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If you liked RightStart, what did you do for middle school math?


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I am going crazy trying to figure out what to do with my son for math next year. We used RightStart and will continue with the geometry through next year, doing a lesson or two a week. He did well with RS A-E, but he still needs practice to cement arithmetic before he's ready for prealgebra.

 

So what did you use, and how did it work out for you?

 

Julie D.

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I should say that Singapore and Math Mammoth are too visually cluttered for him, as we tried both of those this year. His eyes glaze over, and I have to teach everything from the whiteboard. Singapore workbooks are OK, but Math Mammoth I have to reformat.

 

Thanks,

Julie D.

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I used different programs for each child. When my oldest moved from RS, we switched to MUS. This has been a very good fit for her. She is not strong in math but she is able to do MUS independently for the most part and that was what I was looking for. MUS worksheets are very simple, black and white and uncluttered. This is why it works for dd.

 

For my ds, we moved on to BJU. I do not like BJU but it works very well for him so we will stay here. I do not like it because there is quite a bit of busy work plus it is even more teacher intensive than RS was. Also, I just noticed this week that the Gr.5 book is not to be written in. This means that my ds, who has dysgraphia, will have to write out the problems himself or I will have to do it for him. Not happy about this. As I said above, though, it is a good fit for him so we will stay with it.

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We actually went from RS to BJU and now to Math Mammoth. BJU I like a lot. Yes, we did the whiteboard from 5th up. Math Mammoth is much more challenging for the same material. When we had tried Horizons years ago dd about fainted with the amount of work and the variety of problems. For her at least it was that she was just plain struggling with the facts and speed. It was that it was hard for her, not so much the style, if that makes sense. She now does great with MM and all the material on the page. She has been doing 5+ pages a day of it, if you can imagine! And this is the child who fainted at Horizons before and feigned death.

 

I would give him placement tests for a whole bunch of curricula and see what happens. CLE, Saxon, MM, Horizons, lots of curricula have placement tests. I wanted Math Mammoth for the thought process and the workbook format (I just don't have time to do an hour and a half with her on the whiteboard right now!), but I couldn't overwhelm her with SO MUCH on one topic. I pull pages from different chapters but work her forward in order through the lessons. So her packet of 5 pages will have a single page from the next spot in each of 5 lessons.

 

I hate to say it, but there's a serious bump from RS to any other math curriculum. I would just suck up for it. Don't know a nicer way to put it.

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I'm going to use Math Mammoth.

 

 

If the OP's dc is not ready for pre algebra then he is not ready for Art of Problem Solving.

 

Forgive me, I misread her post -- for some reason I thought she wrote that her DC were ready for prealgebra, not the opposite. Must be one of those nights!

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Art of Problem Solving is supposed to be coming out w/ a Pre-algebra program for the Fall 2011 if I remember correctly. My son did RS A-E. He's now about lesson 47 in RS Geometric Approach. He has completed MM5A in 4 months and will finish MM5B likely by the end of June. He's also doing SMCWP3/4 this year as well. My bets would be either SM or MM but if those won't work for your DS...hhhhmmm, I'm just not sure. OH wait, if he'll do SM workbooks, then why not go with that? I would give him the SM placement test and go from there. A lot of MM5A was review....I'd say about half of it DS needed, the rest was practice. MM5B will certainly extend his work w/ fractions and factoring. All of the geometry has been hammered home using RS Geo so we'll skip and perhaps come back to in a year or so for review.

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Yes, I was excited to see the AoPS pre-algebra, too. That should be out by the time he's ready for it. I think my son will enjoy it when he's ready. He likes to do math puzzles and word problems and figure things out. He likes doing factor trees and multivides. (He does factor trees for FUN.) And the AoPS layout looks good. When I was looking at upper-level math I was relieved to see that many choices exist without cartoon characters or bright splotches of color everywhere.

 

I think one reason I'm having a hard time is that he conceptually knows the math. He remembers the algorithms. He doesn't have a hard time with any of it, except that he is SLOW. If he keeps at this pace, we'll be spending half a day on math when we get to algebra. Perhaps he likes math so much he drags it out so he won't get to the writing part of the day. :glare:

 

I like the layout of MUS. But what I really need is mixed practice of everything. Maybe the pre-algebra book would do that.

 

I looked at BJU and that is definitely not for him.

 

I have the feeling I'm going to end up back at Singapore.

 

What about using MUS alongside AoPS when it comes out?

 

Julie D.

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Julie, that's what I'm trying to tell you. Slow and being overwhelmed at lots of work on the page mean he's just slow. And the solution for getting slow is getting faster, which for us meant more work, lots more work. He needs to have a longer tolerance to do pre-algebra and algebra anyway. I think by algebra they need to be able to do 1 1/2 hours of math a day, at least from watching posts on the board. I have my dd doing what I plan to be 1:15 of work. If it takes her longer, then that's a sign she still has an issue.

 

We're past the stage where I was accommodating on this. We're to the bite the bullet and get up to speed or it's gonna bite you in the butt baby stage.

 

And yes she's dyslexic and has problems getting it out and everything else. I still have her doing it. And it IS working. I'm saying having btdt the answer isn't a new curriculum. Sometimes the answer is more work. I break it up a lot, encourage her to take breaks between every page, etc., but I don't cut the work. And she IS getting faster. It's just harder for some people than others. Life isn't fair, and I'm over it. It's not that she's dumb. It's just those facts don't stick worth two cents for some people, and when you get to a certain point that speed issue really holds you back and bogs you down.

 

Sermon over, sorry. :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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BTW, those AOPS problems can take an extremely long time to solve and multiple pages of writing, from what people have said. It's not like this is going away as an issue. I tried the Dolciani pre-algebra a year ago with my dd and had to back off because of the computation. She just wasn't there with her speed.

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HHHHMm I have one of those kids.....I tell you those facts just evaporate some days. I look at him and think "Are you kidding me?" And it's happened so many times, he feels like what is the point. And I agree, for him it's meant more problems rather than less....and a lot of time spent sitting beside him. For him, it's also behavioral. But I think that came about from those facts just evaporating....he's gotten a very negative image about computation in his head so he just drags it out. Give the boy a calculator and he could be in algebra I by 7th grade easily. THat's the kind of stuff that he gets excited about but computation....:001_huh:

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I have had two dc go through RS A-E. The oldest went to Singapore but I felt that even though it was challenging, I wanted something different to really cement the basics. So when next ds finished RS E in fourth grade, he started with CLE math level 5. I tested him for it and he may have been able to skip some parts, but it has been a good, solid program for him. It did take him quite awhile to get used to all the problems and sometimes I will give him a break if I know he knows something. I also like that quizzes and tests are all included. I did not want them for the lower grades, but now is a good time to start them.

 

I still and having him do Singapore CWP, at least 1 each day.

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Actually, the more problems I give him to do the faster he goes, which is why I thought Math Mammoth would work for him. However, the problem with Math Mammoth is truly the layout. I've been retyping the pages which works fine for him, but he's really bothered by the format. He also doesn't do well with encyclopedia-type pages for history and science. I don't want to keep retyping pages, though. It's just too much work for me.

 

Julie D.

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I am going crazy trying to figure out what to do with my son for math next year. We used RightStart and will continue with the geometry through next year, doing a lesson or two a week. He did well with RS A-E, but he still needs practice to cement arithmetic before he's ready for prealgebra.

 

So what did you use, and how did it work out for you?

 

Julie D.

Julie,

 

My oldest is doing Geometry at 2 lessons a week. She reads the lesson one day, and does the worksheet the next, then repeat.

 

In addition she is doing Hands on Equations. The word problems are quite challenging, so while she can do the algebra she often is overwhelmed if she can't immediately see it. She was able to do about half the problems on her own. In the end I decided a slow and steady approach would give her the confidence she needs. She is doing one problem a day with me.

 

I tried and loved Kinetic Books, but dd couldn't translate what was on the screen into written work. She wanted to do it all in her head, which she could do when she followed in the screen, but once she got to doing the problems all on her own, all her understanding evaporated. :001_huh:

 

Her main program right now is Lial's Basic College Math. Both of us are really loving this text. It has clear explanations, problems you can work out to the side to demonstrate the math, which you could use for the white board, if needed. Then it has lots of practice problems, and each set of instructions refer you back to an example in the teaching material, just in case they forget. She has to copy all of the problems out of the book onto graph paper to work them. I was avoiding that because she hates to write, but it has proven to be helping her.

 

For right now we have put Singapore on hold. She will come back to it later, but for now it moves from topic to topic too quickly for her. She would have things down in RS, then confuse them in Singapore. The focused practice on one concept in Lia's is really making a difference for her.

 

Heather

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I've been spending way too much time looking at math texts tonight. I think Lial's and CLE are both going to be too busy for my son. Saxon might be OK. I'll try him with it tomorrow so I can see. MUS looks a lot like the Singapore workbooks, so I think it would be OK.

 

I keep thinking I should have just stuck with Singapore. I don't know. I like the combination of focused practice and mixed practice in MUS, but I'm not sure if the mixed practice is mixed enough. Saxon seems to have the nicest mixed practice, but I find the order of topics confusing. Singapore makes sense to me, but doesn't have as much practice.

 

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

 

I must try to go to sleep now.

 

Julie D.

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Just updating in case anyone down the road wonders. He did well with both the MUS and the Saxon pages. When I asked if he had any preferences, he said he liked the explanation better in MUS, but that Saxon had more interesting problems. He wanted to do both. I have some older Saxon books that I had loaned to a friend, so I think we will get a couple back to use once a week or so. Then MUS will be his main program while we try to get his speed up, but Saxon should provide better mixed review. I think I should be able to pick fairly randomly from Saxon.

 

So hopefully I should be set for sixth grade anyway. Thanks for all your suggestions. Sometimes I really need to hear a few different viewpoints to make sense of it all.

 

Julie D.

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