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Last year we used MUS Primer with lots of supplements to fill in the holes. My son's favorite subject WAS math. For 1st we switched to Mammoth Math, because I felt Alpha seemed light. He hates it. The pages and amount of problems we need to do are overwhelming to him. He IS really progressing with math and I like open and go nature of MM. I'm torn because while I like the program it is killing his love for math. It has also become a fighting point during school. We finished the first book but I don't think I have it in me to fight through the second book. I kept hoping he would adjust but he isn't. I wonder if we just need a switch. I don't want to juggle a bunch of books and it needs to be somewhat open and go. I have a newborn and a 3 year old so my time is precious. I just don't know what I would replace it with. 

 

1. Singapore has so many books to juggle although it looks like a great program. It's not out of the running but I have hesitation.

2. MIF sounds promising. Maybe this is our compromise curriculum. 

3. Miquon sounds great. I own all the books but I open it up and even look through annotations and its just confusing and I feel like I can't afford another math switch or we may fall behind. I am very drawn to this curriculum. This is my first choice if I can figure it out. 

4. I could also go back to MUS but I just don't feel this program is rigorous enough. This is probably MY last choice, but my son did like MUS.

 

I think I need help sifting through my options.  

 

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You don't have to do a ton of juggling with Singapore - we would do the textbook lesson together aloud and then work through the first couple of workbook problems together and then the child would usually be able to finish the workbook page independently.  Many topics are scheduled so that there is one lesson in the text and then several days of practice in the workbook.  Singapore has some books with more challenging problems, which I viewed as optional. If you already own more of Math Mammoth, you can pull some word problems or puzzle corners from there every so often for a bit of extra challenge.  I managed to do the 1st and 2nd grades of Singapore while I had babies, toddlers, and/or preschoolers.  The teaching is usually pretty short and the workbooks were not hard for my kids to do semi-independently.  It lines up pretty well with Math Mammoth if you ever want to switch back to it.  My daughters both switched to MM3 after a couple years of Singapore.

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Give your son Miquon and see if he can figure it out. Betcha he can.

 

I'd keep MM but cross out a LOT of problems and supplement with Miquon.

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Mine couldn't stand even the look of Math Mammoth. He picked MIF, and we used that from 1b to 5a. 

 

I'd stop Math Mammoth now given he's hating it. You can play math games or similar until you pick back up again with your switch to program if you feel you need to keep up something.

 

Can you show him some options, samples if you can, of things that look good to you and see what he likes best? Enjoyment, or at least not dread, would be my type priority. 

 

 

Edited by sbgrace

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If you have the time to devote to it, you can stick with MM and just cherry pick problems from the pages and write them on a whiteboard for him to complete a few at a time.  This is less workable if you have multiple siblings to also care for.  

 

We use Singapore and because this is my second time through the program, I barely even open most of the books.  I just teach the lesson and move on to the workbooks.  I use the textbook when I'm too lazy to think up my own example problems.  We use the word problems book in the summer usually, between levels.  

 

If you are confused by Miquon, spend some time on the educationunboxed.com website.  She will teach you how to use cuisinaire rods for virtually all math concepts.  The miquon pages  become almost unnecessary at that point, once you as a teacher are enabled and can present ideas directly through the rods.  We rely HEAVILY on cuisinaire rods through singapore level 3... and I am still pulling them out from time to time now that dd is in level 4.  And I know I pulled them out at least once this year for my son in AOPS Pre-A!  Such an amazing tool.  

 

I can't comment on MIF as I haven't seen it, but it certainly has been touted here as a great option for people that like SM but want more streamlined.  

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Just a plug for MUS - the alphabet based program is a very good foundation.  It feels slow, but it really helps kids visualize math and be able to manipulate it.  My oldest is in an engineering program after going through MUS and switching to more traditional/college level math in high school. He's always had an easy time with math, even when his peers were struggling. My youngest uses Right Start (he hated MUS with a passion), but I've kept the videos and when it came to multiple digit multiplication, the MUS blocks were brought back out after he struggled with understanding the RS way enough to do it in a non-rote manner.  It only took a few problems before he was able to visualize why the numbers worked the way they did.  Hasn't had an issue remembering the steps since.  We'll pull out the fraction work when he gets to multiplying/dividing fractions and do it with MUS, too, because they teach it better than any program I've seen.

 

The main sticking point is parents don't feel there are enough conceptual problems.  That's easily overcome with a single supplement (like Singapore Challenging Word problems).  But it really is a solid program.

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Just be careful not to fall into the "other people think it's not rigorous when it's working for your kid" trap.  This is actually my biggest homeschool regret from the last 10 years.   :sad:   When we first started homeschooling, I knew I should've used MUS with my son, but I didn't, because I was worried it wasn't rigorous enough.  So, I pushed him into Math Mammoth (he actually cried with MM), Singapore (just way over his head), Horizons (also just way over his ability level)...because they were more rigorous.  *sigh*. Worst mistake I ever made homeschooling.  He absolutely hates math and he is not very good at math (so all those rigorous programs did nothing for him).  He will probably not go beyond Algebra 1/Geo/Algebra 2.  Whereas, his sister (who is one year older) is almost to the Saxon Precalculus book.

 

He's almost finished with his freshman year and he's using MUS Algebra.  He's actually understanding it.  He's also getting problems right, which has been a big boost to his confidence this year.  I have apologized to him like 300 times this year.  Like I said, pushing more rigorous programs on him when I knew they would be a poor fit is my biggest homeschool regret.

 

And I don't know what your son's abilities with math are, but I spent several years suspecting my son had dyscalculia.  But he's left-handed, artistic, right-brained...just never did do well with a lot of popular homeschool curricula.   

 

Sorry for being so melodramatic!  

 

 

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I would go back to MUS.

 

At this age, I'd always choose building enthusiasm over rigor. Then you can take it year by year.

 

Especially with other little kids, you need something where dealing with your son's negative emotions about doing it isn't going to fill the time he could actually spend doing it. (Can you tell I've btdt?)

 

There are also good suggestions about ways to work with MM, but if he's reacting to it strongly right now, I'd say hide it and use it just as a reference for your purposes.

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I really think you should reconsider MUS. 

 

First graders who associate math with "this creates a huge problem in my day every day" grow into second graders who hate it even more, and it only gets worse. 

 

The child in front of you > rigor. It won't contribute to his rigorous education if he either refuses to do it or learns next to nothing from it because he hates it so much. btdt. 

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+1 for go back to MUS. You can add rigor with supplements once he likes math again. Zaccaro, selected topics from MEP, etc. 

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IMHO if you build a solid foundation in arithmetic in k-6or 8 you have the foundation for as much rigor as you want later. I have a friend who used MUS for elementary and switched to something else for her mathy boy for highschool. He did well in his more math orientated hs and college. She had her non mathy students keep MUS all the way up. It prepared them for their non math science fields just fine.

I'd say keep it for elementary and reevaluate for Prealgebra on up;)

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Several years ago we used MUS for a year. My kids LOVED it, but I listened to the naysayers about how it wasn't rigorous enough.

 

Fast forward to this year, and we've been using if again (after trying to find a good fit with everything else out there), and I'm realizing I should have just stayed with MUS all along. My kids still love it, and best of all its giving them a firm foundation in math learning. They are doing SO much better with something they *get* instead of all the other programs we tried that were supposedly better. They aren't better if your kid hates them, there's tears, and it doesn't get done. I'd encourage you to stick with MUS and let your little one enjoy learning math and have fun with it again! Best wishes! ;)

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I vote MUS as well. My kids, math haters and math lovers alike, have done really well with it. It's better to enjoy math and understand the basics really well. You can always add in tricky problems later.

 

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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I am also going to vote MUS here. I have one son who uses it and his conceptual math understanding is incredible.

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Since you have Miquon you might want to give it a try. I was very intimidated by it! It sat on a shelf for a long time. It didn’t make sense to me until we actually started doing it. DS is doing that and Beast with MIF. I really like MIF. It’s not that many books. He has his textbook during the lesson and then the workbook and I use the TM.

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If you found a math your child loves, stick with it. They will get it in the end. 

 

I have had Singapore, Shiller, Miquan, and now Math U See. All brooms sweep clean at first but in the day to day of it, Math U See seems to be a great fit for us. Next year, may be a different story but please don't make the decision I did and go 50 rounds trying to find the "perfect" math program. If you or your DH/SO are strong in math, you will see the holes and fix it when they happen. Otherwise a love of math is far more valuable then a few holes. Slow and steady always wins the race. 

 

Good luck!

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You know what, we used a couple different things before we ended up using MUS, and while MUS seems light, my kiddo who has used it since Alpha is really strong in math, and my kiddo who struggled through our program search, hating math along the way, now happily does his work (and I do mean happily), and has become very competent in his skills. He passed his California standardized testing with flying colors--and I have not supplemented other than providing the kids with lots of fun math focused games to do if we have extra time after they finish their worksheet, which is most days. I am doing a similar switch with some of our Language Arts. It's just more important to me that the kids are not resistant to their school work. We all learn better when we are calm, and receptive. :)

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I want to append to what I said before:

 

The only time I'd be really concerned about increasing rigor is with a child who is over a year ahead of "grade level", that is, aimed at algebra in 7th or earlier.

 

But even then, I still probably would not switch away from something they actually loved, but rather supplement the higher-order problem-solving skills with something that was designed as a supplement. 

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I am so glad to see a thread where people aren't bagging on MUS. It's a solid program and I've never understood why it catches so much flack.

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OP, I understand your dilemma.  :grouphug:

 

Frankly, as others have mentioned, one of the BIGGEST critical pieces to math success is not only the understanding but the enthusiasm of the learner.  A "more rigorous program" is useless if the learner isn't learning and now HATES the subject.  We all process data differently.  Some students will find MUS tear inducing.  Others with thrive.  Some will find MM tear inducing (my kids did).  Others with thrive.  And this scenario, in varying degrees, plays out across a zillion different curriculum.  Different kids learn differently.

 

What matters right now, especially while he is still young, is trying hard to build a solid foundation in basic understanding WHILE ALSO trying to foster confidence and hopefully enthusiasm for the subject.  If you have a program that is helping build a basic understanding and is fostering confidence and enthusiasm, please return to it.  The fact that he loved math while doing MUS means that program taps into how he learns in an effective way.  That is AWESOME.  MUS is a great program for many, many students.  Post on the High School board and you will get responses from parents who successfully used that program for their kids and some of those kids have gone on to STEM careers.  MUS fit their needs.  If you want to supplement with some more conceptual material it is easy to do.  You could start a new thread where you ask for suggestions and you will get useful targeted responses. 

 

Bottom line, if you had a program that he was learning from and had enthusiasm for then you switched to a program which caused your child to go from loving math to hating math, please give yourself permission to switch back.  It will be o.k.  MUS is a solid math program.  Many have used it successfully.  You can revisit whether it is still a good fit further down the line.

 

:grouphug:

 

Best wishes.

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If your kid was happy with MUS, then stay with it. SWB recommends it, and she usually has good suggestions (although I don't understand her affinity for Spelling Workout, but that's a whole other thing). I just wanted to share our experience with MUS. Dd flew through the workbook pages and got nearly everything correct, so I thought she was doing well, but she still struggles with addition facts. At that time she was able to use the algorithm for carrying the ten, but didn't understand the reasoning for it. I would highly recommend practicing the facts with games, flashcards, or whatever it takes to make sure your son knows them well. I think now I would do that with whatever curriculum I would use, but as a newbie, I did not understand that, and do not fault MUS for my lack of experience.

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I am so glad to see a thread where people aren't bagging on MUS. It's a solid program and I've never understood why it catches so much flack.

I think because it is 1. Fun and 2. If you don't use it through there can be holes due to the way it is taught. However, I sm sold after meeting two different homeschools with teens who used it all the way through. Oh my word! Those kids really get math and do well on standardized tests. Due to all of the flack I almost took my son off of it who uses it but now I feel confident, especially after seeing how much he grasps math concepts.

 

The other plug I want to give MUS is they have really fantastic story problems. My MUS DS is better at story problems then my other two who supplement with Singapore which is shocking.

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Last year we used MUS Primer with lots of supplements to fill in the holes. My son's favorite subject WAS math. ...

4. I could also go back to MUS but I just don't feel this program is rigorous enough. This is probably MY last choice, but my son did like MUS.

 

I think I need help sifting through my options.  

 

You already answered your question. Go back to MUS and add something else to kick it up a notch. You could add the Singapore challenging word problems books. I use brain teaser and word problem ebooks from publishers like Carson-Dellosa, Evan Moor, and TeacherCreated Resources. These things are GREAT, easy to implement (like your MM), and will bring that extra thinking and punch you're wanting. I use them extensively with my ds. 

 

Math  Carson Dellosa's 1st grade math ebooks. From here I particularly like the Using the Standards series

 

 Math « Books | Teacher Created Resources From here I like the Graph Art, cut and paste, and the daily warm-ups (regular and word problems, two series)

 

Carson Dellosa and Teacher Created both have brain teasers books that I've purchased and used. 

 

Btw, Carson Dellosa also has some Singapore Challenge Math books. They're the Frank Schaeffer series, not the direct from Singapore, but they're still worthwhile. I just bought some to try with my son. I don't need a whole huge curriculum, so they could be just right for supplementing.

Edited by PeterPan
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I followed nearly the same path as you with my son...MUS Primer completed, then tried Horizons and Mammoth Math until we settled on Rod & Staff. We love Rod and Staff. We have supplemented with Singapore as well. Mammoth Math did not go over well at our house either - my son enjoyed math before it and after it, but never when we used it.

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Thanks to all the ladies who responded. I guess I just need to figure out which resources to fill the gaps with. Mid-year, I am not sure if I should backtrack to alpha, even though we covered most of the content or move onto Beta. The placement questionnaire put us in Alpha because he does not have his math facts memorized, although we are working on it.

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Thanks to all the ladies who responded. I guess I just need to figure out which resources to fill the gaps with. Mid-year, I am not sure if I should backtrack to alpha, even though we covered most of the content or move onto Beta. The placement questionnaire put us in Alpha because he does not have his math facts memorized, although we are working on it.

 

I feel for you, because we were in a very similar position last year. We stopped for a bit and just worked on math facts, but that didn't seem to be going anywhere. (She still has to think about them for longer than what is automatic). However, just stopping and doing NOTHING but math fact review stuff was not especially engaging for her, since she is better at picking up the concepts than the facts. (The math review was only a few minutes of flashcards, and Kate Snow's Addition Facts and Ellen McHenry's Professor Pig lessons, and the oodles of math games that are out there, so it wasn't super boring.) Maybe you can spend half your math time going over math facts, and the other half either working your way through the next lessons, or just picking out the geometry or telling time lessons, etc. for the other half so you can both feel like you are moving (slowly) forward.

 

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Thanks to all the ladies who responded. I guess I just need to figure out which resources to fill the gaps with. Mid-year, I am not sure if I should backtrack to alpha, even though we covered most of the content or move onto Beta. The placement questionnaire put us in Alpha because he does not have his math facts memorized, although we are working on it.

 

I didn't use math curriculum for my youngest girls for several years.  We did living math books and problems I wrote for them in a math notebook (I learned my lesson after destroying my son's love of learning math).  You could cover what topics you missed without buying anything - especially at that level.  You would need to sit down and make a list of topics you want to teach before you read the next level in math curriculum (not sure if you are going back to MUS or something else).

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I never used MUS but I had to say I personally know a kid who did use it - all the way through - and went to a great engineering school and has the BEST job now. 

 

Listen to your gut, mamas.

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My son's favorite subject WAS math. For 1st we switched to Mammoth Math, because I felt Alpha seemed light. He hates it. The pages and amount of problems we need to do are overwhelming to him. He IS really progressing with math and I like open and go nature of MM. I'm torn because while I like the program it is killing his love for math. It has also become a fighting point during school...

 

I also vote to go back to MUS.

 

If he now hates math, what he is using is killing his love for it, he finds it overwhelming, and it has become a fighting point, I feel you should go back to what he loved. Early elementary is not the time to worry about rigor, but it is a time to worry about killing the love for subjects, overwhelming your child, and fighting over subjects. There is plenty of time to consider rigor later. I have never used MUS, but I think this is what I would do in your situation.

 

I hope you find a great solution for you and your son.

 

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If you found a math your child loves, stick with it. They will get it in the end. 

 

 

 

Yup! Teach the kid you have. Kids that like math end up kids who are good at math. Kids that internalize that they hate math, or are not good at it, will NOT grow up to be math kids. 

 

Use MUS. 

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