Are you talking about Everyday Mathematics, the program designed by the University of Chicago? If so, I’m going to be the voice of dissent, with one caveat I’ll get to later.

Everyday Mathematics does not “jump from one topic to another”, rather it interweaves concepts in a logical manner, rather than separating topics into “arithmetic” “algebra” and “geometry”. Questions are well designed and reflect real world situations in ways the old word problems didn’t. Finally, it begins in kindergarten, building on the child’s mathematical intuition (much like Montessori games, actually), and grows organically into more abstract principles as the student becomes more and more intellectually capable of abstract thinking.

Now, for that caveat: if you didn’t start with the program in kindergarten, then it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to grasp. Precisely because it’s a “build upon prior knowledge” system, it’s hella hard to jump in in the middle. We moved into a district using Everday Mathematics in Grade 1, and it took WhyKid a good six months to figure out what the hell they were talking about. Now, in 7th grade, he’s doing things I don’t remember doing in college.

Had your school given you the parent’s guide? It’s absolutely critical to helping your kids with their homework, but my district doesn’t provide them unless you ask, to cut costs. Get it. You need it. It will all become clear.

**Frylock**, for what it’s worth, your experiences with Montessori are similar to mine. I just hope that the concepts the games teach (and teach well) are later articulated. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out.