Dynamic 2 Moms Blog
|Posted on August 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM|
So what is the difference? Why is it important? As long as I have been homeschooling, this seems to be one of the most talked about topics, especially in terms of math. I think too when it comes to math, and especially the older our kids get, the more important it becomes.
It seem like the mantra for mastery programs is "If you don't truly understand the concept - you really don't understand", no matter how much you practice it. I tend to agree, even as non-math person.
So what does spiral and mastery mean, in "laymen's terms", my terms:tongue::
Spiral - Well, the explanation is much like the picture you vision of a spiral or coming back around. It means information is presented with the thought that if you don't get something the "first time around, you will get it the second time". So you expand on your knowledge or a skill. So through continuing to review you will "get it".
Mastery - means that each incremental piece of information needs to be learned or "mastered" before you can build upon it. You can review at your pace OR just not move on to you have the concept down.
Even though I have been use to spiral programs most of my life in public school, I feel the superior value of mastery programs far outweighs a spiral program because a child is not repeating what they do know, truly understanding a concept of what they don't know and otherwise enjoying math a lot more instead of asking "what type of problem or operation" do I do here?
Yes, like I said, non-math person here--but I have learned to like it thanks to mastery programs like Math U See that gives you the tools to understand "why".
I guess I do feel differently about this approach at the early levels of learning math just for the fact that I am not a "licensed math teacher" and do want to be sure that my children have the basics down and felt that by "review and drill" they did understand. I think this does have a place in learning some basic math facts.
I can say now that even though I followed that approach, spiral approach in the elementary years-- my oldest learns better by a "mastery approach". Was it because I did use a combination of approaches in the younger years? I think so....I think his development played a huge part in his learning. But because he did get a good foundation in basic math, he is prepared for mastery learning.
Here are some programs that fall into spiral and mastery and if you know of any others, please let me know and I will list them for other homeschool moms like me who always wanted to know more on this subject.
Spiral - Saxon, Abeka, Horizons, BJU, Calvert (but not too much review)
Mastery - Rod & Staff, Singapore, Life of Fred, Math U See, Video Text Algebra, Math Mammoth, Teaching Textbooks (claims mastery, but I feel it is more a nice spiral approach)
Uses Both - Rightstart