school and on decimals in his math book that you use for your programs curriculum?
Answer: In school there is not enough time to do every chapter in a math book. The average math book between grades K-2 has 22 chapters and between grades 3- high school the average textbook has 19 chapters. The amount of time each day does not allow students to do each chapter in their book. Pages are often skipped sometimes entire chapters are skipped. The chapters chosen are based on teaching standards for each grade as well as teaching the chapters that will be covered on the standardized testing.
Additionally, the textbooks are often not done in sequential order. I’ve had many parents express their confusion and frustration as to how their children could be on chapter 3 in their textbook one week and chapter 9 the next.
Our programs are based on the individual student. While it is true that a student will often skip a chapter in our math textbook, this is because they have demonstrated a mastery of this particular chapter. The have demonstrated an understanding of the vocabulary, concepts and procedures of the chapter.
Additionally, math is like a ladder, skip a rung and you can often slide back down. You need to have one foot firmly planted on a rung before you start climbing. Math builds upon itself; you need to have one concept understood before building or adding to that concept. This is why we do our math textbooks in sequential order. Pick up a math textbook sometime and you will see that the book has been arranged this way, concepts were not just arbitrarily assigned, but actually carefully plotted out and organized as parts to a whole.