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How detrimental is it to use different math curriculum each year?

Sue G in PA

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Here is my challenge. I have a son in K right now. He is 5. I'm using MFW which has math included for K. I have a Sadlier-Oxford workbook for 1st grade math. I like it. My ds8 used this for K math and did very well with it. I have a Saxon 2 complete set for 2nd. I also have Singapore 1A/B and 2A/B as well as MUS Alpha - Gamma. How detrimental would it be for my ds5 to use MFW math for K (really just basic stuff), the S-O workbook for 1st and then either Saxon or Singapore for 2nd? Too much switching? My problem is I'd like to use what I have and not spend any more money. I don't know if I like Singapore yet b/c we are just starting it w/ ds7 and ds8. I don't know if I want to use MUS for him, either. I've used Saxon 1 and 3 and really don't like it for elementary only b/c it's so teacher intensive, KWIM? I'm so confused. I could re-sell Saxon 2, but what if I don't like Singapore? Then I'm stuck. I could keep Saxon but I could also use the money for other curriculum purchases for this year! Oh, ugh! What to do?

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Well, I do not change math programs unless absolutely necessary. We started in Saxon, but switched to R&S math. So far, R&S math has worked for all 3 of my boys (2 work a year ahead and 1 is on grade level). Usually, anytime that I stray from R&S math, I regret the decision. The problem that I see in switching programs is the different scope & sequence that the programs follow. Generally, Saxon is behind and Singapore is ahead, so you would risk holes or gaps in your son's basic math fact knowledge. I'm not familiar with MUS or the S-O workbook. If it were me, I would try to find a good fit for your son and stick to that program. Just my $0.02...

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Well, I don't think you have to worry about it for K. When you get to 1st grade and up, though, I do believe it is important to stick to something. At that point I would only switch if we had a horrible time using a program. The reason why I say this is because each program follows a slightly different sequence. They all cover everything but at different times. Each time you switch you may either skip something or repeat something to the point of boredom. This has been my experience anyway. I would try and use the K year to really think about which program to use and then stick to it.



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While I think it is probably best to stick with one curriculum, I don't think it is the end of the world to switch either. I was homeschooled and we switched all the time and I'm really strong in math. Here is what we did.


I did what ever math program the private school used from K3-1st and then whatever the public school used in 2nd. We started homeschooling in the 3rd.


3rd BJU

4th Alpha and Omega Lifepacs

5th Saxon

6th Macmillan

7th Key to Algebra ( We didn't finish the series)

8th Alpha and Omega Lifepacs

9th BJU Algebra 1

10th BJU Geometry got stuck and switched to Key to geometry

11th Saxon Algebra 2 I finished this up my Senior year and then CLEPed out of College Algebra.


So that is what we did. As you can see we switched every year. I went on to college and took Trig, Precal, Cal 1, Cal 2, and Probability and Statistics. I made A's in Trig and Cal 1 and B's in the other 3. Who knows maybe I would have made A's in all of them if we hadn't switched.:tongue_smilie: I don't think so though. I think it was more like I hated my professors in Precal and Prob and Stats and loved them in Trig and Cal 1. Cal 2 I had an insane history prof that I was dealing with that made me struggle in all my other classes because I was trying to keep up with the History class (and it was an elective too, go figure) So I don't think it is the end of the world. The only thing I might be careful about is the MUS since it's scope and sequence is way different from most math curriculum. You could use Singapore along with whatever other curriculum you have. Then you can get a feel for it and if you like it you can continue on with it and that will give some consistency to your curriculum. If you don't like Singapore then you can choose whichever curriculum is working the best and then stick with it. I kind of consider the early yrs to be the experimental yrs to figure out what works for your student. HTH

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and finally settled on Rod and Staff in 5th grade. He was so behind in math (I kept switching, trying to find something that would "click" - maybe he just needed more time for readiness) that we started with the 3rd grade book, worked really hard, skipped review lessons and tests, worked through the summers and this year he finished the 8th grade book before the end of 8th grade!! He's so glad to have the summer off from math. :) (BTW, I really like Rod and Staff math.)


I think you can do a lot of "real math" (a la Ruth Beechick - 3R's) K-3, in lieu of formal curricula. If you choose to use the different curricula you already have, you may find THE ONE you prefer. I agree with the above posters to try to stick with one program 3rd-4th grade and up, so you don't miss important concepts. (Math is sequential ;))




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