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About chilliepepper

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. Ok, good advice...follow up question is if we were going to add Khan Academy, should we just go to the "Pre-Algebra" section and do the practice modules for the subtopic that seems to best match whatever's being covered in LOF?
  2. I posted here awhile back about my kids who are bright but make a lot of careless mistakes in math, and got some good advice that led me to Jousting Armadillos and Jacobs. My two guys (ages 13 and 12) started working through JA and both became frustrated fairly quickly by the writing component and the fact that there are "SO MANY PROBLEMS!" I think the general opinion among parents is that it's really NOT that many problems, but for my 12yo in particular, 35-40 problems per lesson is a lot---especially when he's already spent 20 minutes just working through the instructional section of the lesson (I've been doing this with him, because left on his own he will just skip straight to the problems in order to check it off his list and move on). (side question: for those using JA, do you do an entire lesson per day? This does seem like a lot for my 6th grader. The 8th grader did ok with it.) As for Jacobs, I found out after buying and receiving MHE and Algebra that my 13yo is biased against Jacobs due to secondhand exposure to it via a classmate in our coop. His bias is absolutely irrational, but it is there. I think they are both also intimidated by the scholarly appearance of the books. I know, this is silly but these two guys have been traumatized by math and it is what it is. Both of them have begged to just do LOF as their math. Up until now, I have just let them read the books for pleasure (completely separate from "school") and haven't required them to work the problems. I've been afraid that requiring it would ruin the books for them. However, at this point I'm willing to do almost anything to get them past their math anxiety / abhorrence. They love LOF's quirky humor and have read up through Pre-Algebra and Algebra, begging me for Calculus because they are dying to know Fred's back story. LOL. The 13yo has gotten to the point of judging any math curriculum we try with LOF as the standard. He will complain that "it's not like LOF; we don't need all these practice problems!" (Apparently he has read some of the LOF author's commentary on traditional math curricula.) I don't see either of them pursuing careers requiring a lot of math. Which is frustrating because I really believe that deep down inside they are logically inclined and could even succeed in some type of engineering or STEM if they would just get over themselves when it comes to math. But we've been stalled out for months now, and time is not on my 13yo's side. He's only gotten through 6th grade in our previous curriculum (CLE). We need to do something to get them unstuck. So...I'm just wondering if anyone here has actually used LOF as their main math curriculum. Would this be crazy?
  3. Ok, I'm strongly considering giving Jacobs a try, but wondering if we should do MHE or just go straight to Algebra. I read that the first six chapters are more like prealgebra. Would this be about right for someone who just finished CLE's 600 series, or would MHE be more appropriate?
  4. you think the placement test(s) aren't a good gauge of whether a kid is ready for a given level? My 13yo aced the Prealgebra placement test today, but I did feel it was surprisingly easy.
  5. Ok, Jacobs sounds like it might be just the ticket! I was wondering...on Amazon I only see a hardcover textbook. Are the exercises right there in the book, or is the a separate work space? Also: Is there a comparable online curriculum? AOPS looks super pricey. I have one son who is still open to, in fact wants to try online math.
  6. Thank you for recommending Math Curriculum Selector; I wasn't aware of it. I just did the quizzes both for the "Christian" and "secular" varieties. I scored super high for LOF on the Christian side, and something called Harold Jacobs (never heard of it) on the secular. FWIW.
  7. ...or at least I think this may be my kids' problem. My oldest two sons (11 and 13) both make a lot of careless errors; both hate (or at least think they hate) math. We've been using CLE for several years now and though I love love love its methodical, gentle approach, I feel it could be moving a lot faster. With each lesson introducing only one tiny aspect of one concept, and then having endless practice of already-learned concepts, it takes my guys forever to move through the books and they are bored and frustrated. I know I can go through and cross out problems to make a lesson shorter, and then maybe they could do multiple lessons in a day, but 1) I don't have time to do that and 2) they can't wrap their minds around doing multiple lessons in a day, even if half or more of the problems are crossed out. For reasons I won't detail here (having to do with his age at the time we pulled him out of PS), my 13yo is almost 2 years behind "grade level" in math. I know this isn't the end of the world, but at the same time I feel it's demoralizing for him. He thinks he's terrible at math. I've looked at AOPS's placement test for Prealgebra and plan to give it to him today. I suspect its approach might help restore his confidence in his abilities, #1 because he won't, as an 8th grader, be doing something that's viewed as 6th/7th grade math (there is no "number" associated with Prealgebra), and #2 because the presentation just feels a bit more grown up. However, I know AOPS is marketed to kids who are "high performing," a term I certainly wouldn't use to describe my kids as of yet. On the other hand, I love AOPS's depth---we did BA for one year before CLE so I'm familiar with their approach, but we didn't continue because my guys got frustrated with the more challenging problems. In retrospect, maybe we should have stayed the course with BA and just not stressed so much on the star and double-star exercises. My 11yo is working at grade level (for whatever that's worth), but he is acutely traumatized by math. It's the result of friction between us regarding his carelessness and copious errors. I haven't handled it well, resulting in meltdowns on his part and an intense dread of math. He has begged me to go back to PS, and those conversations have almost always taken place when it was time to work on math. I believe he may have some kind of learning difficulty, but haven't been able to put my finger on it despite neuropsych testing (including the academic tests) a few years ago which suggested some issues with executive function and social pragmatic communication. Everything was subclinical, and I haven't pursued any therapies and we have continued to struggle. I feel he is extremely bright but uninspired. While he seems to grasp new concepts very quickly, he can't be bothered to exert the effort to execute them accurately. His writing (we do IEW) is atrocious: Penmanship, spelling, mechanics, logical's all a disaster. While his peers are putting together papers that make sense and beautifully execute IEW's stylistic techniques, he just can't be bothered. But I digress. 2 separate but similar issues: Older son is demoralized; younger son is traumatized. Both are bright; both (I think) may need to move faster, but I don't want to sacrifice mastery and I want to improve accuracy. AOPS comes to mind for both of them, but I know this community has a wealth of knowledge about a vast range of curricula so hit me with your best ideas! Oh, I should add: DS1 tried CTC math about a year ago and HATED it. I think he couldn't handle it when he got something wrong, and couldn't have a discussion with the computer about the reason he got it wrong. Discussing it with me didn't help, and he just got angry. He doesn't want to do online math.
  8. With three boys in the home (I only talked about 2 in my OP; I also have a 13yo who seems to be fairly responsible so I didn't mention him), well ok 4 counting my DH, I can't really see myself running around checking every time someone pees. It's not like they really announce when they're about to take a leak, especially in the middle of the night when I suspect the issue occurs. And if I'm not able to check after every bathroom visit by every male in the home, I have no way of knowing who the culprit is so the issuing of consequences is a bit tricky. I have had some success sorting them out by telling them to use separate bathrooms...but this is not always effectively observed/enforced. Maybe I need to try to separate the 7yo to a particular bathroom, though, to find out if he is the primary offender or not. Only problem is, if there is still an issue in the bathroom that the 11yo uses, he is a boy who will not own up. He will say that his little brother must have come in and used it. We have major issues with this guy taking responsibility for his actions (in addition to the executive function issues).
  9. I ordered one last night. I think my guys will get a kick out of it. ?
  10. Regarding having them sit while peeing, I understand that some people have successfully required their people to do this. I just really don't think I can change that habit at this point. If I had done it when they were under 5, maybe. But at their current ages I think the potty training window has closed. And for those who don't have the pee on the floor problem in their homes, congratulations. You must have done a much better job with potty training than I did...maybe my mistake was having three boys in fairly rapid succession. While I was potty training one I was still diapering another, and when the first got a bit older I was potty training the second, etc., leaving little time for training in the finer points of aiming technique. IDK. I suspect the issue occurs when they get up in the middle of the night and pee while mostly asleep, in the dark. This is not a time that I've ever been able/willing to supervise their aim. Also...since we are fairly anonymous here, I will say that even DH occasionally "misses." Some of your partners do not ever have a problem, and that's great for you, but sometimes mine does. Like I said before, maybe it's genetic.
  11. Yeah, many times I have stood over him as he's cleaning. It's a matter of the actual wiping the floor technique. He doesn't seem to be capable of starting from one edge, moving his hand and the cloth all the way along the wall to the other end, coming back along the next section, back and forth without leaving gaps. It's like people who mow the lawn but don't overlap their rows slightly so they leave strips of tall grass in between rows...or they don't mow all the way to the edge. Only he might leave entire rows undone. He will also wad up the cloth so that it's barely covering any area on its trips back and forth across the floor. I remind him of this almost every time, telling him to fold it so that it's nice and wide...yet he still wads it up when I don't remind him. Someone asked if he's required to do other chores like wiping tables, etc. Yes, he is and he has the same issues there. One of our kids' daily chores is sweeping and wiping the floor under the dining room table, which for some reason also gets messy even though they really should all be old enough to keep their food on their plates or in their mouths. I dunno...maybe it's all genetic. DH often seems to drop some food on the floor too. Or they forget to take off their dirty shoes when they come into the house, resulting in dirt on the floor in the dining area. And this DS---when he has the clean-under-the-table chore, he will wad up the rag and push it around randomly instead of methodically doing every section like I have taught him. I think some others are right that it's really a matter of consistent practice. I honestly just haven't prioritized it enough to take the time, EVERY DAY, to get in there with him and stand over him making sure he's doing it right.
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