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After Singapore 6 (I know, I know!)


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What upper level program, starting with pre Algebra, would you recommend for a kid for whom Primary Mathematics was a perfect fit? By that time we'll have done it EB-6B. (I've decided we're not skipping 6. We don't mind review.) She's excellent at concepts, grasping them easily, and good at word problems and problem solving, though can frustrate easily. When she has issues, they tend to come from calculation errors or misreading problems. 

At this point in her life she wants to be a medical or pharmecutical researcher, and especially since she is so mathy, I want to be sure not to make any mistakes here. I want something that fully explains the "why" of the concepts like Singapore does and gives her a great understand of math. I used to think we'd do AOPS, but now I'm a little worried it will be too much? ?

Thank you for any advice you can give me. After I narrow it down, the next step will be to get my hands on some books and see how they look...

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If SM was a perfect fit, why not stay with it? I have Dimentions math 7 and 8 and it’s exellent and pretty much covers prealgebra and Algebra 1. AOPS is also great especially for a kid wanting to major in math/Physics. It could be too time consuming though if interest lie elsewhere.

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I'm torn between Dimensions Math and Math-in-Focus - it would help if I could find a comparison between them for grades 6-8. They're both Marshall Cavendish (I have copies of the teacher's guides for MiF on loan from the university), but because one isn't published directly by them they act like it's not theirs and they know nothing about it.

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My oldest (a junior this year) did really well with Singapore math and I wish we could've used it all the way through.  We switched around SM5, because they were going to discontinue the higher math series.  She used AOPS Prealgebra (she took 2 years for this), then Saxon Beginning Algebra, Saxon Algebra 2, Mathusee Geometry (she claimed she wanted a geometry refresher), and will be starting Mathusee Precalculus.  So, she did fine with all 3 of those programs.  Of all 3, I think she enjoyed AOPS the most, but we didn't continue after prealgebra, because I was also afraid of the time commitment...well, and I worried about her burning out with math.  She wants to get her BSN and we looked at the course list for the nursing school she's applying to - they take nothing higher than College Algebra...so we're just going to stop at Precalculus.        

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We didn’t do Singapore 6, but after 5, we switched to AOPS Prealgebra, doing it slowly and with a lot of scaffolding. That was 6th grade. He didn’t get quite halfway through it that year (partly due to outside factors in our year of family crises), but by 7th grade, he was more proficient at AOPS and finished the Prealgebra book well before the end of that school year and started the algebra one. I have no regrets there. He still prefers when I teach him the material more than he likes reading the book to himself, but we work bit by bit toward having him more independent, and I’m very pleased with how he’s getting the math and how AOPS makes him think more deeply. He enjoys the problems too. 

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My current Jr used MiF from 4th through Course 1 (6th grade).  She would not have liked AoPS approach and time commitment. She followed the same path as her older siblings MUS alg as pre-alg followed by Foerster's alg. The MUS is simply bc that is what I used with my older kids. My oldest ds was ready for alg but not a high school textbook presentation. After using MUS, I decided it wasn't enough so we followed it with another yr of alg using Foerster's. That approach worked really well for him (he is now a chemE), so I just kept following the same path my younger kids. Any pre-alg text would work or perhaps Jacob's alg bc it starts with more pre-alg review approach and then moves on into alg. She might be able to move quickly through the pre-alg concepts and directly into alg.

My youngest ds switched to AoPS after Foerster's alg 2. He loved AoPS's approach. My 2nd oldest Dd took AoPS's alg 1 course and did not like it at all. (She didn't struggle with it. She took it after Foerster's and understood everything. She just didn't like the style of presentation and asked to go back to traditional textbook approach.)  My Jr is very much like her, so we didn't even attempt AoPS.

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I used aoPS prealgebra (and now Intro) with my 6th child who is very quick at math and loves math. Last week I started it with a different child who was moaning about having to do it and who does okay in math. She is really liking it. We did MEP up through year 5 before that. I am doing some teaching rather than having her read it all. My nephew also just started it and he is loving it and I think reads it himself. 

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My oldest did DM 7A-8A until I realized that although she seemed to be doing okay with it, she had ZERO retention of the algebra concepts. We ended up having to ditch DM and start algebra 1 over again with Lial's. After Lial's we outsourced to the community college where she did a sequence that integrated algebra 2 with college-level statistics and spread it out over 2 semesters. The first semester was considered remedial (obviously it wasn't for her) and the second semester gave her college credit & satisfied the math requirement for non-STEM majors at the state's 4 year schools.

My second has been using Elements of Mathematics. He's currently in course 13 and after that course he'll have completed the equivalent of algebra 1. The virtual charter he's enrolled in doesn't consider EoM as satisfying their algebra graduation requirement so I'm planning a (hopefully fairly quick) run-through of AoPS Intro to Algebra. I think he could use the practice with the challenging problems in AoPS even if he's familiar with the concepts from EoM.

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Oh ugh @Crimson Wife. Had she done/liked Singapore up until then? One of the things I love most about it is that it's virtually impossible to progress unless you truly understand the concept. 

I need to physically look at DM and AOPS. I'm not sure my homeschool store has either- definitely not AOPS. I may just have to bite the bullet and try the AOPS Pre-A and see how it works. 

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21 hours ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

Oh ugh @Crimson Wife. Had she done/liked Singapore up until then? One of the things I love most about it is that it's virtually impossible to progress unless you truly understand the concept.

She did fine with Primary Math with the IP & CWP for 3A-6B (used Right Start B & C prior to that). The problem with Singapore after PM is that it was designed for a school system that tracks students into different secondary schools based on aptitude & career goals. DM is an update of NEM, which was intended for the highest level track. Not just university prep but students aiming for STEM majors at university. My DD is bright but not "mathy". I knew that she wasn't a good fit for AoPS but I hadn't realized that she was in over her head with DM until we were almost done with the 3rd book. She was able to muddle through the problems when she had the examples in the textbook to look at, but couldn't solve anything when just presented with an equation in a closed-book test type situation.

Lial's was a much better fit for her and she really liked the CC sequence with the integrated algebra 2 & statistics.

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I posted a very similar question the other day!  I have a child that sounds similar - having come all the way through SM6.  I will say, I’ve used aops with an older child and I don’t think it will be a good fit for this child which is why I’m not going to use it, so it might be similar for you.  Question for you - are you planning on a pre algebra program after Singapore 6B or straight into algebra?

Im not sure what I’ll end up doing but I’m considering math mammoth 7 and also Derek Owens (just not sure I want to outsource yet).  Anyway, I’ll be following this to see what advice you get and what you decide!  

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8 hours ago, BlessedMomto3 said:

I posted a very similar question the other day!  I have a child that sounds similar - having come all the way through SM6.  I will say, I’ve used aops with an older child and I don’t think it will be a good fit for this child which is why I’m not going to use it, so it might be similar for you.  Question for you - are you planning on a pre algebra program after Singapore 6B or straight into algebra?

Im not sure what I’ll end up doing but I’m considering math mammoth 7 and also Derek Owens (just not sure I want to outsource yet).  Anyway, I’ll be following this to see what advice you get and what you decide!  

I don't know what DO uses for alg, but thought I'd share the approach I have taken for pre-cal. I can manage to teach through alg 2 (Foerster's are my texts of choice), but once they hit pre-cal, I can figure things out working backward from a SM, but I cannot teach it well.) DO's precalculus syllabus corresponds with Sullivan's textbook. You can pay 50% less and self-grade.  We don't just self-grade using his materials; we just use his videos to teach the lessons and then just work through the Sullivan text. (We have the SM, so we can typically figure things out if we don't understand right away.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share that it is possible to just use his videos less expensively.I don't know what text he uses at the lower levels, though. The Sullivan text is part of the same series my ds used as an engineer in his college cal class, so that gives me confidence in using it. (Though Foerster's is my favorite alg 1 &2 series.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I first purchased aops prealgebra for my nonmathy Ds I was very overwhelmed looking through the book and doubting the choice to use the program.  DS completed the program through WTMA with a lot of help from me but he learned so much.  He is doing aops algebra this year with wtma and I anticipate a similar, perhaps better, year. 

This year I purchased the online version of the algebra book along with the hard copy. The online version is so much easier to read and not as overwhelming. I highly recommend checking it out on the website. In addition to being easier to view, the videos are embedded in the lessons and you can enter the answers to the exercise problems and receive immediate feedback. 

Good luck finding a program that works for your family!

SJ

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/8/2018 at 10:17 PM, Crimson Wife said:

She did fine with Primary Math with the IP & CWP for 3A-6B (used Right Start B & C prior to that). The problem with Singapore after PM is that it was designed for a school system that tracks students into different secondary schools based on aptitude & career goals. DM is an update of NEM, which was intended for the highest level track. Not just university prep but students aiming for STEM majors at university. My DD is bright but not "mathy". I knew that she wasn't a good fit for AoPS but I hadn't realized that she was in over her head with DM until we were almost done with the 3rd book. She was able to muddle through the problems when she had the examples in the textbook to look at, but couldn't solve anything when just presented with an equation in a closed-book test type situation.

Lial's was a much better fit for her and she really liked the CC sequence with the integrated algebra 2 & statistics.

 

Thank you, this was very helpful. DS is very STEM-oriented, so this is reassuring.

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On 8/5/2018 at 5:05 AM, 2ndGenHomeschooler said:

We tried MM7 which went terribly. So we went back to what worked - SM Dimensions. Much better and familiar. 

I was going to recommend MM7. Anything particular that made it not work well?  My DS 12 is using it now, and he’s the first of mine to use it, as it had not come out yet when my older two did pre-algebra.  So, I don’t know yet how I will feel about it in the end. So far it seems to be going well. It seems more on the advanced side. This particular dc is very easy going and adaptable with math though. 

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The wording was different than what we were used to in SM so it was a little more difficult to figure out what was being explained. I guess we would have gotten used to it but we found the layout difficult too - too much on a page, black and white, the font was small, there weren’t clearly defined lessons and it was hard to figure out how much to do each day. For a student who already didn’t want to do math, these things just combined to make it more difficult each day than I was willing to deal with. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/8/2018 at 12:15 AM, Sk8ermaiden said:

Oh ugh @Crimson Wife. Had she done/liked Singapore up until then? One of the things I love most about it is that it's virtually impossible to progress unless you truly understand the concept. 

I need to physically look at DM and AOPS. I'm not sure my homeschool store has either- definitely not AOPS. I may just have to bite the bullet and try the AOPS Pre-A and see how it works. 

Before you purchase AOPS, check out the associated free pre-algebra videos and get a free Alcumus account for your child.   This will give you a feel for two important components of the program without spending any money.   To get an Alcumus account for your child, you have to verify that your child has adult permission, but it isn't too hard.  Many parents create an AOPS login for themselves and have their child use their account.  However, if there is a chance your child will stick with AOPS long term, I think it is best to get them their own account for tracking and that way any work they do in Alcumus will carry over to their account.  Some of the online AOPS online classes base their grade on your alcumus work. 

If you do purchase AOPS, I *highly* recommend the digital book.   (And just so you know, I am typically not an ebook person at all!)  The digital book has all of the instructional videos embedded in the text so you know exactly the best place to watch them.   It also has the solutions embedded in the text for all of the problems and exercises.  (The child inputs an answer and the text self-checks and then shows a detailed solution with the explanation.  Normally the solution manual for the exercises is a separate purchase.)   This makes it very easy for the child to (eventually) learn to self-teach using these books.   Also, if your child (or you!) do not understand a solution, you can click a little button on the digital text to create a new AOPS forum topic on the specific problem (it links and copies the exact problem to your forum post!) where you can ask for more help or a different explanation.   You can also use that button to read previously created forum posts about that problem.   (BTW--the first few chapters of the AOPS pre-algebra book are very wordy and IMHO make the content more difficult for kids to grasp than it needs to be.   So do not judge the book based on the first section.   It gets better!)

We used Singapore from the beginning and only completed 5B.   We then moved on to AOPS pre-algebra and it has been a great fit for us personally.   I chose it for several reasons:

1)  it was easy to buy.  (I tried to buy the stuff I needed to teach Dolciani pre-algebra, and it was a real pain trying to find the correct teacher's guide at a reasonable price for the year of text I found.)   

2)  Solutions:   I also liked how thorough the AOPS solutions were.   Some pre-algebra books just give you an answer.  That doesn't help much if you are completely lost!  AOPS books walk you through every single step in order to get the answer which makes it VERY easy to teach or self-teach. 

3) Support:  There is also a ton of support for the AOPS books.  The AOPS forum is a GREAT resource, Alcumus is a fantastic tool, the videos are wonderful, there is a helpful blog, etc.   The authors of AOPS really do everything possible to help children succeed at math.

4)  Online classes:  There is also the option to outsource math in the future if I need to.  The classes are expensive, but they are taught by experts. 

 I also own math mammoth pre-algebra and I think it is great too.   I would recommend that if someone was on a tight budget.  There are also online instructional videos for math mammoth.  https://www.mathmammoth.com/videos/prealgebra/pre-algebra-videos.php   I use these videos a lot if my child needs extra math help.   For example, my 5th grader had the hardest time understanding subtracting a negative number.   I am usually pretty decent when it comes to explaining concepts like this, but no matter how I explained it, she was confused and didn't have a conceptual understanding.  (She does NOT like memorizing rules without understanding why.)   So I had her watch Maria Miller's math mammoth pre-algebra videos on integers and that *really* helped her.  :)   So keep those in your back pocket if you need them.   Ms. Miller is a great math teacher.   

I am on a very limited budget, so I was NOT able to buy every single pre-algebra curriculum out there to compare.  ? It just seemed wasteful to me.  So I told myself that I would just give the AOPS material a try.   IF I couldn't make it work after a decent attempt, only THEN would I justify spending the money on another pre-algebra curriculum.   I also had Math Mammoth as a backup.  (When my kids were in 1st grade, I bought a digital package of all levels on homeschool buyers co-op.   I have used it many times over the year to tutor specific skills that need extra help.)  

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/6/2018 at 4:08 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

... After using MUS, I decided it wasn't enough so we followed it with another yr of alg using Foerster's. That approach worked really well for him (he is now a chemE), so I just kept following the same path my younger kids. Any pre-alg text would work or perhaps Jacob's alg bc it starts with more pre-alg review approach and then moves on into alg. She might be able to move quickly through the pre-alg concepts and directly into alg.

...

8, may I ask what route your Foerster's kids took through calculus?  Specifically, what pre-calc (or using Foersters Alg2 + trig for pre-calc) and calculus? 

ETA: I just found the Foerster's precalculus and calculus books (at Kolbe) -- I'd been hunting 'round Rainbow Resource and assumed that since they didn't have Foerster's past Alg2, then there just wasn't any available.  More fool I!  🙂  So if you just keep going with Foerster's then maybe my question is kind of silly ...

ETA #2: Okay, I also found this post on the HS board, which suggests Sullivan precalculus w/Derek Owens for lectures only.  Just so you know I'm committed to my due diligence 😉  and in case anyone else is wondering ...

Edited by serendipitous journey
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Singapore was a perfect fit here but we stopped using it after 6 because I need the teacher guides. Honestly we never found a good fit after that, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I guess, with hindsight, MEP would’ve been one, but I didn’t know how to jump in in the middle of the curriculum. Forester Algebra I book would be the closest I guess.

i get a do-over with DD and and am sort of planning on doing Singapore and MEP concurrently (picking and choosing from the later). 

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