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Hobbes

MM feels... fast

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Just got started with math today (full school year starts after Labour Day here), and was reminded of my feelings about MM last year. We've used it since 2nd (girls are now in 5th and 4th). Daughter in 5th is happy with math and likes it - usually does 1/2 or 2/3 of the problems. Daughter in 4th is a December birthday and so a very young 4th. She's done well with MM so far, if I work with her, and I scribed about half the time. I'm just remembering going through 4th last year with the older and I'm not sure this one is ready for long division, etc.  I don't really care about grade levels and don't mind slowing down, but I know she'll notice and mind. 

 

All that to say, I was reminded today of the feeling that MM just jumps in and runs - fast. That there's a lot to suddenly understand. Does that make sense? I don't remember that feeling from the homeschool math I had as a kid (until I hit - and hated - Saxon algebra. I'm wondering if this child would be better served with a program that feels less speedy (or whatever the issue is). On the other hand, it's working - I think - and maybe all math programs feel that way? Or maybe it's just the sense I have for this kid.  Thoughts?

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11 minutes ago, Hobbes said:

Just got started with math today (full school year starts after Labour Day here), and was reminded of my feelings about MM last year. We've used it since 2nd (girls are now in 5th and 4th). Daughter in 5th is happy with math and likes it - usually does 1/2 or 2/3 of the problems. Daughter in 4th is a December birthday and so a very young 4th. She's done well with MM so far, if I work with her, and I scribed about half the time. I'm just remembering going through 4th last year with the older and I'm not sure this one is ready for long division, etc.  I don't really care about grade levels and don't mind slowing down, but I know she'll notice and mind. 

 

All that to say, I was reminded today of the feeling that MM just jumps in and runs - fast. That there's a lot to suddenly understand. Does that make sense? I don't remember that feeling from the homeschool math I had as a kid (until I hit - and hated - Saxon algebra. I'm wondering if this child would be better served with a program that feels less speedy (or whatever the issue is). On the other hand, it's working - I think - and maybe all math programs feel that way? Or maybe it's just the sense I have for this kid.  Thoughts?

If that's the case, you might want to take a closer look at CLE Math. We've been using it successfully for years, and it seems to move at the right pace for my three girls. Not too fast, not too slow, but just right. It's also easy to accelerate or slow down, if needed (but we haven't ever needed to adjust it much). HTH.

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10 hours ago, Ellie said:

Maybe a more traditional math would be better for her, such as R&S?

I'm wondering if that's the case. 

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10 hours ago, Sahamamama2 said:

If that's the case, you might want to take a closer look at CLE Math. We've been using it successfully for years, and it seems to move at the right pace for my three girls. Not too fast, not too slow, but just right. It's also easy to accelerate or slow down, if needed (but we haven't ever needed to adjust it much). HTH.

I was also wondering about CLE. I've heard lessons can take a long time... what kind of time do you spend on it in gr 4/5ish?

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I felt the same way about the upper levels of MM (and the other levels for my youngest son). TT is a much better fit for us for those ages. Part of the problem I had is that my kids needed way more review, so going to something that spiraled helped a lot.

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I also feel that MM 4 moves fast...I actually think it moves faster than level 5.

What we do to slow it down, is to work concurrently through one of the heavier chapters and one of the lighter chapters.  So, we start MM4 normally until we get about a third of the way through the multi-digit multiplication chapter.  At that point, it feels prudent to slow down and give the new concepts time to solidify, so each day we continue to work through about half to one page of that chapter (together if necessary), and then the kiddo finishes up with a couple pages from the next chapter on time and measuring.  About once a week we will hit new teaching in the multiplication chapter, and we will spend a day or two focusing on that intently, and then we will go back to working on both chapters each day.

If we finish the time and measuring chapter before we are done with multiplication, then we either start working through the geometry chapter for a while or I choose a different supplement like Hands on Equations.  We then go through the same process for the division chapter:  work through about the first third and then add in another lighter chapter.  The timing might even work out that your girls could work through the MM5 Graphing and Statistics chapter together.  That is a pretty light, fun chapter.

Wendy 

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I also switched my kids from Math Mammoth to CLE Math.  One in fourth grade, one in second grade.  Another one, I switched half way through third grade to Beast Academy cause Math Mammoth moved too slow for him lol.  I think it just depends on the kid.  But for those kids that need more review, more time to mull things over, CLE has been amazing!  I can't say enough good things about it.  It's really not expensive either - 3.50 a booklet, 10 booklets in a year.  Might be worth a try.

 

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I have one that completed MM 1-7, another that is currently in MM3, and another that did MM 1-5 and now has switched to CLE 6. It's too soon to know if it is great fit...but one week in it seems amazing for this kid--who needed the spiral. This child is anxiety prone and MM caused him to panic when a topic would pop up after not having seen it in awhile. Every child is different. Don't be afraid to do what works for each one. 

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4 hours ago, wendyroo said:

I also feel that MM 4 moves fast...I actually think it moves faster than level 5.

What we do to slow it down, is to work concurrently through one of the heavier chapters and one of the lighter chapters.  So, we start MM4 normally until we get about a third of the way through the multi-digit multiplication chapter.  At that point, it feels prudent to slow down and give the new concepts time to solidify, so each day we continue to work through about half to one page of that chapter (together if necessary), and then the kiddo finishes up with a couple pages from the next chapter on time and measuring.  About once a week we will hit new teaching in the multiplication chapter, and we will spend a day or two focusing on that intently, and then we will go back to working on both chapters each day.

If we finish the time and measuring chapter before we are done with multiplication, then we either start working through the geometry chapter for a while or I choose a different supplement like Hands on Equations.  We then go through the same process for the division chapter:  work through about the first third and then add in another lighter chapter.  The timing might even work out that your girls could work through the MM5 Graphing and Statistics chapter together.  That is a pretty light, fun chapter.

Wendy 

This is a good idea, it might help to not have to barrel through 2+ pages of a tough topic every day. I've done it a bit before, but never for a longer period. 

 

ETA: it's encouraging to know that gr 5 isn't quite so speedy! My oldest handled 4 fine, but I wasn't looking forward to keeping up that pace. 

Edited by Hobbes

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2 hours ago, Tawlas said:

I also switched my kids from Math Mammoth to CLE Math.  One in fourth grade, one in second grade.  Another one, I switched half way through third grade to Beast Academy cause Math Mammoth moved too slow for him lol.  I think it just depends on the kid.  But for those kids that need more review, more time to mull things over, CLE has been amazing!  I can't say enough good things about it.  It's really not expensive either - 3.50 a booklet, 10 booklets in a year.  Might be worth a try.

 

CLE is the front runner right now if I switch. How long does a day's work tend to take your kids? I hear of people switching away from it because it takes a long time? Or do I have that wrong?

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For my kids, I didn't find it took longer than completing two pages of MM a day, which had been our usual.  My son is dyslexic and struggles a fair bit in math.  My older daughter had a better math instinct and memory and she could finish a CLE lesson in less than an hour, even in sixth grade.  The thing that made that work for us is that they didn't need me to sit with them for the whole lesson.  the first 10-20 minutes are the lesson, the rest is reviewing and strengthening previous lessons.  There's also a daily math drill

If I started to feel behind, with my daughter anyhow, and I felt like she had a good grasp of what she was doing, I let her skip lessons 5, 10 and 16 (which are quizzes and review days).  One could also allow them to skip the unit test at the end, lesson 17.  That brings each booklet down to 13 lessons, which gives a bit more breathing room.  My son, however, I mostly had do every page, every day.  We set the timer for 45 minutes.  Since the last half of grade four, he's been doing about 2/3 of a lesson per day and I'm learning to be okay with that lol.

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6 hours ago, Tawlas said:

For my kids, I didn't find it took longer than completing two pages of MM a day, which had been our usual.  My son is dyslexic and struggles a fair bit in math.  My older daughter had a better math instinct and memory and she could finish a CLE lesson in less than an hour, even in sixth grade.  The thing that made that work for us is that they didn't need me to sit with them for the whole lesson.  the first 10-20 minutes are the lesson, the rest is reviewing and strengthening previous lessons.  There's also a daily math drill

If I started to feel behind, with my daughter anyhow, and I felt like she had a good grasp of what she was doing, I let her skip lessons 5, 10 and 16 (which are quizzes and review days).  One could also allow them to skip the unit test at the end, lesson 17.  That brings each booklet down to 13 lessons, which gives a bit more breathing room.  My son, however, I mostly had do every page, every day.  We set the timer for 45 minutes.  Since the last half of grade four, he's been doing about 2/3 of a lesson per day and I'm learning to be okay with that lol.

Thanks, this is helpful! I find it's hard to visualize what different people mean when they say "long" or "short" so the specifics are helpful!!

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8 hours ago, ByGrace3 said:

FWIW MM 4 is by far the most difficult year. MM5 was tough but not as bad, and then my dd breezed through 6 and 7.

This makes me wobble back to the side of the fence that says I should move slowly through this year, mix up the topics as suggested, and stick with what we have!

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8 hours ago, ByGrace3 said:

FWIW MM 4 is by far the most difficult year. MM5 was tough but not as bad, and then my dd breezed through 6 and 7.

I agree with this completely.  In level 4, it seems like all the conceptually and computationally difficult topics are thrown at you one after another.

For us, level 5 went back to challenging, but very doable, and we actually skipped about half each of levels 6 and 7 because they were filled with so much easy review.

Wendy

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17 hours ago, wendyroo said:

I agree with this completely.  In level 4, it seems like all the conceptually and computationally difficult topics are thrown at you one after another.

For us, level 5 went back to challenging, but very doable, and we actually skipped about half each of levels 6 and 7 because they were filled with so much easy review.

Wendy

That's really interesting... and encouraging. Thanks!

ETA: Have thought more about this - it's very encouraging in that I feel more confident to slow things right down, knowing that it can speed up later. I had been picturing this level of difficulty for the next several grades. I think I'll chat with her about how she's a year younger than her sister was when she did this level and that she's doing great, but we have lots of time and we're going to move slowly. I think it'll take the pressure off, especially if we move at her pace while mixing up chapters. 

This all really helps, thanks everyone!

Edited by Hobbes

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On 8/14/2018 at 10:10 AM, Hobbes said:

I was also wondering about CLE. I've heard lessons can take a long time... what kind of time do you spend on it in gr 4/5ish?

 

The levels for 4th grade and below have flash card practice AND speed drills/mastery drills (as separate components, but the reminders to do them are built into the lesson). So those components do take a little extra time. I think the lessons themselves are kept a bit shorter (than later levels), in order to accommodate the time it takes the student to practice the math facts. I'm thinking maybe 30 minutes from start to finish? LOL, that was the year before last, so it's a blur for me. KWIM?

CLE Math 500 drops the flash cards, but still has the speed/mastery drills. By CLE Math 600, the separate drills have dropped out, but have been incorporated into the lessons, which are a bit longer (or seem to be so, to the student). I still think the whole thing took my 5th graders about 20-30 minutes? My oldest completed all of CLE Math 600 (except 601) and all of CLE Math 700 (except 701), and there have been times when the lessons take us 45 minutes to complete, from start to finish. But my oldest has always taken a long time to work through math, not because she doesn't concentrate (she does), but because that's just the way she does math. She just plods. I don't think it would make any difference what math program we were using. We're planning to work through CLE Math 800, along with Saxon Algebra I, for 8th grade and into 9th grade. I think it will help her to transition to Saxon, to have CLE as part of her math course this year, and IMO it's okay if she takes longer than one year to complete Algebra I. 

The way we tend to work through the lessons is as follows: the student independently (a) does the flash cards, if any, (b) completes the speed/mastery drill, if any, (c) reads through the lesson [new material], but does not complete the exercises, (d) does all the "We Remember" and other review sections, and then (e) turns in the work to me. At that point, we go over the drill (if any), the review/practice sections, the lesson, and work through the new problems. We go over it all to check for correctness and understanding, and that's math for that day! HTH. 

 

 

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A lot of families seem to leave MM in 4th grade. I think the pacing is all wrong somehow. I remember it would ask ds to do things that he wasn't really ready for. So we'd spend time outside of MM teaching it. Then, a few weeks later, it would be teaching that in depth and I'd be like, what? I just had to take a long break from this to teach it because he wasn't getting it.. and now it's weeks of work later? So then he'd be bored... and we'd skip ahead... but he would have missed something and the whole process would start over. I felt like it wanted students to get things before it had fully taught them. It was just off.

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Along with mixing up the topics, maybe the new MM review books might be of use to help slow things down and work more on concepts. I'm considering it for my daughter as we're in the midst of MM4 now and I'm not sure how she'll do with the speed. 

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On 8/19/2018 at 2:24 PM, Farrar said:

A lot of families seem to leave MM in 4th grade. I think the pacing is all wrong somehow. I remember it would ask ds to do things that he wasn't really ready for. So we'd spend time outside of MM teaching it. Then, a few weeks later, it would be teaching that in depth and I'd be like, what? I just had to take a long break from this to teach it because he wasn't getting it.. and now it's weeks of work later? So then he'd be bored... and we'd skip ahead... but he would have missed something and the whole process would start over. I felt like it wanted students to get things before it had fully taught them. It was just off.

This makes sense to me - I've felt the same way fairly often. Like I needed to do lots of explaining, then things would pop up later, explained in a slightly different way, and the student would be confused. Like it goes on tangents or something.

I remain torn because me oldest HAS done well with MM and loves math... and I own MM. 

On 8/19/2018 at 10:03 AM, Sahamamama2 said:

 

The levels for 4th grade and below have flash card practice AND speed drills/mastery drills (as separate components, but the reminders to do them are built into the lesson). So those components do take a little extra time. I think the lessons themselves are kept a bit shorter (than later levels), in order to accommodate the time it takes the student to practice the math facts. I'm thinking maybe 30 minutes from start to finish? LOL, that was the year before last, so it's a blur for me. KWIM?

...

The way we tend to work through the lessons is as follows: the student independently (a) does the flash cards, if any, (b) completes the speed/mastery drill, if any, (c) reads through the lesson [new material], but does not complete the exercises, (d) does all the "We Remember" and other review sections, and then (e) turns in the work to me. At that point, we go over the drill (if any), the review/practice sections, the lesson, and work through the new problems. We go over it all to check for correctness and understanding, and that's math for that day! HTH. 

 

That is helpful, thank you. That's still less time than MM takes us on a regular day, even when cutting a lot of the questions. 

 

7 hours ago, SporkUK said:

Along with mixing up the topics, maybe the new MM review books might be of use to help slow things down and work more on concepts. I'm considering it for my daughter as we're in the midst of MM4 now and I'm not sure how she'll do with the speed. 

 

I hadn't seen those, thank you! I'm considering just stretching MM4 out over more than a year, so more review might be helpful.

Now what I need to decide is whether I'm willing to make a lot of adaptations to get through MM4 (and hopefully the following years would be smoother) and therefore be able to use what I have and keep continuity, or whether I should jump ship now, most likely to CLE. And time is running out. ?

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A few more thoughts about CLE Math --

We always skip the #1 book (401, 501, 601, etc.), because it is all review. My kids do "slow math" over the summer, so they don't need the review. By "slow math" I mean that they must complete the #2 book (402, 502, 602, etc.) over the summer, at whatever pace they feel like doing (sort of ;)), just so long as we work through it before we start back up again in late August or early September. What this does is take off some pressure, eliminate the need for the #1 book, and remind them that they really do have it easy in the summer time, LOL. We end up working through Light Units 3 through 10 during the school year. So eight books, instead of ten.

Also, we skip these lessons: Lesson 5 (Quiz 1, no new content), Lesson 10 (Quiz 2), and Lesson 17 (Just for Fun or Discoveries or something like that?). I do make them do the drills for Lessons 5 and 10 at the levels that have drills, but otherwise they just go straight from Lesson 4 to Lesson 6, for example. 

So.... this means we have reduced the workload from 170 lessons (17 lessons x 10 books) to 112 lessons (14 lessons x 8 books), plus a bit of summer work (14 lessons). We do not do this to accelerate math, actually. We are not trying to either "catch up" or "get ahead." We use CLE this way to make math a year-long, manageable, meaningful part of our lives, without sacrificing our ability to do other things that we also value. I don't want my students' days to be hours and hours of math (at this level, at least). If they were math-oriented students and it was a matter of their own choice, that would be fine by me. But since that isn't the case with any of my girls (so far), the best approach seems to be to simply and painlessly get math done. CLE has really fit the bill for us for a number of years, and hopefully the transition from CLE 800 into Saxon Algebra won't be too agonizing for my oldest this year. 

I hope these logistics will help you as you plan, Hobbes. Have a great year!

 

Edited by Sahamamama2
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On 8/20/2018 at 3:36 PM, Sahamamama2 said:

A few more thoughts about CLE Math --

We always skip the #1 book (401, 501, 601, etc.), because it is all review. My kids do "slow math" over the summer, so they don't need the review. By "slow math" I mean that they must complete the #2 book (402, 502, 602, etc.) over the summer, at whatever pace they feel like doing (sort of ;)), just so long as we work through it before we start back up again in late August or early September. What this does is take off some pressure, eliminate the need for the #1 book, and remind them that they really do have it easy in the summer time, LOL. We end up working through Light Units 3 through 10 during the school year. So eight books, instead of ten.

Also, we skip these lessons: Lesson 5 (Quiz 1, no new content), Lesson 10 (Quiz 2), and Lesson 17 (Just for Fun or Discoveries or something like that?). I do make them do the drills for Lessons 5 and 10 at the levels that have drills, but otherwise they just go straight from Lesson 4 to Lesson 6, for example. 

So.... this means we have reduced the workload from 170 lessons (17 lessons x 10 books) to 112 lessons (14 lessons x 8 books), plus a bit of summer work (14 lessons). We do not do this to accelerate math, actually. We are not trying to either "catch up" or "get ahead." We use CLE this way to make math a year-long, manageable, meaningful part of our lives, without sacrificing our ability to do other things that we also value. I don't want my students' days to be hours and hours of math (at this level, at least). If they were math-oriented students and it was a matter of their own choice, that would be fine by me. But since that isn't the case with any of my girls (so far), the best approach seems to be to simply and painlessly get math done. CLE has really fit the bill for us for a number of years, and hopefully the transition from CLE 800 into Saxon Algebra won't be too agonizing for my oldest this year. 

I hope these logistics will help you as you plan, Hobbes. Have a great year!

 

Thank you for this! Those specifics do help me to think through the options. And actually, the way you adapt the lessons reminds me a lot of how my mom adapted our math books when I was a kid, so it feels familiar. Thanks again!

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Just wanted to return to this to say thank you for all the advice - it helped. I first tried slowing MM and adjusting the pacing, but quickly became clear that things just weren't sticking. So I ordered CLE. The placement test put her back in 3rd, which made sense to me because even though she managed with MM3 last year, she wasn't retaining a lot of it. She started into CLE3 (we skipped 301) and LOVES it. Lots is familiar, so she's racing along, but there is some very helpful solidifying of concepts. She loves the straightforward explanations, the layout, and the variety of questions. It's becoming so clear that the daily spiral helps her immensely. I'm very pleased with where she is and I think it's a great foundation for moving forward.

Meanwhile, my oldest is rolling through MM5 (which she loves) and finding it must easier than MM4, so that input was helpful for that child. Thank you all for your responses!

Edited by Hobbes
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Glad you found something that works! I was reading through this thread and laughing because fourth is when we left MM, too. We switched to Saxon and it's been a much better fit for dd. Having the built in review is really helpful for her.

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