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Continue with BJU Math 6, or switch to CLE?


jer2911mom
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We used CLE for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd, then finished that year with MM.  We have done BJU for 4th and 5th and I really like the way it teaches the concepts.  My dd has done well with it.  But, the format starts changing in 6th where it is no longer a workbook, and we are tired of how long the lessons take to teach.  In 7th grade, the TM format changes completely and is not as teacher-friendly.  I am trying to decide if I want to use CLE 6 for 6th.  The shorter teaching time would be a welcome change, as well the option for my dd to go ahead and get started on the We Remember whenever she is ready and not have to wait on me.  She wants to use CLE and likes the workbook format.  

 

I'm concerned if I would be sacrificing the conceptual teaching too much.  And I feel BJU is stronger in word problems, too.  And I would likely only stay with CLE through algebra at the most because I only want to use Sunrise editions.  I'd like to hit algebra in 8th grade, so would try to push through CLE 600 and half of 700 next year, and then the last half of 700 and then as much of 800 as we could for 7th.  I don't want this push to offset the shorter teaching time we'd gain by using CLE.  I'd probably drop quizzes, the 01 LUs, do two new and one review sometimes, etc.

 

Anyway, I'd appreciate any insights on BJU math and CLE math for middle school.  I started the Process Skills books with my dd last year, but she barely had time to get to it with the BJU and is only in the 2nd book.  I could push those along some (we were doing the Math Express book as well, which I would drop) to try to ramp up the word problems, but I don't know if that would really be sufficient.  My gut tells me BJU would be stronger, but I guess I'm trying to convince myself that CLE will still be sufficient for preparing my dd for upper level math, possibly Foerster's or maybe even BJU (but I'd need something else for calculus since they don't offer that).

 

Thanks,

Kathy

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CLE is excellent. You will not be short hanging her at all. Many kids, my older a included, test into algebra easily after CLE 600.

If your dd wants to do CLE, that is a huge win! You don't actually teach the lessons at that level. The books are written to be self-teaching.

 

 

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Thank you!  What algebra do you use after CLE?  Have you tried their algebra yet?  What do you use for high school math after CLE?

 

Thanks,

Kathy

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I have used BJ Press Math up through Alg 1.  I agree that Math 6 and 7 do start to be more work for the teacher. We just  do a sampling of the text problems: such as a few from ex A, even or odd of B and C. I work on a spriral pad of paper while my daughter copies from her text book. It is teacher intensive, but does teach great problem solving skills. BJ math teaches strategies and step by step building on processes. I like the logic of it and so does my daughter. She is really learning a math concept, not just getting the right answer. It handles several learning styles in the introductions and explanations. Math 6 and Math 7 do fit together seamlessly. Together, they really prepare the student for pre-algebra. Printed quizzes for every 2 - 3 lessons are in the test pack also,  so it helps with review. The distance learning DVDs usually go on sale in Dec for $99 and you can buy for the next school year. I am going to try to plan financially for this. I have not tried these as of yet.

 

Another positive, ALL of the steps for EVERY problem are shown in BJ math in the teacher's ed. This is a huge help to me in learning a process. I am planning to stay with this math for Geometry at least, and probably Alg 2. After that, I don't know. I am an artist, not a mathematician.

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I disagree about CLE being excellent. It is heavy on procedure and light on application. My older son did grades 2-5 with a Saxon book in the middle, and he had a very weak foundation. He did great within the program, but moving on to a more solid math program showed his huge weaknesses.

 

I'm not familiar with BJU math except I've heard it is strong. I'd look at a middle school math series like Prentice Hall or Nath in Focus that has workbooks available.

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I have used BJ Press Math up through Alg 1.  I agree that Math 6 and 7 do start to be more work for the teacher. We just  do a sampling of the text problems: such as a few from ex A, even or odd of B and C. I work on a spriral pad of paper while my daughter copies from her text book. It is teacher intensive, but does teach great problem solving skills. BJ math teaches strategies and step by step building on processes. I like the logic of it and so does my daughter. She is really learning a math concept, not just getting the right answer. It handles several learning styles in the introductions and explanations. Math 6 and Math 7 do fit together seamlessly. Together, they really prepare the student for pre-algebra. Printed quizzes for every 2 - 3 lessons are in the test pack also,  so it helps with review. The distance learning DVDs usually go on sale in Dec for $99 and you can buy for the next school year. I am going to try to plan financially for this. I have not tried these as of yet.

 

Another positive, ALL of the steps for EVERY problem are shown in BJ math in the teacher's ed. This is a huge help to me in learning a process. I am planning to stay with this math for Geometry at least, and probably Alg 2. After that, I don't know. I am an artist, not a mathematician.

 

Thank you!  My dilemma is that I'd like my dd to have the opportunity to take calculus in high school, which means she needs to hit pre-algebra in 7th.  So we'd have to skip BJU 7.  I feel like that might be detrimental because I get the feeling it is not a review year, but that new concepts are still being taught.  Do you feel that's a correct assessment of it?  What would we be missing if we skipped BJU 7?

 

How hard is it to teach after the TM changes format?  How do you prepare for it?  Do you use the TM notes, or just work from the textbook?

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I disagree about CLE being excellent. It is heavy on procedure and light on application. My older son did grades 2-5 with a Saxon book in the middle, and he had a very weak foundation. He did great within the program, but moving on to a more solid math program showed his huge weaknesses.

 

I'm not familiar with BJU math except I've heard it is strong. I'd look at a middle school math series like Prentice Hall or Nath in Focus that has workbooks available.

 

Thanks, we used CLE for grades 1 and 2 and part of 3 and I know what you mean.  I started getting frustrated in 3rd grade because I felt the conceptual teaching that was so good in 1st grade and part of 2nd was dwindling in places.  We switched to MM to finish out the year and then started BJU in 4th.  BJU has been what I've wanted except it takes too long to teach.  I have two different BJU math lessons to teach each day, and it just really eats away at our time.  Plus the format change in 6th and 7th just really has me wondering if it will still be a good fit for us.  I guess I've been wondering if 6th grade math just kind of builds on the concepts we have a good foundation in and wraps up elementary math, and if we could just kind of coast with CLE a bit while still learning the next level.  My dd doesn't really need the manips that BJU uses anymore, so I'm wondering if CLE would be enough to keep her moving forward.  I have been wondering if CLE is any stronger in the middle school years than it was in the elementary years.  I looked at it at convention and had a more favorable impression of it than I expected.

 

What would you say were the weaknesses you saw after you moved on from CLE?  What program did you move on to that was more solid?

 

We used Math in Focus 2a and it is not what I am looking for.

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OP,

 

 If your child is quick to get concepts, you could skip BJU's Fundamentals of Math (the 7th grade text) and go straight to Pre-A. We jumped ship halfway through the Fundamentals book (and began Pre-A) because Mr. Math  was B O R E D :001_rolleyes: . 

 

His brother, Mr. Slow and Steady, needed that year with Fundamentals before doing Pre-A.  Different kids.

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What we didn't like about BJU were all the strategies, manipulatives, and tricks. Some kids may need those but mine found them irritating and confusing.

I think there is too much emphasis on conceptual and application in young math. The time for that really is later when the child's mind is more able to understand it. When kids are young, they need to focus on procedures so they can apply it later. CLE has at least 2 word problems a day where they need to apply concepts. For a child just learning this is plenty. But I'm a big believer in no algebra concepts before high school. I see no reason to rush math. Take your time. It isn't necessary for a kid to take calculus in high school. Most times they will have to take it again anyway in college.

[emoji4]

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

Forgot to answer- with older sons, we skipped high school and went straight to community college. I would not suggest that for every kid. Our situation is and was ...complicated.

For my younger kids, I don't know yet what I will have them do. I do know it won't be Saxon as that is not a fit at any level for any of my kids.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide is best for your situation!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Thanks!  My dds struggled with the mental math in Singapore so early.  They just weren't ready for it, so I know what you mean.  BJU has worked well for both of them so far.  It is kind of that middle ground for us between traditional and Singapore.  It's more how cumbersome it is for us that is driving me from it than anything else.

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Can someone please elaborate on how the format changes in BJU 6? I've only seen samples online, but it looks the same as 5 to me.

 

In BJU 6, it is no longer a worktext, even though it looks similar to the worktexts in previous years.  The student's book is now a softcover textbook without enough room to write.  They transition to pencil and paper.  In BJU 7, the TM changes completely in format.  It is no longer scripted and goes to more of a paragraph format.  The student book is much more of a textbook format.

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OP,

 

 If your child is quick to get concepts, you could skip BJU's Fundamentals of Math (the 7th grade text) and go straight to Pre-A. We jumped ship halfway through the Fundamentals book (and began Pre-A) because Mr. Math  was B O R E D :001_rolleyes: . 

 

His brother, Mr. Slow and Steady, needed that year with Fundamentals before doing Pre-A.  Different kids.

 

Thanks!  It's nice to hear this from someone who has used both.  My dd tends to catch the concepts pretty quickly in BJU, just needs more review after that to retain them.  Did you continue with BJU after pre-algebra?  Did you teach it yourself, or use the DL?

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Thanks!  It's nice to hear this from someone who has used both.  My dd tends to catch the concepts pretty quickly in BJU, just needs more review after that to retain them.  Did you continue with BJU after pre-algebra?  Did you teach it yourself, or use the DL?

 

I *will be* teaching Algebra 1 in about 12 weeks. :scared:   (grabs paper bag to breathe into...)  One child in BJU (no DL, too $ right now), another child in older edition Dolciani. 

 

Guess what's on my summer reading list...math books.

 

Check back with me later...who knows what :thumbup:  :toetap05:  :sneaky2:  :willy_nilly:  :001_cool:  :001_tt2:  :banghead:  :biggrinjester: I'll use to describe how it goes. ;)

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I *will be* teaching Algebra 1 in about 12 weeks. :scared:   (grabs paper bag to breathe into...)  One child in BJU (no DL, too $ right now), another child in older edition Dolciani. 

 

Guess what's on my summer reading list...math books.

 

Check back with me later...who knows what :thumbup:  :toetap05:  :sneaky2:  :willy_nilly:  :001_cool:  :001_tt2:  :banghead:   I'll use to describe how it goes. ;)

 

Are you using both the BJU and the Dolciani for algebra?  Yes, I'll check back with you later! :)

 

P.S. LOL I got a message that I was posting a message with more emoticons than this community allows, and to please reduce the number of emoticons I've added to the message!  Had to delete one!

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In BJU 6, it is no longer a worktext, even though it looks similar to the worktexts in previous years. The student's book is now a softcover textbook without enough room to write. They transition to pencil and paper. In BJU 7, the TM changes completely in format. It is no longer scripted and goes to more of a paragraph format. The student book is much more of a textbook format.

Well, that's a bummer. I just recently got more comfortable using that monstrous TM. :/ (This was our first year with BJU...maybe our last with this bit of news!)

Thank you for clarifying!

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Well, that's a bummer. I just recently got more comfortable using that monstrous TM. :/ (This was our first year with BJU...maybe our last with this bit of news!)

Thank you for clarifying!

 

I know, it takes some time to get up to speed with it and figure out how to use it efficiently.  You might look at the samples to see what you think.  Maybe it's just a matter of adapting to the different format.  Some people have been telling me that in 7th and up they teach mostly from the textbook, which has a lot more instruction in it than the worktexts in elementary, and only refer to the TM as needed.

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With BJ Math, Math 7 can be skipped for a student very solid in arithmetic concepts. You can go straight to Pre-algebra. We chose to go ahead and do math 7. I do still daily teach using the teacher manual for upper grades. I read through the lessons procedure in the TE ahead of time. Then,  I talk through the lesson with my daughter. I do not read every word out  loud for her... But we do talk through most of the examples step by step. The TE pages are a picture of the student book. Underneath the picture of the student book, the lower 4 -5 inched are the teacher notes. These notes give introduction ideas, clarification of terminology, an area that tells the specific problems in the work that the students might have trouble with, what I especially like is the complete step by step answer procedures of every single problem. The margins on the sides of the page are big, so I make my notes there. The Math 7 reviews and applies elementary arithmetic to more complex problems.  It is not babyish or remedial. It was very helpful for us. But I also know of people who skip Math 7 and go straight to the Pre-algebra and their children do fine. I chose to do that year of review.

For more precise details, you could contact one of the Precept-Homeworks consultants on the web.

 

Another thing I like about it is the Christian perspective woven in through the entire lesson. It is not just a Bible verse tacked on the page somewhere. Teaching math concepts like probability with the acknowledgement that God has a definite will and plan in what happens is exciting. These books do a great job making hard math actually relate to the real world through the world view. This has been a help to us.

 

Good luck in your research as you do your best to determine which publisher and book is the right fit for your student. Sometimes, it takes a lot of digging. Keep up the good work.

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With BJ Math, Math 7 can be skipped for a student very solid in arithmetic concepts. You can go straight to Pre-algebra. We chose to go ahead and do math 7. I do still daily teach using the teacher manual for upper grades. I read through the lessons procedure in the TE ahead of time. Then,  I talk through the lesson with my daughter. I do not read every word out  loud for her... But we do talk through most of the examples step by step. The TE pages are a picture of the student book. Underneath the picture of the student book, the lower 4 -5 inched are the teacher notes. These notes give introduction ideas, clarification of terminology, an area that tells the specific problems in the work that the students might have trouble with, what I especially like is the complete step by step answer procedures of every single problem. The margins on the sides of the page are big, so I make my notes there. The Math 7 reviews and applies elementary arithmetic to more complex problems.  It is not babyish or remedial. It was very helpful for us. But I also know of people who skip Math 7 and go straight to the Pre-algebra and their children do fine. I chose to do that year of review.

For more precise details, you could contact one of the Precept-Homeworks consultants on the web.

 

Another thing I like about it is the Christian perspective woven in through the entire lesson. It is not just a Bible verse tacked on the page somewhere. Teaching math concepts like probability with the acknowledgement that God has a definite will and plan in what happens is exciting. These books do a great job making hard math actually relate to the real world through the world view. This has been a help to us.

 

Good luck in your research as you do your best to determine which publisher and book is the right fit for your student. Sometimes, it takes a lot of digging. Keep up the good work.

 

Thanks! I appreciate hearing how you prepare and teach the lessons, and the encouragement! :)  How long does it take you to teach the lesson in the upper grades?  Do you mostly just use the examples from the textbook, or do you also go through the extra examples in the TM that I see listed in the samples?  How long would you say your student spent on upper level lessons total (including the teaching)?  Did it increase each year?  Also, do the tests give you point values for grading at those levels?  That's one thing that drives me nuts about the lower levels.  I feel like I spin my wheels trying to think that through every time.  I feel like that's another way they try to drive you towards using the DL.

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Hi. I read the lessons ahead of time, underline the steps in whatever process is being taught. Then, I usually use their introduction printed in the book, and then summarize all the teaching talk. I do not read through every word out loud.  We DO read through all of the examples. I do not use the extra problems in the TE to explain.. The examples are sufficient, as well as the problems in the first exercise. I usually teach the lesson in about 20 - 30 minutes, and then work the problems in the exercises along side my daughter. I use a spiral notebook for my math work. She works separately on her own paper. Once I see that she is understanding  everything, then I go back and make a study card for the lesson for us to use for review the next day -  while she finishes up. She works slowly due to a disgraphia issue and a playful Labrador walking around with his rope in his mouth to play.  It takes us about 1 1/2 hours to do everything. We use the review quizzes and the tests. And we only do the even or the odd from the textbook. Sometimes, we do a mix of both if I see she needs more practice. The test answer key is thorough with not just the answers, but every line of the procedure.  They do not give point values for tests and quizzes. I decide for myself with that - giving partial credit when appropriate. The lessons are by chapter, not the 165 lessons of the elementary years. Some lessons take 2 class periods. The extra dominion problems (at least for Algebra 1) were more challenging. We did not always do those. But we did talk through the answers with my book. Those are meant for honors level. I think the upper levels are much easier to teach from than the lower levels. I do not really like the scripted lesson plans. I just have to first re-learn the algebra concepts by myself before I teach to my daughter. We work from 7 - 8:30 - before her younger siblings are active. I study her lessons every day at around 6:45.  The 7 th grade book I think took us about the same amount of time. Even though it is review, it was challenging for us. Right now, I can't afford the DL; and I haven't seen enough sample lessons to know if I would like it. I have used Robbob videos on youtube, and the Thinkwell videos to which we had access last year for reinforcement. At least for Geometry, I will be fine to teach. For Alg 2 and up, I do want to use the DL when it goes on sale in Dec. We do finish the book every year. So far, I am thankful we can keep up the pace.

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Hi. I read the lessons ahead of time, underline the steps in whatever process is being taught. Then, I usually use their introduction printed in the book, and then summarize all the teaching talk. I do not read through every word out loud.  We DO read through all of the examples. I do not use the extra problems in the TE to explain.. The examples are sufficient, as well as the problems in the first exercise. I usually teach the lesson in about 20 - 30 minutes, and then work the problems in the exercises along side my daughter. I use a spiral notebook for my math work. She works separately on her own paper. Once I see that she is understanding  everything, then I go back and make a study card for the lesson for us to use for review the next day -  while she finishes up. She works slowly due to a disgraphia issue and a playful Labrador walking around with his rope in his mouth to play.  It takes us about 1 1/2 hours to do everything. We use the review quizzes and the tests. And we only do the even or the odd from the textbook. Sometimes, we do a mix of both if I see she needs more practice. The test answer key is thorough with not just the answers, but every line of the procedure.  They do not give point values for tests and quizzes. I decide for myself with that - giving partial credit when appropriate. The lessons are by chapter, not the 165 lessons of the elementary years. Some lessons take 2 class periods. The extra dominion problems (at least for Algebra 1) were more challenging. We did not always do those. But we did talk through the answers with my book. Those are meant for honors level. I think the upper levels are much easier to teach from than the lower levels. I do not really like the scripted lesson plans. I just have to first re-learn the algebra concepts by myself before I teach to my daughter. We work from 7 - 8:30 - before her younger siblings are active. I study her lessons every day at around 6:45.  The 7 th grade book I think took us about the same amount of time. Even though it is review, it was challenging for us. Right now, I can't afford the DL; and I haven't seen enough sample lessons to know if I would like it. I have used Robbob videos on youtube, and the Thinkwell videos to which we had access last year for reinforcement. At least for Geometry, I will be fine to teach. For Alg 2 and up, I do want to use the DL when it goes on sale in Dec. We do finish the book every year. So far, I am thankful we can keep up the pace.

 

Thank you so much for all the details!!  It really helps me to visualize what our day would look like.  Is the teaching from the TM generally all done before you hit the textbook, or do you go back and forth between the TM and the textbook?  Does the TM reference the different parts of the textbook, or are you on your own as to when you incorporate it into the lesson?

 

How often are the quizzes?  Does the TM tell you how many class periods each lesson should take?  Are the quizzes and tests built into the lessons, or do they add to the school year?  I always feel out of breath trying to finish the book by the end of the year.  BJU doesn't really allow for days off, it seems, especially if you incorporate the tests.

 

That's interesting that you find the upper levels much easier to teach from than the lower levels.  I hope that would be the case for us as well.  I have not cared for the DL samples I've seen so far.  They sometimes seem babyish or just excessively long.  I know they cut down on the 6th grade level, and hopefully they plan to with the other levels as well.  

 

I haven't heard of the Robbob videos -- will have to check those out.  Thanks again for all the info.!

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I use the TE as my copy of my daughter's book. There is no discussion planned. Just notes for the teacher in paragraph form underneath the picture of the student's pages. It is similar to a Memoria press Latin TE in the layout. I use the student's text to teach. The 6th grade (3rd edition)TE is still written like a script. I just got my old one off the shelf. For 6th grade, you would still use the TE book if you want to use their discussion strategy. The 7th grade is like I described above: with suggestions for lesson opener, tips, and common student errors section. Most of the TE space is taken up with showing the line by line answers from the exercises. The TE has lessons just like the book that completely correspond. So  to answer your questions, 6th grade teaching would be more back and forth with  the TE and SE. The 7th grade book is more teacher prep ahead for me, with talking through the lesson completely referencing the student's book. And just using the TE to check for accuracy.

 

About quizzes: the quizzes start for 7th grade. I don't remember if 6th has quizzes or just the chapter tests. I have used the math reviews from the older editions for quizzes, and most always the tests at the end of the chapter. Honestly, we  do not have time for too many quizzes for the lower elementary levels. I give separate quizzes related to math facts, memory work, etc... I do use the quizzes for secondary grades as reviews. The quizzes are written specifically for just 2 or 3 lessons. We use the quizzes for review, and I give them open book. Tests are not open book. I do not teach new lessons on test days, my daughter works slowly. She does stellar work, it just takes her time.  The upper grades books have chapter tests, quarterly tests, and a final exam. The TE specifies how many teaching days a chapter should take. Sometimes a chapter with 6 lessons will be allowed 9 days of class. So, I make notes in my TE for each chapter how many class periods are allotted. It helps me to stay on track. Also, there is usually an optional lesson in each chapter. The TE states which lessons are optional, so I take that into account too. We did most of the optional lessons, but at the end of the year - we could not for the last 2 chapters.

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I use the TE as my copy of my daughter's book. There is no discussion planned. Just notes for the teacher in paragraph form underneath the picture of the student's pages. It is similar to a Memoria press Latin TE in the layout. I use the student's text to teach. The 6th grade (3rd edition)TE is still written like a script. I just got my old one off the shelf. For 6th grade, you would still use the TE book if you want to use their discussion strategy. The 7th grade is like I described above: with suggestions for lesson opener, tips, and common student errors section. Most of the TE space is taken up with showing the line by line answers from the exercises. The TE has lessons just like the book that completely correspond. So  to answer your questions, 6th grade teaching would be more back and forth with  the TE and SE. The 7th grade book is more teacher prep ahead for me, with talking through the lesson completely referencing the student's book. And just using the TE to check for accuracy.

 

About quizzes: the quizzes start for 7th grade. I don't remember if 6th has quizzes or just the chapter tests. I have used the math reviews from the older editions for quizzes, and most always the tests at the end of the chapter. Honestly, we  do not have time for too many quizzes for the lower elementary levels. I give separate quizzes related to math facts, memory work, etc... I do use the quizzes for secondary grades as reviews. The quizzes are written specifically for just 2 or 3 lessons. We use the quizzes for review, and I give them open book. Tests are not open book. I do not teach new lessons on test days, my daughter works slowly. She does stellar work, it just takes her time.  The upper grades books have chapter tests, quarterly tests, and a final exam. The TE specifies how many teaching days a chapter should take. Sometimes a chapter with 6 lessons will be allowed 9 days of class. So, I make notes in my TE for each chapter how many class periods are allotted. It helps me to stay on track. Also, there is usually an optional lesson in each chapter. The TE states which lessons are optional, so I take that into account too. We did most of the optional lessons, but at the end of the year - we could not for the last 2 chapters.

 

Thank you!  These details are very helpful!

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  • 1 year later...

With BJ Math, Math 7 can be skipped for a student very solid in arithmetic concepts.

 

I realise this is an old post, but I wondered if I could ask your opinion on something please?

My son is going into 6th Grade next year & we have used BJU since K, so he is working through the Gr 5 book.  We are not in the US & our school year is from end of Jan - beg of Dec. 

Also, here calculus is taught in most maths classes in Gr 12, so therefore we would need to be doing Algebra in Grade 8.

I had some advice that some schools & home schoolers skip the Grade 6 book & go into Fundamentals for Gr 6.  The advice was that Gr 6 didn't advance the maths taught, more solidified it. 

I wondered if you had an opinion on whether the Grade 6 or the Grade 7 book was the better one to skip?

 

Thank you

 

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Hi, I am teaching the BJ grade 6 math right now to my middle daughter.  It is definitely the right one to teach after 5th grade because foundational geometry concepts are built. Also, the pre-algebra style thinking for dealing with factoring is begun. If I had an advanced student who was totally solid on arithmetic skills, I would instead recommend skipping 7th grade math, and go straight into the 8th grade BJ pre-algebra, so he is ready for Alg 1 at 8th grade. I considered skipping 7th for my daughter, since she was so solid with arithmetic, but later decided the year 7 review was in her favor.

 

If your school year starts in Jan, you could do the online teacher which is usually on sale, and the once we are doing now is so worth the money. Honestly, the pre-algebra is not complicated to teach as long as you have the teacher edition. Video access is just an option.

 

BJ Press might have a scope and sequence on their website. But I did talk to one of their math textbook writers about this, and she told me that the 7th grade math is the optional review, and that lots of people skip it and go straight to  Pre-algebra.

 

Good luck as you research. I will continue to keep this thread bookmarked if you have any more questions.

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BJ Press might have a scope and sequence on their website. But I did talk to one of their math textbook writers about this, and she told me that the 7th grade math is the optional review, and that lots of people skip it and go straight to  Pre-algebra.

 

Good luck as you research. I will continue to keep this thread bookmarked if you have any more questions.

 

Thank you for that info.

Interestingly, I emailed BJU late last week & they told me skip 6th Grade & do 7th because 6th Grade is virtually a repeat of 5th & they advise if we are going to skip to skip 6th.

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My son (currently doing BJU pre-algebra) did 5th grade BJU and then went to 7th grade (Fundamentals) math. It worked out really well for us, but I did do more "hand holding" than I would have if we had done all levels. One of the main allowances I gave him was to write in his text. He had to use blank paper to work out a lot of the problems, but writing in the textbook helped immensely timewise. I was also very diligent about checking his answers and making sure he was understanding new topics. I spent a lot more time during math last year sitting near him because it was definitely a leap from 5th grade to 7th grade math, but it was well worth it. So far, pre-algebra has been smooth sailing.  

 

We used the current editions of all texts.

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Caia, are you doing the DL or parent-led?  We have been doing BJU Pre-Algebra parent-led this year, but are finally throwing in the towel.  The long lessons are doing us in.  We are so burned out, and when I compare BJU to other textbooks, it is covering things at a much higher level than what is really needed.  My dd has been a trooper and has stuck with it and fought to do it all, but we are spending way too much time on math every day.  In addition, the paper tests are just absurd, in my opinion.  There are problems that are so much more complex than what they did in their lessons that they are unfair, and oftentimes are unnecessarily tricky.  My dd studies hard and works very hard and has been doing the extended honors level problems, and still gets so frustrated on the tests when she hits those problems.  It's not just an extension of the concepts, which I think is fine, but something they really have never seen before, or something that requires them to assimilate everything they've learned in a very complicated way that no amount of studying would prepare them for.  We've really tried to hang with this program, but are finally cutting our losses and moving on.  When I posted this on the BJU FB group, I got the same responses and frustration.  I found out that the DL tests are much easier and are designed by the DL teachers themselves.  This frustrates me that they would make the parent-led so frustrating.  I don't want to be forced into DL.  My dd does well when we can move on when she's got a concept and slow down when she needs more time on something.  I paid for the tests because I don't have the time or energy to sort through what she should and shouldn't be tested on.  I'm curious which version (parent-led or DL) you are using, and what you are doing to keep the time reasonable.

 

Thanks,

Kathy

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Hi Kathy,

 

Being burnt out on math is never a fun thing. It makes for a very frustrating year.

 

I feel like BJU's Fundamentals of Math really prepared my son for pre-algebra. It is in the same/similar format so it is something he is used to and comfortable with. We are using a combination of parent led and dvds. This son is a little off schedule in math and started pre-algebra a month and a half into this school year. Most of the lessons he has been familiar enough with the material that he hasn't watched the lesson. I believe he has watched 3 lessons. Since I ordered the dvd lessons, I assume that we have the distance learning tests. We follow the lesson plans laid out in those instructions and we are not doing the honor type problems. Honestly, it seems like there is so much material there that if you did it all a typical student would be beyond overwhelmed by the amount of time spent on the lesson. I assign all of the odd problems under section A & B each time. Some lessons we do some of the C section, but usually not. I do not assign the dominion thru math. He will usually read through them, but I don't assign them to be completed and he wasn't do them for fun! He always does all of the review sections. I check his answers daily and make him correct all missed answers. IF he misses too many problems, I rework the problems he has missed with him to make sure he understands how to complete the problems and then assign him the even numbers on that specific section. Every few lessons there is a quiz to complete along with the lesson. The chapter tests haven't seemed unreasonable, but we are probably not near as far in as you are.

 

If you are not completely set on jumping ship to a different curriculum, I would suggest changing things up and assigning fewer problems. You wouldn't have to use the distance learning, and it would be cheaper than changing curriculums. (I have older children and neither has been harmed academically from not expecting as much rigor in pre-algebra. My oldest took calculus at the local college when she was 16). I would then have her complete the chapter review as the chapter test. Any problems that she misses on the chapter review due to not understanding how to complete the problem instead of a "silly" error (i.e. 2 +3 =6), I would then go back to the chapter sections and assign the even numbered problems in that section.  This would drastically cut down on the amount of time being spent every day on math :)  Hope that helps.

 

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because it was definitely a leap from 5th grade to 7th grade math, but it was well worth it. So far, pre-algebra has been smooth sailing.  

 

We used the current editions of all texts.

 

Thank you so much Caia.  That is good to hear.  We do parent-led math and so I am fairly involved.  I have looked as much as possible at the online samples for BJU 7 (Fundamentals) & I do feel this is the way to go for us.  Most of this year (5th) has been a bit of coasting ride for my son.  There have been a couple of areas that he had to actually think about, but overall it has been a fairly painless maths year. 

If you have any further advice about how you handled the year (Fundamentals), or anything in particular that you found challenging or things to watch out for,  I am certainly open to suggestions :rolleyes:

Thank you again for the feedback you have already provided.

Edited by ShellLou
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Hi Kathy,

 

Being burnt out on math is never a fun thing. It makes for a very frustrating year.

 

I feel like BJU's Fundamentals of Math really prepared my son for pre-algebra. It is in the same/similar format so it is something he is used to and comfortable with. We are using a combination of parent led and dvds. This son is a little off schedule in math and started pre-algebra a month and a half into this school year. Most of the lessons he has been familiar enough with the material that he hasn't watched the lesson. I believe he has watched 3 lessons. Since I ordered the dvd lessons, I assume that we have the distance learning tests. We follow the lesson plans laid out in those instructions and we are not doing the honor type problems. Honestly, it seems like there is so much material there that if you did it all a typical student would be beyond overwhelmed by the amount of time spent on the lesson. I assign all of the odd problems under section A & B each time. Some lessons we do some of the C section, but usually not. I do not assign the dominion thru math. He will usually read through them, but I don't assign them to be completed and he wasn't do them for fun! He always does all of the review sections. I check his answers daily and make him correct all missed answers. IF he misses too many problems, I rework the problems he has missed with him to make sure he understands how to complete the problems and then assign him the even numbers on that specific section. Every few lessons there is a quiz to complete along with the lesson. The chapter tests haven't seemed unreasonable, but we are probably not near as far in as you are.

 

If you are not completely set on jumping ship to a different curriculum, I would suggest changing things up and assigning fewer problems. You wouldn't have to use the distance learning, and it would be cheaper than changing curriculums. (I have older children and neither has been harmed academically from not expecting as much rigor in pre-algebra. My oldest took calculus at the local college when she was 16). I would then have her complete the chapter review as the chapter test. Any problems that she misses on the chapter review due to not understanding how to complete the problem instead of a "silly" error (i.e. 2 +3 =6), I would then go back to the chapter sections and assign the even numbered problems in that section.  This would drastically cut down on the amount of time being spent every day on math :)  Hope that helps.

 

Thanks, Caia.  I appreciate your trying to encourage and help.  So you have not really been teaching from the TM yet?  Is that correct?  The TM plus the textbook is where I am finding the lessons to drag on and on for 45 minutes or more.  Is there an honors problem set option in the DL at all?  Yes, you are right, the honors problem set in the TM is an overwhelming amount of work.  It usually involves odds in A and B, all of C, the Dominion problems, and the odds on the cumulative review.  I stopped assigning the Dominion probs and started just talking through them.  Sometimes she worked them and sometimes she didn't.  The Cs took a lot of time.  If there is also a quiz that day, it's just an extraordinary amount of time for math.  I also check daily and do corrections, so that adds on to the total amount of time.  If you are doing DL tests, I can see why they wouldn't seem unreasonable.  Do you do the computer or the paper ones?  I understand DL has both and they are the same?

 

Even if I assigned fewer problems, the long lessons would still do us in.  We can't seem to change that.  It's just too many topics in one lesson.  I have considered using the chapter review as the chapter test, but she really needs the chapter review to tie it all together and review!  Sometimes there has been so much information covered by the time we get to the review that she has forgotten what was covered in the first part of the chapter!  And if we use the actual tests, I feel like she needs to work the C problems in order to even be partly ready for them!  It's just a rather poor setup for parent-led, I feel like.  In some ways, I feel like they try to force you into DL, which is not a good fit for us.

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If you have any further advice about how you handled the year (Fundamentals), or anything in particular that you found challenging or things to watch out for,  I am certainly open to suggestions :rolleyes:

 

I have a child in 5th grade math this year and the lessons are very quick and short compared to Fundamentals. So plan on spending a lot more time on math than you are currently used to. It is definitely a jump in expectations. Slow down when necessary and don't rush. There are definitely some new things learned that will take some extra time. Math was our number one time consumer that year.

 

I personally think that doing all of the cumulative review problems was very beneficial. Since we only did odd numbers during each lesson (of A & B and sometimes C, no dominion), we had lots of unworked problems left in previous lessons so we could go back to that lesson and complete another problem or two if he was not getting something right on the cumulative reviews. 

 

There are a lot of quizzes (if you ordered them). We didn't do all of them. I saved them for areas that he needed the extra review. It just seemed like way too much math to get it all done every day. So if he understood the topic and did well on the lesson we moved on.

 

Hope that helps!

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So you have not really been teaching from the TM yet?  Is that correct?

 

Do you do the computer or the paper ones?  I understand DL has both and they are the same?

 

Even if I assigned fewer problems, the long lessons would still do us in.  We can't seem to change that.  It's just too many topics in one lesson.  I have considered using the chapter review as the chapter test, but she really needs the chapter review to tie it all together and review!  Sometimes there has been so much information covered by the time we get to the review that she has forgotten what was covered in the first part of the chapter!  And if we use the actual tests, I feel like she needs to work the C problems in order to even be partly ready for them!  It's just a rather poor setup for parent-led, I feel like.  In some ways, I feel like they try to force you into DL, which is not a good fit for us.

This is my third child going through pre-algebra, and I am fairly confident in my abilities at this level. The material is also more fresh in my mind since this is my third time through.  I use the TM for the answers for ease in grading. I teach from the student text. If I feel my son could use an additional explanation or possibly a different one because he is confused or not understanding the material like I would like him to, I have him watch the corresponding DVD lesson the next day and then complete the even problems. 

 

We use the paper tests that came with the DL DVDs. I would assume they are the same or very similar to the ones used online.

 

A possibly interesting side note - in high school, I had two very different math teachers. One was a brilliant mathematician that understood most maths as easily as I understood basic addition facts. He was an awful high school math teacher. We didn't even begin to comprehend what he was saying or trying to explain for the majority of that whole year. The other math teacher was a much better teacher. She probably was a C student in school and struggled to learn and comprehend math. She, however, made learning the lessons relatively easy. She was able to explain the how's and why's and was able to get us from A to B and help us understand where we went wrong.  This is a total guess on my part (and I haven't seen the regular tests to compare), but maybe the DL teacher when planning and teaching the lessons on camera decided that the regular tests were too much of a leap for most kids and created his own. 

 

With all of my kids, I have had that "one year" depending on the kid where math was the focus of the year. It was mentally draining and I had to give and take in other subjects, but that year made a huge difference in their math progression. For this particular kid, it was the "fundamentals of math" year. The pre-algebra text would be a lot more time consuming if we hadn't spent so much time last year making sure he really understood what he was doing.

 

Best of luck in whatever curriculum you decide to use. Changing mid-year is never fun. Hang in there :) 

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This is my third child going through pre-algebra, and I am fairly confident in my abilities at this level. The material is also more fresh in my mind since this is my third time through.  I use the TM for the answers for ease in grading. I teach from the student text. If I feel my son could use an additional explanation or possibly a different one because he is confused or not understanding the material like I would like him to, I have him watch the corresponding DVD lesson the next day and then complete the even problems. 

 

We use the paper tests that came with the DL DVDs. I would assume they are the same or very similar to the ones used online.

 

A possibly interesting side note - in high school, I had two very different math teachers. One was a brilliant mathematician that understood most maths as easily as I understood basic addition facts. He was an awful high school math teacher. We didn't even begin to comprehend what he was saying or trying to explain for the majority of that whole year. The other math teacher was a much better teacher. She probably was a C student in school and struggled to learn and comprehend math. She, however, made learning the lessons relatively easy. She was able to explain the how's and why's and was able to get us from A to B and help us understand where we went wrong.  This is a total guess on my part (and I haven't seen the regular tests to compare), but maybe the DL teacher when planning and teaching the lessons on camera decided that the regular tests were too much of a leap for most kids and created his own. 

 

With all of my kids, I have had that "one year" depending on the kid where math was the focus of the year. It was mentally draining and I had to give and take in other subjects, but that year made a huge difference in their math progression. For this particular kid, it was the "fundamentals of math" year. The pre-algebra text would be a lot more time consuming if we hadn't spent so much time last year making sure he really understood what he was doing.

 

Best of luck in whatever curriculum you decide to use. Changing mid-year is never fun. Hang in there :)

 

I've wondered about teaching straight from the student text, but there is so much packed in the TM that it seems you lose part of the lesson without it.  But after comparing BJU to other textbooks, there is so much more packed in each lesson that even just covering the textbook would be more than a lot of kids are getting.  

 

Yes, on the FB group the teachers have commented that they write the tests to fit what they want to cover and test over.

 

We've had a math focus for too many years with my oldest, at first because we were trying every curriculum known to man to figure out what we wanted to use.  It's been much smoother with my younger dd, who used BJU from the start.  I need my older dd to have a smooth time with math from here on out.  She has worked hard for years and years now, and we can't just keep pouring all this time into math and not have time for margin and other subjects.  I need something very open-and-go, a manageable amount of time, thorough, with fair tests, and where I don't have to pick and choose what problems to assign every day.  I just don't think BJU is going to be it.  Maybe once my younger dd comes along, if they have a new edition that is more reasonable, we can use it.  Thanks again for your insights.

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