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BJU Math or....

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Ok, I've posted a few times because I'm trying to figure out the best plan for the next school year. We will be having baby number 7 this summer and I'm already feeling overwhelmed. 

 

This year my kids (6th grade and 4th and 3rd grade) are doing BJU science online. The two younger ones are combined in BJU Science 4. They all love it. I'm kind of surprised at how much they enjoy it. They do it daily with zero complaints and are taking notes (taking notes!) and doing great on the tests and quizzes. 

 

I am now trying to figure out math for next year. I normally use RS which has been great for all of my kids. However, I'm nervous about balancing so many levels of RS along with all of our other subjects. 

 

My 6th grader will be done with RS and will be moving to pre-algebra stuff with Jousting Armadillos so that will be time consuming. I hope I even remember algebra stuff.

 

My 4th and 3rd graders did not do amazing with RS this school year. They seemed to have total brain fog when it came to math. I was planning to repeat the levels of RS that they did this school year because I don't feel they should move on yet. (They are both a little "ahead" in math currently so redoing an entire level will be a good thing). 

 

Now I'm considering BJU math online. Is that crazy? I'm wondering if it will be a great change for one year and give me some time with the baby as well as time with my younger ones (who will be in 2nd and K and who are both learning to read). 

 

So, has anyone gone from RS to BJU? Is it crazy to consider this for one year to give me a bit of a break? Who has used the BJU math online and what can you tell me? I think I would be using Math 5 and Math 4 for my kiddos but I'd need to look into placement more carefully before I decide.  

 

Is there anything else I should consider that will be less time consuming for me? I've tried Math-U-See in the past and it didn't seem to quite work here. I'm not sure TT will be a good fit either. My kids like workbooks and textbooks so programs with those components would work. That's why I thought BJU might be a good compromise of video learning and workbooks.......But I need some thoughts from the Hive!

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We love BJU math here! My DD just adores it so much she blazed through math 2 in the first half of the school year and started math 3. She loves the workbook, the pace, the color, and even the videos. I don't push daily videos and if she is getting the concepts without it then she skips videos. This has never caused any issues. We have online for 3 and I like it alot. Less cumbersome than the dvd cases.

 

One of my boys is a RS kid. I LOVE RS. It is my absolute favorite math for getting prepared to be a flexible math thinker. I don't always think the first few levels have enough written work though so this semester he started BJU math 2. It has been a smooth transition. I almost think I could have put him in Math 3 and he would have been fine but he is only a 1st grader and I like him to have confidence in math. He is currently doing both math programs though so it wasn't a switch from one to another. He won't part with RS. I just cannot always get to it and he needs math 5 days per week so we toggle.

 

For us, BJU math feels so thorough, their explanations make sense, they have a concrete manipulative component that doesn't feel overwhelming plus it is retained which is a huge plus of course! We don't always do all of the supplemental learning activities but when we do they are fun and appropriate. I didn't expect to like BJU. I pulled my kids from a brick and mortar Christian school and wanted to do the opposite of what the school was doing (which was Abeka/BJU combo) yet as I go along something about those curriculums really work for us.

 

I have one son who does MUS and that works perfect for him but bored my other two to tears. It is just so kid dependent.

 

I have seen BJU math be a fail for other people on this board so again, so kid specific. However, RS to BJU transition here was seamless.

Edited by nixpix5

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That was really helpful. Thanks!

 

I think my kids would enjoy the colorful workbooks and they seem to enjoy watching the science online so I think they’ll like watching the math.

 

I just feel like I need a break next year.

 

I never expected we would like BJU but my kids really do. They enjoy workbooks and even like textbooks. I think doing something like BJU for a few subjects might be what we need with a new baby in the house. I feel stretched reallly thin right now.

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I haven’t used BJU math, but since you weren’t getting a ton of responses I just wanted to chime in and say my friends who use it LOVE it. Like big puffy heart, gush about love because of how well it works for them and their kids.

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I’m feeling a little worried that very few people use BJU math....

Ugh! Decisions!

 

I wish more people with experience would chime in.

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I’m feeling a little worried that very few people use BJU math....

Ugh! Decisions!

 

I wish more people with experience would chime in.

Yeah it surprises me actually. I have so many math curriculums on my shelf but I have to say, BJU is so thorough, rigorous but not to the point of overwhelming I just have yet to find another workbook style math I feel does it as well as BJU. I like SM too but comparing grade 2 SM with grade 2 BJU topic by topic BJU still is more rigorous. With their manipulative competent, story problems and challenge pages at the back of the work text you still get just as much conceptual practice as SM.

 

We have used across our 5 kids: RS, MUS, Abeka, SM, BA, Horizons, and Saxon for math. I have CLE and a few other random ones on my shelf. I still place.BJU in my top 3.

 

Now that I am thinking about it though...if you are considering BJU math 4 have you thought about Saxon 5/4 as a potential option? I have 5/4 on the shelf and I know both my BJU kid and my RS kid could slip easily into that program from the looks of it. It too is pretty independent.

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I have looked at Saxon. I’m not sure my dd would enjoy it. I think she would prefer the color that’s in BJU or something similar. BJU seemed a little more engaging.

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My DS used BJU Math (but not online) for 5th and 6th. It was a beast to teach for me, but he did well with it and it prepared him nicely for his online Pre-Algebra class this year. I’m now using BJU with my 7 year old. We’ve used K-2nd and it’s going well for him too. I’ve thought of even trying the online version for 3rd, but I might just teach it for one.more.year. Then go with online. :)

FWIW, I think it sounds like a good fit for your family just based on what you’ve posted.

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Yes, I am chiming in a bit late. Mine don't love it, but they don't like the alternatives more (R&S, Saxon, CLE, Singapore-style) so we will stay with it. At some point you just go with what works/gets done daily especially with new babies. I did seriously consider switching but decided not to in the end. I am tired of switching. By this point, I'm pretty confident I have either used or looked into everything out there. (feels that way, anyway.)

 

I am hoping the kids have better attitudes with the move to Math 4 (dd) and Math 6 (Sons 3 and 4) next time round. Mine liked Math 2 (Mrs. Walker, we love you!) and Math 4 (Mrs. Vick rocks!) last year. I am hoping with the re-filmed, shorter Math 6 my boys will do better with using the videos as the tools they are. And that is what they are- tools for understanding. Like any other curriculum, make it work for you. 

I am finding a different math as paying for instruction my kids will not watch is too irritating.

 

edited to add: BJU is excellent but it is typical mile wide, inch deep. I am not satisfied my kids are remembering long term. Now that is probably my fault as the review is built into the lesson presentation which mine refuse to watch/listen to so YMMV.

Edited by Paradox5

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I would do CLE for the 4th and 3rd graders. It’s easy to implement, and the consistent format allows for independence if the child is ready for it. It’s not colorful, but it’s inexpensive, works well for a lot of people, and if your internet goes down at least your kids can still do their math. I would be really uncomfortable being so heavily online-dependent for math and science with that many kids at those ages.

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I’ve used BJU Press math with all of my children. Out of the curriculum I have tried, it fit us the best. The teachers for both grade 4 and 5 are excellent.

 

The lessons seem like a good length (once the child gets used to listening to an online teaxher). There is review in every lesson, and I feel like the amount of assigned work every day is not overwhelming.

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We ended up with BJU after starting with Singapore. We also did a stint of CLE. Here's what I know:

 

BJU is complete and colorful. The TM is very "wordy", but sometimes I needed that. I found it easy to skip around but it's definitely not simple in nature which you can tell from one look at the TM. If you did the reviews (we didn't) it could be a 30 minute lesson, and it's all mom led. That's the negative. That's why I switched my then 4th grader to CLE. Plus, I felt that he needed the spiral and I needed something that he could read and get started on by himself.

 

The DVD's/online option might be your best bet! With that many kids and a baby, I think it would be a solid option. The only negative I see (and I'm speaking from someone who has not used the math online program, but we did use an English one) is that there are a lot of pieces. So, you might save your voice and not be teaching the lesson, but from what I hear, you'll still have to get out the number line, manipulatives, worktext pages, flashcards, etc for each lesson. That might be time consuming and I"ve heard that it can drive people batty. 

 

If I bring my kids home next year, I'm considering using it. At least I would know they're getting a complete math lesson every day, and I'm saving my voice. With that many kids, something has to give. I think you'd be happy with BJU math. 

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I’m feeling a little worried that very few people use BJU math....

Ugh! Decisions!

 

I wish more people with experience would chime in.

I think it is a wonderful and amazing math program. I think the main reason so few people use it now is that they no longer provide a teachers guide that is just for the home educator. They used to. Then, when you try to speak to their customer service, they tell you that you need all parts. If you buy all the parts, it costs a few hundred dollars in a year. If you are using the DVD program anyway, this is not an issue for you. I would use it in a heart beat if that were not an issue. In fact, I am considering using it anyway. 

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We ended up with BJU after starting with Singapore. We also did a stint of CLE. Here's what I know:

 

BJU is complete and colorful. The TM is very "wordy", but sometimes I needed that. I found it easy to skip around but it's definitely not simple in nature which you can tell from one look at the TM. If you did the reviews (we didn't) it could be a 30 minute lesson, and it's all mom led. That's the negative. That's why I switched my then 4th grader to CLE. Plus, I felt that he needed the spiral and I needed something that he could read and get started on by himself.

 

The DVD's/online option might be your best bet! With that many kids and a baby, I think it would be a solid option. The only negative I see (and I'm speaking from someone who has not used the math online program, but we did use an English one) is that there are a lot of pieces. So, you might save your voice and not be teaching the lesson, but from what I hear, you'll still have to get out the number line, manipulatives, worktext pages, flashcards, etc for each lesson. That might be time consuming and I"ve heard that it can drive people batty.

 

If I bring my kids home next year, I'm considering using it. At least I would know they're getting a complete math lesson every day, and I'm saving my voice. With that many kids, something has to give. I think you'd be happy with BJU math.

For my DD we sat down with the manipulatives and pieced them out into various baggies and slid them into a homeschool drawer. She would watch the "mom minutes" and pull out what she needed to use for that video. She started doing it like that at 7 with no issues. Plus, they give you the schedule print out and it says on that day what resources the child will need. I would glance at it before she did to make sure I didn't need to print something.

 

The most time consuming part was she always wanted to do the recipes Mrs. Walker talked about so making sure we had the ingredients on hand for her was the hardest part :)

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