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I'm really struggling with picking a math....help....


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My oldest is finishing up 1st grade. I am really struggling with figuring out a math for us. The problem is not him...it's me. :crying:

 

Background: We use MFW. Their K and 1st comes with an integrated math that is hands-on, life math. For K, I started out using theirs, but for me, I needed exact plans including instructions for how/what to teach exactly. So, about halfway through, we switched to Singapore K Essentials. We did book A (which I should have skipped, but was scared to) and did about half of book B. We were done with K and really ready to move onto 1st, which also has an integrated math. (We school year round) I decided to drop it Essentials and move to MFW 1st math. A couple months in, I hit the same snag as above. So, I bought Singapore 1a and b, US Ed because this is what MFW recommends for 2nd and above. We have been doing that and have just started 1B even though we are about to finish up with 1st. (We aren't skipping 1B. I only did that because I knew he could do it in K. ;))

 

My son is good at math. He picks it up easy and often surprises me by doing something clearly beyond what he has formally learned. I feel like if it wasn't for me, he would be farther along than he is...he would definitely be done with 1B and possibly beyond. The guilt is really starting to set in.

 

Here is my problem....I'm really, REALLY struggling to decide on what is best for math. We are definitely going to finish out 1B, no question on that. But, then...I don't know...I'm scared of Singapore. *hide* I always understood the math concepts just fine in school. However, I don't remember much of it beyond everyday math...I'm not even sure I remember long division. :glare: I feel like I'm going to be reteaching myself...using some pegs. ;) Singapore seems confusing to me, especially beyond simple addition and subtraction. I'm nervous because it is very different from what I do know and I am not strong in mental math at all. The thing is my son is doing well in Singapore. He naturally thinks about math mentally. (He gets it from my husband.) Also, he LOVES the workbook. He enjoys the cartoon-like pictures and often colors them after doing the work...or before. :tongue_smilie: So, for him we should probably stick with Singapore....but....I'm scared......

 

One of my thoughts is to switch to Standards Ed because the HIG's are better. (And after much research and doubt that it was even true...I see why.) Of course, I see that 6a and b has no HIG at all....eeeeekkkkkk.....but that we may be able to skip it.....

 

My other thought is to change to something more traditional. One reason is because it will be more familiar to me, the teacher. I'm scared of teaching something I may not understand. The other reason is because I want something that is TOTALLY complete. Seeing that other programs include calendar work and Roman numerals and Singapore doesn't, I'm feeling like Singapore is missing some basic stuff. I know these things are easy enough to teach (we already do calendar activities daily), but I don't even realize anything is missing if a program doesn't tell me to do it.Until someone on here said it, I never would have thought of Roman numerals and maybe we would have missed it. (Hard to say since he is only in 1st grade... :o )

 

I used Saxon in school for a few years and I really liked it. It is actually the only school curriculum I remember enjoying. So, I'm pulled to that. I just bought a used 1st TE to look at, but I haven't received it yet.

 

One more thought....I have all the text books for Singapore US Ed through 5B including a couple of HIG's and a workbook and IP. I got a really good deal on them. I don't mind reselling those if that is what I should do, but it is a consideration.

 

I'm just so lost when it comes to choosing a direction for math, but I know that if possible, it's important to pick a math and stick with it. I have 5 younger kids. I'm thinking of maybe trying Saxon with the next (twins) for comparison. (They just started K.) Maybe if I did Saxon with one and Singapore with the other, I would get what *I* need with the combo. But, maybe that would confuse me....I'm so confused..... :willy_nilly:

 

Help!!

 

If you read this whole thing...Thank you and I appreciate your advice and input. (I like smilies....this is my favorite ;))

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My son is good at math. He picks it up easy and often surprises me by doing something clearly beyond what he has formally learned. I feel like if it wasn't for me, he would be farther along than he is...he would definitely be done with 1B and possibly beyond. The guilt is really starting to set in.

 

 

I'd start with the idea that I wouldn't want my kids' education to be limited by my own. I'd let him accelerate to whatever is the right level for him - you can do this by not assigning all the problems and allowing him to test out of chapters, etc. You might want to work ahead a little yourself, which of course is a time and effort commitment for a busy person (consider balancing that against the time and effort commitment of Saxon x5 kids).

 

There have been other threads like this though I'm not sure how to find them. If the HIG isn't enough for you, one other idea would be to look at MM for guidance for you on how to teach (it is written directly to the student, but might hold your hand on how to teach a concept if you review a group of lessons on a topic in MM before teaching it to your ds in SM).

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Why not do both. Saxon and Sm. Or Sm and...whatever. So many homeschooling moms do two, one as a spine and one as enrichment. You can also add some MEP, it's free. Or even Miquon. I thought I sucked at math when i started homeschooling and was wary of teaching it. But now that I am teaching my oldest things like long division and fractions etc without too much headaches, I've realized I'm actually pretty okay at math. The problem all my life was how I was taught in school. THEY instilled math anxiety in me with the pressure to be at a certain place by a certain month of the year, by constant testing and drill and so on.

 

Now I realize that math is not a steady progression up. I've come to see that a child can shoot ahead in multiplication, but be "behind grade level" in fractions, or really be ready for some advanced geometry but still struggle to figure out elapsed time. If you just trust yourself to learn along with them, and get rid of notions of grade level and behind or ahead, it may be easy for you.

 

I think the math curriculum has to fit the parent teacher as well as the child. I get SM and my Kinder did the two Essential books, but I don't personally like SM. I like Saxon at the higher levels, but not in the early grades.

 

 

Don't be scared. I credit homeschooling my kid as the cure to my math anxiety.

But I don't think you have to marry yourself to one program or method. I see no reason why a person couldn't use c-rods with Saxon, or RS games with SM, or Montessori math material with Miquon. It has helped us in math tons to mix and match.

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My son is good at math. He picks it up easy and often surprises me by doing something clearly beyond what he has formally learned. I feel like if it wasn't for me, he would be farther along than he is...he would definitely be done with 1B and possibly beyond. The guilt is really starting to set in.

 

Singapore seems confusing to me, especially beyond simple addition and subtraction. I'm nervous because it is very different from what I do know and I am not strong in mental math at all. The thing is my son is doing well in Singapore. He naturally thinks about math mentally. (He gets it from my husband.) Also, he LOVES the workbook. He enjoys the cartoon-like pictures and often colors them after doing the work...or before. :tongue_smilie: So, for him we should probably stick with Singapore....but....I'm scared......

 

One of my thoughts is to switch to Standards Ed because the HIG's are better. (And after much research and doubt that it was even true...I see why.) Of course, I see that 6a and b has no HIG at all....eeeeekkkkkk.....but that we may be able to skip it.....

 

 

I think that if you have a son who seems to be accelerating, who is thriving on Singapore, and who is enjoying it, then it's worth working out a way to make Singapore fit for you. IMO, that type of child is unlikely to thrive with Saxon.

 

One option is to switch to SE, because the HIGs give you more hand-holding.

 

Another would be to watch and add in activities from Education Unboxed, which are similar in approach to Singapore and give you more support in implementing them.

 

Another option would be to read ahead in the HIGs and do some of the problems the way that they suggest so that you are prepared for what's coming up. I sometimes read a full half-level ahead just to get a sense of where we're taking our concepts.

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We've tried a little bit of everything this year. I do like Singapore, but struggled to teach it. And DD needed more review.

We tried Math Mammoth for a bit of review but found it very busy and a bit dull.

CLE was too many pages per lesson for my daughter (but I loved the tons of review)!

 

BJU has been a happy medium for us. Colorful/fun for DD (she has already requested it for next year)... each chapter has a focus (time, money, addition) but each lesson has some built in review (today's money lesson had place value review at the end).

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(((Heather)))

You can do this! Whatever math program you end up choosing, you can make it work. I promise!

 

My oldest is finishing up 1st grade. I am really struggling with figuring out a math for us. The problem is not him...it's me.

...

My son is good at math. He picks it up easy and often surprises me by doing something clearly beyond what he has formally learned. I feel like if it wasn't for me, he would be farther along than he is...he would definitely be done with 1B and possibly beyond. The guilt is really starting to set in.

...

Here is my problem....I'm really, REALLY struggling to decide on what is best for math.

...

My other thought is to change to something more traditional. One reason is because it will be more familiar to me, the teacher. I'm scared of teaching something I may not understand.

 

 

What's best for math is NOT necessarily what's traditional. After all, weren't you taught in school with "something more traditional"? What is best for math is something *meaningful*, like this new book:

 

This is such an important book for teaching math that I can't recommend it highly enough. *Especially* for a parent with a child like your son, who seems to thrive on learning math. GET THIS BOOK!!! (At least, get the pdf download, which they'll give you for a donation of ANY amount.) It will open your eyes to see real math all around you, and the projects and activities are really fun.

 

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is the chance to learn the things we missed in school. Since you are not confident in your own mathematical preparation, I suggest you get one of the following books from the library and freshen up your understanding:

  • Chris Wright's Kitchen Table Math
  • Parker & Baldridge Elementary Mathematics for Teachers
  • Danica McKellar's Math Doesn't Suck
  • Ron Aharoni's Arithmetic for Parents

 

Or take a look at my Homeschooling with Profound Understanding series of blog posts. The series is moving along a lot slower than I had intended when I started it, but I guarantee you'll find something helpful in the posts so far.

 

The other reason is because I want something that is TOTALLY complete. Seeing that other programs include calendar work and Roman numerals and Singapore doesn't, I'm feeling like Singapore is missing some basic stuff. I know these things are easy enough to teach (we already do calendar activities daily), but I don't even realize anything is missing if a program doesn't tell me to do it.Until someone on here said it, I never would have thought of Roman numerals and maybe we would have missed it. (Hard to say since he is only in 1st grade... :o )

 

 

No matter what you do, there WILL be gaps in your children's education. Using a "complete" curriculum does not prevent gaps, because all human beings have gaps. But using a math program that tries to cover every possible topic in the universe *might* keep your students from gaining a deep understanding of the basics --- not necessarily, but I just wanted to warn you that there's another side to the story. Your fear of gaps may cause you to make the opposite mistake.

 

And think for a minute about your example of Roman Numerals. Imagine that you never thought to teach about them, and then some day your teenage son was shopping for a new watch, and he liked a steam-punk-retro-style one, but he didn't know how to read the strange symbols. How long do you think it would take him to go to Wikipedia and look up Roman Numerals and learn? 30 minutes, max! You *really* don't have to worry about things like that.

 

... I know that if possible, it's important to pick a math and stick with it. I have 5 younger kids. I'm thinking of maybe trying Saxon with the next (twins) for comparison. (They just started K.) Maybe if I did Saxon with one and Singapore with the other, I would get what *I* need with the combo. But, maybe that would confuse me....I'm so confused.....

 

 

Actually, the idea that you need to pick one math program and stick to it is one of the more prevalent homeschooling myths. What you really need is to teach your children that math makes sense, that it's logical and reasonable and something they can figure out, and that they don't have to be afraid of it.

 

Now, for some people, going through a single math program from start to finish helps them present math in a way that makes sense --- but for others using the exact same curriculum, all they learn is a lot of abstract rules that they try to stuff in their children's heads fast enough to keep them from leaking out the ears. It really depends on your approach. If you are trusting in the math books to help your children memorize procedures, and you happen to miss one topic (say, making a common denominator, for example) because you switched curriculum, then you're in trouble.

 

But if all along your children have been learning to understand and make sense of each topic, then they will be able to use their natural, intuitive, common sense to figure out what the new book is wanting them to do: "Oh, I see! They are just renaming each fraction to make the size of the pieces match. It's like cutting up the pizza into smaller slices..."

 

Even a topic like long division is just an application of common sense.

 

So teach your children that math makes sense, and NEVER let them memorize a rule or procedure unless they can explain to you in their own words why it works, and you'll do fine. Really, you can do this! :thumbup:

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I strongly advice parents to teach within their comfort zone!

 

I have no experience with Saxon before Saxon 54. The early Saxon is VERY different from 54 through calculus, so I can't comment on it. But Saxon 54 on up is a terrific program for the families that it suits. Saxon calculus is the only calculus that I was capable of teaching. I can teach early algebra from almost any text, but usually use Saxon, because of what is coming up afterwards.

 

I was pushed and pushed to teach above my abilities, with my younger "gifted" child. It was bad for me, it was bad for my kid, and it was bad for the whole family. YOU are a person. YOU count too. You have the right to use materials that you feel comfortable using. There is NOTHING wrong with Saxon, and it's okay to just use ONE program.

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I'd start with the idea that I wouldn't want my kids' education to be limited by my own. I'd let him accelerate to whatever is the right level for him - you can do this by not assigning all the problems and allowing him to test out of chapters, etc. You might want to work ahead a little yourself, which of course is a time and effort commitment for a busy person (consider balancing that against the time and effort commitment of Saxon x5 kids).

 

Thanks for the reminder to move him ahead if he needs to. Last night I did look ahead and decide on a few WB pages to have him skip. Today, we sped through several lessons very quickly because they were review and already second nature to him. One thing about him though...he likes to finish it all. So, one page I'd marked for him to skip, he wanted to do (which I thought he might because of the pictures) and several other pages where I was only having him do a couple problems, he wanted to finish. However, a couple other things, I had him do very quickly orally. So, it didn't work completely as planned, but all said, he did 5 or so exercises (3 lessons maybe, I don't remember exactly) in about 15 minutes.

 

I ordered the CWP's and IP for him. They haven't come yet. I'm looking forward to that because the WB is always very easy for him.

 

Anyway, thank you for the reminder to let him go quickly and not be scared to skip things he doesn't need to practice...I tend to want to do everything, even all WB stuff, just to make sure he gets everything...but I need to get better about having him skip stuff that is too easy.

 

Why not do both. Saxon and Sm. Or Sm and...whatever.

 

I think the math curriculum has to fit the parent teacher as well as the child. I get SM and my Kinder did the two Essential books, but I don't personally like SM. I like Saxon at the higher levels, but not in the early grades.

 

Don't be scared. I credit homeschooling my kid as the cure to my math anxiety.

But I don't think you have to marry yourself to one program or method. I see no reason why a person couldn't use c-rods with Saxon, or RS games with SM, or Montessori math material with Miquon. It has helped us in math tons to mix and match.

 

Thanks! I need to stop being scared of math and embrace it and let it grow me as a person and teacher.

 

I've thought about doing two programs, but I really don't have the time or desire to try to mesh 2 together. But, it is a possibility.

 

I think that if you have a son who seems to be accelerating, who is thriving on Singapore, and who is enjoying it, then it's worth working out a way to make Singapore fit for you. IMO, that type of child is unlikely to thrive with Saxon.

 

One option is to switch to SE, because the HIGs give you more hand-holding.

 

The bolded is the reason I haven't jumped on switching. He is doing well with it. I don't want to hinder that. But, I have to be able to teach it. At the very least, I think I am going to switch to Std ed after 1b to get the better HIG.

 

BJU has been a happy medium for us. Colorful/fun for DD (she has already requested it for next year)... each chapter has a focus (time, money, addition) but each lesson has some built in review (today's money lesson had place value review at the end).

 

I've never looked at BJU. I'll have to look at it. My son actually likes the B&W workbook of Singapore though because he likes to color the pages. Although, math would go faster if he couldn't color them...LOL!

 

(((Heather)))

You can do this! Whatever math program you end up choosing, you can make it work. I promise!

 

Actually, the idea that you need to pick one math program and stick to it is one of the more prevalent homeschooling myths. What you really need is to teach your children that math makes sense, that it's logical and reasonable and something they can figure out, and that they don't have to be afraid of it.

 

So teach your children that math makes sense, and NEVER let them memorize a rule or procedure unless they can explain to you in their own words why it works, and you'll do fine. Really, you can do this! :thumbup:

 

Thank you for the encouragement! I'll definitely check out those links tomorrow. :)

 

The bolded makes me feel better about continuing with Singapore as long as it is still teachable for me and then switching if we need to. Right now I'm okay with Singapore even though it's a bit strange to me...but so far...it's only 1st grade math. ;)

 

I strongly advice parents to teach within their comfort zone!

 

I have no experience with Saxon before Saxon 54. The early Saxon is VERY different from 54 through calculus, so I can't comment on it. But Saxon 54 on up is a terrific program for the families that it suits. Saxon calculus is the only calculus that I was capable of teaching. I can teach early algebra from almost any text, but usually use Saxon, because of what is coming up afterwards.

 

I was pushed and pushed to teach above my abilities, with my younger "gifted" child. It was bad for me, it was bad for my kid, and it was bad for the whole family. YOU are a person. YOU count too. You have the right to use materials that you feel comfortable using. There is NOTHING wrong with Saxon, and it's okay to just use ONE program.

 

Thank you SO much for saying this. If I could double "like" it, I would. :D I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I feel like I really needed someone to say it's okay to use something *I* am more comfortable with even if my son is doing well. I was already planning to move to Saxon after Singapore PM for the advanced maths. I used Saxon in 7th and 8th. So, I don't have any experience with it in the lower grades either. I feel like even if he is advanced it math, there is no reason he can't be advanced in a different program...of course, right now, he isn't advanced because I've not been on the ball. But you know what I mean. And also, I'm not serving him well if I can't teach the math I'm using. That certainly won't help him develop his skills.

 

I'm still not completely sure what I'm going to do, but I have time since we only just started unit 3 in 1B. Right this second I'm leaning toward sticking with Singapore till he is ready for Saxon 54. That way, he will get the cartoonish feel of Singapore and the mental math foundation while he is younger and as he gets slightly older maybe he won't car as much about the cartoons. I know I can teach 2nd and 3rd grade math...I assume I can teach those levels from just about anything...I'm really not bad at math. I just don't remember it well and am not confident in my teaching skills. My other thought is that with Saxon 54, if I need to, I can get the DIVE CD's to go along with it. That might come in really handy. As I think through this...it seems like a viable option. Would it make sense to switch programs around grade 4?

 

 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and input!! It is helping me relax and think this through more clearly.

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My other thought is that with Saxon 54, if I need to, I can get the DIVE CD's to go along with it. That might come in really handy. As I think through this...it seems like a viable option. Would it make sense to switch programs around grade 4?

 

 

A LOT of people start Saxon in 54 and not before. It's a wonderful point to jump in.

 

Don't be too quick to think the CDs will make it easier. For me PERSONALLY I found the textbook writer to be a better teacher than the CD teacher. We didn't have time to read the book and watch the CDs too. I learned that it was better to READ the books.

 

The Robinson Curriculum advises to place the child in Saxon at their READING level. I don't believe that ALL reading challenged and math gifted children should be held back, but in GENERAL for TYPICAL children, I think the READING level of the student is as important in placement as the math level. Students can be taught to READ the Saxon texts. They will learn reading comprehension in GENERAL as well as learn to read MATH books.

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A LOT of people start Saxon in 54 and not before. It's a wonderful point to jump in.

 

Don't be too quick to think the CDs will make it easier. For me PERSONALLY I found the textbook writer to be a better teacher than the CD teacher. We didn't have time to read the book and watch the CDs too. I learned that it was better to READ the books.

 

The Robinson Curriculum advises to place the child in Saxon at their READING level. I don't believe that ALL reading challenged and math gifted children should be held back, but in GENERAL for TYPICAL children, I think the READING level of the student is as important in placement as the math level. Students can be taught to READ the Saxon texts. They will learn reading comprehension in GENERAL as well as learn to read MATH books.

 

 

Yay! Maybe I can come up with a good plan and I'm not such a math planning dunce after all. :lol:

 

Thanks for the tip about reading level. That probably would not have occurred to me. He is reading fairly well at this point, so hopefully it won't really be a consideration at by then. Right now, I still read most of his math to him, but it isn't because he can't read it. It's because it's faster and I try not to make him read everything yet. But, he definitely can and does sometimes read the little bit that is in there so far. He is starting to get to the point where when he sees words he naturally tries to read them. So, hopefully, by 4th, that won't be much consideration at all.

 

As for the CD's, I wasn't thinking they would replace the teaching in the text. I was assuming we would go through the text together and then if we needed extra help, we would have access to the CD's if needed. At this point, I'm not a big fan of computer based learning being the primary method...we don't use it for any subject right now. :)

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I started Saxon with my 4th grader this year. We have never used Saxon before that. I totally don't think it's necessary. We used Miquon with various supplements and when we were done with that we started Saxon 5/4. Right now I'm happy with Saxon and plan to stick with it as our main math program. Just like Hunter I think Saxon starting at 5/4 is a good program.

 

I go through each lesson with my ds. He's capable of reading it himself, but we just do it together and work the first problems together. He does the mixed problem set on his own. If your ds is good at math and you do keep him in SM until then, be prepared for the first lessons of Saxon to be easy review. But then it gets challenging. The text is super easy to understand and the Solutions manual gives good explanations of how an answer would be found. I didn't see any need for any of the DIVE cds.

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Thanks! I'm really starting to feel settled with this plan. When I used Saxon as a student, I found the same as you that the text was super easy to understand. It just made sense and the worked problems were complete and understandable as well. Hopefully I won't need the DIVE cds either, but at least I know it is an option. My husband is more math minded than I am also. So, if we get stuck, I will be enlisting his help. I'd have him teach math, but he isn't here enough to do it consistently. He works hard so I can buy up books and then not use them! :lol: (Just kidding!! I use most of what I buy and am usually very selective. I will be reselling the Singapore we aren't using. :))

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I strongly advice parents to teach within their comfort zone!

 

Not me. I advise parents who take on the responsibility of educating their children (as every parent should, public schoolers and home schoolers alike) to expand their zones, especially in areas of perceived dificiencies like math. Break a sweat!

 

Why burden another generation with the limitations of ones own education when there are outstanding recourses to help parents provide a very different experience for their children than they had?

 

Don't throw in the towell. The Singapore Method is outstanding. I would read and study and have fun learning (along with your child). I would get the Standards Edition and HIGs. read Liping Ma. And look at the books suggest by Letsplaymath above (although I have some issues with Ron Ahroni)

 

The MEP materials are fantastic. The Lesson Plans have great activity ideas.

 

The Education Unboxed videos are really good.

 

The Miquon Math Lab program adds substantially to parent re-education and fun hands-on learning for children.

 

The Right Start games are effective and fun.

 

My advice? Double-down, the effort is more than worth it.

 

Bill

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The Robinson Curriculum advises to place the child in Saxon at their READING level. I don't believe that ALL reading challenged and math gifted children should be held back, but in GENERAL for TYPICAL children, I think the READING level of the student is as important in placement as the math level. Students can be taught to READ the Saxon texts. They will learn reading comprehension in GENERAL as well as learn to read MATH books.

 

The Robinson Curiculm advises parents to give their children a pile of books and flash-cards and then ignore the children, leaving the kids to their own devices to educate themselves. It is one of the most idiotic methods in the history of education.

 

What a child deserves is an enthusiastic and involved teacher. The huge advantage of home education is the high parent to child ratio. Robinson throws this advantage out the window.. His educational method is "neglect." Nutz!!!

 

And if Saxon did not work to make the OP feel confident in math (despite it being easy to mindlessly go though the procedures ad infinitum, as is the Saxn approach) why would anyone expect better for her child?

 

Bill

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Not me. I advise parents who take on the responsibility of educating their children (as every parent should, public schoolers and home schoolers alike) to expand their zones, especially in areas of perceived dificiencies like math. Break a sweat!

 

Why burden another generation with the limitations of ones own education when there are outstanding recourses to help parents provide a very different experience for their children than they had?

 

Don't throw in the towell. The Singapore Method is outstanding. I would read and study and have fun learning (along with your child). I would get the Standards Edition and HIGs. read Liping Ma. And look at the books suggest by Letsplaymath above (although I have some issues with Ron Ahroni)

 

The MEP materials are fantastic. The Lesson Plans have great activity ideas.

 

The Education Unboxed videos are really good.

 

The Miquon Math Lab program adds substantially to parent re-education and fun hands-on learning for children.

 

The Right Start games are effective and fun.

 

My advice? Double-down, the effort is more than worth it.

 

Bill

 

Bill, I agree with everything you say here, but each situation is different. I think there's a point when we have to be realistic about the demands on us and go with what seems to work well for both parent and child. If I had one child I may have pushed through with Singapore for at least a little bit longer, despite the frustration level it created for one of mine. But our reality was that she was frustrated and would shut down, and I had three other dc that I was responsible to educate and had to prioritize. We went with CLE because it was the best fit for her and it worked well for me, too.

 

If CLE or Saxon works for a family and the work gets done, that's a good thing. My dd is not a math whiz but she she's been with CLE for five years from the 300 level to the 800 level. She always gets perfect or one wrong on standardized tests, even in the conceptual sections. I don't have any real expectations about her becoming a stellar high school math student, but I am thankful for what she's accomplished by plodding along in CLE.

 

FWIW, our ps school district switched over this year from Everyday Math to Math In Focus, a variant of Singapore. The kids are having a hard time with the transition, in part, I believe, because I'm not sure if the teachers know it well enough to easily fill in the gaps. Nevertheless, this is making me consider switching to the SE with my youngest to ease the transition in case I ever have to put her in.

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Bill, I agree with everything you say here, but each situation is different. I think there's a point when we have to be realistic about the demands on us and go with what seems to work well for both parent and child. If I had one child I may have pushed through with Singapore for at least a little bit longer, despite the frustration level it created for one of mine. But our reality was that she was frustrated and would shut down, and I had three other dc that I was responsible to educate and had to prioritize. We went with CLE because it was the best fit for her and it worked well for me, too.

 

In the scenario under discussion the child is reportedly thriving with the Singapore method, it is the parent balking. My feeling is if you take the full responsibility for a child's education you better be prepared to expend some effort, rather than just visiting the deficiencies of ones of education on ones offspring.

 

If a child does not thrive with a program despite all good efforts and intentions is is not unreasonable to try someting that one feels is a better match. But that is very different than throwing in the towell with a method that is working (especially when it is a superior method) just because it was not the way one learned (and poorly) as a child. That is "defeatism."

 

If a parent or techer does not nonow how to teach the Singapore method they should get cracking. There are many great resources to help adults through the process, and it can actually be a lot of fun to discover math can be a much more interesting subject than one finds in "traditional" math programs.

 

Bill

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Spycar - Thanks for popping up. I was actually hoping to hear from you because I've seen you pop up on many Singapore threads. :)

 

I have no intention of letting my ability limit my son's education. I am often explaining to my children the difference between being smart and being educated...and, as my husband being cheeky pointed out one day, I'm smart, but not overly educated. (Though, I did complete high school and 2 years of college. I did much better in college than high school because I saw the value in it and put effort into it. I'm not uneducated either. ;)) So, maybe it sounds like I think I'm not capable of learning math...that is definitely not the case. I did not struggle with math in school, but I don't remember it. I don't remember a lot of things I learned in school and plan to learn along with my kids. I only did Saxon for 7th and 8th grade. It was the only math in school I actually enjoyed (I guess I'm strange) and I did best with it. I did not do it passed 8th. My sister did and she is excellent at math and ended up doing math tutoring....hmmm.....I wonder what she remembers.....anyway, after that I used A Beka math, which I really didn't enjoy at all, but again, I didn't have any problems understanding what was being taught. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I don't think I can relearn it. I have no doubt I can. I just am nervous about Singapore because it is out of my comfort zone and I'm not great at mental math. Although, I will say, I've found myself using Singapore methods to do real life mental math since teaching it to my son. I do seem better at it. ;)

 

I see teaching what I am comfortable to mean the method I'm comfortable with, not stopping at what I know. If Singapore doesn't make sense to me in the upper PM books, I feel I'm doing him a bigger disservice by sticking with something I can't teach well enough for him to properly understand. There is more than one way to teach and become skilled at math.

 

I also have every intention of continuing to be involved and actually teach (see above where I said that). For one thing, if I don't teach it, I won't learn it and when he needs help, I'll be stuck. But, I do like to know there is more help out there when I need it. Hopefully, that makes sense.

 

If at any point in any subject, my lack of knowledge/ability becomes a problem for my children's education I will not hesitate to find help through outside tutors or classes as needed. But, I'm not anticipating that in the elementary years.

 

For now, we are sticking with Singapore and I do plan to read and learn more about teaching it. If it's going great and I am fine teaching it, we will probably keep going with it. But, if I have issues teaching the Singapore method and that is hindering my kids, Saxon is an option.

 

I've been working on this for quite a while with many interruptions and your last post came through just as I was finishing....So, one final thought...You are correct. He is thriving with this program. He naturally seems to think this way, as does his father (at least for the mental stuff we have done thus far). *I* do not. I have yet to throw in the towel, but I am nervous about teaching it. When I realized the HIG's are changing when we hit 2b, which should be late summer/early fall, and then discovered that they don't even have them for 6a and b in Std ed, I started to freak out a bit. I'm better now knowing that I have options. :D I'm going to be switching us to Std ed and go from there. If he wasn't doing really well in it, I would definitely jump ship because of my comfort.

 

I appreciate everything you said and your encouragement to better my own education for the sake of my child. (Which I am already doing and plan to do.)

 

ETA - BTW - for anyone who cares...I did a long division problem last night without any problems or help...I'm sure I remember more than I think and it will come back to me.

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Bill :001_tt2: . I say this lightheartedly and hope you'll take it that way.

 

Come on! Really?

 

I'm glad you weren't around when I was standing in a bathtub switching clothes around with my bare feet, wearing a winter jacket in the house because it was so cold, while reading a calculus book, trying to teach myself enough to teach my child. Looking back, that was just nuts. There were more important things going on than calculus, that should have been attended to instead. But he "deserved" that and better, right?

 

Our best stops when the pain sets in. Pain is a sign of self-neglect. All forms of neglect are wrong, including and maybe especially self-neglect.

 

Our best MIGHT include breaking a sweat SOMETIMES, but homeschooling is a marathon, and if we try to sprint all the time in all subjects with all children, we WILL fail to make it to the finish line. And is THAT what our kids deserve?

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Bill :001_tt2: . I say this lightheartedly and hope you'll take it that way.

 

Come on! Really?

 

I'm glad you weren't around when I was standing in a bathtub switching clothes around with my bare feet, wearing a winter jacket in the house because it was so cold, while reading a calculus book, trying to teach myself enough to teach my child. Looking back, that was just nuts. There were more important things going on than calculus, that should have been attended to instead. But he "deserved" that and better, right?

 

Our best stops when the pain sets in. Pain is a sign of self-neglect. All forms of neglect are wrong, including and maybe especially self-neglect.

 

Our best MIGHT include breaking a sweat SOMETIMES, but homeschooling is a marathon, and if we try to sprint all the time in all subjects with all children, we WILL fail to make it to the finish line. And is THAT what our kids deserve?

 

 

Yes, exactly to the bolded. I do plan to "break a sweat" and try to learn this method...at least for now...but if it's too much for me, I'll use something else. Singapore isn't the only way to get there. I do have 5 other children and many other subjects to learn/refresh also. If I'm trying to learn Latin with my kids and refresh all my history and grammar and composition and teach myself to read the classics AND I'm trying to actually teach the kids too, I may not have time to learn how to teach the Singapore method if I can teach math effectively with another program. But, I'm going to do my best to teach him with what is working well for him. :D

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Spycar - Thanks for popping up. I was actually hoping to hear from you because I've seen you pop up on many Singapore threads. :)

 

I have no intention of letting my ability limit my son's education. I am often explaining to my children the difference between being smart and being educated...and, as my husband being cheeky pointed out one day, I'm smart, but not overly educated. (Though, I did complete high school and 2 years of college. I did much better in college than high school because I saw the value in it and put effort into it. I'm not uneducated either. ;)) So, maybe it sounds like I think I'm not capable of learning math...that is definitely not the case. I did not struggle with math in school, but I don't remember it. I don't remember a lot of things I learned in school and plan to learn along with my kids. I only did Saxon for 7th and 8th grade. It was the only math in school I actually enjoyed (I guess I'm strange) and I did best with it. I did not do it passed 8th. My sister did and she is excellent at math and ended up doing math tutoring....hmmm.....I wonder what she remembers.....anyway, after that I used A Beka math, which I really didn't enjoy at all, but again, I didn't have any problems understanding what was being taught. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I don't think I can relearn it. I have no doubt I can. I just am nervous about Singapore because it is out of my comfort zone and I'm not great at mental math. Although, I will say, I've found myself using Singapore methods to do real life mental math since teaching it to my son. I do seem better at it. ;)

 

I see teaching what I am comfortable to mean the method I'm comfortable with, not stopping at what I know. If Singapore doesn't make sense to me in the upper PM books, I feel I'm doing him a bigger disservice by sticking with something I can't teach well enough for him to properly understand. There is more than one way to teach and become skilled at math.

 

I also have every intention of continuing to be involved and actually teach (see above where I said that). For one thing, if I don't teach it, I won't learn it and when he needs help, I'll be stuck. But, I do like to know there is more help out there when I need it. Hopefully, that makes sense.

 

If at any point in any subject, my lack of knowledge/ability becomes a problem for my children's education I will not hesitate to find help through outside tutors or classes as needed. But, I'm not anticipating that in the elementary years.

 

For now, we are sticking with Singapore and I do plan to read and learn more about teaching it. If it's going great and I am fine teaching it, we will probably keep going with it. But, if I have issues teaching the Singapore method and that is hindering my kids, Saxon is an option.

 

I've been working on this for quite a while with many interruptions and your last post came through just as I was finishing....So, one final thought...You are correct. He is thriving with this program. He naturally seems to think this way, as does his father (at least for the mental stuff we have done thus far). *I* do not. I have yet to throw in the towel, but I am nervous about teaching it. When I realized the HIG's are changing when we hit 2b, which should be late summer/early fall, and then discovered that they don't even have them for 6a and b in Std ed, I started to freak out a bit. I'm better now knowing that I have options. :D I'm going to be switching us to Std ed and go from there. If he wasn't doing really well in it, I would definitely jump ship because of my comfort.

 

I appreciate everything you said and your encouragement to better my own education for the sake of my child. (Which I am already doing and plan to do.)

 

ETA - BTW - for anyone who cares...I did a long division problem last night without any problems or help...I'm sure I remember more than I think and it will come back to me.

 

 

From my brief stint with Singapore, I would tell you not to worry too much about what you don't remember. It might actually be better to start anew with the Singapore methods because you might do a disservice by inserting the methods you remember. As Bill said, it can be a lot of fun to discover math. I enjoyed my time with Singapore for that reason. Part of that could have been that I could enjoy that discovery because I wasn't a student.

 

Khan Academy has support videos for Singapore but I'm not sure for which edition. That may be a help if my dearest Sal continues to make them up to the level that you'll need them. :)

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Spycar - Thanks for popping up. I was actually hoping to hear from you because I've seen you pop up on many Singapore threads. :)

 

I have no intention of letting my ability limit my son's education. I am often explaining to my children the difference between being smart and being educated...and, as my husband being cheeky pointed out one day, I'm smart, but not overly educated. (Though, I did complete high school and 2 years of college. I did much better in college than high school because I saw the value in it and put effort into it. I'm not uneducated either. ;)) So, maybe it sounds like I think I'm not capable of learning math...that is definitely not the case. I did not struggle with math in school, but I don't remember it. I don't remember a lot of things I learned in school and plan to learn along with my kids. I only did Saxon for 7th and 8th grade. It was the only math in school I actually enjoyed (I guess I'm strange) and I did best with it. I did not do it passed 8th. My sister did and she is excellent at math and ended up doing math tutoring....hmmm.....I wonder what she remembers.....anyway, after that I used A Beka math, which I really didn't enjoy at all, but again, I didn't have any problems understanding what was being taught. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I don't think I can relearn it. I have no doubt I can. I just am nervous about Singapore because it is out of my comfort zone and I'm not great at mental math. Although, I will say, I've found myself using Singapore methods to do real life mental math since teaching it to my son. I do seem better at it. ;)

 

Your problem, not "remembering it" (despite being an intelligent person) strikes precisely at the heart of the problem with so-called "traditional" approaches to teaching/learning math. They emphasize gaining "procedural competency" by repeatedly plugginging given numbers into given formulas or algorithms, and getting good at "following the steps." When memories fail, and the steps are lost, there is little or no mathematical understanding left at the core.

 

In very dramatic contrast it is possible to teach for both deep understaning of mathematical reasoning and teach the laws of mathematics that underpin standard algorithms, while also developing algebraic thinking, logic, mental math AND solid computational skills using standard algorithms.

 

The "traditional" approach is shallow, and results in an education that is soon to be forgotten.

 

I see teaching what I am comfortable to mean the method I'm comfortable with, not stopping at what I know. If Singapore doesn't make sense to me in the upper PM books, I feel I'm doing him a bigger disservice by sticking with something I can't teach well enough for him to properly understand. There is more than one way to teach and become skilled at math.

 

But it will make sense if you stay actively involved in the learning process along with your child, do not follow the lead of people like Art Robinson and neglect your child and expect them to learn in absentia, and you do some self-study using some of the excellent teacher education materials aimed at adults who teach Singapore Math. It really is not that complicated. You might even find it fun, and perhaps feel a little angry or chagrined that you were not taught this way, because you may discover you are better at math than you think, and that on the second pass it clicks in.

 

also have every intention of continuing to be involved and actually teach (see above where I said that). For one thing, if I don't teach it, I won't learn it and when he needs help, I'll be stuck. But, I do like to know there is more help out there when I need it. Hopefully, that makes sense.

 

Good thinking. But I'd double-dog dare you to do all the inane work in a book like Saxon 4/5 along with your child, and come out sane. It is mind-numbing.

 

If at any point in any subject, my lack of knowledge/ability becomes a problem for my children's education I will not hesitate to find help through outside tutors or classes as needed. But, I'm not anticipating that in the elementary years.

 

There is nothing in the Singapore Math Model that is that difficult, especially if one build their skills in the methodical progression of the program from the outset. I would not fall into the trap of thinking Primary Mathematics is beyond you. It is beyond parent who put in zero effort to learn along with their children. But just don't be one of those people, and you will be fine.

 

For now, we are sticking with Singapore and I do plan to read and learn more about teaching it. If it's going great and I am fine teaching it, we will probably keep going with it. But, if I have issues teaching the Singapore method and that is hindering my kids, Saxon is an option.

 

The more you get into it, the more you "see" the method, the more you watch your child thrive (and have a very different experience than your own, the more your own math understanding explodes, the more you will see how much it is worth it to invest the time and effort pursuing this.

 

I've been working on this for quite a while with many interruptions and your last post came through just as I was finishing....So, one final thought...You are correct. He is thriving with this program. He naturally seems to think this way, as does his father (at least for the mental stuff we have done thus far). *I* do not. I have yet to throw in the towel, but I am nervous about teaching it. When I realized the HIG's are changing when we hit 2b, which should be late summer/early fall, and then discovered that they don't even have them for 6a and b in Std ed, I started to freak out a bit. I'm better now knowing that I have options. :D I'm going to be switching us to Std ed and go from there. If he wasn't doing really well in it, I would definitely jump ship because of my comfort.

 

Don't be nervous. Learn. Make it fun. Your efforts will be a blessing to your child. You can do this!

 

I appreciate everything you said and your encouragement to better my own education for the sake of my child. (Which I am already doing and plan to do.)

 

ETA - BTW - for anyone who cares...I did a long division problem last night without any problems or help...I'm sure I remember more than I think and it will come back to me.

 

I hope one day you will think back and be glad you listened to that crazy guy on the Internet :D

 

I wish you all the best!

 

Bill

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Bill :001_tt2: . I say this lightheartedly and hope you'll take it that way.

 

Come on! Really?

 

I'm glad you weren't around when I was standing in a bathtub switching clothes around with my bare feet, wearing a winter jacket in the house because it was so cold, while reading a calculus book, trying to teach myself enough to teach my child. Looking back, that was just nuts. There were more important things going on than calculus, that should have been attended to instead. But he "deserved" that and better, right?

 

Our best stops when the pain sets in. Pain is a sign of self-neglect. All forms of neglect are wrong, including and maybe especially self-neglect.

 

Our best MIGHT include breaking a sweat SOMETIMES, but homeschooling is a marathon, and if we try to sprint all the time in all subjects with all children, we WILL fail to make it to the finish line. And is THAT what our kids deserve?

 

There is no shame in a child getting beyond the parent when they are doing calculus. But we are talking about laying the foundations of mathematical understanding at the elementary school aged level. Those who assume the responsibility for home education should also take responsibility for doing that job well, and if that involves self-study and self-sacrifice, so be it.

 

Bill

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TWTM, CM, Waldorf and Robinson all have SOMETHING to teach us. We don't need to follow the complete suggestions to glean bits from any of them. I've also seen people twist what the authors of all these methods meant when they said certain things.

 

Homeschool moms and homeschool children come in all flavors, and real life sometimes rears it's ugly head. There is no one-sized-fits-all method. So often homeschoolers are people who failed at brick-and-mortar one-sized-fits-all methods and that is WHY they are homeschooling!

 

I encourage all moms and kids to set a brisk pace, but not an overwhelming one. What is brisk for one person is overwhelming for another. I can easily walk 4 miles in a hour. None of my friends can keep up with me, even 6 foot men. People are always grabbing my backpack to slow me down. I don't try to shame them into keeping up, when I see how much they are struggling. Yeah, some of them DO need to work on getting their stamina up, but...truly 8 miles in 2 hours really isn't a necessary goal for most of them. Really it's not.

 

What I have learned with my sons and tutoring students is that higher math really isn't so important for most of them. Actually so far for ANY of them. None of those who have advanced math skills use them. None of them even used them in finishing college when they began to prepare for their degree, never mind on the job. ALL of them struggled with writing their research papers though.

 

I now think it's more important to work on basic grammar level English than on advanced or wide maths.

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