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Hi everyone! I'm new to homeschooling, and I was looking for a good math curriculum (I have a 3yo and a 5yo). 

 

Any other homeschoolers out there? I read that Math Mammoth is good, Life of Fred, Learn Math Fast, but I'm a little lost, and I'm not sure what to buy.

 

Plus, during Black Friday/Cyber Monday companies make everything seem the best product ever :(

 

Any recommendation for a good and affordable math curriculum?

 

Thanks so much!

 

Melly

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Thank you so much Rachel - I'll repost in the K-8 board.

 

Having resources divided by grate is very helpful, plus I didn't know about Cathy Duffy (awesome!).

 

Which curriculum do you use with your kids?

 

My son's in kindergarten and we're using Ray's Arithmetic with Cuisenaire Rods, the RS Arithmetic Kit and Games. I plan to move to something similar to Strayer Upton after we finish Ray's Primary and then on to Algebra. If I were to use a modern curricula I would hope to use Math Mammoth (light blue).

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There is also this helpful quiz - Math Curriculum Selector. It doesn't have everything on there but enough to help you find a direction.

 

We use MEP.  It's British, and free for the printing, but takes a bit of time to get used to.  There are printable manipulatives on the site but a set of c-rods and fraction tiles  (for the end of year 2 and up) will help, too. For fun we use the Life of Fred books.  However, if you're looking to keep costs down Fred might not be best.  Each book lasts us roughly a month for the early stuff.  I'm assuming by the time we get to Mineshaft it'll take longer, and a year for each of the upper levels.  I buy them when I can at used sales rather than new.

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Thank you so much Rachel - I'll repost in the K-8 board.

 

Having resources divided by grate is very helpful, plus I didn't know about Cathy Duffy (awesome!).

 

Which curriculum do you use with your kids?

Concepts - CTC math & math Mamoth review, khan for missing stuff in CTC math

word problems Challenging WP from singapore math

online - prodigy, dream box

 

and TT during summer...

 

also use the tests from CLE math after a grade is done 

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There is also this helpful quiz - Math Curriculum Selector. It doesn't have everything on there but enough to help you find a direction.

 

We use MEP.  It's British, and free for the printing, but takes a bit of time to get used to.  There are printable manipulatives on the site but a set of c-rods and fraction tiles  (for the end of year 2 and up) will help, too. For fun we use the Life of Fred books.  However, if you're looking to keep costs down Fred might not be best.  Each book lasts us roughly a month for the early stuff.  I'm assuming by the time we get to Mineshaft it'll take longer, and a year for each of the upper levels.  I buy them when I can at used sales rather than new.

Score for Beast Academy: 5 

Score for Math Mammoth: 8 

Score for Mathematical Reasoning: 5 

Score for McRuffy: 0 

Score for Miquon: 10 

Score for RightStart: 8 

Score for Saxon: 10 

Score for Shiller: 5 

Score for Singapore: 15 

Score for Teaching Textbooks: 8

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We use Math-U-See, which is not exactly inexpensive, but does the job.

 

We use MEP.  It's British, and free for the printing, but takes a bit of time to get used to.  There are printable manipulatives on the site but a set of c-rods and fraction tiles  (for the end of year 2 and up) will help, too. For fun we use the Life of Fred books.  However, if you're looking to keep costs down Fred might not be best.  Each book lasts us roughly a month for the early stuff.  I'm assuming by the time we get to Mineshaft it'll take longer, and a year for each of the upper levels.  I buy them when I can at used sales rather than new.

We use MEP as a supplement and I agree with HomeAgain's comments about it. I like it because it is such a different approach from how I was taught and from our regular curriculum. It is also very affordable. We also do Life of Fred Apples (which I believe is the easiest/earliest volume), but I would definitely save it for a kid who has some grasp on addition. My dd did not enjoy it in 1st grade last year, but loves it this year.

 

I have used Math Mammoth just a little, as a backup for additional help with regrouping addition. It's nice they offer books that target specific skills, as well as a regular curriculum, and it's affordable. I am loathe to change curriculum if something is working well enough. If in the future Math-U-See stops working, or if I could time travel and counsel myself two years ago, I would tell myself to seriously look at MEP or Math Mammoth.

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I really like the way SWB addressed math in her newest WTM edition. First, do you want a spiral program that builds new concepts incrementally and continually reviews previous concepts, or do you want a more mastery based program that covers a concept until it is fully learned before going onto a new concept. Then do you want a math program that is more traditional and procedural based? Or do you want a more constructive approach that develops on all the abstract whys of math at an early age and problem solves to discover answers.

 

For me, in the early years, I want a more traditional, procedural based math that uses manipulatives to understand concepts and drills facts of the four operations until memorized before I focus on the more abstract problem solving concepts in math. So I use a very traditional math program and supplement for any areas of weakness with a fun math program (LOF). Then as they get into fourth grade, I start to add in Beast Academy for more problem solving concepts to transition them to the more abstract thinking of algebra. This is what I believe to be developmentally appropriate and fits my math philosophy. I did a lot of reflection and research to arrive on this approach, but my approach will differ vastly from someone else's approach.

 

Once you know what approach to math you want to take, then we can better help you find a math tool (curriculum) to fit your approach, teaching style and goals.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE math lessons for a living education! I would start there as everything you need is included and is under $30. My boys love it and I wish I would have known about it from the start. When they are in 5-6th grade I would switch to something else (as it only goes to 5th and they are working on 6th). It uses a story but it is a cute story and the math is so real life that my kids loved it! Honestly, I can't rave enough about it.

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I'm excited to see other MLFLE people on the boards. I realize I didn't post about "why" I like Math Lessons for a Living Education. I like that MLFLE is a mastery math program with some built in review, that it is multi-sensory, that the lessons are the perfect length (plenty of practice to master concepts but not overkill), and that it teaches the "why" (conceptual) before the "how" (procedural). It is also very afforable. I think it retails for $36, but it is on sale at Master Books for $27. 

Edited by MyLife
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There is also this helpful quiz - Math Curriculum Selector. It doesn't have everything on there but enough to help you find a direction.

 

We use MEP. It's British, and free for the printing, but takes a bit of time to get used to. There are printable manipulatives on the site but a set of c-rods and fraction tiles (for the end of year 2 and up) will help, too. For fun we use the Life of Fred books. However, if you're looking to keep costs down Fred might not be best. Each book lasts us roughly a month for the early stuff. I'm assuming by the time we get to Mineshaft it'll take longer, and a year for each of the upper levels. I buy them when I can at used sales rather than new.

I got a tie between Right Start and Signapore the two curriculum I am debating on. I got a 1 for Saxon which is a very poor fit and a 0 for McRuffy.

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There is also this helpful quiz - Math Curriculum Selector. It doesn't have everything on there but enough to help you find a direction.

I normally find such quizzes to be a bit odd in their recommendations, but this one hit close to dead on for me. I had high scores for my current program plus two I had seriously considered, medium scores for one that worked for us for a while and two others I had considered for that stage, and negative scores for several that would fit neither myself nor my daughter.

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I used Horizons K for both my children and then moved them to Singapore 1 and both did well with this approach. My eldest also had some MEP thrown in and both are doing Life of Fred as a supplement. We do not buy full curricula though and work from year to year so that I can re evaluate what is working and what is not. Despite the fact that I do think that sticking to a curriculum is important in the long run, in the very early years just getting the basics down with whatever works for you and them is best - there will be no gaps since you are right at the beginning with them so feel free to try different curricula (MEP is free which is why it found a space for us initially).

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I really like Math U See.  I started it with kids at ages 3 and 5, the reason I chose it was because of the blocks.  At that age (and this age, lol), my kids loved to build and play, and incorporating that natural tendency to the math seemed like an easy way to introduce the concepts to them.  It really took off and I am very happy with my choice.

 

For the same reason, I was (and still am) tempted by Right Start Math.  I want to at least supplement with abacus (and I do it sporadically), but haven't looked at their full curriculum for a while.  The last time I did, I was slightly overwhelmed by the box of stuff they said to get.

 

Con is the price, though I feel it is worth it.  I would recommend looking for the teacher's book and DVD used.  

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Misty mountain,

I am using RightStart and liking it quite alot and did Singapore essentials A last year which turned out to be a poor fit. The deciding factor for me and my son is RightStart is spiral and Singapore is mastery. So think about which you and your children would do better with;)

 

Mellyproudmama,

Look at Kathy Duffy the site and or book. Also go and brose the rainbow resource site, talk with their representatives, watch their videos and ask for a catalog. They carry a ton of different curriculums and can tell you about each one. Their catalog is huge and they have been around since my mom was homeschooling Me! As a side note if you want a traditional curriculum christian light looks good and inexpensive if ladies in headcoverings don't bother you. I am using a combo of their learning to read program and AAR and I really like it.

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Because of the age of your kids, you might want to check out this

 

https://www.amazon.com/Preschool-Math-Home-Activities-Foundation/dp/1933339918/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480610787&sr=8-1&keywords=kate+snow

 

I haven't tried that one myself, but I recently posted my daughter's opinion of the same author's "Addition Facts That Stick" and another poster said that the preschool one was good too.  

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Also checkout, Mathematics, An Instrument for Living Teaching, it is put out by SCM and guides you in teaching math in a gentle way using manipulatives found around the house.

I own this in PDF. It is not essential, but is worth the money if you can afford it and enjoy reading things like this.

Edited by Hunter
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Because of the age of your kids, you might want to check out this

 

https://www.amazon.com/Preschool-Math-Home-Activities-Foundation/dp/1933339918/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480610787&sr=8-1&keywords=kate+snow

 

I haven't tried that one myself, but I recently posted my daughter's opinion of the same author's "Addition Facts That Stick" and another poster said that the preschool one was good too.

I used this with my youngest when she was 3. We loved it. The preschool math book is nothing but fun. I also use education unboxed, that is online. This is free. You just need cuisinaire rods. I will say this....I like the math u see blocks better than the cuisinaire rods.

 

I used right start math with my middle child because it's a hands on approach and I didn't have the time to understand miquon. She is now in singapore math.

 

With my oldest, unfortunately I didn't know what I was doing, I started with singapore math 1 when he was 5 I think. We did it orally. Which, as it turns out, was a marvelous fit. I like singapore math.

 

I am a math junkie. :)

 

I think you can try something out, but if they are not ready for whatever then I wouldn't push it because of their ages.

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I love quizzes. 😠I got 11 for both MM and SM, which is about right - I love using MM and the only thing that has kept me from Singapore is juggling the multiple books.

 

All that to say, I don't start MM until 2nd. Before that, we talk about math and do hands-on stuff. Neither child has had a problem jumping right into 2nd. If you do real life math with kids your age, you can get them pretty far.

 

Some things we did before 2nd:

 

- counted things a lot

- divided chocolate chips among siblings 😠(always guaranteed to be accurate)

- measured things around the house with strips of paper, then with kid tape measures. they liked making charts of measurements.

- counted beans into jars with numbers on the front

- played with MUS blocks

- discussed "how many" to learn addition (There are six in our family and four in theirs, so how many plates do we need for dinner? You have three library books and you are allowed to choose five, so how many more can you get?)

- played with tangram shape puzzles

- Legos

- baking - discussed fractions, added when doubling

- lined up numbers on the kitchen chalkboard to try vertical addition. one kid adored this and asked for a wall full of problems several times a week.

- pointed out calendar dates

- board games (Uno, Dutch Blitz, etc)

 

That sort of thing. I haven't noticed any difficulties jumping into 2nd. And a plus is that they thought all those activities were games and many I introduced and then let them go, so it was often quite independent. It's also basically free, aside from maybe a kid tape measure and MUS blocks.

Edited by indigoellen@gmail.com
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