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(Or perhaps went back and forth) did it cause lasting damage to your child?

 

:ph34r:

 

I'm trying to wrestle with how to properly compact curriculum in a somewhat cost effective way. I'd love to spend money on other things besides math, as DS is not passionate about math. Well, he passionately hates it.

 

Hello, my name is Amber, and apparently I need a 12 step program for curricula addiction. :seeya:

 

 

 

ETA: I want to switch back to math mammoth next year (3rd grade) to finish up elementary math and start LOF in 4th grade before algebra in 5th. (tentative plan)

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My son did Saxon K-1 in school, MM1-4 when I brought him home, Singapore 4-5 after that, and now he's doing a combination of CLE Math 500 (easy practice of elementary topics) and AoPS Prealgebra (his actual working level). He has also dabbled in LOF, Zaccaro, Penrose, etc.

 

No problems here at all. He's very well rounded in math. When switching to Singapore from MM, I did go backward some due to the different scope and sequence - there were some topics in SM4 that he hadn't done in MM.

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I am struggling with this idea of rushing through a subject he hates. Why's that? I mean, I can kind of guess, but I would ask that you stop and check your reasons for teaching math at all? I mean, if he hated art would you do as much art as possible as quickly as possible while he's young so he can get it out of the way?

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Ok I figured this would come up. I'm not rushing, he gets no problems wrong usually, just trying to meet the challenge level.

 

ETA: it seems you are implying I'm taking the easy way out because my kid doesn't like math. I'm going to try not to be offended and assume tone or wording is causing me to misunderstand.

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Ack, I'm really sorry to have provoked a defensive response. This is the accelerated board, of course I understand that you're working with a unique situation and trying to meet the needs of the kid in front of you! I probably just need to back away slowly here. :) I'm getting way too theoretical on way too little sleep and coffee (waxing inarticulately poetic in my mind about the majestic brilliance that is the field of mathematics?!) and that's going to do no one any good. ;) FWIW, your plan makes sense. Good luck! :)

 

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(Or perhaps went back and forth) did it cause lasting damage to your child?

 

:ph34r:

 

I'm trying to wrestle with how to properly compact curriculum in a somewhat cost effective way. I'd love to spend money on other things besides math, as DS is not passionate about math. Well, he passionately hates it.

 

Hello, my name is Amber, and apparently I need a 12 step program for curricula addiction. :seeya:

 

 

 

ETA: I want to switch back to math mammoth next year (3rd grade) to finish up elementary math and start LOF in 4th grade before algebra in 5th. (tentative plan)

 DS is the same in his self-proclaimed hatred of math. This year, however, he has become much less fervent in expressing his feelings about math. What I've tried to do is add in fun math, while keeping his spine the same (Singapore). Though SM and MM (I own both) are so similar, I don't think you'll have much problem changing it up.To my disappointment, DS doesn't like LOF.

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Ack, I'm really sorry to have provoked a defensive response. This is the accelerated board, of course I understand that you're working with a unique situation and trying to meet the needs of the kid in front of you! I probably just need to back away slowly here. :) I'm getting way too theoretical on way too little sleep and coffee (waxing inarticulately poetic in my mind about the majestic brilliance that is the field of mathematics?!) and that's going to do no one any good. ;) FWIW, your plan makes sense. Good luck! :)

.

 

No worries. I didn't mean to come across defensive, and I take full responsibility if I read it wrong.

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I'm new on the accelerated board as I am just now accepting the fact that my kids aren't average (she didn't start reading early so why would going from K level to 4th in the span of 2 months be anything other than average? :lol: ), so my opinion might not help as much as others but my DD6 didn't like math either and I switched to McRuffy math (she tests out 2 grade levels ahead but I have her in the 1st grade curriculum doing double time to make sure she gets exposure to each skill to give her a solid foundation). It may not be the cheapest or most accelerated math, but it is fun - she's currently doing 2 lessons a day, in about 10-15 minutes time. I gloss over things that she finds dumb and we rarely repeat an activity that is supposed to be repeated but she enjoys it. While it may not be much of a challenge for her, she's learning from it and enjoying it, and for me, that's enough right now.

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My DD is only 6 and so far we have used: LOF, Singapore, Horizons, MEP - to be honest we are still actually using all of them although I will skip levels or use something for busywork/revision/practice writing neatly while her sister does gym if she hasn't had school that day because I was working (so that she can do it independently), or we'll pick only certain problems to do. Even using sumdog on the computer though occassionally she'll find some problems she has not yet encountered and when she asks/I see we teach it.

 

I don't think it matters - if there is a gap then you fill it - very often the child can fill it themselves if they are gifted (and the rest of the time you would know and find something else to fill it - heck if you are using loads of curricula then something will have it covered at some point :))

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Oldest DD has done Right Start B & C, Singapore Primary Math 3-5 supplemented in parts by MM "blue", then Singapore Discovering Math 7 with Horizons Pre-Algebra, then a quick run-through of selected units from MEP years 7-9, and is currently bouncing back and forth between Singapore DM 8A and Lial's Beginning Algebra.

 

DS did MEP Reception and most of 1A, Singapore 1 & 2 along side Right Start B & the first part of C, then Singapore 3A-4A along side Beast Academy 3. I plan to take him through Singapore 5 and as much of BA as gets published in time, then I'll evaluate whether to continue on with Singapore vs. switching to AOPS.

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Switching back and forth imo causes issues when:

 

A child jumps from an easier to a harder program without moving back levels.

A child jumps from a program into another program with a different scope and sequence AND little review.

A child is struggling in one program and is moved into another program without backing up for shoring up.

 

All of these problems grow bigger as the child's strength in math decreases, and they also grow bigger as the level of math increases. This does not mean it's wrong to do alg 1, geometry, alg 2, precalc all with different publishers, but they should have roughly comparable (a slightly increase for a kid who's really flying is fine) or decreasing difficulties and a similar scope and sequence. It'd be a bad idea to try doing, for example, MUS alg 1 to AOPS geometry or Saxon Alg 2 (the first because of major difficulty difference and the second because of less major difficulty difference as well as scope and sequence difference).

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My DD is almost 6 and loves numbers and manipulating them, but does not like math instruction at all.  Instead of switching away from Singapore (which I think conceptually is the best to teach her what she needs to know and give her the tools she doesn't realize she needs), I added in Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning, which is very different, extremely colorful, spirals around like crazy, and is almost alway a review for something that we have already done in Singapore, or logic skills, or money, or measurement.  She loves doing the CTC workbook pages, and I can use them to reinforce the stuff that she drags her feet with in Singapore.  It has slowed us down a bit, but she is still an entire year ahead of her age peers, so I am not worried.  I have to keep promising her that things will get more interesting!

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(Or perhaps went back and forth) did it cause lasting damage to your child?

:ph34r:

I'm trying to wrestle with how to properly compact curriculum in a somewhat cost effective way. I'd love to spend money on other things besides math, as DS is not passionate about math. Well, he passionately hates it.

Hello, my name is Amber, and apparently I need a 12 step program for curricula addiction. :seeya:

ETA: I want to switch back to math mammoth next year (3rd grade) to finish up elementary math and start LOF in 4th grade before algebra in 5th. (tentative plan)

I have been there with a self-professed math hater who seemed to understand math intuitively and never got anything wrong unless it was due to carelessness caused by dying of boredom. It did not help that he was my oldest. :lol: That said, my questions for you...

 

Is your DS intuitive with math? Does he just get it? Like he invented it himself? If not, are you saying that he seems to learn what is presented very easily? Depending on your answers, my ultimate question might be why Math Mammoth? I think MM is a fantastic program, top notch. However, for my intuitively mathy but math hating child, it was not a fit because it was too easy. Turns out, too easy was the biggest problem! I say MM spoon feeds the learning in bite size pieces, which I think others view as an insult, but it is absolutely a compliment. That kind of very incremental learning is just not best for all kids, exactly as math heavy on problem solving is also not best for all kids.

 

So more questions. What is his math learning style? Is there any aspect of the subject that he likes? Does he have strengths somewhat related to math (puzzles, logic/reasoning, pattern recognition, block building, advanced construction, etc.). If he could verbalize (or if he has) his reasons for hating math, what are they? My DS wanted challenges and not to be taught but to figure things out for himself. No way could he know that or express it. I get that you are looking to compact in order to get to the appropriate level of challenge, but there is the rub! If you move through something he hates just to get through to a more challenging level, you are going to be left with a kid who still hates math but is now working at a higher level. My goal was to get to an appropriate level of challenge with a kid who wasn't in the habit of balking at the very sight of a math book. :tongue_smilie:

 

My goal with this kid was to compact out of the easy stuff (that was "too hard" precisely because it was too easy, but I stuck with SM because I had it and he hated MM). The smartest thing I ever did, however (besides, honestly, quitting math entirely for months), was to make the compacted curriculum a sideline. This kid's main math focus became real-life math, interesting supplements, hands-on activities, puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, games, games, games, logic books, tangrams, more supplements... We sped through what he hated but, more importantly, we expanded his definition of math. I explained to him (many times!) the difference between arithmetic and mathematics. It is an important distinction. And when we came out on the other side, he was no longer a math hater. He might still tell you he is an arithmetic hater, LOL! But he enjoys math. He is not a kid who will probably ever become a mathematician, but I think it is extremely likely he will end up in a career that heavily employs the tool of mathematics. Before, when he hated math, I worried he would cut off so many options if we didn't turn that attitude around.

 

Anyway, all that might be neither here nor there for your situation, but I thought I would share, because it was such a relief for me to see DS through to the non-hating side!

 

Ok I figured this would come up. I'm not rushing, he gets no problems wrong usually, just trying to meet the challenge level.

ETA: it seems you are implying I'm taking the easy way out because my kid doesn't like math. I'm going to try not to be offended and assume tone or wording is causing me to misunderstand

For what it's worth, I didn't read it as implying you were taking the easy way out. And there isn't really ever anything easy about coaxing a math hater into harder and harder work just to get it done...because it is NEVER done! It just gets harder for Mom! LOL

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I have some LOF, some TT, some MEP and some Saxon and Right Start.  Saxon are leftover workbooks ( we ditched Saxon at 6/5)  

 

I bought other curriculum and realized after a terrible year that Saxon was not the only Math choice.  Money was also an issue.  The DIVE cd with Saxon was nice for 1 year.

I tried the Saxon DVD too but both oldest hated it.

 

Reluctantly I tried TT but it is a hit.  I just bought LOF for summer last year.  

 

 

I confess I  bought and have sold a LOT of math books and cd-roms.

 

Sometimes it takes a lot of testing waters but I won't go through another year of pure hatred before switching again. If I have to help teach it then I have to like it and have time to use it right.

 

 

TT needs supplementing here so we play some games ( Right Start) and we have used MUS for place value. I am also trying AOPS pre-Algebra to see if oldest will possibly like it.

Counting books and Sir Cumference as well as Grapes of Math and Math Curse line our shelves too! We have many math manipulatives for K-4th.

 

I used Family Math years ago from our library and just purchased Family Math for Middle School to try out.  SWB suggests one day of Math skills and she recommended Family Math and Family Math for Middle School this year in her talk on preparing for High School.

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 DS is the same in his self-proclaimed hatred of math. This year, however, he has become much less fervent in expressing his feelings about math. What I've tried to do is add in fun math, while keeping his spine the same (Singapore). Though SM and MM (I own both) are so similar, I don't think you'll have much problem changing it up.To my disappointment, DS doesn't like LOF.

 

My math-y dd far prefers Singapore to Math Mammoth (and I use Math Mammoth for other students). She likes Singapore far better when it's part of a mix of other math and logic activities (she spends maybe 30 minutes on Singapore and another 30 on other math stuff).

 

We tried everything. When it came down to it, she "hated" math because she didn't know her facts, even though she is very good at the conceptual stuff.

 

So after all of our skipping around for a couple of years, I had her work through the green "Knowing Mathematics" by Laping Ma (exactly as written in the teacher manual) and Zaccaros "Elementary Challenge Math". From there we went to Singapore at 3b IP/ Standards 4a and have worked through the series at a breathtaking pace.

 

She wanted to play with some PreA when she finished 4b (I tutor a student in PreA, so she's been sitting across the table from it all school year), and will finish the PreA basics about the same time she finishes Singapore. Next year for "PreA", we're going to play with other stuff.

 

So, they do survive our jumping around, but I do think they do better if they land on one curriculum for a spine at the 4th and 5th grade level. And I highly recommend the Knowing Mathematics book. It looks ridiculously easy, but if done as written, the student gains both confidence and independence.

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I have been there with a self-professed math hater who seemed to understand math intuitively and never got anything wrong unless it was due to carelessness caused by dying of boredom. It did not help that he was my oldest. :lol: That said, my questions for you...

Is your DS intuitive with math? Does he just get it? Like he invented it himself? If not, are you saying that he seems to learn what is presented very easily? Depending on your answers, my ultimate question might be why Math Mammoth? I think MM is a fantastic program, top notch. However, for my intuitively mathy but math hating child, it was not a fit because it was too easy. Turns out, too easy was the biggest problem! I say MM spoon feeds the learning in bite size pieces, which I think others view as an insult, but it is absolutely a compliment. That kind of very incremental learning is just not best for all kids, exactly as math heavy on problem solving is also not best for all kids.

 

That first part is such a hard question to answer!  Yes, he gets it right away, but I don't know that it's intuitive.  Perhaps it is and I'm missing it.  Why Math Mammoth?  Because it's cheap! :lol:   And close to SM, but not 7 books a grade level, and if we do 2 a year, then 14 books at almost $300.  I feel like we spend all this money on math, and he complains about it most days.

 

So more questions. What is his math learning style? Is there any aspect of the subject that he likes? Does he have strengths somewhat related to math (puzzles, logic/reasoning, pattern recognition, block building, advanced construction, etc.). If he could verbalize (or if he has) his reasons for hating math, what are they? My DS wanted challenges and not to be taught but to figure things out for himself. No way could he know that or express it. I get that you are looking to compact in order to get to the appropriate level of challenge, but there is the rub! If you move through something he hates just to get through to a more challenging level, you are going to be left with a kid who still hates math but is now working at a higher level. My goal was to get to an appropriate level of challenge with a kid who wasn't in the habit of balking at the very sight of a math book. :tongue_smilie:

His reasons for hating math are that it's boring and "hard." (It's not hard, once he actually does the work, he rarely misses one.  Even when he does, I point it out and he knows right away what the right answer is.) I don't know his math learning style, that's a very good question.  I think overall he leans towards a VSL style.  He's not overly math advanced.  We just had achievement testing done, and for conceptual stuff he scored 5th grade, but the fluency (writing portion I believe?) he scored as a second grader.  His age grade is first, so he's not one of these kids doing high school stuff as a 7 year old. Although, I suspect that if I were to accelerate him a little more, he would score higher, but I've been afraid to because I read such conflicting info on here about going broader vs. getting to the challenging stuff.  He hated BA, well he loved the guide but hated the practice book because it was "too hard." 

 

My goal with this kid was to compact out of the easy stuff (that was "too hard" precisely because it was too easy, but I stuck with SM because I had it and he hated MM). The smartest thing I ever did, however (besides, honestly, quitting math entirely for months), was to make the compacted curriculum a sideline. This kid's main math focus became real-life math, interesting supplements, hands-on activities, puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, games, games, games, logic books, tangrams, more supplements... We sped through what he hated but, more importantly, we expanded his definition of math. I explained to him (many times!) the difference between arithmetic and mathematics. It is an important distinction. And when we came out on the other side, he was no longer a math hater. He might still tell you he is an arithmetic hater, LOL! But he enjoys math. He is not a kid who will probably ever become a mathematician, but I think it is extremely likely he will end up in a career that heavily employs the tool of mathematics. Before, when he hated math, I worried he would cut off so many options if we didn't turn that attitude around.

 

This seems like a good idea. How does that look in practice though?  Do you still do the "secret spine" daily.  This is the part I have such a problem with.  It takes him so long to quit whining and drawing pictures in the margins and actually do the work that by the time we are done it's been an hour some days and we need to move on.  We run out of time for the "fun stuff."  (He learns the math right away, it's the DOING the math where we fall apart.)

Oh, and we have already quit math for months! :lol:  January - October last year we only did LOF, and he didn't even do the practice questions half the time.  He just read the stories. And we took the summer completely off.

 

Anyway, all that might be neither here nor there for your situation, but I thought I would share, because it was such a relief for me to see DS through to the non-hating side!

 

 

For what it's worth, I didn't read it as implying you were taking the easy way out. And there isn't really ever anything easy about coaxing a math hater into harder and harder work just to get it done...because it is NEVER done! It just gets harder for Mom! LOL

 

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My DD is almost 6 and loves numbers and manipulating them, but does not like math instruction at all.  Instead of switching away from Singapore (which I think conceptually is the best to teach her what she needs to know and give her the tools she doesn't realize she needs), I added in Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning, which is very different, extremely colorful, spirals around like crazy, and is almost alway a review for something that we have already done in Singapore, or logic skills, or money, or measurement.  She loves doing the CTC workbook pages, and I can use them to reinforce the stuff that she drags her feet with in Singapore.  It has slowed us down a bit, but she is still an entire year ahead of her age peers, so I am not worried.  I have to keep promising her that things will get more interesting!

 

We already have this, we use it for reinforcement as well.

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(Or perhaps went back and forth) did it cause lasting damage to your child?

 

:ph34r:

 

Hello, my name is Amber, and apparently I need a 12 step program for curricula addiction. :seeya:

 

 

I have nothing to add to the conversation but this made me laugh.  Thank you Amber.

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That first part is such a hard question to answer!  Yes, he gets it right away, but I don't know that it's intuitive.  Perhaps it is and I'm missing it.  Why Math Mammoth?  Because it's cheap!  :lol:   And close to SM, but not 7 books a grade level, and if we do 2 a year, then 14 books at almost $300.  I feel like we spend all this money on math, and he complains about it most days.

 

His reasons for hating math are that it's boring and "hard." (It's not hard, once he actually does the work, he rarely misses one.  Even when he does, I point it out and he knows right away what the right answer is.) I don't know his math learning style, that's a very good question.  I think overall he leans towards a VSL style.  He's not overly math advanced.  We just had achievement testing done, and for conceptual stuff he scored 5th grade, but the fluency (writing portion I believe?) he scored as a second grader.  His age grade is first, so he's not one of these kids doing high school stuff as a 7 year old. Although, I suspect that if I were to accelerate him a little more, he would score higher, but I've been afraid to because I read such conflicting info on here about going broader vs. getting to the challenging stuff.  He hated BA, well he loved the guide but hated the practice book because it was "too hard."  

 

This seems like a good idea. How does that look in practice though?  Do you still do the "secret spine" daily.  This is the part I have such a problem with.  It takes him so long to quit whining and drawing pictures in the margins and actually do the work that by the time we are done it's been an hour some days and we need to move on.  We run out of time for the "fun stuff."  (He learns the math right away, it's the DOING the math where we fall apart.) Oh, and we have already quit math for months!  :lol:  January - October last year we only did LOF, and he didn't even do the practice questions half the time.  He just read the stories. And we took the summer completely off.

 

I totally get the cheap thing. I get that going quickly through SM is expensive. If you are going to homeschool your twins with SM, you could view it as having it on hand. But that is neither here nor there because he may like MM. I just think it's worth considering strengths before making another investment that, while a good value, may still be a waste of money. And to be clear, maybe not! LOL I'm just saying that is why I was asking. :tongue_smilie: I am soooo helpful! :lol:

 

I hear you that the questions are hard to answer. I struggled with this DS for a long time because I could not crack his code. Ultimately, I figured out that he doesn't like being given the process and specific instructions, which is what made MM worse for us than SM. He wanted to feel like he solved a puzzle. He loved it when I would just give him a hard problem and then express pride when he solved it in his own way, and after that he didn't mind (so much) me telling him some other ways, because at that point, I wasn't telling him precisely how to do it. To this day, his biggest math motivator is working on a problem next to me and me saying, "Oh, I think I have it!" Oh no. The horror. You have never seen a kid work so fast to find the answer. :lol:

 

But... This DS did love the hard problems in BA. You didn't say if he likes puzzles as a rule. That was/is the thing for DS. 

 

At 7, I would scribe for him. "You write for x #, and I'll write x # for you." MM has lots on one page and small spaces to write in, which can make it a challenge for young kids. You can print out sections of a page onto their own page to make it more palatable to young kids. I have supplemented with it in the past and let DD use colored pencils, which she loved.

 

How compacting looked in practice was that we hit each concept. We focused on efficiency, which minimized the whining/drawing/falling off the chair. I would pick x # of (specific!) problems for him in a section and tell him that if he got them all right, we were done for the day and would move along to another concept the next day we came to it. Picking specific problems meant that I picked the hardest ones so he wasn't skating on to another topic without the fullest understanding. We did not do the WB after a certain point, just the IP and CWP. Some people frown on this but, really, all those WB skills are being used. Elementary math skills are folded in to hard problems just as they are in easier problems.

 

Also, the spine wasn't secret, just minimized with respect to the ratio of his time spent on more experiential, nontraditional math. He is now in AoPS, so we are past that. However, he does still do lots of supplemental activities, yes. The bolded is why I started with the fun stuff. I personally believe there is zero point in accelerating a resistant kid in a hated subject while simultaneously minimizing those aspects of the subject that could kill the hate. You know? If you were working at grade level, that would make it trickier. Time would be harder to find. But for a kid who is ahead, I wouldn't start with the hated parts. Start with the fun parts. After I quit math with this DS, I did not start it up again as a subject with SM or any other curriculum. I started chatting about real-life math, then playing some games, then reading some books, then commenting to him how his block and LEGO play were math, then abc and xyz, and then finally we started adding SM back in. The curriculum was reintroduced at the end of this process, in the way I said above (me scribing a bit, assigning fewer problems, etc.). 

 

Also, this is my kid who likes and is motivated by buddy math. I talk through a hard problem in front of him; I sit with him while he works through a hard problem (although he doesn't talk until he is finished, just grunts, sighs, and twirls his pencil through his hair LOL). 

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My DS is  also a self proclaimed hater of math.  He can do math, and he gets the answers correct, but it is like pulling teeth.  This year was our first year homeschooling and we started with BA, switched to MM, then to Khan Academy and at last tried LOF. The only thing he liked out of it all was LOF. 

 

My son loves to read, so any math that mixes reading into it works for him.  We will continue LOF next year, but I am not sure what other math to include.  I think we might revisit BA. 

 

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DD13 informs me that she still hates math, even after all these years.

 

In general, we switched publishers most years. Saxon, Teaching Textbooks, Horizons all come to mind. She hated LOF on sight. These days we mostly use traditional textbooks since I can buy them used for less money. I just picked up two different precalc publishers for next year for under $20 total with solutions manuals.

 

The key for us in changing publishers was to always place her at the right level. Sometimes skipping books or parts of books, sometimes going back to cover material that she hadn't seen. More work for me, but it has kept her interested.

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My ds loves to read too, so we do LOF, but he definitely still needs some instruction, or maybe I need more instruction. :)

 

 

He still maintains that BA was "too hard." He passed the placement test fine, so I'm not sure what the deal was.

 

In SM, He loves when there are codes to figure out. Hates long division, I think because of all the writing, but doesn't mind multiplication. He has most of the times tables down, and I think by the end of the summer he will be solid with them.

 

I do love the idea of making math about the fun stuff. I'm afraid this means buying more math books. Lol!

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I will confess to rushing a little through elementary math because I knew once we got past basic arithmetic she would enjoy it more. Getting through long division almost killed us both because as a previous poster said " have been there with a self-professed math hater who seemed to understand math intuitively and never got anything wrong unless it was due to carelessness caused by dying of boredom."

 

Even now the mistakes dd makes are never because she doesn't understand. She either daydreams and gets off track due to boredom or her poor handwriting causes her to make errors. 

 

There were a lot of doubts and sleepless nights worrying about how much time and energy I was putting in to math since it was her least favorite subject but I think we have now hit a sweet spot and it was worth it. She loves BA and does it for fun. She makes way less errors. I can't remember the last time she cried when I said it was time for math  :lol: . She is building stamina for solving more difficult problems (thank you BA) and her handwriting is getting to the point where she makes less mistakes because she can't read her answers.

 

Also, on the subject of BA...it is hard in parts. We were well past 3rd grade math when we started BA which I bought as a fun supplement. Some of it was very easy for DD and other problems were and are very challenging since she was used to getting everything write on the first attempt in other curriculum. BA and AOPs are designed to force you to try different approaches to problems. I think most 3rd graders would struggle with parts of BA.

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I never know if my older's experience would help anyone because he is just so unique.  But he powered through SM with just the Intensive Practice books for grades 4 and 5 (not even the textbook).  He did these from age 7 to 9, at which point he moved to AoPS intro algebra.  I would never have in a million years given him that book at that time, but he found it on the shelf and was very motivated to do it.  He had not yet mastered elementary math, so I had him continue to work on bits and pieces (fractions, decimals, even his subtraction facts) for a full year into his working on the algebra.  AND I never let him use a calculator, so he still had to practice calculating (which he was still quite slow at) while doing algebra.  The result was two fold.  1) He moved very slowly through the algebra book (as in 3 years), and 2) he fell madly and passionately in love with math. 

 

Personally, I think that if you are somewhat knowledgeable and involved in your child's learning, you can clean up any holes pretty easily.  Just give them a worksheet. :001_smile:

 

Ruth in NZ

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We didn't switch back and forth between products, but the only approach we use with math is multi-layered and doesn't move in a perfectly linear progression. We might have several strands/skills going at once. But for each one, I try and make sure that we go through the same process. Its tricky to keep up with, at first, but its worked out pretty well for us so far. In our little corner of the world, we do a lot of practice (some might say overkill) in math but I made the concious decision to just put in the work up front because I want the boys really, rock solid on the basics. I can't tell you how many times highschool and college students have told me they've never really gotten the hang of one math skill or another because: "Well, really, I just never practiced it. I get it--but I forget the steps or mess up because I don't really have it all down yet" or something like that. Makes me crazy.

 

1) We explore math verbally via discussion and using manipulatives as needed. This is where concepts are introduced and talked through, thought about informally. We use the whiteboard about half way through.

2) They play games--cheapo games that are the direct result of simple objects like rocks + chalk + sidewalk or sharpie + bottle cap + index card--It is during these games that we 'rough out' algorithms or 'discover' properties. I usually play the first few times, just to teach them the rules, but they play them without me more often than not.

3) Practice via Workbooks -- and lots of it. We use Math Mammoth and Keys To...primarily. We did have some extra worksheets just for fact practice also.

4) Second Round of discussion. We talk about and summarize steps 1-3 and we 'look back' or discuss what we learned and figure out if any of our original thoughts were wrong*. We all have whiteboards this time and we'll give each other little problems to solve. If someone misses a problem, we all stop and talk through it.

5) The previous skill(s) are used in new ways to move them into long term memory without just making the kids sick of rote practice of said skill(s).

 

*an example of what this looks like: Pal had trouble seeing that subtraction wasn't commutative.

During Step 1 Pal said things that implied that it was and couldn't be dissuaded other wise.

During step 2, Pal kept stumbling over the fact that Subtraction wasn't commutative and finally realized that it didn't work both ways because addition and subtraction are not "the same" in that way.

During step 3, by doing all that practice and by revisiting any step 2 exercises he wanted or needed to it finally sunk in for him that subtraction wasn't commutative.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming back to this because it's time to move on and I haven't decided what to buy, BUT, I wanted to thank everyone for such thoughtful responses. Lots to think about, you all asked the right questions and made excellent points. What I will do with them remains to be seen, but I appreciate them none the less. :)

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(Or perhaps went back and forth) did it cause lasting damage to your child?

 

:ph34r:

 

 

No lasting damage. :)

 

If I could go back, I wouldn't worry so much about a curriculum. But, I would have a checklist of math concepts and make sure I covered them all to make sure the foundation was really strong. And, I would stick a Math Olympiad problem in a few times a week to work on those problem solving skills.  

 

The real problem with changing curriculum is the missed content. So, you just want to make sure you've covered everything, then don't really worry about the curriculum itself. 

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Coming back to this because it's time to move on and I haven't decided what to buy, BUT, I wanted to thank everyone for such thoughtful responses. Lots to think about, you all asked the right questions and made excellent points. What I will do with them remains to be seen, but I appreciate them none the less. :)

 

I just looked at the age of your ds. At 8 I was concerned about the same thing. She was very strong in math, but there were definitely holes.

 

I decided we would test into Singapore and just work through it for an hour a day, four days per week. Even though she knew most of the material, I absolutely know it was the right decision for us. The fifth day I went ahead and let her start PreAlgebra and worked on in-depth problem solving. All 5 days a week we spent about 10 minutes on Alcumus or AoPS videos.

 

She is much more confident, and it has given her time to mature into more problem solving.

 

Good luck on whatever path you choose.

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