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We're starting to hate Math Mammoth

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#1 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:05 AM

I hate to say this, I really do. Dd14 used MM 4 & 5 and half of 6 before moving on. It prepared her well for Algebra & beyond. It's a solid program, I've been a fan of it for years. But now . . .

 

Dd11 has used MM 2, 3, 4, and 5. We've started MM6 . . . and we hate it. It's ponderous. It's boring. There are too many problems. (I know you don't have to do them all). But it's just feeling dull and clunky and dreadful and boring. I need to shake things up. Dd is starting to say she "hates" math, which is the main thing I've wanted to avoid in homeschooling . . .  but here we are. She does fine with math, no problems in learning, she's on grade level, though she doesn't do terribly well working independently. She does Dreambox online and enjoys that.  But MM . . . ugh. And I don't really blame her, I dread it too. I found myself flirting with the Teaching Textbooks website this morning.   :scared:  :tongue_smilie:

 

What would you do? We're going through a really tough year in our family, dealing with dd14's chronic illness which is eating up a ton of time and energy. We really need to work efficiently and make every minute count. And we need to not be miserable.

 

I'm not sure what I'm asking for - alternative 6th grade math? Sympathy? A kick in the butt? Really, I"m not sure, I'm kind of just whinging. But I would like some alternative math programs to consider.


Edited by Chrysalis Academy, 19 September 2017 - 11:46 AM.


#2 wapiti

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:23 AM

er, try some Alcumus for a while?  Move on to whatever prealgebra you are planning on?


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#3 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:25 AM




We skipped a lot when it was ponderous.

Toss in some online math game programs for a while?
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#4 Plum Crazy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:27 AM

I took a break and used Khan Academy for about a year and a half. We're back to MM and it's working well. 

We only used the videos when they didn't get it. I assigned them a grade lower than they should be in just to boost confidence and review. They blew through it, we celebrated and then moved onto their grade. 


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#5 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:43 AM

er, try some Alcumus for a while?  Move on to whatever prealgebra you are planning on?

 

See, that's part of the thing. I discovered Videotext for Algebra, and I like it so much. It's really focused on conceptual understanding, but it's so clear and straightforward. That's what I want to do for PreA and Algebra, but it's too soon. I need a bridge to get us ready for that. We still need to cover integers & percents before we're ready for PreAlgebra. I can't just skip over 6th grade math altogether, I need to figure out how to get us there - to PreA in 7th - with a minimum of pain.

 

I'm not sure she's ready for Alcumus. Or would like it. 


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#6 wapiti

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:45 AM

Then to keep it simple, I would just do percents in MM with the promise to move on as soon as she's done.  Integers will take like thirty seconds.


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#7 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:47 AM

We skipped a lot when it was ponderous.

Toss in some online math game programs for a while?

 

That's essentially what we're doing, she does Dreambox every day. But if we don't do 2 page of MM every day, we will never . . . finish . . . 

 

Unless we just do the chapter quizzes then go back and only teach the concepts she doesn't understand.  Hmm . . . . 


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#8 Where's Toto?

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 11:34 AM

I had to give up on MM for dd with 4th grade.  Ds did great right through the old version Grade 6, but for dd the busy pages, too many problems, small type were just too much for her.

 

We're doing MUS Gamma to reinforce multiplication but it's overkill and she doesn't like just doing one thing, so we're basically making that a supplement and she's doing Scott Foresman enVision math.


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#9 hollyhock

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 12:41 PM

I had the same experience with MM, and we did switch to TT (and love it) but for different reasons. MM 6 was too hard for my kids and there wasn't enough review for them. They need the less-rigorous, spiral nature of TT. I know that doesn't really help you, but I understand the feelings...


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#10 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:00 PM

We really like Singapore 6A and 6B.  The textbook teaches the concept with pictures, has a few practice problems, then the workbook has more. But not overwhelming pages of problems -- my dd will do a few pages in the textbook (which is mostly pictures explaining the concept with a few problems), then a page of number problems (around 8-10) and then two pages of word problems (about 6 total).  It seems like a good mix for my dd, who did BA 3-5 but struggled a lot and never really got out of it what I hoped she would. We also use the Intensive Practice after the entire lesson is finished. 


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#11 jenn&charles

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:41 PM

I found MM useful, but booooooooooooooooring. I used it here and there with one of my kids and also a student I tutored. I did NOT use it as our primary math program. That would have bored us all to death, lol.  Maybe you can use a bit of Khan Academy to make things more interesting for awhile - while you research other programs. 

 

I was never afraid to make a switch when something wasn't working and my kids "hated" what we had on hand. Homeschooling years are too short to hate things when there is always something that's a better fit out there. ;-) That's my personal philosophy at least.


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#12 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 01:52 PM

So I was talking to dd14 and she reminded me that we had the same problem with MM6 - we persevered for awhile, but then ended up adding a bunch of other things and dropping it. So, I have pulled out HOE and the verbal problems book, and Zaccaro Challenge Math. Maybe we'll do that for awhile, along with Dreambox & Khan, and see how it goes.Yeah, life is too short to dread math every day! And I have sooooooo much math on hand, there is really no excuse not to find something that will work.

 

Thank you, everybody, for commiserating and for reminding me that I'm the one in charge here, not the curriculum!


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#13 TracyP

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:19 PM

That sounds like a nice plan. I was going to suggest Zaccaro. That made a good bridge to prealgebra when my oldest got burned out with MM. We eventually made it through most of MM 6, but it was fairly painful at times.
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#14 Julie of KY

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:30 PM

Take a look at MEP math level 7 - it's free online. Not sure if your student is quite ready for it, but it might be a nice fit.


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#15 fastweedpuller

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:54 PM

Of course, skipping around and doing "other" math won't hurt your dd, Rose, but it might not be easy for you if you feel like you've really got your hands full this semester.  But:  skip around.  Use MM as a spine, and see what other programs Maria offers (like her math in real life series etc.), look into programs with more word problems (like Singapore) and then avail yourselves of MEP and Khan and even the freebie try-before-you-buy things like placement tests, etc.  We love the free pdfs of Math Minutes (google X Grade Math Minutes), Zaccaro's books and I am also a fan of Richard W. Fisher's workbooks. 

 

I have an averred math-hating daughter and I just threw everything at her.  What I had realized, at about Morgan's age, was that she was getting stuck thinking that there was only one way to ask a math problem. So she would memorize "that way" and would get really stuck if the equation or expression was worded differently.  [And TT in our household was a disaster: she gamed the system (memorized the answers).]  A

 

Anyway, make it fun. 


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#16 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 04:17 PM

Of course, skipping around and doing "other" math won't hurt your dd, Rose, but it might not be easy for you if you feel like you've really got your hands full this semester.  But:  skip around.  Use MM as a spine, and see what other programs Maria offers (like her math in real life series etc.), look into programs with more word problems (like Singapore) and then avail yourselves of MEP and Khan and even the freebie try-before-you-buy things like placement tests, etc.  We love the free pdfs of Math Minutes (google X Grade Math Minutes), Zaccaro's books and I am also a fan of Richard W. Fisher's workbooks. 

 

I have an averred math-hating daughter and I just threw everything at her.  What I had realized, at about Morgan's age, was that she was getting stuck thinking that there was only one way to ask a math problem. So she would memorize "that way" and would get really stuck if the equation or expression was worded differently.  [And TT in our household was a disaster: she gamed the system (memorized the answers).]  A

 

Anyway, make it fun. 

 

Hmm, I like the look of the Richard Fisher workbooks. That seems very efficient. Did you guys use the videos on the website?


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#17 Farrar

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:05 PM

The way MEP grade 7 is arranged really might work - it's not more advanced than grade 6 - it's specifically for review or kids who needed more time. Each chapter is a different topic. It's laid out really simply. It's just really different from MEP1-6.

 

Another outside the box idea... we did percents and ratios and integers with NCERT for my kid who was jumping around programs back in 6th grade math. They're such an underused resource. Like, here's the chapter about Ratios:

http://ncertbooks.pr...atics/ch-12.pdf


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#18 fastweedpuller

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:52 AM

Hmm, I like the look of the Richard Fisher workbooks. That seems very efficient. Did you guys use the videos on the website?

Efficiency was key when we used them:  put in the backpack and go!  Yes she tuned in to the videos if she was stuck (or went with Khan for same).  But we school math year-round so these workbooks were summer refreshers mainly and also our off-script resource for when we got bored with what we were using.  They are good refreshers for sure...lots of circular study.  And he taught a different way to figure out percents that actually stuck with her.

 


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#19 Blossom'sGirl

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:06 AM

My youngest is using MM7 this year.  He did CLE for 5th and 6th and wanted something different.  I like it for this year, but I don't think I would have liked it long term.  He does follow the lesson plan  made for Homeschool Planet which adds some online game opportunities to each day.  I know the games are all linked in the pdfs, but I don't think we would have checked them out much if not for the schedule.

 

 


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#20 soror

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:39 AM

Take a look at MEP math level 7 - it's free online. Not sure if your student is quite ready for it, but it might be a nice fit.

 

 

The way MEP grade 7 is arranged really might work - it's not more advanced than grade 6 - it's specifically for review or kids who needed more time. Each chapter is a different topic. It's laid out really simply. It's just really different from MEP1-6.

 

Another outside the box idea... we did percents and ratios and integers with NCERT for my kid who was jumping around programs back in 6th grade math. They're such an underused resource. Like, here's the chapter about Ratios:

http://ncertbooks.pr...atics/ch-12.pdf

I was thinking of middle grades MEP when I was reading but wondered if I was out of line as I have only looked at it, I really like the look of the middle grades books, very straightforward and a good review to prepare for Algebra. If I would have discovered it sooner I would have used it for ds as a bridge to Algebra instead we used a hodgepodge of various things, coincidentally he is now using VideoText and I think I will be rolling dd into it as well. I've actually thought about using MEP middle grades with dd but she's using Saxon now and enjoys it well enough though so we'll likely stick to it until pre-A.


Edited by soror, 20 September 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#21 madteaparty

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

We really like thinkwell here. I know it gets no love and it is considered "light" but I don't care, and anyway, math is a get-it-done-and-move on subject here. Further, if we are throwing anecdotes around, my friend's DD scored much higher on AMC8 using thinkwell than my DS who had been using AOPS until that time.

 

Since MEP was mentioned, I do love that program, I see what it does and I appreciate it. I just couldn't get the printing and the answer sheets and paper logistics of it to work. Yes that seems like an insane reason not to use a program but here we are.

 

ETA for 6th, doesn't Singapore have the Home Instructor Guides still? If so, my vote is for those.


Edited by madteaparty, 20 September 2017 - 11:50 AM.

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#22 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 04:30 PM

She was so happy when I said we weren't doing MM today!! We did the first HOE lesson, and then started Zaccaro Challenge Math. I ordered the Math Essentials workbook. I think this plus Dreambox will keep us out of trouble for awhile. Apparently she hates Khan Academy, not sure when that happened, but I think we have enough to work with for now. 

 

I've looked at both MEP and the NCERT stuff too, but I have to say, I really like having actual, printed materials to deal with rather than fussing with multiple pdfs. Trying to keep it simple.


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#23 soror

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 04:50 PM

She was so happy when I said we weren't doing MM today!! We did the first HOE lesson, and then started Zaccaro Challenge Math. I ordered the Math Essentials workbook. I think this plus Dreambox will keep us out of trouble for awhile. Apparently she hates Khan Academy, not sure when that happened, but I think we have enough to work with for now. 

 

I've looked at both MEP and the NCERT stuff too, but I have to say, I really like having actual, printed materials to deal with rather than fussing with multiple pdfs. Trying to keep it simple.

Ya, I hope it continues to work for you.

 

I prefer printed stuff too, the only way that stuff works is for me to print it all at once!


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#24 CaliforniaDreaming

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 06:10 PM

I am not a huge fan of MM 6 or 7. I did like 4-5. I pushed my daughter to finish 6 and part of 7 before switching to another pre-algebra program. For my son I am leaning towards a basic 6th grade math textbool like Lial's Basic College Math.
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#25 NCAmusings

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 06:50 PM

See, that's part of the thing. I discovered Videotext for Algebra, and I like it so much. It's really focused on conceptual understanding, but it's so clear and straightforward. That's what I want to do for PreA and Algebra, but it's too soon. I need a bridge to get us ready for that. We still need to cover integers & percents before we're ready for PreAlgebra. I can't just skip over 6th grade math altogether, I need to figure out how to get us there - to PreA in 7th - with a minimum of pain.

 

I'm not sure she's ready for Alcumus. Or would like it. 

 

VideoText has been a hit here! 

 

We came from RightStart Mathematics and transitioned so smoothly into VT that RS is what I would recommend for a bridge. You could have your dd take the placement test, but... according to your post I'm thinking Level F, 2nd Edition is where you'd want to jump in. 


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#26 waa510

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 08:29 AM

I hear you..we weren't necessarily in love with MM but it worked so we kept going. But MM6 just had a completely different feel to it for us. It was tedious and I felt like Dd was just lumbering through it. I'm not one to jump ship on something we've used forever like that but we stopped maybe halfway thru?? Jumped right into our pre-A and never looked back. I'm highly considering not even using 6 with Dd2 later...it was that terrible. 

 

We did some Khan academy to help me fill some gaps to feel more comfortable with moving on. My oldest loves it but I'm not sure it's going to be as great a fit for youngest. 


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#27 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 10:20 AM

I hear you..we weren't necessarily in love with MM but it worked so we kept going. But MM6 just had a completely different feel to it for us. It was tedious and I felt like Dd was just lumbering through it. I'm not one to jump ship on something we've used forever like that but we stopped maybe halfway thru?? Jumped right into our pre-A and never looked back. I'm highly considering not even using 6 with Dd2 later...it was that terrible. 

 

We did some Khan academy to help me fill some gaps to feel more comfortable with moving on. My oldest loves it but I'm not sure it's going to be as great a fit for youngest. 

 

I agree with you, there is something qualitatively different about MM6 vs. the earlier levels, I think. I like the focus on concepts, and I like the focus on mental math - those were features for me (although bugs for dd!  :001_rolleyes: ). But there is a lumbering tediousness about MM6 that outweighs its benefit, for us. Interestingly this seems to be the case for both the "old" MM6, which I used with dd14, and the new.



#28 boscopup

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:08 PM

We only got a few days through MM6 when my current 5th grader was having tears of boredom. We went to AoPS Prealgebra. If he gets stuck, I'll figure something else out. :p He really likes it and Alcumus so far. He thinks it's fun to find the "trick" to make the problem easier. :)

 

My oldest did MM through level 4, and then we'd both had enough. We switched to Singapore 5 and enjoyed that. Then he did AoPS Prealgebra after 5B. I've also used Math in Focus grades 3 and 5 with my younger two boys and enjoyed that.

 

MM has soooo many problems on the page, that even if you only circle a handful to do, the kid still gets overwhelmed by the number of problems they can still see.


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#29 ElizabethB

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:31 AM

Singapore 6 is short and nice, and close enough to MM that you should be able to understand it.  It took us less than a year for both, and my daughter took a full year for all the others, my son less than a year for most but even faster than my daughter for Singapore 6.


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#30 Momto5inIN

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 12:09 PM

2nd DS was in 6th when we pulled them out of public school to homeschool. We floundered a bit with math with him that year. He is not mathy at all like 1st DS and he cried with both Saxon and MM even though my younger ones were doing fine with MM. I got kind of panicky and finally just gave him some LoF (Fractions and Decimals & Percents and the prealgebra with biology one) until I felt he was ready for VideoText.
I know he probably has some holes in his math education and he did take 2.25 years to finish VT Algebra, but I honestly don't know what else I could/would have done with this particular DS.

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#31 kiwik

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 05:34 PM

Take a look at MEP math level 7 - it's free online. Not sure if your student is quite ready for it, but it might be a nice fit.


Ds10 did the interactive option of MEP7 last year. It might be a good choice if you are not at home a lot and have WiFi and a laptop. She could just skip units that were not suitable.
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#32 EKS

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 05:56 PM

If it's not working, switch.  MM only lasted for about ten minutes in our house, so you've done well sticking with it from my perspective!

 

If you're looking for a solid, traditional prealgebra course, Derek Owens is excellent.  Or, if your daughter would enjoy the AoPS approach, you might want to check out the prealgebra book.


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