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bethben

Singapore math/beast academy

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If you had a child who struggled with understanding math concepts, would you try to do these curriculums? My dd is a “just give me the basics†kind of learner. Every time she is taught the “why†or something more challenging, she shuts down. I’m wondering if I just give her how to do math computations well and just leave it at that? She’ll be headed into 5th grade after a most likely miserable math year in public school (at least that’s how it’s been so far—mile wide inch deep).

 

 

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Absolutely not.  Definitely no for Beast, and I would not hand Singapore to a struggling math kiddo without first identifying why she's struggling and then addressing that.  Singapore can be great for SOME struggling math learners, and not for others.  

 

My DD11 has dyscalculia and Singapore was a disaster for her in her early math years.  Once we identified her weaknesses, I spent years focusing on remediating those areas.  We used MUS for a couple of years.  

 

Last year, she had made such solid progress and MUS was beginning to bomb, so I switched her to Singapore.  We started in Grade 2, but she has done amazingly well, considering how extensive her math LD is.  

 

Beast is a whole other animal.  It's specifically designed to challenge math-intuitive kids.  My daughter enjoys reading her brother's Beast books, but I have no plans to actually have her work through the textbook.  

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How old?

 

These programs, especially BA, are for conceptual understanding and are amazing for that. If your child is not doing well with that I think you e got to make a decision: either go back and lay the concrete foundations for conceptual math using manipulatives and lots of hand held/visual work, or move ahead with "this is how to do it" math like Saxon. I'm for the first option but it's not my call.

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I will not go with BA practise books for sure. But you can try out with the BA comic books. Because it is fun to read.

 

For SM, you can use the textbooks and workbooks. Untill those are solid, then move onto intensive practice books and word problems.

 

If your DD does not react well to challenging math questions, could you try to play math games or do math circles, so it is more fun? Where is her weak point? Ability to understand an abstract concept or basic arithmetic skills? Once you can identify those, it helps. Maybe Kumon could be a solution, or find a book more suitable to her level.

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Definitely not BA. Singspore might be ok as long as you were teaching to it. My ASD kiddo who struggles with the way BA teaches cruised through 1B like it was nothing the summer before 1st grade and grabs 2A when he wants more math and works in it. I think Singspore is clear so most typical kiddos will be fine with it. BA is a whole other beast (no pun intended). You need a mathy kid who has no issue having their brain stretched and wrestling with hard concepts. It isn't hard but a much different way of presenting math.

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No, neither of those would be appropriate. I would suggest Math-U-See for a broken down, easy to understand and get done math program.

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definitely not beast. Singapore if you were teaching it side by side. I love singapore. My dd was on a path to rote memorization of steps without much conceptual understanding. We did Singapore, then BA, and now are back to Singapore. She has a lot better number sense really "gets" conceptually what she is doing. But i sit next to her every day for the new material and working through the new material. When she has a handle on it I back off while she practices the material. 

 

If she really struggles you can use the Extra Practice problems workbook. We use Textbook, Workbook and then Intensive Practice (which are much harder) but if my daughter were struggling I would use Textbook, Workbook and Extra practice book.

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Hi, New to this forum. What are good places to buy Singapore Math books?

Rainbow Resource Centre, Amazon, Christian Book Distributors.

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I'm a fan of going back and laying as much of the conceptual foundation as possible. You might be able to move along, but it the student doesn't really understand it, then they will forever struggle and not be able to do higher math which you have to understand the concepts.

 

 

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If you had a child who struggled with understanding math concepts, would you try to do these curriculums? My dd is a “just give me the basics†kind of learner. Every time she is taught the “why†or something more challenging, she shuts down. I’m wondering if I just give her how to do math computations well and just leave it at that? She’ll be headed into 5th grade after a most likely miserable math year in public school (at least that’s how it’s been so far—mile wide inch deep).

 

 

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I'm curious why she shuts down when she learns the "why", and I would pursue this more. Is it really that she just doesn't ever care why things are that way, and so it annoys her? Is it because she doesn't understand the explanation and gets frustrated? Has she heard folks close to her talk about how math just isn't their thing, or how they were just never good at math, etc? Is it just habit, at this point?

 

I would hate to see you "just give her how to do math computations and leave it at that" when she's so young, still. I would see if there's anything you could do to actually make math interesting to her. Could you drop the formal curriculum for a while and just let her read some interesting math books? Maybe you get some of the Beast guide books and just let her read them, without requiring anything else from her. Maybe you find some fun math videos on youtube and watch them together and try some related activities. Maybe you start reading The Code Book together and practice writing each other messages in the various codes discussed in the book?

 

My thought is that if you can get HER to ask the question "Why?" then she probably won't shut down when you try to answer the question. But getting her to ask why means giving her math that will actually appeal to her. If you can get her to invest herself in math, you can make up an awful lot of ground after a short "fun" holiday from "normal" curriculum. As with many things in our home, I just think addressing the attitude/feeling here is at least as important as addressing the nuts-and-bolts of what curriculum to use moving forward.

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I think right now she shuts down with the “why†because she’s in public school right now and the curriculum is lousy. I reteach it and she’ll get it but by the time she’s learned it a second time, she’s thinking it’s stupid to teach this weird math. It doesn’t help that some of the ways they try to teach conceptual understanding are ridiculous so I don’t even make her do them. So, the combination of me refusing to let her do busy work that won’t teach the concept and her already hating that she comes home confused almost daily doesn’t help conceptual understanding.

 

 

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No way on beast. I don't have any experience with Singapore, so I can't say. Although Dd7 and dd5 both use BA and also used Miquon and MEP (both conceptual), I haven't even considered it for dd9. She struggles with math a lot and I suspect she has dyscaculia. We found a lot of success with CLE, which is solid but less conceptual. My goal for her is pretty much for her to be functional in math. Beast would be an exercise in frustration.

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Maybe something like Redbird might be good? Dd7 just started it, so I don't have a lot of experience with it yet, but it's conceptual and also on the computer and more "fun".

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It is my humble opinion that all children should have a strong conceptual understanding of math whether they are strong math students or not.  I especially love how Sweatpea taught math above to her struggling learner:  She flushed out and remediated the weaker areas and then went back and taught math conceptually...even if that means starting at a lower level.   You need your foundation in math to be ROCK SOLID....repeat that...ROCK SOLID.   And, to have a rock solid math foundation, it is important to understand the why....not just memorize a procedure and practice it over and over again.    

 

Your situation is a bit unique because I assume you are after schooling. (???)  That makes things a bit more difficult.   It reminds me of my own childhood.  :)  My mom was a college level physics and calculus instructor.   (So she knew math pretty well.)    I also went to a public school, and I remember her trying to help me after school.    I would feel SO ANNOYED because she wasn't doing it how the teacher told me to do it.   (Even though my teacher's instruction was confusing and "weird".)  But--I did not want to hear anything my mom had to say.   I remember arguing that if I didn't do it the way the teacher taught us in class, I would get the problem wrong.     I am not really sure there would have been anything my mom could have said or done to make me more receptive to her instruction.   She could have purchased the best math curriculum in the world and it wouldn't have helped.  (What is the old saying?  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.)  hahaha   I think it took me missing a ton of problem in the homework or the test before I finally became desperate enough to listen to what my mom had to say.   (My poor, poor mother!) 

 

 

I wanted to suggest a couple of things:

1)  Unschool math for a while.   I would do some fun recreational math with her.  I don't know the age or grade level, so it is hard for me to suggest specifics.  However, I would suggest some RightStart games and I would even go as far to suggest doing beast academy a few grade levels below for recreational math.   I just had my 5th grader go through the 3rd-grade books for a fun "puzzle math" break.   I could also suggest some other fun math things if I knew what age or ability.

 

2)   Flush out weaknesses.   I really like math mammoth products for tutoring and remediating.   For one thing, they are WAY cheaper than Singapore or beast academy.   (You probably don't want to drop a ton of money if you don't need a full fledge math curriculum.)   Another reason I like math mammoth is that you can buy subject or topic targeted review workbooks.   AND, I have found the conceptual instruction to be quite good.  (I have always used Singapore, but use Math Mammoth when we need additional practice/remediating.)   

 

To find weaknesses, I often use the placement tests as a tool.   I look for patterns in the questions the miss.   I try to make note of any topics they need help with, and then I use their topic-specific worktexts to reteach this material.   (I often also use math manipulatives a TON to show the conceptual side of things too.)   I find that this process is really efficient in filling gaps in conceptual understanding.   

 

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Would MathU See give a decent conceptual understanding for a weaker student? I wasn’t a fan of Singapore in that it didn’t have enough built in review. If it did, I would have stuck with it for all my kids

 

 

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I used MUS for my daughter's first two years, mostly to give her basic math skills while I worked on identifying and remediating her dyscalculia weaknesses.

 

But, while I liked MUS for that very beginning, I did NOT find it to be strong enough in conceptual teaching.

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Would MathU See give a decent conceptual understanding for a weaker student? I wasn’t a fan of Singapore in that it didn’t have enough built in review. If it did, I would have stuck with it for all my kids

 

 

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Well, I'd say that Singapore might be  a good place to start, then. (Also, both the U.S. and Standards edition have some built-in review-- so if you were using the CC in the past, which I've heard has none?-- switching over could give you more opportunities to review.)

 

I have yet to find a math curriculum that (on its own) gives me exactly what I'm looking for, so I use mastery programs (Singapore and BA) along with a spiraling workbook from a different math curriculum (with perforated pages for easy removal) for review-- a page of this review a day is what I use as a warm-up. Would this appeal to you? While it sounds like yet another moving part, it ended my elusive quest for The Perfect Complete Math Curriculum. It also helps me ensure that my kids can transfer whatever they're learning to problems that may be phrased differently or look different from what they're used to.

 

(Also, if you sent your DD to public school partially to deal with relationship issues, which is something I also struggle with here with my highly passionate and feisty oldest daughter, I have to second the idea of deschooling math and playing math games and doing math-y activities together until she can approach it again with a minimum of drama...hey, now at least you know that even if you're just doing the bare minimum at home for a time, that will still be better than what she'd be getting at school, right? Sometimes with my daughter it's hard to tell whether her strong emotions around math come because she's struggling to understand or because she gets it but doesn't care and feels condescended to. Sigh. Games and conversations and activities sometimes help me pinpoint what's going on, because we're both more relaxed and open to hearing each other's thoughts.)

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The thing with Singapore is that it DOES have review, but you have to dig a bit for it.  The Textbook has review sections, and same for the Workbook.  But, I add in IP and some pages from the Testbook for spiral review.  

 

We also do some Prodigy Math for spiral review, as well.  

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