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Posts posted by faithmom

  1. UPDATE FROM ORIGINAL POSTER: I'm so glad that we found Math Relief Algebra I. Even more so, my daughter is happy that we found it! This has been a game changer for my daughter. Mr. Leonard Firebaugh teaches in baby steps and it's done step by step in shorter video lessons. No more 45 minute to 1 hour lessons like we had in the Chalk Dust dvds. She's doing great with her grades and is understanding algebra now! We are forever grateful to the moms that suggested Math Relief. Thank you!

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  2. You've probably researched and found reviews, but I wanted to show you these. I hope links are allowed on WTM.

    Fasicnating Chemistry review:


    Friendly Chemistry review:



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  3. Lovemybeautifulgift, I feel like you understand where my post is coming from and we chatted over a cup of coffee. 😉This weekend we pulled things from our past curriculum, took the MUS test that a WTM mom suggested (child did good on it), ditched the Chalk Dust after talking to someone that confirmed it's too advanced, and realized my child is a right brain math learner. Of course! It makes sense to me why these 3 months of Chalk Dust algebra 1 have been a challenge! If you dig in, take a step back and take a deep breath, the clearer picture comes into view. I want parents that are in our shoes to know that there is a way to help a child even when there's not a disability. You can search math curriculum for right brain learners. That's not a disability, they just need to find the right curriculum and resources.

    Students typically prefer 1 of 2 math styles: spiral math or mastery math. We've discovered our child needs mastery. In addition to this, there are key words in math word problems that translate into multiply, divide, etc. at the basic level of math. It becomes more intense in higher math levels. I need to write those key words down with the term of what to do. That's what I was meaning in regards to the language of math in word problems. The further along you go into higher math, the more translation. A link on translation in algebra is below. (If links aren't allowed, kindly let me know and I will remove them.)


    For what it's worth to someone in the future that needs help, we checked out MUS and Math Relief. We chose Math Relief. My husband will continue to be our child's guiding tutor. He works by our child's side and works through the process as he talks. He never pops in a video and leaves it up to her. The video reinforces what my husband discusses and shows in examples. I'm happy to use videos. Without them, we would not have the foundation to teach math during all these years of homeschooling with our children. There is more in the dvd instruction to reinforce the print material in a textbook. I'm thankful for dvd instruction.

    Parents, keep moving forward with what you know your gut is telling you. Keep asking questions, research, and encourage your child. By asking questions, you will get answers and suggestions, but the end result is up to you to shuffle through the replies (because we all want to help) and find what you think will work. When you think you have found the curriculum, ask the math company if they have a 14 day or 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Most of them offer a guarantee.

    Thanks to all for the replies. They kept pushing me forward, while my family asked questions among ourselves and others, and kept me asking for details from the publishers. I will come back in a few weeks and update our progress. The one thing we have to decide on is whether or not we will do the prealgrebra review before we begin the official algebra lessons.

    Lovemybeautiful mentioned these 2, so here are the links.

    http://arboralgebra.org/index.php It's the Arbor Algebra series that runs from pre-algebra through some geometry. Their books are Jousting Armadillos, Coconuts and Crocodiles, and Chuckles the Rocket Dog. Written to the student and with lots of practice, it breaks things down yet moves pretty quickly.
    She also mentioned https://www.criticalthinking.com/understanding-algebra-i.html

    Interested in more links for right brained learning? Go to these links:

    check out this 1     https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/right-brained-math/ 

    here's the 2nd       https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/more-right-brained-math-ideas/

    The above link noted at "check out this 1" has one article stating it is likely that learning disorders are not the main cause behind the typical child having trouble with math. Read it for lots of info! There are many other things to read about it, but this was the most thorough. (The article mentions right brained learners can struggle with language arts studies of vocabulary, but my child doesn't struggle with that. We use Wordly Wise. I'm assuming it's not a one size fits all learning description.)

    This is a really good read for parents and explains right brain learning. Link is below.


    Left brain learner: words, logic, numbers, reasoning, reading, writing, analyzing

    Right brain learner: emotions, color, music art, visual, creative, spatial

    It seems that one of my children is a left brained learner, but they do not like reading and writing. My 2nd child with math challenge in this post is a right brained learner loves reading and writing. Again, it's not 1 size fits all.




  4. My child just finished the test and did good on the Math U See. My child missed only a few topics that Chalk Dust hasn't covered yet. We talked to a former tester and he confirmed what we already knew. Chalk Dust is advanced and is fast paced. My child is a right brained thinker and math is a matter of finding the fit. The ones we've tried in the past are not for that type of learner. We talked again to my child and it looks like taking word problems/math vocabulary and creating the solution is confusing. We are going through the hint words for what means what.  I think this confirms that we are just moving too fast, have used the wrong materials, and need to slow down in Algebra 1. We pulled her old prealgebra. It's not as bad as I recalled, lol. We have a plan of action now and moving forward with that. Thanks for the tips.


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  5. In case anyone is following this post, here is the link for the answers.https://www.mathusee.com/secure/teacher-resources/placement-test-solutions/prealgebra-answers.pdf

    I guess what is hardest to watch is that my husband walks her through her math, even dvd instruction. He watches it with her, goes over examples with her on paper, assigns work, checks it and redoes the missed problems. He shows a variety of ways if needed. Chalk Dust dvd videos...she says they are too long and too much information. With Chalk Dust, she gets about 90% of the WORD prombems wrong and about  60% of the regular numeral (not a word problem) wrong. We can't afford to pay anyone, we've had financial hardship. I know it's hard to say we can't afford it, even though we can't afford not to for education sake. It's between a rock and a hard place. This week we signed up for a trial with unlockmath. Our issue with it is that we've experienced alot of tech problems and it's frustrating my child. It's online interface is not working properly. I've looked at the following websites today: Mr D Math, Liveonlinemath, Kinetic Books, A+ Interactive Math. (A+ Interactive Math is what I would lean toward from the list. They  help low income families with affordability.  


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  6. kfeusse, thanks and I'll peek at that one. Thank you. Prairie, (hope ok to shorten name) I will do that for sure! I'll have her do that this weekend and post back here. Please look back at this post because I promise I will be back with that info. Thank you,too. If we can figure this out, I'll do whatever we can. She didn't understand CLE either, but we made it through to pass it somehow.



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  7. My husband pretty much hand holds her in Chalk Dust. He says it's deer in the headlights with word problems. CLE topics moved too fast. My husband teaches math and tutors her daily. He didn't like Math U See when we attempted it with 1st child (in college now) because the tricks and shortcuts were confusing. We are in Chapter 3 Chalk Dust Algebra 1 2nd edition. It's an advanced program and moves quickly, but we used it because I already owned it. My mistake. We need to slow down and regroup.


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  8. I've been out of the loop for a while since I've just been using what my 1st child used for math. My 2nd child isn't understanding algebra 1 at all. She doesn't have dyscalulia, but just simply is in over her head. We've used grades K-6 grades CLE Sunrise math (did ok, but wanted more detail), 7th & part of 8th grade Teaching Textbooks (didn't like online), and remainder of 8th - now part of 9th grade Chalk Dust math with no luck 3 months into algebra 1. Every year we are just not getting it 100%. We repeated pre-algebra.  We are now in Chalk Dust Algebra 1 and getting nowhere. There are numerous curricula that are book, dvd, cd-rom, and online. I don't know what all is offered anymore and I don't have $$ to waste. A main home school review website is permanently closed  and I need help. Math curriculum for struggling high school Algebra 1? If you have a struggling student, what curriculum did you choose for Algebra 1. I'm searching the forum as well, but alot of math posts are old.

    (UPDATE: We have found a solution. See my last reply.)

    (2nd update given. We love Math Relief!)




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  9. We consider it to be of great value in our homeschool.  Ds will attend college and his major will be computer science.  Even if our ds wasn't interested, we still would have included it in our high school; I plan for my dd to take it in high school. (The computer age sets the stage for future employment.) Some cover schools require a computer course in high school.


    We use TeenCoder at homeschool programming . com (leave out spaces)

  10. My ds is in 5th grade and we have slacked on writing over the years.  Our curriculum, LLATL, doesn't have alot of writing instruction.  I need to get her into a good writing curriculum and it looks like Treasured Conversations may be the best choice (vs Writing Tales).  We use Easy Grammar.  Would that be overdoing the grammar along with TC?  Is TC an open and go curriculum?  I realize it is parent intensive, which is fine.  Also, does TC assume that the parent already  knows how to teach writing? 




  11. I am new to the "classical writing" style and I don't know which one would be the best for us (5th grade--not much exposure to writing). I want step-by-step instruction and something that doesn't assume that I know how to teach a reluctant non-writer.  After viewing the samples of the two curricula, I still am not getting a feel for the differences between them.  Can someone shed some light on this?  (I've read most of the 10 pg thread on TC.)




  12. We've used various writing programs over the last 11 years of homeschooling, trying to find the perfect fit.  Right now we are using Essentials in Writing.  It is laid out step by step. The dvd's are short lessons that you watch before the student moves on to the worksheets. I like the fact that the worksheets are laid out so that the student can get their thoughts in order before moving on with a rough draft. You still need a grammar program, even though there is review in the early grades. For high school, we use Daily Grams. For the elementary level, we use Easy Grammar.  


    (2014 EDIT:  I went back to IEW because it required more details.)


    Just a side note on the programs we have used for writing:

    ~Writing Strands 4th/5th grade (good starting point for reluctant writer too)
    ~Jump in Writing 6th grade (good starting point for reluctant writer)
    ~IEW DVD programs by Andrew Pudewa 7thth/& up 

    Didn't like at all:
    ~Hake Grammar and Writing 5th grade used one semester (didn't like, not enough instruction for my liking)
    ~Lightning Lit 6th grade used one semester (didn't like, not enough instruction for my liking)
    ~Character Quality Language Arts 7th grade used one semester (overly complicated, time consuming)

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