When I was in Secondary school, I was one of those who sat uncomfortably on the fence when it came to learning the Arts and Sciences. I enjoyed the Arts, and did Literature and Geography, but also juggled the three Sciences. However, I struggled with Math, and I wasn't too good at the Sciences that required more calculations like Physics (I only got the hang of Physics when I had to teach certain topics to my Secondary Two pupils!). I remember how I cried after my first Additional Math test: I had no idea what was going on, and turned in a nearly empty piece of paper. My classmate also cried, saying she was going to fail, but I think it was out of sympathy for me, since I ended up scoring 2 out of 50 for that test, while she passed!
Anyway, Math has been my nemesis in school, and I never could appreciate why we were always trying to find out what were the values of x and y. But I grudgingly accepted the subject after I started learning statistics: that made some sense, and it was interesting to calculate probabilities.
So when it came to homeschool, we have not really ventured into doing formal learning with regards to Math. Junior J didn't seem very interested, and I didn't feel like I was ready or equipped to teach him to love the subject.
But recently we've observed how he's been actually trying to grapple with numbers: he writes out sums on pieces of paper, and tries to figure out the answers. And the other day, he was actually doing sums again, this time on the hubby's laptop. So I passed him an abacus, which was helpful for him to do his counting.
The abacus is now much sought after, and the older two sometimes fight over who gets to use it. But we've come to a workable solution: Junior J gets to use the top eight rows, while Lil J gets to fiddle with the bottom two rows, and he tries to resist messing up the beads as his brother does his counting.
Encouraged by his interest, I've been preparing dinosaur counting worksheets for Junior J to practice his addition and subtraction, and he's actually enjoying working those sums out! (You can email me at makingmum (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like a sample.)