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Help! Singapore 6A/6B -or- AOPS -or- Math Mammoth Pre-Algebra


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Hi Everyone,

Could you give me some math guidance?   

My two children are 16 months apart.   DD is going into 5th grade, and DS is going into 6th grade.   All of their other classes are taught separately, but they are REALLY close in level in math.   So we have been able to combine them in that subject so far.   I always re-evaluate that decision each year (and throughout the year) but so far this has been the way we have done things.   

Both kids have used and liked Singapore Math Standards edition.   We have also supplemented with Math Mammoth from time to time when they needed more practice.   The original plan was for me to move both kids into AOPS Pre-Algebra next year.   However, I have noticed that DD seems to be needing some more practice in a few topics from the Singapore 5A/5B book.  I've been giving her some of the Singapore tests, and she usually scores about a C.  She can always fix her mistakes, but I worry she might need some more practice in a couple of subjects.  (I like for my kids to be rock solid in math before we move on.)   Here are some example mistakes: when asked to convert a fraction into a decimal, she sometimes divides the wrong way.   (Ex.  51/107...she might divide 107 by 51.)   She also has trouble with long division and decimals.   Usually, those errors are due to sloppy handwriting.   One time, when dividing a fraction by another fraction, she multiplied by the reciprocal of the dividend instead of the divisor.   

We school year round and are getting ready to finish up the year (end of July) and start the new year (end of August).   I still have NO idea what I should do for math.   I really need to get a plan together so that I can at least order some material.   :)   

The options I am considering are:

1)   Put both kids in AOPS Pre-Algebra (already own this book), Review concepts as needed with supplemental materials (Dolcini or Math Mammoth?)

2)  Put both kids in Singapore 6a/6b Standards  (Singapore 6A/6B seems weird, and I have a lot of questions concerning the program.  I'm not even sure if it is a full year course?   And there is no HIG?  Unlike others, I relied on my HIG a lot.   There is a teacher's guide, so I am hoping that is basically the same thing?   It has an answer key, etc.?)

3)  Separate both kids in math:   Let my oldest move into AOPS Pre-Algebra, and have my middle child do something different.   (Honestly, if we go this route, I am not sure how I am going to carve out the time to teach TWO levels of AOPS math in the future.  Which is what this result will lead to in subsequent years.  We do not have the budget to outsource any teaching in any subject---so I am it!   As their classes get harder (Latin, Math, Composition, Literature, Harder science labs, etc.)--it takes me more and more time to prepare and help teach these subjects.   And as their school day gets longer as they move towards high school, I find myself struggling to juggle the needs of all 3 kids.   

4)  Put both kids in Math Mammoth grade 6 or grade 7 (their pre-algebra course) (I already own the ebook of this):   Then, would I have them repeat pre-algebra with AOPS the next year?   Or move into AOPS Algebra?   (I think that Math Mammoth is fine course.   I really dislike their answer key and find it hard to read/grade for some reason.  But I could probably make it through if needed.  

Thanks in advance!

 

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I'd go with option 3 bc it sounds like your 5th grader is starting to be on a different level. 16 months, while close in age, can put them on different functioning levels.

One thing you will find is that as your Dd follows your ds, teaching her will be easier bc you will have been through it the yr before with your ds. It won't take as much of your concentrated effort as it does when going through it the first time.

Also, at least for the first few yrs, AoPS has Alcumus. Also, the AoPS textbooks are written to the student. As they get older, you might find them able to work through most things on their own and only needing some assistance. They can always ask questions on the forums, too.

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10 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I'd go with option 3 bc it sounds like your 5th grader is starting to be on a different level. 16 months, while close in age, can put them on different functioning levels.

One thing you will find is that as your Dd follows your ds, teaching her will be easier bc you will have been through it the yr before with your ds. It won't take as much of your concentrated effort as it does when going through it the first time.

 Also, at least for the first few yrs, AoPS has Alcumus. Also, the AoPS textbooks are written to the student. As they get older, you might find them able to work through most things on their own and only needing some assistance. They can always ask questions on the forums, too.

1

Thank you so much for answering.   

What has been your experience with dyslexic children working through AOPS on their own?   I guess I was just assuming that reading a math book would be beyond their abilities for years to come.  (DDs dyslexia is more severe I think than older DSs).   I know there are videos, but from what I can tell from sampling the videos vs text, the videos are more supplementary and might not teach everything in the text.  

ETA:

Also, what should I do for DD next year then if I were to separate them:

Singapore 6a/6b plus something else?   Math Mammoth?   

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2 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Thank you so much for answering.   

What has been your experience with dyslexic children working through AOPS on their own?   I guess I was just assuming that reading a math book would be beyond their abilities for years to come.  (DDs dyslexia is more severe I think than older DSs).   I know there are videos, but from what I can tell from sampling the videos vs text, the videos are more supplementary and might not teach everything in the text.  

ETA:

Also, what should I do for DD next year then if I were to separate them:

Singapore 6a/6b plus something else?   Math Mammoth?   

My severe dyslexic is also gifted. By the time he was using AoPS (which wasn't until their intermediate book in 8th grade bc I hadn't heard of AoPS before that), he was functioning at a high level across all subjects. I have never taught an AoPS book......he was far, far beyond me. My Dd used their alg book, but she did it independently after Foerster's (with me).

i own MIF Course 1A and 1B and MM 6. I was given the MM and have never used it. I used MIF alongside Horizons with one of my dd's. I don't think you have a wrong answer.  Most 6th grade texts are review of all basic elementary math.  That is the key. What you are seeing in your 5th grader is pretty typical and why 6th grade texts may seem like not much new and a waste of time.  With the exception of the kids who master concepts immediately and don't need review, spending a yr using all of those basic math skills solidifies the concepts. Division, ratios, percentages, decimals, fractions, etc all start to be understood more clearly bc they aren't spending all their time learning them as new concepts but using the concepts with just slightly more complicated numbers/problems.

I would go with whatever you would be happiest working through with her.  

Fwiw, if you think the AoPS pre-alg book is too wordy when working through it with your ds, I would not feel guilty about opting for another choice. AoPS is wonderful. I know the program allowed my ds to blossom in a way that he wouldn't have otherwise achieved during high school. But,, equally, it was the path he took toward his goals as a future physicist. If he had wanted to pursue any other path other than perhaps mathematician, he would have been equally well served by the same path his other siblings have taken. And even if he had taken the same path as they did, high school is just a first step. He could have gotten there in college. Our ds who is a chemE took the Foerster path. Way less wordy and far more direct. I used to think he had been short-changed by missing out on AoPS, but yrs and hindsight have given me a different perspective. Any really solid text that is mastered is a great launching pt.

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I would also pick option 3. My kids are two years apart but both have completed algebra 1 and 2 and both are in Geometry, using two different programs. One is in AOPS and the other uses Teaching Textbooks. I use what is best for each kid. 

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I don't have a lot of experience with Pre-Algebra, but my oldest is working through MM 7 this summer.  Here are a few thoughts:

1) We did 6A and part of 6B after using Singapore since 1A for my oldest.  The structure seems to change a bit once it gets to 6A and the HIG isn't as helpful.  Like you, I really relied on it, so I was at a bit of a loss when the HIG didn't meet my needs.  

We dropped Singapore and went straight into MM 6 and finished the year with it.  It was an easy transition and I'm thrilled we did that.

2) For 7th grade, my son attended a private school where he learned minimal math. They used Saxon and there was no new material for him (plus the sprial-ness of it made him crazy after the mastery approach from Singapore for 6+ years).  As a result, I am having him work through MM 7 this summer, to prepare him for Alg 1 in the fall.  In reference to one of your questions above, if your child works through MM 7, it will be over-kill to repeat any other Pre-Algebra course the next year.  We have found MM 7 to be challenging, thorough, and a great fit for my son.  

Hope that helps some with your decision making. ?

ETA: I really appreciate the extra (free!) videos from Ms. Miller for each level of MM. They are excellent in solidifying concepts: https://www.mathmammoth.com/videos/

Edited by MamaHill
Added link to MM videos
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Does your daughter understand the relationship between fractions and decimals? It sounds like she needs another year.  I would split them up otherwise she is going to be struggling to keep up which is not fair on either child.

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OK, another question:

How reliable would you say the placement tests are for AOPS?    DD (the one I was worried wasn't ready) just scored a 22 out of 26 her first attempt.   And two of her mistakes were just silly/careless things.  (In one case, she added instead of subtracting.   In another case, she did the same problem twice instead of the next one.)   

So already, she passed the placement test.   So maybe she is ready?

Directions for the placement test:

Quote

 

Step 1: The student should attempt all of the questions below without a calculator and without any help. There is no time limit.

Step 2: Check the student’s responses using the answer key at the end of this document.

Step 3: The student should be given a second chance on the problems that he or she answered incorrectly (except for problems 4(a)-4(d)).

A student who is ready for Prealgebra should be able to answer at least 22 of the 26 problems below correctly (after the second chance).


 

 

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