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Alrighty folks! I'm struggling to figure out the math path I need to take. Sorry if this gets long....

I have an 8th grader this coming year. He struggled with Saxon 8/7 last year (sloppy mistakes mostly vs lack of understanding....generally gets things right 2nd time...though there seems to be big gaps in understanding).  I moved him to old Saxon 7/6. He did just okay. Previous years he did math mammoth and CLE. We moved away from CLE because of joining a charter (CA). I can't say anything we tried was "working."  

This summer he barely passed the 3rd grade MM placement test. Didn't do well on the 4th grade or 5th grade...again, mainly because of sloppy mistakes, rushing, adding wrong, multiplying wrong, etc. On we go now and I thought maybe I would start him in MM 5 for the year trying to somehow get him ready for Algebra I by 9th grade (even if that means he may repeat 8th grade next year). My charter school TF suggested Singapore. Anyone like Singapore vs MM? I do have 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b and would just need to find the matching teacher's guide (I'm not sure I have the current editions--it says 2003 but the ISBN doesn't match what I see online). I am very tempted to use Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra. He did test 1 and got a 71%. He seems to really like TT. I have only heard negative reviews and my TF (while she definitely encourages me to do what I think is best) said she has not heard good things either about TT and it has gaps, behind, etc.

So, what would you do? MM5, Singapore 5 o 6? Or Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra (him testing in this grade shows me it is probably "easier" or a tad "behind"). If you suggest Singapore, what books do I need for that? Do I need the Home Insructors' Guide? Textbook, workbooks and anything else? I need to just stick with whatever I chose as I believe the jumping around is part of the problem. I like the ease of use of MM but worried about the lack of review, etc. I know MEP is an option, too, but I'm not sure where to start with that either.

And how then do I get him caught up for Algebra I in a year or two?!

If you read all that...thank you! He did have a math tutor this summer who had him do some Beast Academy. He only suggested MM or Singapore and also did not like the idea of Teaching Textbooks. He wasn't clear on what grade to start my ds though. 

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1 hour ago, LAmom said:

Alrighty folks! I'm struggling to figure out the math path I need to take. Sorry if this gets long....

I have an 8th grader this coming year. He struggled with Saxon 8/7 last year (sloppy mistakes mostly vs lack of understanding....generally gets things right 2nd time...though there seems to be big gaps in understanding).  I moved him to old Saxon 7/6. He did just okay. Previous years he did math mammoth and CLE. We moved away from CLE because of joining a charter (CA). I can't say anything we tried was "working."  

This summer he barely passed the 3rd grade MM placement test. Didn't do well on the 4th grade or 5th grade...again, mainly because of sloppy mistakes, rushing, adding wrong, multiplying wrong, etc. On we go now and I thought maybe I would start him in MM 5 for the year trying to somehow get him ready for Algebra I by 9th grade (even if that means he may repeat 8th grade next year). My charter school TF suggested Singapore. Anyone like Singapore vs MM? I do have 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b and would just need to find the matching teacher's guide (I'm not sure I have the current editions--it says 2003 but the ISBN doesn't match what I see online). I am very tempted to use Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra. He did test 1 and got a 71%. He seems to really like TT. I have only heard negative reviews and my TF (while she definitely encourages me to do what I think is best) said she has not heard good things either about TT and it has gaps, behind, etc.

So, what would you do? MM5, Singapore 5 o 6? Or Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra (him testing in this grade shows me it is probably "easier" or a tad "behind"). If you suggest Singapore, what books do I need for that? Do I need the Home Insructors' Guide? Textbook, workbooks and anything else? I need to just stick with whatever I chose as I believe the jumping around is part of the problem. I like the ease of use of MM but worried about the lack of review, etc. I know MEP is an option, too, but I'm not sure where to start with that either.

And how then do I get him caught up for Algebra I in a year or two?!

If you read all that...thank you! He did have a math tutor this summer who had him do some Beast Academy. He only suggested MM or Singapore and also did not like the idea of Teaching Textbooks. He wasn't clear on what grade to start my ds though. 

If he likes TT, then do that. 

There have been many positive comments on the Well Trained Mind forums.

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I tried using CLE with another kid last year and found that it was a pain to show my work samples from another curriculum. I could use CLE and use my own money, but I'd still have to show work samples that aren't from a Christian curriculum. I would have to do CLE and then have him do MM worksheets or something. I just didn't want to go that route (especially because I don't want to spend the money). I don't think CLE is the magical solution (not that you said it was..) because we used it with this particular son in 4th, 5th, and 6th without much success (though I overall liked it a lot). I don't necessarily think it is curriculum as much as it is the particular kid. 

I have tried things like sitting by him, slowing him down, talking through each problem (but he is 13 and I have 4 other kids...so that is not realistic). I check his work and generally make him redo the problems (prolonging our math hour even more). I have him do 5 at a time to slow him down and that helps sometimes. I plan to do that this year...just don't know which curriculum to use. ? I guess I could go back to Saxon 8/7?

I'm just trying to see if he needs to go back and relearn concepts? Maybe he never solidified understanding? This is originally why I switched to Saxon (with the review built in). He didn't seem to do as well with the short snippet instructions (spiral).

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51 minutes ago, OKBud said:

Why did your TF suggest Singapore? Do they think that Singapore's particular methods will resonate with your son? Do you?

 

She only mentioned it because of what she heard from other teachers and parents about it. She doesn't have a particular recommendation based on his learning style, etc. 

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I think you need to clarify if this is a problem with gaps in knowledge or a need for more review, versus a problem with understanding math concepts already taught, or is it just a problem with careless errors.  You may need some kind of testing to figure out which you are dealing with.

If the problem is really gaps from jumping around to different curriculums or needing a review but not struggling with math conceptually, I would could go back to Math Mammoth and cover missing areas as it offers a feature organised by topic instead of grade level. If the problem is actually conceptually not understanding something that has been taught before, I would try something totally different like Math u see to see if the math then clicks.  If the problem is truly careless errors and being sloppy, I would try outsourcing math to someone else for a grade, like an online class.  My child suddenly got a lot more motivated to double check math when those mistakes meant the difference between letter grades for an outside teacher.  

 

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Do you see him making "careless errors" in other parts of school and/or life? If so, that suggests quite a different problem than simply being behind in math.

Either way, I agree with CaliforniaDreamin here - you need to figure out exactly what you're dealing with before you can effectively move forward. He's so far behind at this point that you can't really make him any *more* behind by taking a month or two to precisely identify the problem - and trying to move ahead on incomplete, potentially false assumptions is just not going to help.

However, with that said, if you are certain that you know what you're dealing with - or are just too worried to wait while you sort it out! - I don't think he'll come to any harm using TT. If he responds to it and learns, that's a good thing at this point.

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If he likes teaching textbooks I would try that. I wouldn't try to get to Algebra 1 in a year just because he is going to be 9th grade then. If he doesn't understand something then you need to  go at his own pace and not worry about where he should be verses where he actually is in understanding. 

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I would not jump into Singapore at thus age.  My first thought was Saxon 1/2, but go slow.   Offer an incentive to focus if that'd the real issue.   Have him start probkem 1. If he's right, skip 2 and do 3.  If he's right skip 4 and do 5.  If he gets them all right,  he only does half the problems!  If you are checking each one as he does it, you can identify where the real issues are.  Or get TT, again he will get immediate feedback on if he's right ir wrong.

 

If you find a specific area to remediate, look at MM topical books or Keys To series.

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18 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

I would not jump into Singapore at thus age.  My first thought was Saxon 1/2, but go slow.   Offer an incentive to focus if that'd the real issue.   Have him start probkem 1. If he's right, skip 2 and do 3.  If he's right skip 4 and do 5.  If he gets them all right,  he only does half the problems!  If you are checking each one as he does it, you can identify where the real issues are.  Or get TT, again he will get immediate feedback on if he's right ir wrong.

 

If you find a specific area to remediate, look at MM topical books or Keys To series.

 

What is your reasoning for using Saxon 1/2 vs Saxon 8/7? Does 1/2 review basic concepts? It may be less intimidating than the large 8/7. Though I'm still thinking about using MM 5,6.

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I have taught from both 87 and 1/2.  I actually prefer to teach from 87, then go through 1/2 quickly and start Al 1 in second semester.  The main difference that I can see, 87 is HUGE and it gets wordy with explanations of things they should already know.  1/2 is a much quicker review.  The explanations are more to the point, not quite as broken down ir wordy.  It does still have plenty of arithmetic in it, but it's focus is more on the concepts.  I am letting my DD use a calculator this year.  That has cleared up a lot of simple mistakes and also sped her up.  

 

I would want to make time to stop and get more depth on topics he's missing, using Keys To ir Math Mammoth.   I have found that kids who don't like math tend to fibs MM overwhelming.   Once you find a hole, print the MM unit and do 1pg of that, and the evens or odds of a Saxon set.  

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