Why My Clubs Help Students in Saxon Math (and Beyond!)
“My son has had almost no problems getting into the All-Right Club. My daughter has had issues. Now, she knows Saxon math is not my strong suit and so says “See? I can’t do it, like you.” And so I have started a tiny study group: me and her doing the lessons with Nicole, and then all the problems. She loves when she beats me, but also loves that I am right there to ask for help. Sometimes she teaches me; others, I teach her. Either way, we are both becoming math people.”
–Nicole, a Nicole the Math Lady subscriber
With Club Month in full swing, the testimonies of what happens when we challenge our kids are starting to roll in. The 30-5 and All-Right Clubs work… but why? I wanted to take a moment to explain.
I want math to be accessible and even enjoyable for everyone. Everyone! I try to teach for the kids who already love math and for the kids who don’t– yet. Because of that, I designed my clubs to go far beyond anything resembling an “All-A Group” or Honor Roll. These clubs were designed to give your child benefits that will help them not only in math but in life.
The 30-5 Club rewards students who simply show up and do their best on Saxon math, every day. Why? Because talent will only account for a small part of any success. Consistently doing your best will take anyone way farther than talent alone. So while some kids might never get 100% on a test, any kid can (and should) give a hearty effort day in and day out.
The 30-5 Club also works because it measures effort (30 problems, every day, for 5 days in a row). Measurable efforts are a huge confidence booster because improvement is obvious, even when it’s slight. So with the 30-5 Club, a kid who used to only do 15 or 20 problems a day can start to work up to 30, and then to 30 for multiple days in a row. Each increment of progress shows them they can do something new or difficult. That confidence in their ability to do hard things will carry over in ways we just can’t predict, for their entire life!
The 30-5 Club also keeps kids accountable. Again, because it’s measurable, there’s no room for “I think I did better,” or “I don’t feel like I’m improving.” Did you do the problems or not? Accountability works because expectations are set and it encourages students to take ownership of their work. Again, the practice with the Club helps set them up for success in Saxon, but also in so many future endeavors.
The All-Right Club hits on a different goal set for kids in Saxon Math. I like to encourage students to strive for excellence no matter where they are in math. And for some kids, excellence will mean getting everything right on a particular set of problems. That deserves to be rewarded.
The All-Right Club represents a certain level of learning, certainly. But this isn’t just about putting perfection as the end goal. In my experience, the value of shooting for a perfect score comes from fully committing to a task. With this goal, there can be no cutting corners. No shortcuts. A student can learn the value of committing to doing their best on every problem.
In some ways, this may be the riskier club to try and get into! It’s tough to watch kids miss out on it by one or two problems, but remind your student that every step gets them closer to the goal. I also highly recommend celebrating the close calls, too, so that your student maintains his or her love of learning and gets rewarded for all their hard work, too.
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