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Has anyone used the same math program for K-12 or at least K-8?


RayDad
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My oldest is in 8th grade. He's in Saxon Algebra 1, and we started back in kindergarten with Saxon 1. No plans to switch here either. My second son is in Saxon Algebra 1/2, my third is in Saxon 5/4, my fourth is in Saxon 3, and my fifth is in Saxon 1. Works for us! (I do have a degree in math, and my dh is an astronautical engineer, so we're a pretty mathy family--maybe that makes a difference.)

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I plan on using Saxon from here on out as well....I can't say I stayed with it the entire time though, because I tried MUS and Math Mammoth this year before going back to Saxon. I think sometimes it is easy to follow the fads in education, just like traditional schools do, but Saxon works for us, and after looking around I wish I never switched. Why reinvent the wheel?

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Well, my second did Saxon 2 through Saxon Calculus (we start Saxon 2 in 1st grade), the next did Saxon 2 through Saxon Advanced Math (stopped because will not need Calculus for nursing plans), and the last started Saxon 2 in K and is currently half way through Saxon 76.

 

We like Saxon here (I am a math major and Husband is an engineer). My oldest did Saxon in high school.

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Just about. I've used MUS nearly always. I used Saxon for dd in Kindergarten, then switched to MUS. I stayed with MUS until 7th grade and then tried on Life of Fred.

 

Ds (5th grade) has always used MUS and probably will continue until he (most likely) goes to a brick-and-mortar high school.

 

Ds (K) is learning with MUS, too, although I also do some of the Saxon K stuff - calendar, money, etc.

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My oldest, who will start 5th in the fall, has used SM since K. We'll be using SM for 5th and I don't see any reason why we won't for 6th but obviously, time will tell. I don't think we'll be using SM's middle school books so I guess I don't really qualify to post in this thread, but I wanted to share that it is possible to stick with one math program for several years. ;)

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One of my dds has used Singapore K-7th. Her sister was with her through 6th, but I've separated them this year (other's doing Lial's Pre-Algebra), and the one still with Singapore will probably switch to AoPS for 8th (looking for a more traditional math sequence at this point, as they may go to high school).

 

But we've loved Singapore.

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Why does it seem like Saxon is the only one moms are sticking with all the way??? Got me thinking....

 

 

I think it has to do with the fact that it's one of the most common math programs that has also been around for a while. The popularity of many of the other math programs has only occurred in recent years.

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I'm curious. Why do you want to know

 

I want to know because I would like to start with the same one I would hope to finish with.

 

EDIT "Thank you for the review Sue"

Edited by RayDad
I forgot to thank Sue for her review.
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Horizons. 1-6, then ds started algebra. We supplemented along the way from time to time (Singapore, for the depth of the word problems, a little extra help with percentages, Math Olympiad), but never strayed from Horizons as our main program. I've now used k-3 (working on 4) with my younger child as well.

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I think it has to do with the fact that it's one of the most common math programs that has also been around for a while. The popularity of many of the other math programs has only occurred in recent years.

 

I imagine it also has to do with being one of the few that goes from K-12.

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I'll be using the same program from 1-6, but changing to regular textbooks for the higher math (pre-algebra to calculus).

 

My son did Saxon K-1 in school, and it was NOT the right program for him or me. The 4/5 on up looks better, but I prefer not to do the incremental spiral stuff. He does well with "here's a new topic, lets do a bunch of problems on it, here's the next topic, let's do a bunch of problems on it... repeat repeat... here's a review of some things we've learned so you don't forget" :)

 

We are a mathy family (DH is CS degree with math minor, I'm a EE degree), and I am happy with how Math Mammoth teaches both traditional math and mental math.

 

For the higher math, I want to use textbooks written by people who teach math in universities, who are really really really good at math and deep into math and live, eat, breathe math. :D

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I want to know because I would like to start with the same one I would hope to finish with.

 

 

 

I think most people hope this. But it doesn't always work that way. Kids change, programs change; things that fit well in the past don't fit so well now.

 

I spent years (literally, years) researching math curricula. I KNEW that RightStart would be the program for us from 1st-Geometric approach in 6th-ish grade. I knew this with absolute certainty until my dd started complaining that she wasn't learning anything because she already knew what RS was teaching, and I knew it with absolute certainty until I realized that my son would never be able to handle the drawing lessons/tools in RS C. I switched my dd out of RS after C and my ds out after RS B.

 

RightStart gave them a fantastic foundation. They are now progressing extremely well in Math Mammoth.

 

I agree with the idea that switching math curricula can be disruptive, and I agree that it should not be done lightly. I don't agree that it should never be done. I think it's far better to switch than to stick with a program out of principal.

 

Tara

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I hate Saxon for 1-3 because it is just bland looking for my kids. I like Horizons and so do they but I integrate Saxon 5/4 with older DD and will do the same next year with 6/5 and so on. I think that we will use Saxon exclusively after 8/7 though. I need to look into LOF and Horizons for older levels before I decide.

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We have used Saxon from the start. Both of my children started with Saxon 1 in kindergarten. My ds in in 8th grade and doing Saxon Algebra II. Dd is in 5th grade and doing Saxon 7/6. It is not a flashy text, but IMO it is solid and rigorous (my kids consistently test in the 99th percentile on standardized tests and they KNOW math). I have no plans to switch :D.

I think you are very wise to want to choose one math curriclum and stick with it. IMO, this is very important in math, where the sequencing of concepts taught can vary greatly from one program to another. If you switch around a great deal, your child could end up with a gap in their math education, making the higher levels more difficult for him.

Blessings :).

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I want to know because I would like to start with the same one I would hope to finish with.

 

EDIT "Thank you for the review Sue"

 

I would highly recommend that you find the program that you like the best and that you feel most comfortable teaching. If you like and believe in what you are teaching, then you can modify it and adapt it for your child(ren) if needed.

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Guest RecumbentHeart

I haven't personally, obviously, but I have quite a few hsing friends that are on the upper end of things and have consistently used a single program and the names I hear from them are Saxon, A Beka, Horizons and Singapore (approximately in that order of popularity). I don't know if they know anything about the kinds of things that get discussed on the forums as being terribly important to consider when making a choice of math curriculum though .. I mean, for what it's worth. :D

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I want to know because I would like to start with the same one I would hope to finish with.

 

One of the reasons I chose MUS for K was that it could be used through high school. I had the same hope. I loved it in the elementary years, but found it lacking in the high school years.

 

Probably Saxon is the only other math program that could take you K-12, but only for the right student. I think I would have loved it as a child. But, it would have been torture for ds.

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Well...this isn,t what you asked, but...we are using Miquon for grades 1-3 with lots of math story books (love, love the MathStart books!) and games. Math is FUN around our home! Miquon will help them to truly "get math" as I've heard it put and lay a nice foundation of puzzling out a problem. But, after that, it's Saxon all the way baby!! Well, with a little Life of Fred and possibly some of the Key To series to boot. Of course, we'll incorporate our Miquon experience as we progress through Saxon, but I'll make no aplogies for using Saxon. :tongue_smilie: This combo has worked well for a mom I know IRL and other moms on the www. I guess all that to say that I am like you...I like a plan. I don't like change, but I've decided that staying with one curriculum isn't the ideal for what I value and want to accomplish with my math students. But, our using several curricula is all a carefully crafted plan. ;)

 

ETA: a book I love for math game ideas isGames for Mathby Peggy Kaye

Edited by JENinOR
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Oh, and I am of the opinion that a lot of curricula can be tweaked to fit a particular child. Most of the moms I know do that verses buying different math curricula for each child's learning styles or switching. It seems like many do that on this forum, but that is not the norm where I am, and I know lots and lots of homeschoolers. Also, most of them do very well come testing time. :confused:

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Oh, and I am of the opinion that a lot of curricula can be tweaked to fit a particular child. Most of the moms I know do that verses buying different math curricula for each child's learning styles or switching. It seems like many do that on this forum, but that is not the norm where I am, and I know lots and lots of homeschoolers. Also, most of them do very well come testing time. :confused:

 

I guess I feel that my child could do well on testing no matter what math curriculum we chose, but she could be miserable using a program like Saxon to accomplish it, or I can find something that really works for her without much tweaking and still do well if/when we did testing. I love math but find some programs to not fit my own learning/teaching style, so why tweak tons (and still not be happy) when I can find something that works great elsewhere?

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Ya know, I think it's just a personality thing! Some would rather tweak and others would rather look for the perfect or a better fit. And, sometimes limited funds can play a part in deciding what course of action to take. No value judgment there. I'm just saying that you may not have to jump on the curriculum hopping bandwagon, so to speak, if that would stress you out more than just making do and sometimes do very well even for diff. learning styles.

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One of the reasons I chose MUS for K was that it could be used through high school. I had the same hope. I loved it in the elementary years, but found it lacking in the high school years.

 

Probably Saxon is the only other math program that could take you K-12, but only for the right student. I think I would have loved it as a child. But, it would have been torture for ds.

We're using MUS and loving it, but I have a question I hope you can answer. You say that you stopped because you found the upper levels lacking. Was it just Algebra that was lacking, and you stopped because of that, or did you give the rest a good look and find it all lacking?

 

Thanks for your review, by the way. :)

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Oh, and I am of the opinion that a lot of curricula can be tweaked to fit a particular child. Most of the moms I know do that verses buying different math curricula for each child's learning styles or switching. It seems like many do that on this forum, but that is not the norm where I am, and I know lots and lots of homeschoolers. Also, most of them do very well come testing time. :confused:

 

Honestly, most of the homeschoolers I know have never really researched curricula beyond Abeka, Saxon, and BJU. I mention Singapore, and they've never heard of it.

 

I prefer to use a math program that I like and my son likes. Saxon drove ME nuts. I love MM though, even if no one around me has ever heard of it. It works better for us. Why go through the work of tweaking if there is a another program that fits us really well?

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We're using MUS and loving it, but I have a question I hope you can answer. You say that you stopped because you found the upper levels lacking. Was it just Algebra that was lacking, and you stopped because of that, or did you give the rest a good look and find it all lacking?

 

I did not give the rest a good look. Also, we completed Algebra just as the newest version which includes the Honors was coming out. So, perhaps I would not find it so lacking anymore. We started with the Classic series in K and switched in the midst of Intermediate to Delta. The Greek series was a definite improvement, and I imagine the newest revision is as well.

 

Then again, maybe I would still find it lacking. In Algebra 1, typically the quadratic formula is taught. It is not taught in MUS Algebra 1. It is taught in Algebra 2. Then, there is a domino effect. What is not taught in Algebra 2 because the quadratic formula is being taught instead. Some topics get pushed to the next level. My son completed MUS Algebra 1 in 7th grade. As a young student, I don't know that the postponing of typical topics would have hurt him. But, the word problems were severely lacking (even throughout the elementary books) and I just don't believe that the Honors sections were going to be that much better.

 

Here are some posts and threads:

I am very nervous about switching to MUS...HELP!

I give an example of Foerster's word problems in here:

If I am planning to switch from MUS to Chalk Dust, when should I do it?

momof7 is now 8filltheheart, see her posts in this thread:

anyone use Math U See for algebra?

 

To be fair, here is the flip side:

We have used MUS all the way through..

MUS creator Steve Demme....

and even longer thread:

cross post: Steve Demme defends MUS!

 

I personally would not be comfortable using the high school levels of MUS with a student who was headed into the math, science, or engineering fields. I know there are others who have used it successfully, though.

 

This is probably more than you ever wanted to know. MUS at the high school level is sometimes hotly debated here. :auto:

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I did not give the rest a good look. Also, we completed Algebra just as the newest version which includes the Honors was coming out. So, perhaps I would not find it so lacking anymore. We started with the Classic series in K and switched in the midst of Intermediate to Delta. The Greek series was a definite improvement, and I imagine the newest revision is as well.

 

Then again, maybe I would still find it lacking. In Algebra 1, typically the quadratic formula is taught. It is not taught in MUS Algebra 1. It is taught in Algebra 2. Then, there is a domino effect. What is not taught in Algebra 2 because the quadratic formula is being taught instead. Some topics get pushed to the next level. My son completed MUS Algebra 1 in 7th grade. As a young student, I don't know that the postponing of typical topics would have hurt him. But, the word problems were severely lacking (even throughout the elementary books) and I just don't believe that the Honors sections were going to be that much better.

 

Here are some posts and threads:

I am very nervous about switching to MUS...HELP!

I give an example of Foerster's word problems in here:

If I am planning to switch from MUS to Chalk Dust, when should I do it?

momof7 is now 8filltheheart, see her posts in this thread:

anyone use Math U See for algebra?

 

To be fair, here is the flip side:

We have used MUS all the way through..

MUS creator Steve Demme....

and even longer thread:

cross post: Steve Demme defends MUS!

 

I personally would not be comfortable using the high school levels of MUS with a student who was headed into the math, science, or engineering fields. I know there are others who have used it successfully, though.

 

This is probably more than you ever wanted to know. MUS at the high school level is sometimes hotly debated here. :auto:

Nope, this is exactly what I wanted to know. I'm giddy, actually. Thanks for the insight and I'm off to read the links/threads. You made my day. :D

 

Thank you.

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OP, here's one mom's idea of how to tweak a program! I'm in to way saying that is best or that Saxon is best! Just thought it might be helpful!

 

We use Saxon from book 5/4 on up (Miquon and daily experiences before that). My kids love it. I do shorten the lessons though. My 8 year old son is in 5/4 and while he could write out his work, it would be a struggle. We do most lessons orally with a whiteboard. My 12 year old daughter is in book 8/7 and works independently. She usually does all of the problems that involve the new concept and then just the evens or odds for the review concepts. I have the Dive CD for her, but she has never used it - the concepts have been explained that well! I didn't even order a Dive CD for Algebra. I decided to wait and see if we need it. smiley-wink.gif Live and learn.

Heather

 

 

We have no experience in MUS. I have family who use it (have never asked about their experiences), but we use Saxon. My oldest is in 5/4, middle in Saxon 2, youngest may use the Saxon K, but for now I printed off the MEP Reception 1, or something like that. The Saxon K is all hands on, no worksheets, maybe just practice in writing numbers, so we may do that in the future. Anyway, I have just recently shortened all the lessons, skipped a bunch of the nonessential and have moved along rather smoothly. Yes, we could just switch all together (I know there are some inexpensive, even free, curriculum out there), but we have been progressing so I see no need to change in this subject at this time. (My bold)

 

 

 

I will say that there are some things that I have been skipping that I *thought* didn't need to be reviewed daily, but I was wrong. So, what I have been doing is more of the *lesson* which is oral/hands-on and skipping the worksheet (unless my 7 yo wants to do it and he usually does). I'm just really looking over the lessons and trying to be more aware of what can be skipped/modified/breezed through more quickly without missing foundational pieces. Does that make sense?? My oldest's lessons are super easy to introduce (maybe 10 minutes) then I have him do every other problem for the worksheet part of it. I've been correcting his work right away as to not get behind and nip in the bud the problem areas. We're moving along smoothly. The 5/4 has a worksheet/student book with multiplication practice sheets for timing (among other things) and we do that part orally. I usually skip around on the page to change it up abit and just make it quick and painless:)

 

 

 

Anyway, we have changed all of our other subjects to fit the recommended curriculum guide except this one. Don't ask me why, I really don't know other than the fact that I felt I could CM-friendly it where as the other subjects I just had to let go of the ideas because I just couldn't make them fit:) I guess it does sound silly that if you have to modify it that much why not just switch over to something else, but that's my story and I really feel okay about it:) HTH (again my bold)

 

 

http://simplycharlottemason.com/scmforum/topic/saxon-math

 

Edited to add another quote!

Edited by JENinOR
to add another quote
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Seeing as how offering my students a superior and rigorous math education from day one, is one of the major reasons I'm considering homeschooling.

 

I'm leaning towards layering 2 or 3 programs as the years progress. I want to develop mathiness in myself and my kids, so living math is a must but also a few very very good.

Its my goal to expend the time, money and energy to have my kids experience both the depth and breadth of Mathematics

 

MOTL as a K-5 spine

JGM1-8 as a K-5 spine

LOF introduced in 4th grade as a supplement

AoPS as a 6-12 spine

LOF the entire series used as a spine in upper grades

 

Its important to me that my children really GET math and enjoy and are able to appreciate math, since I struggle with it so darn much! I'm tempted to also use MUS during K-5, because that darned SPIRAL approach has me confused to this day! I hate^(100002) "spiraling"--makes me feel like I'm spiraling out of control! I haven't met anyone yet who liked it or really understood it in school. Everyone usually says the same thing, more or less, about the spiral approach.

 

"Everytime we started getting kind of good at a topic in math, it was switched and by the time I saw it again the next year I kind of remembered, but...not really. I never really mastered anything....But I don't care, 'cuz Math sux, lol..." <_<.

 

So far in my research and scouring the web, this is looking like one of the best sequences/plans but I'll know for sure after spring break when, hopefully, I'll have time to look at the scope and sequence of each and every one of these series. :).

 

I'm also considering MEP as a supplement, we'll see though...

Edited by mom2bee
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Seeing as how offering my students a superior and rigorous math education from day one, is one of the major reasons I'm considering homeschooling.

 

I'm leaning towards layering 2 or 3 programs as the years progress. I want to develop mathiness in myself and my kids, so living math is a must but also a few very very good.

Its my goal to expend the time, money and energy to have my kids experience both the depth and breadth of Mathematics

 

MOTL as a K-5 spine

JGM1-8 as a K-5 spine

LOF introduced in 4th grade as a supplement

AoPS as a spine 6-12 spine

LOF the entire series used as a spine in

 

Its important to me that my children really GET math and enjoy and are able to appreciate math, since I struggle with it so darn much! I'm tempted to also use MUS during K-5, because that darned SPIRAL approach has me confused to this day! I hate^(100002) "spiraling"--makes me feel like I'm spiraling out of control! I haven't met anyone yet who liked it or really understood it in school. Everyone usually says the same thing, more or less, about the spiral approach.

 

"Everytime we started getting kind of good at a topic in math, it was switched and by the time I saw it again the next year I kind of remembered, but...not really. I never really mastered anything....But I don't care, 'cuz Math sux, lol..." <_<.

 

So far in my research and scouring the web, this is looking like one of the best sequences/plans but I'll know for sure after spring break when, hopefully, I'll have time to look at the scope and sequence of each and every one of these series. :).

 

I'm also considering MEP as a supplement, we'll see though...

 

I really hope I don't sound argumentative, because I'm so not being! Just wanted to add that some children don't do well with mastery based curriculum, either! They need the review. In that case, you could add in some additional review of operations somehow.

 

Miquon is spiral. How I've tweaked that is not going on to the new concept until each son "gets it". That means games and more practice sheets sometimes. Also, when we get to an operation again after their first experience with it (actually, initially as well), my children have to narrate what that operation is all about which helps cement the learning process and I ask them to show me a few ways to figure the operation out with manipulatives before we start problem solving, even if it's day two after learning the operation! I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff (isn't that a great sentence...LOL) Anyways, I think it's great we can all do what works for us! Just wanted to give some ideas on "tweaking". Sorry, I am tired, and prob. not making any sense. :P

Edited by JENinOR
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Seeing as how offering my students a superior and rigorous math education from day one, is one of the major reasons I'm considering homeschooling.

 

I'm leaning towards layering 2 or 3 programs as the years progress. I want to develop mathiness in myself and my kids, so living math is a must but also a few very very good.

Its my goal to expend the time, money and energy to have my kids experience both the depth and breadth of Mathematics

 

MOTL as a K-5 spine

JGM1-8 as a K-5 spine

LOF introduced in 4th grade as a supplement

AoPS as a spine 6-12 spine

LOF the entire series used as a spine in

 

Its important to me that my children really GET math and enjoy and are able to appreciate math, since I struggle with it so darn much! I'm tempted to also use MUS during K-5, because that darned SPIRAL approach has me confused to this day! I hate^(100002) "spiraling"--makes me feel like I'm spiraling out of control! I haven't met anyone yet who liked it or really understood it in school. Everyone usually says the same thing, more or less, about the spiral approach.

 

"Everytime we started getting kind of good at a topic in math, it was switched and by the time I saw it again the next year I kind of remembered, but...not really. I never really mastered anything....But I don't care, 'cuz Math sux, lol..." <_<.

 

So far in my research and scouring the web, this is looking like one of the best sequences/plans but I'll know for sure after spring break when, hopefully, I'll have time to look at the scope and sequence of each and every one of these series. :).

 

I'm also considering MEP as a supplement, we'll see though...

 

If you're not seeing something until the next year, it wouldn't be a spiral program. A spiral program spirals back to the topic within the same year. Mastery programs introduce the topic and practice it, and then the topic is dropped until the following year.

 

Saxon is incremental, meaning that a topic is introduced one day with a few practice problems, and then it is reinforced with progressively harder problems in the mixed practice throughout the book, so the student is constantly reviewing and building on the skills they're learning.

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If you're not seeing something until the next year, it wouldn't be a spiral program. A spiral program spirals back to the topic within the same year. Mastery programs introduce the topic and practice it, and then the topic is dropped until the following year.

 

 

Emphasis and Bold mine. I was under the understanding that spiraling focusing on introducing/familiarizing/improving skills each year. Like introducing Addition in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, AND 5th AND 6th AND 7th. Of course, each year it's more advanced etc, but I never mastered anything really.

 

If Math U See is a "mastery approach*", I assumed that working on something a little, then jumping to the next concept within the same year is spiraling and as I've researched different models of math teaching, I have seen spiraling defined as thus;

Most math curricula use a "spiral" philosophy of teaching. This means they cover the same topics several years in a row, advancing them slightly on each pass. Thus a child practices basic math facts, telling time, working with money, fractions, and other topics in 1st grade, then again in 2nd grade, then again in 3rd grade, and so on up to 5th or 6th grade.

 

 

I've seen Spiral Approach defined that way in more than one place. I'm not familiar with any curriculum that spirals back on itself in the same month or anything. That sounds like a mastery approach, revisiting the same subject over and over within the same grade/level to be sure the student can understand it.

 

*

The mastery approach utilized by Math-U-See is unique and designed to...
Edited by mom2bee
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Emphasis and Bold mine. I was under the understanding that spiraling focusing on introducing/familiarizing/improving skills each year. Like introducing Addition in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, AND 5th AND 6th AND 7th. Of course, each year it's more advanced etc, but I never mastered anything really.

 

If Math U See is a "mastery approach*", I assumed that working on something a little, then jumping to the next concept within the same year is spiraling and as I've researched different models of math teaching, I have seen spiraling defined as thus;

 

 

I've seen Spiral Approach defined that way in more than one place. I'm not familiar with any curriculum that spirals back on itself in the same month or anything. That sounds like a mastery approach, revisiting the same subject over and over within the same grade/level to be sure the student can understand it.

 

*

 

The following is how I've always heard/read it defined (from this website)

 

"The short spiral means that in each lesson, most of the exercises are review problems. Often, a new concept is only practiced minimally within the day's lesson. Examples: Saxon, Abeka, Horizons. Mastery-based programs usually are laid out in chapters that concentrate on a few topics, and then review problems are done separately. Examples: Singapore Math, Math Mammoth, Math-U-See, Right Start Math."

 

I think Saxon is on the highly spiral end of math (though if Ellie sees me call it spiral she'll remind me it's incremental :D), and I would probably consider Math-U-See to be on the other end of the spectrum as highly mastery, with everything else is somewhere in between.

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