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We have been using MUS with our 7yo 2nd grade since K, so we are working on Beta. I am not in love with this curriculum, but it was recommended by a seasoned hs mom and by SWB. It seemed to get the job done and I am loathe to change math curriculum, since each has their own way of doing things. My kid seemed to be doing fine and progressing at the expected rate of one lesson/week - until we hit adding with regrouping. It was then I discovered she was doing the algorithm without understanding the why behind it. So we stopped MUS and started counting beans and using paper cups for two weeks. We did some more addition practice for another week, and she seemed to have a better grasp of the concept.

Over the course of those three weeks, I totally obsessed about math, because if she was not understanding this concept, then I must be totally ruining her. So I started reading math blogs and about number bonds and number sense and wondering what her understanding was exactly, and what to do about it. During this time, I also started exploring MEP and doing several pages a week with her from the Year 1 book. She mostly knows her addition facts, but cannot come up with them in 3 seconds or less. (She has ceased to be a fan of xtramath.org). But then again, she does almost everything slowly. She is always about 30 seconds behind the rest of her class in Tae Kwon Do.

We have passed the lesson that covers column addition and moved on to measuring. However, I print out a worksheet from MUS's generator and make her do four review problems each day. I discovered that she still does not understand regrouping with addition because the generator came up with problems where the ones column added up to 20-something and she carried a 1 to the tens column, because that is how she's learned to solve these problems.

I am not math-phobic. All through school, I was able to plug the numbers into the algorithms and get a B+ or A-, but I never understood the why's behind them. Apparently, I am the product of some of the worst math teaching in the history of the US (80s teaching with 70s textbooks) and it shows because I can't even teach adding with regrouping. Soon I will be getting a copy of Elementary Math for Teachers which I hope will help my deficiencies.

Usually for math, I play an addition game with her and have her do xtramath.org every other day. She does a page from MUS in 10min. or less. I have her do 4 practice problems, and then we do a MEP lesson.

So, I guess I have several questions.

1) Should I stop everything and try to get her speed up on addition facts?

2)Should I drop MUS and go to MEP? I like that MEP has a lot of different ways of presenting concepts, but it is scary because it is so different from how I was taught. (Which is probably a good thing.) There is an irrational voice in the back of my head that says "How can she possibly learn math without pages and pages of addition problems? How can I prove she is learning without pages and pages of addition problems?"

Sorry this post is so long.....

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What manipulative have you used to help her understand regrouping?

MUS uses some type of blocks, right?

Before changing curricula, the first thing I would do is try a different approach to the review problems. Having her do four problems a day, is just further drilling her on an algorithm that she doesn't understand. Instead, I would do one or two problems daily, but I would have her work them out with manipulative.

I would not even write the problem down, because I would want her solely focused on grouping the quantities, not relying on column addition. So, I would tell her that we are going to be adding three numbers together. The first one is 17, and then I would have her make that quantity with manipulative. The next number is 9...she makes that. The next number is 21...she makes that. Then I would tell her that adding means finding out how many there are altogether, and I would give her time to play with the manipulative. As necessary I would ask leading questions, until we reached the answer.

I would do that every day until she was a master at physically adding any manipulative problem you threw at her. Then, and only then, would I re-introduce column addition. Even at that point, I would have her do a problem with manipulatives first, and then I would show her how that problem looks written down with the algorithm.

Wendy

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What manipulative have you used to help her understand regrouping?

MUS uses some type of blocks, right?

Before changing curricula, the first thing I would do is try a different approach to the review problems. Having her do four problems a day, is just further drilling her on an algorithm that she doesn't understand. Instead, I would do one or two problems daily, but I would have her work them out with manipulative.

This is an excellent point.

I would not even write the problem down, because I would want her solely focused on grouping the quantities, not relying on column addition. So, I would tell her that we are going to be adding three numbers together. The first one is 17, and then I would have her make that quantity with manipulative. The next number is 9...she makes that. The next number is 21...she makes that. Then I would tell her that adding means finding out how many there are altogether, and I would give her time to play with the manipulative. As necessary I would ask leading questions, until we reached the answer.

I would do that every day until she was a master at physically adding any manipulative problem you threw at her. Then, and only then, would I re-introduce column addition. Even at that point, I would have her do a problem with manipulatives first, and then I would show her how that problem looks written down with the algorithm.

We did do the bean counting for several weeks in the way you described, but it didn't stick over the long haul. But perhaps if I try using the blocks and popsicle sticks....

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Not all children need to use manipulatives.

She might do better with a traditional math series such as Rod and Staff Publishers. There is scripted oral "class time" in the excellent teacher's edition, where you actually do the teaching; then you give your dc the seatwork, which reinforces what you taught. It uses some visuals.

Here's a review written by my friend Laura in TX, in a reply on another forum to someone who was using MUS::

I used MUS Foundations for about a year before switching to Rod and Staff 2nd grade. My daughter had reached the lesson on subtraction in MUS, around lesson 21, and she suddenly came to an abrupt halt. We worked for weeks, which turned into months, trying to get past this hurdle, and nothing worked. We drilled and drilled the addition facts, but she had them mastered, and I went and asked questions on the MUS forum where I was told to work more diligently on the 15-X=7 types of problems; but these also did not seem to bother my daughter. We did problems with the blocks until we both could hardly stand the sight of them. I just didnâ€™t understand why MUS wasnâ€™t working. Frustrated, I finally ordered R&S sight unseen, based on recommendations from people right here on this board, particularly Ellie.

After the very first day of using R&S, I knew that this was a better approach for my daughter, and she also expressed her preference for it very early as well. It took a couple of months, though, for me to think and analyze what it was about R&S that worked when MUS had failed so completely.

To start with, R&S uses the numberline quite a bit in the early grades as a visual aid. I noticed that my daughter could relate much better to the numberline, and also to the hundredâ€™s chart, than she could do the blocks. They bridged her understanding to numbers and our base 10 number system in a way that never happened with the blocks. It helped also that R&S had questions almost everyday in the 2nd grade book that led to a better understanding of our number system. Using MUS, my daughter had learned to skip count by every number 2 through 10, but she could only skip count for 10 numbers, and she had no understanding of skip counting backwards from say 280 to 250 by twos. She really did not have a complete understanding of either skip counting or how our number system works. Before starting R&S, she also had trouble telling me things like what number comes before 500. This all improved rapidly after beginning R&S and her math confidence began to improve as well.

I think one MUSâ€™s major weaknesses is its over-reliance on the blocks. I think it is better for a program to use multiple methods to achieve understanding. If your child doesnâ€™t understand a concept with the blocks using MUS, there is no other alternative except to keep doing the problem over and over again with the blocks. The numberline and a hundreds chart are excellent tools for primary math numerancy.

Next, the major difference I noticed between the two programs is the way they approached and taught the basic facts. Rod and Staff uses the fact family method, which they call fact triplets. The children learn the triplets such (10,7,3) and then they learn that they can make four facts with each triplet, 7+3=10, 3+7=10, 10-7=3, 10-3=7. This is begun from the very beginning, and thus the kids learn addition and subtraction simultaneously in a way that makes total sense. I saw my daughter catch on to subtraction for the first time, and it was a great relief. This method also allows for mixed word problems from the very beginning which is very important because one of the major problems kids have later on down the road is figuring out what function to use with word problems. Singapore Math also uses the fact family method, which they call fact bonds, and I have since come to believe that this is the best way to teach the math facts.

Also the drill of math facts is built right into R&S Math. There is some oral drill in the daily lesson, and there are speed drills, and there is more drill in the student lesson. Rod and Staff math students master their math facts. I never seem to read messages from R&S users telling about how their 4th grader has not mastered his math facts. When I was using MUS, I was creating our own math drill program...flashcards, math worksheets printed off the computer, Quartermile math, etc. My daughter didnâ€™t like math drill and I was spending a lot of time worrying about math drill as well as putting it together. It was a great relief to have this all planned out for us, and easy to use as well, with R&S. In only a few weeks, my daughter was soaring through the drills with much more confidence. So, yes, you can put together your own math drill program, but my experience showed me that R&S, with their years of experience, can do it better than I.

Another major difference between Rod and STaff and MUS Foundations was word problems. MUS Foundations had very word problems, and they were all of a given type. In the lesson that taught the +8s, all the word problems were +8s. My daughter got to where she didnâ€™t even listen to the words, she just waited for the numbers and did a +8 problem. This kind of defeats the whole purpose. Not only that, there were no word problems on student worksheets, only in the TM, so the student got no practice in reading and solving word problems on their own. Also, there are no two-step word problems in all of MUS Foundations, and Rod and Staff starts working up gradually to these kinds of problems by the end of 2nd grade during the daily lesson, and the teacher tells the students to â€œhold that answer in your mindâ€ and then gives a second part of the problem.

Okay, now we have to get to why I donâ€™t believe that MUS is a complete program, and needs to be supplemented. MUS has very inadequate teaching and practice for time, money and measurement. When I started MUS, I knew this because people had written about it, but I thought that I could work on these things by myself. I did this, and I also even got a separate workbook on Time, Money and Measurement at Mardels, but all of this was just useless childâ€™s play when compared to the teaching and practice of these concepts in R&S. There is absolutely no comparison. R&S is SO much better in these areas than MUS it is ridiculous. I now believe that you need to get something that covers these areas adequately as a supplement for MUS, or spend LOTS and LOTS of time working on these areas with real-life problems. Fluency in these areas comes with lots of regular practice.

One last thing, the TM for R&S and the daily short whiteboard lessons are wonderful, and much better, as well as more thorough, than the MUS videos. They have drill of facts, review, word problems, mental math exercises, and teaching of new concepts. It is not the same thing repeated day after day.

I intended to use R&S Math until the 4th grade and then switch to Saxon, but my daughter had such noticeable and measureable success after using R&S in the second and third grades, that I decided, after reviewing both Saxon and R&S pretty thoroughly for the 4th and 5th grades, that we would just stick with R&S.

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DS7 also slowed down in MM when we got to regrouping.

While she uses c-rods, I think you would benefit from watching the videos at http://www.educationunboxed.com - whenever we get stuck on something I check to see what methods are used on this site. Then I pull out a marker board and make up problems to do together. Hooray, no math book AND extra mommy time! I'll also pull out dice to help us pick numbers to use.

Hope this helps!

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DS7 also slowed down in MM when we got to regrouping.

While she uses c-rods, I think you would benefit from watching the videos at http://www.educationunboxed.com - whenever we get stuck on something I check to see what methods are used on this site. Then I pull out a marker board and make up problems to do together. Hooray, no math book AND extra mommy time! I'll also pull out dice to help us pick numbers to use.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the link! I was totally unaware of that site. She explained addition the exact same way as MUS, but with ten frames instead of the blocks. It might be enough of a difference for it to click with dd.

Not all children need to use manipulatives.

She might do better with a traditional math series such as Rod and Staff Publishers. There is scripted oral "class time" in the excellent teacher's edition, where you actually do the teaching; then you give your dc the seatwork, which reinforces what you taught. It uses some visuals.

Here's a review written by my friend Laura in TX, in a reply on another forum to someone who was using MUS::

I think MUS seemed comfortable because the workbook looks a lot like what I grew up with, but with the blocks. The thing is, dd is not really into the blocks, and I got so I stopped pulling them out because she would say, "I don't need those." I do however pull them out for MEP occasionally, and she is fine with it. Go figure.

Thanks for including your friend's review. That was an extremely thorough comparison.

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Thanks for the link! I was totally unaware of that site. She explained addition the exact same way as MUS, but with ten frames instead of the blocks. It might be enough of a difference for it to click with dd.

I think MUS seemed comfortable because the workbook looks a lot like what I grew up with, but with the blocks. The thing is, dd is not really into the blocks, and I got so I stopped pulling them out because she would say, "I don't need those." I do however pull them out for MEP occasionally, and she is fine with it. Go figure.

Thanks for including your friend's review. That was an extremely thorough comparison.

See, not all children need manipulatives. :-)

I only knew Laura on-line, but I valued her reviews. I copied and saved many of them. :-)

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I can't get my kids to use counters or blocks to save their lives. Number lines or an abacus, however, will do the trick every single time.

Op what I'm seeing in your post is.... A whole lotta stuff. Most of us have been there. Our own math experiences get bound up in our minds with the recommendations we get from trusty friends and authors, which all in turn gets bound up with the kids in front of us every day.

I am saying this because I know from experience that simply changing curriculum won't solve the problem. Your students will always eventually come up against something in math that they don't understand again, and you will have to park and explain it a dozen ways, a hundred times.

My advice is when you "park" is to play with math. Really intensely devote time to playing math games. Through them you will learn how your student learns. And after a few times, you will be able to see if what you are using ROUTINELY presents things in a way that makes it more difficult for them to understand. Only then would I recommend switching programs.

The "fun math ideas" thread is pinned around here somewhere. It's stupendous for this kind of thing. Your library might have the family math and the kitchen table maths series, too.

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My 2nd grade DD HATED manipulatives. The only one she liked (which she might have gotten too attached to) was the abacus. It got the job done with regrouping.

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Thanks for the link! I was totally unaware of that site. She explained addition the exact same way as MUS, but with ten frames instead of the blocks. It might be enough of a difference for it to click with dd.

I think MUS seemed comfortable because the workbook looks a lot like what I grew up with, but with the blocks. The thing is, dd is not really into the blocks, and I got so I stopped pulling them out because she would say, "I don't need those." I do however pull them out for MEP occasionally, and she is fine with it. Go figure.

Thanks for including your friend's review. That was an extremely thorough comparison.

The ten frame really works well for regrouping. It can take some time but it does really help to show the concept. I actually wish I used manipulatives more in the right kind of ways with my oldest. It is making a difference in the ability to picture math in their mind for the children I used them with.
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The ten frame really works well for regrouping. It can take some time but it does really help to show the concept. I actually wish I used manipulatives more in the right kind of ways with my oldest. It is making a difference in the ability to picture math in their mind for the children I used them with.

Sometimes people speak as if manipulatives are a magic bullet. I've started reading Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics and she mentions that manipulatives can be used badly. We counted and regrouped beans for two weeks, and several months later are experiencing the same issues that made me go to bean counting.

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My 2nd grade DD HATED manipulatives. The only one she liked (which she might have gotten too attached to) was the abacus. It got the job done with regrouping.

Manipulatives became wildly popular in the middle 80s. Because if you're a real homeschooler, you'll use manipulatives (also, you'll make your own whole wheat bread from scratch; denim jumpers are optional). ::rolls eyes:: Honest to goodness, not all children need manipulatives. When people are having discussions *here* about spiral vs mastery, and they're comparing products that use manipulatives heavily, they should also be considering whether their children need process math (using manipulatives) or traditional methods. In fact, that would be my first consideration.

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When people are having discussions *here* about spiral vs mastery, and they're comparing products that use manipulatives heavily, they should also be considering whether their children need process math (using manipulatives) or traditional methods. In fact, that would be my first consideration.

Ah. So *that* is how the world is divided. ;-) How does one go about determining what camp your child belongs to? Mine likes worksheets and having the right answers. However, math is not just about having the right answers, which makes me reticent about trying a traditional approach. She is not crazy about the blocks, but was very happy with bean-counting.

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My child using process heavy method cannot actually picture what is happening in her head. She can do just the process. She is getting lost in math. My other children actually have a much better number sense. Some kids can naturally picture things but a lot of kids can actually benefit from seeing what is happening. Just like most kids benefit from phonics but dyslexics really do best with a multi sensory phonics but some kids will read without needing it and do not want it. It is similar with math. Some just pick it up easy but a lot will benefit from seeing what is going on. Kids with a weakness really need to experience and do math to understand it. Using manipulatives for counting is not as helpful as being able to just see the numbers. It can take a while to learn.

Education Unboxed shows different things you can do in action and some games to make it fun. The c-rods are similar to mortenson blocks.

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Ah. So *that* is how the world is divided. ;-) How does one go about determining what camp your child belongs to? Mine likes worksheets and having the right answers. However, math is not just about having the right answers, which makes me reticent about trying a traditional approach. She is not crazy about the blocks, but was very happy with bean-counting.

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My 2nd grade DD HATED manipulatives. The only one she liked (which she might have gotten too attached to) was the abacus. It got the job done with regrouping.

Please tell me exactly how you used an abacus to teach re-grouping. I need more reasons to pull out his valuable tool but am stumped for grade-level ideas. Thanks!

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Please tell me exactly how you used an abacus to teach re-grouping. I need more reasons to pull out his valuable tool but am stumped for grade-level ideas. Thanks!

If I were doing it, I would...

17 + 35

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX             XXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXX

XXXXX                  XXXXX

We can clearly see that there are four complete rows of 10.  But we also have two straggler groups, one of 7 and one of 5.  Let's see if we can consolidate those into another complete row of 10.  Let's "move" three beads from the 5 group to the 7 group.  Now the 7 group has become a complete row of 10, and the 5 group only has 2 beads left on it.  We end up with 5 complete rows of 10 + 2 extra beads = 52.

Wendy

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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For 35 - 17 form thirty five, three tens and five ones. Observe that you don't have enough ones to take away seven from five so "trade" one of your tens beads for ten ones. Then slide down seven ones and one ten. You have one ten and eight ones left. Eighteen.

I like the abacus because it's all so self contained. [emoji846]

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This video has it with c-rods and an abacus towards the end. The stuff they have with the egg carton or a ten frame for adding with 20 and making tens when adding will help to do first. http://www.educationunboxed.com/adding-within-100/

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I've never used MUS. I have used Saxon math 2, R&S, and a few other math books. (I'm on my 5th time through teaching 2nd gr.- 3 more to go!) I do agree about R&S having a great way to drill in the facts using triplets. It does work. They have to get those basic simple facts down pat before the other math can make sense. R&S does fall short in some other areas, but not facts. I have been combining some R&S worksheets with oral lessons from Saxon 2. That seems to get the best of both without over loading my son.

Love the game advice! What kid wouldn't want to play a game for math class! :laugh:

For the regrouping you could try using dimes and pennies. For addition count the numbers out using dimes and pennies.   18+23=     top row 1 dime  8 pennies, Bottom row under has 2 dimes and 3 pennies. Now you tell her that there are too many pennies in that spot. She needs to change 10 of the pennies into a dime. Then since it is a dime, it no longer can go in the penny spot. So she is told to put it with the dimes. Then have her count the pennies and put that answer in the ones column on her paper. Then have her count the dimes by tens and put that answer in the tens column. Break out the dollar bills if she catches on and needs to move those dimes over!

Money works for subtraction too. Take one dime away from the tens and change it into 10 pennies. Saxon does a lot with money to teach harder addition and subtraction. One nice thing about using real coins (not plastic) for math is that kids know real coins aren't "baby counters". Real coins are something that connects the math lesson to real life. They think, "Hey, I'm gonna need this some day!" That really helped my kids transition from just knowing facts to being able to use them everyday. Any time you can pull in real life skills into their math lessons, even for little ones, something clicks in their brains and it sticks.

Last bit is she may just not be quite old enough to handle the material. You know your child best. Hope you can find something that works for your family! Enjoy these early homeschooling years they are precious and go by too fast! :001_smile:

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First, many thanks to everyone who took the time to put down how they would explain regrouping. I will keep that in mind while I regroup. ;-)

I've never used MUS. I have used Saxon math 2, R&S, and a few other math books. (I'm on my 5th time through teaching 2nd gr.- 3 more to go!) I do agree about R&S having a great way to drill in the facts using triplets. It does work. They have to get those basic simple facts down pat before the other math can make sense. R&S does fall short in some other areas, but not facts. I have been combining some R&S worksheets with oral lessons from Saxon 2. That seems to get the best of both without over loading my son.

Love the game advice! What kid wouldn't want to play a game for math class! :laugh:

For the regrouping you could try using dimes and pennies. For addition count the numbers out using dimes and pennies.   18+23=     top row 1 dime  8 pennies, Bottom row under has 2 dimes and 3 pennies. Now you tell her that there are too many pennies in that spot. She needs to change 10 of the pennies into a dime. Then since it is a dime, it no longer can go in the penny spot. So she is told to put it with the dimes. Then have her count the pennies and put that answer in the ones column on her paper. Then have her count the dimes by tens and put that answer in the tens column. Break out the dollar bills if she catches on and needs to move those dimes over!

Money works for subtraction too. Take one dime away from the tens and change it into 10 pennies. Saxon does a lot with money to teach harder addition and subtraction. One nice thing about using real coins (not plastic) for math is that kids know real coins aren't "baby counters". Real coins are something that connects the math lesson to real life. They think, "Hey, I'm gonna need this some day!" That really helped my kids transition from just knowing facts to being able to use them everyday. Any time you can pull in real life skills into their math lessons, even for little ones, something clicks in their brains and it sticks.

Last bit is she may just not be quite old enough to handle the material. You know your child best. Hope you can find something that works for your family! Enjoy these early homeschooling years they are precious and go by too fast! :001_smile:

Do you think R&S 2 would be good for getting my daughter up to speed on her math facts, or would 1st grade be better? She pretty much knows them, but she is slow at recall. I have found some timed drill sheets here - http://www.tlsbooks.com/timedmathdrillworksheets.htm, could I just try doing those until she's faster? Also, should I stop everything and just focus on getting her up to speed with addition facts, or do I spend half our math time on that, and the other half with other concepts?

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First, many thanks to everyone who took the time to put down how they would explain regrouping. I will keep that in mind while I regroup. ;-)

Do you think R&S 2 would be good for getting my daughter up to speed on her math facts, or would 1st grade be better? She pretty much knows them, but she is slow at recall. I have found some timed drill sheets here - http://www.tlsbooks.com/timedmathdrillworksheets.htm, could I just try doing those until she's faster? Also, should I stop everything and just focus on getting her up to speed with addition facts, or do I spend half our math time on that, and the other half with other concepts?

Well, of course R&S is more than just math facts. :-) If you decided to try it, it should be because you're planning to use for math, not just that you want her to learn her addition facts.

You can get free curriculum samples and a free scope and sequence by calling the publisher at (606) 522-4348. R&S is Mennonite, and they don't do Internet. :-)

ETA: Also, you need to be sure that you do the oral class time. The first three years of R&S's math series depend on the teachers actually teaching the lesson first; the seatwork just reinforces what was taught. IOW you don't give the child the worksheet and explain the worksheet.

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Main thing you need to do is: DON'T DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY! Put aside what doesn't work and keep what is working. Supplement may be your key.

If you decide to try out R&S, I would put her in the 2nd gr. book mainly because 1st gr. only goes up to the 10's facts as families not triplets. 2nd gr. goes through18's and uses triplets.(She may not need that much intensive drill though) If you JUST want help with fact drill, other options are Math-It or Triangle flash cards

(they can be used to teach and drill triplets.) You don't need a whole curriculum to teach them.

Triplets have a WHOLE # and 2 Parts. The whole # is the SUM of the parts. So you get 4 math problems per triplet- 2 addition & 2 subtraction facts. You MUST teach

each Whole number sets together. (5)1 4, (5)2 3, (5)3 2, (5)4 1. She should be able to recognize that some of these are Flip-Flop problems. 1+4=5 is the same answer

as 4+1=5.

Math-It is a fact drill game. We borrowed it and my children really enjoyed using it. If you get on Rainbow Resource's web page they also have some games that drill triplets in a fun way without using workbooks. Just two quick examples: Tri-FACTa Game and Minute Math Electronic Flash Card.

Each child learns differently. What works for one may not always work for another. I personally wouldn't go out and buy a whole new curriculum quite yet, not until you try getting those facts down pat. She just may need to slow it down, work on those facts and maybe work on another concept like calendars or geometry. Something

to keep advancing but not need those facts yet. You may need to get creative. Give her a couple of weeks and try the concept again. If she is still struggling then

you may want to think about something else for next school year, and just spend the last few weeks of school really working on those facts. Hope you can find

something that will work.

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Main thing you need to do is: DON'T DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY! Put aside what doesn't work and keep what is working. Supplement may be your key.

If you decide to try out R&S, I would put her in the 2nd gr. book mainly because 1st gr. only goes up to the 10's facts as families not triplets. 2nd gr. goes through18's and uses triplets.(She may not need that much intensive drill though) If you JUST want help with fact drill, other options are Math-It or Triangle flash cards

(they can be used to teach and drill triplets.) You don't need a whole curriculum to teach them.

Triplets have a WHOLE # and 2 Parts. The whole # is the SUM of the parts. So you get 4 math problems per triplet- 2 addition & 2 subtraction facts. You MUST teach

each Whole number sets together. (5)1 4, (5)2 3, (5)3 2, (5)4 1. She should be able to recognize that some of these are Flip-Flop problems. 1+4=5 is the same answer

as 4+1=5.

Math-It is a fact drill game. We borrowed it and my children really enjoyed using it. If you get on Rainbow Resource's web page they also have some games that drill triplets in a fun way without using workbooks. Just two quick examples: Tri-FACTa Game and Minute Math Electronic Flash Card.

Each child learns differently. What works for one may not always work for another. I personally wouldn't go out and buy a whole new curriculum quite yet, not until you try getting those facts down pat. She just may need to slow it down, work on those facts and maybe work on another concept like calendars or geometry. Something

to keep advancing but not need those facts yet. You may need to get creative. Give her a couple of weeks and try the concept again. If she is still struggling then

you may want to think about something else for next school year, and just spend the last few weeks of school really working on those facts. Hope you can find

something that will work.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your gracious and helpful response. I am, of course, driving myself crazy because this is my first time around. :001_rolleyes: We'll work on getting the facts faster with some flash cards and math games. I have a book with lots of colorful worksheets on time and money, so I'm sure she will be happy to work on those while we deal with facts. Thank you, thank you! I wish I could give you more than one like. :001_smile:

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Not all children need to use manipulatives.

She might do better with a traditional math series such as Rod and Staff Publishers. There is scripted oral "class time" in the excellent teacher's edition, where you actually do the teaching; then you give your dc the seatwork, which reinforces what you taught. It uses some visuals.

Here's a review written by my friend Laura in TX, in a reply on another forum to someone who was using MUS::

I used MUS Foundations for about a year before switching to Rod and Staff 2nd grade. My daughter had reached the lesson on subtraction in MUS, around lesson 21, and she suddenly came to an abrupt halt. We worked for weeks, which turned into months, trying to get past this hurdle, and nothing worked. We drilled and drilled the addition facts, but she had them mastered, and I went and asked questions on the MUS forum where I was told to work more diligently on the 15-X=7 types of problems; but these also did not seem to bother my daughter. We did problems with the blocks until we both could hardly stand the sight of them. I just didnâ€™t understand why MUS wasnâ€™t working. Frustrated, I finally ordered R&S sight unseen, based on recommendations from people right here on this board, particularly Ellie.

After the very first day of using R&S, I knew that this was a better approach for my daughter, and she also expressed her preference for it very early as well. It took a couple of months, though, for me to think and analyze what it was about R&S that worked when MUS had failed so completely.

To start with, R&S uses the numberline quite a bit in the early grades as a visual aid. I noticed that my daughter could relate much better to the numberline, and also to the hundredâ€™s chart, than she could do the blocks. They bridged her understanding to numbers and our base 10 number system in a way that never happened with the blocks. It helped also that R&S had questions almost everyday in the 2nd grade book that led to a better understanding of our number system. Using MUS, my daughter had learned to skip count by every number 2 through 10, but she could only skip count for 10 numbers, and she had no understanding of skip counting backwards from say 280 to 250 by twos. She really did not have a complete understanding of either skip counting or how our number system works. Before starting R&S, she also had trouble telling me things like what number comes before 500. This all improved rapidly after beginning R&S and her math confidence began to improve as well.

I think one MUSâ€™s major weaknesses is its over-reliance on the blocks. I think it is better for a program to use multiple methods to achieve understanding. If your child doesnâ€™t understand a concept with the blocks using MUS, there is no other alternative except to keep doing the problem over and over again with the blocks. The numberline and a hundreds chart are excellent tools for primary math numerancy.

Next, the major difference I noticed between the two programs is the way they approached and taught the basic facts. Rod and Staff uses the fact family method, which they call fact triplets. The children learn the triplets such (10,7,3) and then they learn that they can make four facts with each triplet, 7+3=10, 3+7=10, 10-7=3, 10-3=7. This is begun from the very beginning, and thus the kids learn addition and subtraction simultaneously in a way that makes total sense. I saw my daughter catch on to subtraction for the first time, and it was a great relief. This method also allows for mixed word problems from the very beginning which is very important because one of the major problems kids have later on down the road is figuring out what function to use with word problems. Singapore Math also uses the fact family method, which they call fact bonds, and I have since come to believe that this is the best way to teach the math facts.

Also the drill of math facts is built right into R&S Math. There is some oral drill in the daily lesson, and there are speed drills, and there is more drill in the student lesson. Rod and Staff math students master their math facts. I never seem to read messages from R&S users telling about how their 4th grader has not mastered his math facts. When I was using MUS, I was creating our own math drill program...flashcards, math worksheets printed off the computer, Quartermile math, etc. My daughter didnâ€™t like math drill and I was spending a lot of time worrying about math drill as well as putting it together. It was a great relief to have this all planned out for us, and easy to use as well, with R&S. In only a few weeks, my daughter was soaring through the drills with much more confidence. So, yes, you can put together your own math drill program, but my experience showed me that R&S, with their years of experience, can do it better than I.

Another major difference between Rod and STaff and MUS Foundations was word problems. MUS Foundations had very word problems, and they were all of a given type. In the lesson that taught the +8s, all the word problems were +8s. My daughter got to where she didnâ€™t even listen to the words, she just waited for the numbers and did a +8 problem. This kind of defeats the whole purpose. Not only that, there were no word problems on student worksheets, only in the TM, so the student got no practice in reading and solving word problems on their own. Also, there are no two-step word problems in all of MUS Foundations, and Rod and Staff starts working up gradually to these kinds of problems by the end of 2nd grade during the daily lesson, and the teacher tells the students to â€œhold that answer in your mindâ€ and then gives a second part of the problem.

Okay, now we have to get to why I donâ€™t believe that MUS is a complete program, and needs to be supplemented. MUS has very inadequate teaching and practice for time, money and measurement. When I started MUS, I knew this because people had written about it, but I thought that I could work on these things by myself. I did this, and I also even got a separate workbook on Time, Money and Measurement at Mardels, but all of this was just useless childâ€™s play when compared to the teaching and practice of these concepts in R&S. There is absolutely no comparison. R&S is SO much better in these areas than MUS it is ridiculous. I now believe that you need to get something that covers these areas adequately as a supplement for MUS, or spend LOTS and LOTS of time working on these areas with real-life problems. Fluency in these areas comes with lots of regular practice.

One last thing, the TM for R&S and the daily short whiteboard lessons are wonderful, and much better, as well as more thorough, than the MUS videos. They have drill of facts, review, word problems, mental math exercises, and teaching of new concepts. It is not the same thing repeated day after day.

I intended to use R&S Math until the 4th grade and then switch to Saxon, but my daughter had such noticeable and measureable success after using R&S in the second and third grades, that I decided, after reviewing both Saxon and R&S pretty thoroughly for the 4th and 5th grades, that we would just stick with R&S.

Ellie, thanks for posting this review and comparison!

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So glad you have a working plan! :thumbup:  Homeschoolers need to stick together! Sharing advice is how we all learn and grow as moms. :001_smile:  Trust me all of us older homeschool moms have been down the "I feel like I'm going crazy road" many times. We all can use a hug and some encouragement when things get tough. Happy Teaching!

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I haven't been able to fully implement said plan yet because dd has been sick with an ear infection all week. In the meantime, I rediscovered Ellen McHenry's Professor Pig, which dd is excited to use because of the comic book format. She just has to cement a few more facts and she will be good to go with it.

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Also, if you're looking for something to help solidify her knowledge of (basic addition) math facts, I highly recommend the book : Addition Facts That Stick by Kate Snow.  There are games that you play using every day items from around the house.  We tried MUS Alpha to help my dd, but she hated the blocks and the DVD.  I didn't want to spend an entire year working on basic addition facts.  We worked through Addition Facts That Stick, and she had fun while she learned.  Now she can move quickly through math because she's not hung up on solving the simple addition.

We also have moved onto CLE Math.  Many people say it's a lot like Rod & Staff, but it has workbooks that they work through.  My daughter can't stand having to write out problems, so the workbooks have been a blessing!

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So sorry to hear your daughter is sick. Ear infections are can be miserable. :sad:  Hope she is feeling better soon!

That comic book style sounds like it will be fun! I love when they get excited over a book.  :001_smile: