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Found 5 results

  1. Sooo.....my daughter has been in kindergarten this year, first homeschool with Saxon in the fall, then private school with no set curriculum in the winter, and then back to homeschool this spring. (Insanity, I know). I felt like Saxon was too....fluffy...even back in the fall. She could do all that stuff already, except rattle off the date, and rattle off counting by 5s to 100, and by 2s to 20. The patterns, the geometry, that kind of thing she could do without a thought. Back in the fall, I added Kumon workbooks for Time and Money. So, starting HS again in the spring, I picked up Singapore Math Essentials K A & B. She whizzed through Book A, and most of book B. We're on "Counting On", and that makes her stop and think a bit. So, I've basically given up on Saxon, except for the workbooks, calendar and meeting book bits. Mostly she likes coloring in the plentiful coloring assignments in the Saxon math worksheets. The Kumon Books are very incremental, and she likes them. We're beginning telling time to the minute through those. Every day she does: 1 Saxon Math WS page 2 pages in the SM Book B 1 page in the Kumon Time book Takes her about 20 minutes. My child actually enjoyed 100 EZ Lessons, if that tells you what kind of learner she is. I was bored out of my gourd, but she begged for lessons. I mean, I can do this, but should I? I think she benefits from multiple coverage of the same topics. (We're double-teaming a daily page from Phonics Pathways and a lesson from OPGTR, as well.) My question is: Should I continue this approach next year? Is there a problem? A benefit? Thank you in advance!
  2. Can we talk about mastery? How you decide you have it? What to do when you had it but it goes away? :rolleyes: So, I expect to see 90% or above, with the errors silly or calculation-type errors, rather than conceptual errors, before we consider a topic "mastered" and move on. This is achieved by my dd rather easily. She always learns what is in front of her without too much trouble - she gets stumped and has to work hard on the more difficult word problems, but she seems to learn to do the basic calculations quickly and easily. But then she forgets stuff . . . yesterday it was how to multiply postive & negative integers (are the products pos or neg?). Before that it was dividing fractions - which number do you flip, again? On the one had, this seems perfectly normal: whenever you are learning something new you need multiple exposures/repeated practice, I think. If it was a piano piece, I wouldn't expect her to practice till she could play it right once, then walk away and come back 4 months later and play it perfectly. Right? She might need to practice again to get back to the same level of mastery. On the other hand, I worry a little bit that these types of forgetting mean that she doesn't really understand at a deep, conceptual level? Maybe she's like me, a good pattern matcher/good memory, and she's fooling me by doing well on the test, without really learning the material deeply? How the heck do I tell? And what do I do when she shows this kind of forgetting? Usually when I remind her, she says , "Oh, yeah" and then can do the problems just fine. Should I have her do review problems/pages on the forgotten concept? Do I have something to worry about here, or is this kind of forgetting normal?
  3. Much emphasis was made in the "Cheeseburger" thread about the importance of practice, practice, practice when it comes to mastering procedures and math facts. No argument here. But what about the importance of practicing and reviewing the *concepts* to master them? Lots of people said that they had to abandon "conceptual" curricula because there just wasn't enough practice for their kids to master the facts and procedures. But at the same time "traditional" programs were defended as "teaching the concepts" perfectly adequately so long as they explained the why behind a procedure when it was first introduced. And when kids completed the program without retaining the whys, it was because they just aren't mathy, or because they just weren't developmentally ready, not because they just didn't get enough practice. We don't expect that kids will master math facts or the standard algorithms by just seeing them once - why in the world do we think seeing a math concept once is somehow sufficient? A lot of traditional math defenders made a big point that we often learn by doing, that sometimes it takes doing problem after problem before it suddenly clicks. (In college a common joke was that you don't master the material in class 'x' until you are going through class 'x+1' :tongue_smilie:.) True enough. But you learn what you practice. Are you practicing applying the math concepts? Or are you practicing a rote procedure? Bill's descriptions of how he is teaching his son perfectly illustrates what it means to practice thinking through the concepts. For example, with learning math facts, he is having his son think through combining the axioms with his existing fact base to figure out the ones he doesn't know each and *every* time they work on them. The concepts themselves - not just the facts - are reviewed and practiced in every practice session. That is *vastly* different to the standard "show the concepts, but practice the facts/procedure" approach. There a student is shown how to break down numbers using the axioms a few times, maybe even going through the process with each fact. So far, so good. But then all further practice is straight up memorization! So if it takes 100 times of seeing a given fact to learn it, a student will only practice the underlying concept 1 time while learning the fact. They are spending 99% of their time on math practicing surface facts or procedures with no reference to the underlying concepts. No wonder most of the people in this country think math is nothing more than memorizing facts and formulas - that's what the they spent the vast majority of their time in math *doing*! Only naturally mathy people have a chance to learn the concepts, because they just don't need much repetition to achieve mastery. But that doesn't mean that everyone else is incapable of learning the concepts, just that they need more *practice*. We don't expect kids to master anything else without lots and lots of practice. So why do we persist in thinking that mere exposure to math concepts is somehow sufficient, and any failure is due to a defect in the kid (they're just not mathy) instead of a defect in the instruction? If we want kids to learn math concepts, then they need to *practice* the concepts - just like they do to learn grammar and history and science and art and music and sports and anything else.
  4. I'm deciding what math curriculum to use next year for 4th grade, and I'm thinking of using Sinapore Math. I have used BJU and Abeka primarily, but the incremental approach is driving me crazy. For K, I used Singapore, then switched to BJU for 1-2. For 3rd, I had older copies of Singapore 2A and 2B on my shelf (with HIGs) so I started with those, but I felt completely overwhelmed. The mental math was particularly confusing to me. I definitely have weaknesses in my understanding of some basic math. I also felt like it wasn't clear what I was supposed to be doing and when. The books are too sparse, especially compared to BJU and Abeka. I need more hand-holding than the HIGs provided (if you can imagine that). Once we finished 2A and 2B, I bought Abeka based on recommendations from friends. But Abeka jumps around SO much from lesson to lesson. Nothing feels connected. My son is better than average at math, so he has progressed well no matter what books we use. But I need to be able to teach it, ultimately. And I want him to understand the concepts well enough to go as far as he wants in math. My question is this: should I try Singapore Standards edition? Is the material for the teachers easier to understand than the older Singapore HIGs? I have 4 more kids coming along behind my oldest, so I'd like to find something I like and stick with it for all of the kids. Although in some sense I trust that Abeka will give a good foundation in math skills, it is distracting to me and to my son that there doesn't seem to be much fluidity. I purchased Math Mammoth and like the approach better than Abeka, so I think the mastery approach appeals to me more than incremental. But I would feel more comfortable using something more standard like Singapore (or even Abeka or Saxon) as my primary text (and Math Mammoth as a supplement). I want to be certain that, should there ever come a day that my kids must go to public or private school, they'll know what they need to know.
  5. I know I've seen it on here before, but what math programs are mastery? I think rod and staff is, but I can't think of others. My daughter hates MEP passionately because of all the little circles and boxes to be filled out. Too many arrows on top the numbers and such. The pictures are confusing and don't help her understand the concept at all. I think we need something simple and uncluttered with great easy to understand instructions. Nothing with 2 interlocking puzzle pieces labeled A and B that you are supposed to write a math sentence about. I've looked at Math Mammoth samples and they seemed too MEPish to me. The sample featured more of the circles that are supposed to illustrate something or another. We have Ray's and are using it now and I really love the simplicity of it. It seems to missing a lot of concepts like graphs and reading charts though. For second grade, it is only multiplication and division and there don't seem to be enough explanations for me (a complete math idiot). It's almost all word problems that are solved orally and has helped her not hate math anymore. Please lead me in the right direction to research possible math programs for 2nd grade. Or possibly a book that I can use to teach me to teach the concepts in ray's (it must be written so that math idiots can understand it). Gwen
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