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If you use multiple math resources, how do you schedule them?

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Question is in the title...if you use multiple math resources for your students, how do you schedule them?

 

We are only using Saxon currently. Saxon 3 was just started by my 7 year old and Saxon 5/4 is being wrapped up by my 11 year old.

I have Life of Fred Apples through Jelly Beans, Math Mammoth, Right Start Game set, plus some other math games. I'd like to combine some of these extra resources into our school schedule, but I'm not sure how to do that and also finish our main math curriculum during the school year.

My oldest drags her feet about math - it's her least favorite subject, and she is further behind than I would like. My second really likes math and usually works through it quickly.

 

So, if you utilize different approaches, how do you do it? Just one day out of the week? Maybe 20 minutes a day? During a morning time/basket time slot? Do you also have a goal of finishing a main math curriculum during a school year? 

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Currently we're not juggling multiple curricula, but for a while I was having my DS do Singapore textbook M/W and Beast Academy Tu/Th, with Fridays being IP or CWP 1 semester behind (e.g. when he was in SM textbook 4A doing the 3B IP and CWP).

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Currently we use Life of Fred as our spine, and Key to Math and/or MM and/or Math on the Level to give extra practice when DD gets stuck on something in the bridges.

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Over the years, in the elementary grades, we scheduled multiple math resources in several ways, depending on what resources we had and what the student needs were:

 

2 sessions in the same day:

- 30-40 minutes = spine math (for gr. 3-6; for gr. K-2 gear it to the student -- maybe 20-30 min)

- 5-20 minutes = supplement (like, math facts, or educational math game), later in the day, separated in time from the spine math session  (again, gear it for the student

 

4 days week/1 day a week

- 4x/week = spine math program

- 1x/week = secondary math program

 

When a child "hit the wall" with a topic in the spine math:

- set aside the spine math entirely for a week (or two, or for a month)

- either do the same topic in a secondary math program to see it from a different perspective

- or, use a math resource on a completely different topic (like, manipulatives and a go-along booklet)

 

If the child finished the spine math program before the end of the year:

- switch to secondary math program as the daily spine

- use other math resources as supplement

 

 

In your situation, with older student who dislikes Math... ouch! You have THREE complete programs (Saxon, Math Mammoth, and Life of Fred), one of which (Saxon) is notorious for being a time-hog, AND then Right Start games AND other math games.

 

At the least, you might consider circling selected problems. Or, just having her do the odd or even problems in Saxon, so it's not so overwhelming to her, which may be why she drags her feet. Another option would be to loop-schedule Saxon -- go for 30 minutes, get as far along as she reasonably can, then close the book and "loop" the remainder of the lesson to the next day. Start with finishing up that lesson for the next Math session, and when done and if there's still time in the 30 minutes, learn the new lesson material and get started with the new lesson. 30 minutes, close the book, move on to other school work, continue with math the next day where you left off.

 

I think I'd also be looking into if Saxon was really the best fit for the student for whom Math is her least favorite subject. Maybe switch over to Math Mammoth or Life of Fred entirely and see if it goes faster for her, clicks better, and is less disliked.

 

I think getting the best Math fit dialed in first will make it more palatable to a math-disliker to then be adding MORE Math to their day. Another option: maybe make Wednesdays Math fun day -- all the games and supplements and no spine math. That breaks up the Math drudgery to 2 days before, 2 days after the fun day.

 

Just brainstorming ideas! ;) BEST of luck in finding what works best for both students. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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We use MM as a spine and one dd does LoF and the other BA as a supplement. MM is 2 pages a day. It takes between 30-60 min depending on the day (and kid my youngest workes quicker). We have a seperate math time with each DD. LoF is 2 chapters a day and BA is every other problem 6 pages. It takes another 20-30 min to get through the extra math time. It's helped tremendously to have that additional time especially for my oldest. LoF gives her more review with a gental approach. I should add I allot 1 hour math time for our spine. When they finish their MM work quickly we use the extra time to do their suppliment math other wise it is done at the end of the day. I find more than an hour of math and my oldest gets frustrated and doesn't think through it as well.

Edited by Momto4inSoCal

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I tried using two programs simultaneously for a while with my eldest, and she became very frustrated at her lack of progress. She is very strong in mathematics, but it seemed like she would never reach the end.

 

So we dropped one, her enjoyment returned, and she sped through.

 

Occasionally we add in bits and pieces in areas of interest or when she needs more practice.

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I don't schedule it. We just do a day's worth of math every day. Mine tends to go in spells. She is very Stubborn. She really likes one math book for awhile, until she doesn't, and then we have drama over that math book. D.a.i.l.y. That's when I shelve it and hand her the other book. Which she really, really likes. For while. Until she doesn't. One of these books is a spiral and one is mastery, so placement during her hops isn't seamless. I just do my best on the fly, skipping redundancies as needed.

 

Math games are just put in their game stash for them to play with as they will.

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During a morning basket slot usually. My dd has a math time. But we rotate through a lot of things in her morning "journal time." The particular funschooling journal we are using has a page for math practice. When we get to that page separate from her regular math which gets done daily, she has an online practice app she uses. 

 

Sometimes I copy things that I want her to practice to use during her math hour. I will just have her do it for 5 minutes at the top of the math hour before she starts a new lesson in her textbook. Sometimes in the year we have worked on flashcards together too, not in her math time. I had an hour during the day that I was working on several therapies with her on for a few months. I found I had her direct attention at that time and I could get the flashcard practice in. 

 

I could do cards during her math hour, but generally for her, I need that time to work with her older sis on Alg. so I have to do it separate. 

 

My older child takes so long on Algebra, that I don't even try to schedule in multiple things this year. I just have to put in the time to work with her as much as possible. 

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We use Math Mammoth as our Spine, and do that 3 days a week (about 1 section each day). We do 1-2 weeks worth of Daily Word Problems on another day. I've tried to add in other supplements like time tests or a chapter of a Zacarro book, but that has just been too much, so will wait until we complete one of the previous 2 books, and then replace that day with something else.

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At our house, math and problem solving are two separate subjects.  


 


For "math" my kids spend about 15 minutes doing Math Mammoth; it is rigorous and conceptual, but is doesn't really stretch their brain and make them think.  I love Math Mammoth because it does a good job explaining why numbers work as they do, and it provides the drill and review my kids need to keep their basic math skills strong, but I don't love that it never stumps them.  They never start a problem, realize their approach isn't working and have to consider what other strategies might work.  Other than a careless mistake or two, they never get problems wrong.


 


"Problem Solving", OTOH, is all about the process.  My 8 year old spends 20-30 minutes a day working on Beast Academy or Singapore Challenging Word Problems or Balance Benders or logic puzzles.  Sometimes he spends all 30 minutes puzzling over one challenging question - studying it, approaching it from one angle, backing off and reassessing, trying another strategy, etc.  I think that perseverance and complex thinking are the most important parts of true math (as opposed to arithmetic), so as long as Beast Academy and the rest are challenging DS to that level, I truly don't care how long it takes for him to get through them.  Right now he is is MM5a and BA3d; I expect that in the next year or so, he will begin AOPS prealgebra, but still spend some time every day hanging out with the beasts as he slowly savors his way through BA4 and 5.


 


Wendy


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At our house, math and problem solving are two separate subjects.  

 

For "math" my kids spend about 15 minutes doing Math Mammoth; it is rigorous and conceptual, but is doesn't really stretch their brain and make them think.  I love Math Mammoth because it does a good job explaining why numbers work as they do, and it provides the drill and review my kids need to keep their basic math skills strong, but I don't love that it never stumps them.  They never start a problem, realize their approach isn't working and have to consider what other strategies might work.  Other than a careless mistake or two, they never get problems wrong.

 

"Problem Solving", OTOH, is all about the process.  My 8 year old spends 20-30 minutes a day working on Beast Academy or Singapore Challenging Word Problems or Balance Benders or logic puzzles.  Sometimes he spends all 30 minutes puzzling over one challenging question - studying it, approaching it from one angle, backing off and reassessing, trying another strategy, etc.  I think that perseverance and complex thinking are the most important parts of true math (as opposed to arithmetic), so as long as Beast Academy and the rest are challenging DS to that level, I truly don't care how long it takes for him to get through them.  Right now he is is MM5a and BA3d; I expect that in the next year or so, he will begin AOPS prealgebra, but still spend some time every day hanging out with the beasts as he slowly savors his way through BA4 and 5.

 

Wendy

 

 

I like this approach. Dd9 is a math lover and I've yet to really stump her using Math in Focus so I added in Beast Academy in January. She loves it and thrives on the challenge. However I hadn't found an efficient way to marry the two. I like your idea though of seeing it as two different subjects.

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I schedule my main program. And even that is flexible because we are afterschooling. And I semi-schedule my secondary program (Frank H. Hall's arithmetic series), but it's lighter partly by its nature partly because we went back in it for reinforcement, so that's even more flexible. Anything else I use, I use selectively and variably. If there's something I really want to address right now because I've noticed issues, I go ahead and really address it right now. Other things are how I feel or how she feels - between the afterschool dynamic and the special needs I feel I need to leave wide scope for preference.

 

I could never keep track of do 45 minutes of this, 20 minutes of that, this day, that day, etc., even when PS isn't in session. It's just not my nature. We do best with differing priority levels of how strict the scheduling for things is, and basically having only one thing in the top "we are seriously scheduling this and intend to do all of it in a timely manner" slot.

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I don't use the main practice from our spine but instead use what other people consider supplements. Singapore is our spine now and I'll look through the textbook to see what is covered, then use whatever other things to practice the material conceptually. Then I have DS fast track through the Singapore textbook problems to make sure he can do everything.

 

When we are at a point that he needs conceptual work then I usually look towards education unboxed and Miquon, sometimes RS Activities guide. When we are at a point that he needs some rote practice for drill then I use RS card games and apps, also sometimes Miquon worksheets. For continuous review of old stuff I use Prodigy regularly but that is considered screen time not math time for us.

 

When we're at a point where the main math stuff is slow (usually to let concepts sink in or waiting for fluency in facts) then I'll add in LoF, BA, and/or PS/CWP.

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Spine math (CLE) = one to two lessons per day, then 20 minutes online computer math every school day (Redbird Math by Stanford, or Reflex Math if math facts haven't been mastered yet). CLE includes fact drills and flash cards. CLE is our procedural math, RedBird is conceptual.

 

 

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At our house, math and problem solving are two separate subjects.  

 

For "math" my kids spend about 15 minutes doing Math Mammoth; it is rigorous and conceptual, but is doesn't really stretch their brain and make them think.  I love Math Mammoth because it does a good job explaining why numbers work as they do, and it provides the drill and review my kids need to keep their basic math skills strong, but I don't love that it never stumps them.  They never start a problem, realize their approach isn't working and have to consider what other strategies might work.  Other than a careless mistake or two, they never get problems wrong.

 

"Problem Solving", OTOH, is all about the process.  My 8 year old spends 20-30 minutes a day working on Beast Academy or Singapore Challenging Word Problems or Balance Benders or logic puzzles.  Sometimes he spends all 30 minutes puzzling over one challenging question - studying it, approaching it from one angle, backing off and reassessing, trying another strategy, etc.  I think that perseverance and complex thinking are the most important parts of true math (as opposed to arithmetic), so as long as Beast Academy and the rest are challenging DS to that level, I truly don't care how long it takes for him to get through them.  Right now he is is MM5a and BA3d; I expect that in the next year or so, he will begin AOPS prealgebra, but still spend some time every day hanging out with the beasts as he slowly savors his way through BA4 and 5.

 

Wendy

 

I really really love this.  I think I'll take this approach next year with Saxon/BA.  

 

Thanks for sharing!!  

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I schedule 3 math related activities per child per day. We use MUS as our main lesson, and we do that 4 to 5 days a week. They each to a computer based math game for about 10 minutes each day (buys me time with their brothers), and then one additional activity. I just schedule those additional activities as need for reinforcing concepts arise. Sometimes that is a Right Start game, sometimes it's a MUS activity we need to re-review, sometimes its a Math Perplexor, or just reading math literature or comic books, or... whatever.

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We school 4 days per week. 3 days are on math instruction from our spine, Saxon 5/4. The 4th day is for review, Sunshine Math, skill building, or for games. If he does need intense remedial help I have slowed ongoing lessons down and added remedial work from Math Mammoth blue series by topic. If we do have remedial work to do, then I plan for 10-20 minutes per day. I keep total math lessons to no more than 1 hour per day. That includes problem-solving. It has worked pretty well and creates mastery.

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