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KeriJ

Those who have long term experience with both MUS and CLE

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Help!  I need to process this.  I used CLE elementary math levels with my 2 older dd's and had success with it despite them not loving math. (They moved into MUS at the Pre-Algebra level, one eventually switched to VideoText.) Now I have a 4th grade ds, and I'm lost as to what direction to take with him.

 

Some background: While my dd's started CLE later, this ds started it in 1st grade.  He has some mild behavior issues.  Mostly he just gets easily stressed and defensive.  I also suspect mild ADHD, but nothing diagnosed.  By the end of 3rd grade, he was in tears every day over math.  I feel like it was mostly because of the length of the lessons.  Even though I would cross off problems, just seeing all the pages would overwhelm him and he would shut down. 

 

I also wondered if some of his issues were due to the fact that so many topics were covered in each lesson.  Maybe he was getting overwhelmed with switching gears so many times.  So, I looked seriously into MUS, thinking it would be slightly shorter lessons without jumping around in topics. Plus, I tentatively plan to use the upper levels of MUS, and this would give him experience with the program before he gets there.

 

But at the last minute, I was swayed by Math Lessons for a Living Education.  The scope and sequence is very similar to CLE, and he has thrived as far as his attitude goes since the lessons are so short!  I do think it is a good program, in theory.  But I think it works best for a mom with fewer kids who can put more time into it.  I am not that mom. :)  It's also not systematic enough for my brain at all!  So, I'm regretting the decision.

 

Here are my 2 choices:  Go back to CLE or switch to MUS, and really those are the only choices I want to consider. I have a plan for placing him in either program.  But here are my 2 final concerns:  1) The length of lessons in CLE and whether I have the confidence to shorten them.  But I'm very familiar and comfortable with the program.  2) Staying on one topic for a whole year in MUS and whether or not that will get monotonous...plus the program is fairly new to me at the elementary level. 

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It sounds like your son might do better with MUS.  Obviously there are no guarantees but while I adore CLE (not at 1st grade level, though, FWIW) it is not a good fit for all kids.  It also sounds like, though, this child in particular is going to need more support to get through math lessons regardless of what program you use.  At least with MUS the program should help you to help him and there are support groups out there for MUS users so if you hit snags you can get help.

 

I would also suggest, though, that you see about building in some review.  Maybe every Friday just create a page of 5 review problems from previous things to keep stuff fresh in his head.  You could even create it over the weekend for the following Friday since it would be review of older concepts/algorithms not what he is currently working on.

 

On a side note, if you still have the TMs for CLE you could pull problems from there for review, too.

Edited by OneStepAtATime

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It sounds like your son might do better with MUS. Obviously there are no guarantees but while I adore CLE (not at 1st grade level, though, FWIW) it is not a good fit for all kids. It also sounds like, though, this child in particular is going to need more support to get through math lessons regardless of what program you use. At least with MUS the program should help you to help him and there are support groups out there for MUS users so if you hit snags you can get help.

 

I would also suggest, though, that you see about building in some review. Maybe every Friday just create a page of 5 review problems from previous things to keep stuff fresh in his head. You could even create it over the weekend for the following Friday since it would be review of older concepts/algorithms not what he is currently working on.

 

On a side note, if you still have the TMs for CLE you could pull problems from there for review, too.

This was helpful. Thank you.
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Also, I thought I would mention some other things that helped here that you might play around with:

 

  •  doing some problems together on the dry erase board, and sometimes in sand or with water on a large piece of paper to involve whole body movement
  •  Also, I found that one of my kids did better with math in the mornings and the other one did better in the afternoons. 
  • Also, one did better getting it out of the way first thing and the other did better getting the other stuff done first. 
  • And finally, one of my kids did better if they had had quite a bit of exercise first while the other did better if they could go outside and play/swing after the math lesson to kind of relax their brain.

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