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I need Math curriculum ideas

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Will you all do me a favor and list what math you use and why you like it?  (also list if it's spiral or mastery)

 

I'm doing a little research into what i want to use next year and I'm stumped and not sure where to start.  

 

Thank you guys. 

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Start with CSMP and/or MEP because they are both free online.

 

If you don't like either of them, well, back to the drawing board. :)

 

http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mepres/primary/

http://stern.buffalostate.edu/CSMPProgram/

 

 

(Not including reasons why I like it, because I have a kid with dyscalculia and if you don't, my reasons won't be relevant.)

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We used RightStart Math for K-2 levels. I loved that it had a variety of hands-on manipulatives and games. I had a young learner and it was important to me that our school didn't feel too much like school, KWIM? RightStart says it's a hybrid of spiral and mastery, whatever that means. I would say that it spirals within each level, but expected mastery by the end of the book.

 

We then switched to Beast Academy. As my daughter for better at math, she felt hindered rather than helped by all the manipulatives and games. She's still a young learner and she loves the colorful comic book style of the guides. The workbooks are the most challenging elementary math I've ever seen and she needed that challenge. Beast Academy is mastery.

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Until this moment I thought csmp and mep were the same thing!!! Wow. Mind=blown.

 

Oh no! They are *very* different!

 

I supplement CSMP with MEP. If I had a NT kid, I'd do it the other way around.

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We use Math Mammoth -- we have used grades 1-5. It is straightforward -- easy to use (one book written to the student) can be used independently, and rock solid conceptually. It is incremental and mastery.

 

There are complaints about the pages being crowded and not very exciting, which are true, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

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I've used Singapore Math U.S. Edition for levels 1, 2, and on 3 now.  I'm also using Beast Academy.

 

I'm using Rightstart math with my middle child.  It's really repetitive.

 

I like Singapore Math and Beast Academy. 

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I don't know if my math favorites were spiral or mastery. That wasn't something we discussed when I was homeschooling. We discussed whether or not manipulatives were used. :-)

 

For traditional elementary, my favorite is Rod and Staff Publishers. I also like Saxon beginning with Math 54.

 

For process math (that which uses manipulatives), I like Miquon. After Miquon I'd have to toss a coin to choose between R&S and Saxon. :-)

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We use Math Mammoth -- we have used grades 1-5. It is straightforward -- easy to use (one book written to the student) can be used independently, and rock solid conceptually. It is incremental and mastery.

 

There are complaints about the pages being crowded and not very exciting, which are true, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

What she said.

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We have used Singapore Math, MEP, Teaching Textbooks, Beast Academy, Miquon, Saxon and pieces from MM. Of those, SM was a full program (that's we used years 1 and 2). BA is our year 3 stuff. Then year four is still undecided. My daughter needed sort of a "gap year" after BA for confidence and maturity. She did TT 4&5. She's doing BA 4 and Saxon 54 now. My son just finished BA 3 and is moving into MM for a bit of a break. My third child is a huge visual learner. She is currently on break from MEP y 1 and is working through some MM 1.

 

But I am very mathy and very comfortable teaching math in a Singaporean style. YMMV.

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I think it would help if you could explain what isn't working for you with Saxon. That would help direct the conversation.

There are many great math curricula.

 

Emily

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I am definitely for Spiral math in elementary. It keeps things interesting and fresh, multiple areas and thoughts working at once. When kids begin playing with math concepts in their daily lives, I believe they'll cover more working with more concepts alongside each other and seeing their connections than focusing on one at a time. It also has built in revision without being overwhelming.

 

We don't use any particular program, I pull from lots of different resources.

Mathematical Reasoning is our 'spine' and acts as a catch-all for the minor concepts (like measurement)  which might not appear elsewhere. It also presents problems in a different way. 

We plan to begin Beast when the time comes, I am unsure whether this will replace MR as our spine or work alongside it, many people use it as a supplement, and it seems more mastery than spiral. 

Either way, we supplement a lot with all sorts of bits and pieces.

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We use Math Mammoth -- we have used grades 1-5. It is straightforward -- easy to use (one book written to the student) can be used independently, and rock solid conceptually. It is incremental and mastery.

 

There are complaints about the pages being crowded and not very exciting, which are true, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

 

This, though we've only completed grades 2-3 (currently using 4A).  I use A Beka for K & 1st grade material.

 

Another thing I like about MM is that it's relatively inexpensive, especially if you get in on a group buy on HSBC.  I looked into Beast Academy, and I do think it would be a hit here, but I can't justify the cost.

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I think the terms "mastery" and "spiral" are sort of misleading. Some programs really defy this characterization. I find "conceptual" and "algorithmic" a little more useful, but again, I think programs can lead from concepts or from algorithms.

 

One of my kids used Math Mammoth 1-4th and then (after some figuring out) began using MEP to finish out elementary math. Math Mammoth sticks to one topic at a time. MEP sort of does, but has some review built in. Both programs heavily emphasize concepts. Math Mammoth has lots of practice problems.

 

The other one mostly used Miquon then Beast Academy. Now he's doing pre-algebra with Jousting Armadillos. Miquon jumps around and uses manipulatives to emphasize concepts. It's discovery based. Beast Academy uses an innovative comic book text and lots of puzzle type problems that can be very challenging as well as introduces kids to really difficult concepts.

 

I don't think knowing what worked for one family means you know what will work for you. My kids are twins and, as you can see, they've had extremely different math paths. I tried my Miquon kid on MM - no dice. I tried my MM kid on Beast - no dice. Sometimes the best program is the one that works for the kid (and for the teacher).

 

 

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DS has used Mathematical Reasoning from pre-k to 1st books which were fun but started to bug him as too much spiral review. He is just starting with Math in Focus 1A but enjoying it and it's moving quickly and easy to teach. I'm intimidated by Asian math so I'm excited about MIF so my mathy child can do Singapore math but I can feel comfortable teaching it. I think it would be a mastery program but I believe it has more review than Singapore.

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I use Rightstart with my youngest, and it's perfect for him. I love that it's manipulative-based; it has a lot of games; and it de-emphasizes counting.

 

I use Beast Academy with my oldest. I love how independently she can do it; I love the graphic novel format for the guide; and I love the puzzle-type workbook.

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I reviewed Saxon, Singapore, A Beka, and Math U See on my blog.

https://itavitaafrican.wordpress.com/our-homeschooling-journey/curriculum/curricula-comparisons/math-comparison/

 

I've used the latter three programs. My favorite is MUS. I also have MM's Blue Series for supplementation and have used bits of it. I have RS games and abacus and have used Beast Academy 3A.

 

There are so many choices, it is overwhelming. I started with the recommendations in TWTM, and then Cathy Duffy also gave me a lot of help while searching through curricula. I looked here and a couple other places for users reviews. Try to consider your needs as a teacher as well. That's one of the reasons I prefer MUS, not just because I think it can fit lots of children, but also because it fits me fairly well.

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We've used several.

 

Right Start-loved level A and B. Very hands on, very conceptual. Spiral.

 

Christian Light Education Sunrise Math. Used 1-4. Very independent. Very clear, concise lessons. Workbook format makes tracking your progress easy and motivating. Spiral. Flash card system is great!

 

Saxon. Used 5/4 and 6/5. My children can do it entirely on their own. Explanations are thorough. We use 2nd edition. Spiral.

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Ray's Primary

Strayer-Upton books 1-3

Saxon Algebra 1&2.

 

Why?

 

Because I and my students live in perpetual chaos. The small books can be thrown in a backpack and are cheap to replace.

 

I used to use Ray's longer instead of switching to S-U, because I could get the books from Amazon and save on shipping, but it wasn't as convenient as having students just have one books with the answers in the back.

 

I don't own Saxon right now and am just refusing to tutor algebra right now, but when I feel compelled to teach the subject, I track down a used set of Saxon. Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 were originally written for remedial community college classes and they do a fantastic job of preparing a student for CC college algebra.

 

Never say never, but I doubt I will ever again teach past Saxon Algebra 1 and 2. It takes too much out of me, for not enough benefit to MY students.

 

I am really focusing on just pre-algebra now. There are plenty of adult education classes around the city that my students qualify for. And those that are not stable enough to attend those classes really are not stable enough to use the type of algebra past the last few chapters of S-U.

 

I'm really trying to focus lately and spend my very limited resources where they do the most good. I used to top down plan for direct entry into a selective 4 year college, and that resulted in me disproportionately spending resources where they were the least effective.

 

I can change lives with a 3 book set of Strayer-Upton. Slow and steady. More reading books, real books, than math. But some math. The math people use most in real life.

 

And when I am stronger and healthier and calmer, I interact with students better, and really, one of the most important parts of teaching is our interactions with students.

 

I'm doing less, spending less, and accomplishing more.

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And FWIW, my kids hated Saxon, but did really well with CLE even though in some ways they are very similar.  CLE was an awesome lifesaver for us.

 

We have used a LOT of math curriculum over the years, by the way.  

 

TT works for some kids quite well.  Make sure they are doing work on paper, not just through the computer and be aware there are ways to sort of "cheat" the system without the student even really being aware that they are doing so.  Some kids really do incredibly well with this program, though.  My kids liked it but did not retain as much as I would have liked and got tired of too much computer time.  For others, it is the perfect fit.

 

Math in Focus is, IMHO, an easier version of Singapore to implement for someone who has never used that type of math and it is great for conceptual understanding and word problems.  Books and workbooks can usually be purchased used but in great condition on Amazon.  Text is clearly laid out so the TM isn't strictly necessary but I found them helpful for giving me options when a child was struggling or was surging ahead.  It also breaks down all the concepts, etc. and makes it easier to see the big picture.

 

Beast Academy is just utterly amazing with conceptual understanding but a hard program to use as a primary with kids that need spiral.  Good as a supplement, though.  This program is challenging enough that older kids could use it and still get something out of it as long as they are o.k. with the cartoon characters.  Heck, a lot of adults find parts of this program challenging (but in a good way).

 

Math on the Level has an awesome tracking chart for keeping up with all the skills a child needs through 8th grade math, as well as how those skills interrelate.  It also implements a really cool way of doing spiral review that is not overwhelming.  It can be hard to use if you don't put in some serious effort at the beginning to understand the program.  Great for asynchronous kids, though.  You can see where they need work and keep working on those areas while surging forward in other areas.

 

We have tried others.   Those are the ones we have loved and still use from time to time as needed.

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I used MEP with 3 of mine for a while (Year 1 to Year 5, Year 1 to Year 3, R to Year 1). It's good, solid, tweakable - but hard to speed up if you start later if you want to use it as a main. It's very puzzle based, very spiral in teaching method. There are lesson plans along with the books. In early years I would do it 'normally' - the lesson plan and then go through the workbook. Year 3 on, they'd often do the workbook themselves, I'd check, then I'd pick through the lesson to see what was new or needed. My older 2 asked for a change this year for maths - I think they were just tired of it after years of the same [puzzles get harder but many puzzle types repeat a lot and I think they disliked there being more than the workbook]. I showed my eldest MEP secondary. He tried a few things and he likes the look of it, it's quite different to the primary, but he wants a year off so he is using Math Essentials this year with Math Mammoth as a add-on for areas he needs more practice on. While it can be used for a wide range of ability, I found the level of frustration using it as a core really showed in my less mathy and younger when started not working. A lot of people use this a year down or just worksheet add-on because of that I think. The lesson plans are designed for schools so some tweaking will be needed. Joining the Yahoo Group is recommended. MEP can go all the way through. 

 

Math Mammoth is what my current Year 4 and Year 1ish kids are doing this year. It's mastery. It good discipline for my Year 4 child as she often skips instructions and such. MEP is instruction light on page - the workbook assumes either the teacher will give the instruction or the child will recognize the problems enough to do them themselves. Now almost all of the instructions are on the page so now I can just point at the instruction and have her repeat them. My Year 1 child prefers the look and format of MM compared to MEP [she's doing Grade 1 after doing most of MEP 1 which she struggled a lot with]. They both enjoy and want to continue with it which was not true for either of them with MEP. It does involve printing which I'm still getting used to [i'm in the UK so I bought the MEP books] but the printing means for my eldest I can just pull out what he needs to work on. As recommended on another thread on it, I took my older 2 through the chapter end reviews to see what gaps and what level they are at and it worked really well for us to do so. We're going to do a measurement unit study of all the measurement pages in a couple of months - MEP really only covers metric, so their knowledge of imperial/customary is pretty weak, I'm just waiting to get all the measuring tool in the January sales [it recommends a bathroom scale that does kg and lbs]. I'd really recommend waiting for it to go on sale at homeschool buyer's co-op so you can get a big set so you can tweak as needed to suit a student. I out of the ones I've experienced, it most flexible for varying abilities, many people do not like how many problems/pages there are (my youngest loves this - makes her feel proud that she did aaalll of those) so tweaking may be needed - as it is for all programmes I think. It goes from Grade 1 to Grade 7/Pre-algebra. 

 

Not as useful for you now or next year, but last is Math Essentials is mainly mastery - it's hit and move on. There is Book 1 for 4th and 5th, Book 2 for 6th+ - oddly Book 1 has more topics than Book 2 so we're kinda meshing them together. Each day there are review problems but once you get past the first chapter it can be a while before you see certain problem type again so I use MM's creator's worksheet generator to create problems on areas he needs more practice. It has 4 problem review, speed drill of addition and multiplication facts, video for page with new material, helpful hints, a couple of samples that I have my eldest do out loud for me, then 10 problems and one word problem. I then add in one problem for each he missed on the last review page until he gets so many right on the first try that it is deemed done. If he gets low on a section, we use MM pages for a few days. The teaching in the videos is good and the helpful hints are solid but it's still pretty brief and as written in the manual seems to be more designed as start to larger lessons than on its own so would recommend for a solid maths student that wants to move forward quickly with parents who are happy to add-on as needed. They also several other books, but my eldest is treating this as a one year 'get er done'/firming up on foundations before going onto MEP Y7 and I think it will give him a solid basis for it. I quite like it for that. My Year 4 tried it but needs more than that so it wasn't a good fit for her. 

 

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Will you all do me a favor and list what math you use and why you like it?  (also list if it's spiral or mastery)

 

I'm doing a little research into what i want to use next year and I'm stumped and not sure where to start.  

 

Thank you guys. 

Saxon Math 5/4 -- Spiral 100%

Saxon Math 6/5 -- Spiral 100%

Saxon Algebra 1 - Spiral  ~80% (1st edition)

Hard Math for Elementary -- Mastery (supplement)

Math in Focus: Course 1 -- Mastery (in progress)

 

We used Saxon Math 5/4 and 6/5 completely and loved them. We had to adapt the books to my sons level with home made worksheets, but they were wonderful for our boy and created a firm foundation, he fully mastered just about every thing in the books. We got Saxon Math 5/4 and Math 6/5 for free, but would happily buy them.

 

Hard Math for Elementary, we used along side Math 6/5 for our boy and thought that it was okay--not good and not bad, just okay. We really liked some of the topics, but there was much in this book that was poorly taught, the format was not friendly to my student. We got it from the library and would not buy it.

 

During the summer, we used an old version of Saxon Algebra 1 (the 1st edition I think), and we did a lot of the book, not all but all of it.

My son liked this book best because he thought that the problems were fun and we went over the lessons at the marker board and did more than 80% of the problems orally. Almost no writing required from my son. He enjoyed not writing and his mental math skills got really, really good. We did not complete this whole book but we got through a lot of it. We own this book, so I bought it.

 

Math in Focus: Course 1. We are currently using Math in Focus Course 1. The content of this book is mostly review after Math 65 and Algebra 1, but it is not too easy and not too hard. Its a good level of challenge for my boy and does a good job teaching the material to the student. The format of this book is excellent. There is much white space, steps are shown clearly, the illustrations are not over-whelming and the teaching in the student text is very, very good. Math in Focus is mastery based. There is minimal reviewing in this text, but this has not been a huge problem for us because we use the program in our own unique way and add in spiral review each day. My son needs spiral review format found in Saxon, it helps him to master the material, but MiF: Course 1 is a very sound and sturdy text.

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Will you all do me a favor and list what math you use and why you like it?  (also list if it's spiral or mastery)

 

I'm doing a little research into what i want to use next year and I'm stumped and not sure where to start.  

 

Thank you guys. 

 

ETA: These are programs I've used in the past.  Not using any of them at the moment.

 

Right Start math: spiral, uses and abacus, very hands-on, manipulative-based, drills through games.  A game set is sold separately and would be a good addition to other math programs.

 

Teaching Textbooks: spiral, usually done on the computer (though you can use the workbook instead), focuses on teaching the pencil and paper algorithms, GREAT for kids who are burnt out on math and need a confidence builder, can be done independently.  Tends to run behind grade level so take a placement test and don't worry about the scope and sequence.  Eventually everything gets covered.

 

Math Mammoth:  mastery, heavily focuses on the "why" of math, challenging, solid program.  The pages can be overwhelming.  There are a LOT of problems on each page.  Many people have their kids do half the problems and call it good, unless more practice is needed on a particular concept.  

 

McRuffy Math:  I will always have a soft spot for this program.  It has a more traditional approach.  It's spiral, uses manipulatives, the teacher's guide is idiot-proof, the student completes one page of math per day, the pages are colorful with plenty of white space and are not at all overwhelming.  

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My older kids HATED Saxon math. At that time we didn't have as many choices as now. And it's worth noting, even my mathy kids had to have extra help by us to do well on SAT's. They did wind up getting academic scholarship s but not because of Saxon. I HATE Saxon. IMO. I don't feel it prepares them for college math. I know, controversial, but I had other friends homeschooling who had to do the same we did. Prepare them for college math. I don't believe their spiral approach is comprehensive enough . not enough focus on mastery and why I have become a big fan of Singapore. We use PM. I bought a level of MIF . IMO its way more busy on the page and to conveluted to teach. I love the HIG's in Singapore PM and even my lil learning challenged guys do very well with it.

 

It's orderly, very orderly and mastery based. The have plenty of practice in the workbooks and the IP and CWP. I recommend checking it out

 

We start with MUS . it's hands on, visual, and has a DVD teaching directly to the kids. My boys do well with it .

 

The Singapore children are killing us in STEM subjects...way ahead of us. This mayh program is amazing imo.

 

We also use beast for fun. I have to help them read it (lc) then I read it to them and we work on the problems together. Beast is comic book form and fun but challenging . it's not about getting the correct answer but figuring out the different ways to come to that answer.

 

Mabe you have a friend who you could look at their math programs and see? Beast has some good samples online. Though probably not ideal for your spine.

 

I highly recommend Singapore PM for a spine. The pages are cartoonish and fun. And the IP has plenty of practice. I save pages to go back and do the ' spiral' things we've already learned and practice. My boys need alot of practice. And why we used MUS first to get them started or to review a concept already learned.

 

What I do love about MIF is their manipulative. I use them with Singapore PM though lol.

 

BTW. MIF is Singapore but an americanized version of it. As I have read from Singapore website. They do ' oen' MIF. Again tho, I found it too busy n all over the place in the TM.

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