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Calizzy

Need a new elementary math curriculum

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I used Miquon math for 3 years with odd, and now am in year 2 of it with ydd, but it’s just not working for us anymore. I have 4 lo’s and I just feel like we don’t have time for the “discovery” method. So, since there is 0 explanation in the text and I don’t have too much time to sit with her and help her figure it out, she has just become confused and frustrated. After Miquon odd switched to math mammoth and I think it works well for her. I am considering using that for ydd as well, my main concern is that it will get monotonous. Can we really use it for the next 6 years? At the very beginning of our journey I tried Singapore and I just couldn’t figure out how to use all the books. I have looked online at beast academy and I think dd would find the comic style confusing/distracting. I think she needs something explicit and straightforward. Yet I do love the understanding that they receive from Miquon. Where should I go next? What else should we look at?

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Rightstart? We like it. I don't know how it would be to move on to from Miquon, but probably pretty good because there are visual manipulatives. It's excellent for developing understanding.

Edited by Kiara.I
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11 hours ago, Calizzy said:

. I am considering using that for ydd as well, my main concern is that it will get monotonous. Can we really use it for the next 6 years?

 

If you think math mammoth will work for your family this year, then use it! There's no tellin' what you and your kids will want and need out of a math program in 3 or 4 years. 

If you turn out to be the type that sticks with one program until the end, then you could definitely do a lot worse than Math Mammoth. 

 

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14 hours ago, Calizzy said:

I used Miquon math for 3 years with odd, and now am in year 2 of it with ydd, but it’s just not working for us anymore. I have 4 lo’s and I just feel like we don’t have time for the “discovery” method. So, since there is 0 explanation in the text and I don’t have too much time to sit with her and help her figure it out, she has just become confused and frustrated. After Miquon odd switched to math mammoth and I think it works well for her. I am considering using that for ydd as well, my main concern is that it will get monotonous. Can we really use it for the next 6 years? At the very beginning of our journey I tried Singapore and I just couldn’t figure out how to use all the books. I have looked online at beast academy and I think dd would find the comic style confusing/distracting. I think she needs something explicit and straightforward. Yet I do love the understanding that they receive from Miquon. Where should I go next? What else should we look at?

Miquon is a process-based math; that is, it depends on manipulatives. Not all children need manipulatives, which could explain why your dd becomes confused and frustrated. Perhaps a more traditional math would work better for her, one that doesn't depend on the manipulatives. My favorite traditional math is Rod and Staff Publishers. You will teach for about, oh, 10 minutes using the scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then your dd will do her seatwork independently. You can get free samples by calling the publisher at (606) 522-4348.

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3 hours ago, OKBud said:

 

If you think math mammoth will work for your family this year, then use it! There's no tellin' what you and your kids will want and need out of a math program in 3 or 4 years. 

If you turn out to be the type that sticks with one program until the end, then you could definitely do a lot worse than Math Mammoth. 

 

I agree with OKBud. If teaching time is the big issues, I don't think RightStart would help much. Something like MM or CLE is more open and go- not sure what ages your kids are, but it will still be a lot less intense than Miquon or RS. Not to mention a cheap investment-- if you change your mind later, you aren't out a few hundred dollars. 

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If you want something in the interim, try Gattegno.  You still use the c-rods, but it's more guided.  I mean, he's the one who invented them to begin with and there are videos showing how he's guiding students through the work.  The first book is online free and you can get the whole set for about $70 if it works for you.  If not, switch to something like Math Mammoth or even Math U See. 

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3 hours ago, Ellie said:

Miquon is a process-based math; that is, it depends on manipulatives. Not all children need manipulatives, which could explain why your dd becomes confused and frustrated. Perhaps a more traditional math would work better for her, one that doesn't depend on the manipulatives. My favorite traditional math is Rod and Staff Publishers. You will teach for about, oh, 10 minutes using the scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then your dd will do her seatwork independently. You can get free samples by calling the publisher at (606) 522-4348.

If you're looking to switch, my suggestion is Rod and Staff as well.  

I used Singapore for 6+ years with my oldest, and MM for 3 years with others.  This year, we switched to Rod and Staff and it has been a breath of fresh air.

I prepare my "lesson" the night before and write the new teaching/review portions on a piece of paper that we will go over.  I make sure the current flash cards are pulled.  I decide what my daughter will do from the workbook/text book the next day.  Each girl takes me about 5-7 mins to prepare, and sometimes less.

The actual teaching/review time (includes flash cards) takes about 10 minutes per child. 

My oldest girl articulated this week: I'm so glad we switched from MM.  It was just too wordy for me and I got lost in all of the explanations.

MM's thorough explanations are great for the right student, but it ended up not being a good fit for my girls.  There also wasnt' nearly enough spiral review for them, despite my trying to make many accommodations. 

I also agree with Ellie's comment regarding manipulatives.  My youngest girl doesn't need them, and is frustrated by them actually.  Most of what you read in the homeschool world is that there must! be! manipulatives! in! math!  Not the case with some kiddos. 🙂

Also look at CLE.  It's more traditional and might fit your scenario better with 4 little ones. 

Best wishes as you figure out what is best for your kiddos. 🙂

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Thank you so much! I was looking at rod and staff last night. I wasn't sure if it would be "boring" since it is just basic and black and white?

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To be honest, my children seem to do better with "boring."  While it's not the case with Singapore, there is a LOT on each page in MM.  It's not necessarily colored objects and such, but just a lot - words, boxes, problems to work on, explanations, etc.  My daughters would see that and just gloss over.

R&S puts much less on the page, and yes, it's all in black and white.  This was such a relief for my girls.  It made them feel like the work was doable each day, as opposed to being quickly overwhelmed when just opening the day's work in MM.

Like I said, MM is a great fit for a lot of children, my son included  - he went from Singapore 6A to MM 6 and then finished MM 7. He had a STRONG foundation going into Algebra I using Singapore and MM.  A more traditional approach (less concept, more focus on math facts and spiral approach) was needed for my other children, and this has been a great fit for us so far.

Did you look at the R&S samples online at Milestone Books? I'm not sure there's anywhere else online you can find a sample.

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You know MM is working for your odd, so I'd switch the younger as well. I mean, sure, CLE and other things mentioned here can be good too, but if MM is going okay, do that and see if it works for the younger.

In terms of keeping it interesting, you can still pull out the C-rods with MM sometimes. You can get the Beast comics and see if she picks up some stuff from them or things like the Murderous Maths books or other living math story books - the library has tons. You can get interesting enrichment books like GEMS guides or Family Math or Let's Play Math for when you *do* have time for the discovery method. Really, lots of ways to use a basic but complete program like MM as a spine but keep math interesting in other ways.

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1 hour ago, Calizzy said:

Thank you so much! I was looking at rod and staff last night. I wasn't sure if it would be "boring" since it is just basic and black and white?

I think that's very kid dependent. I have one that puffy heart LOVES colored worksheets and would be miserable without them, and one that hates worksheets period, but if he's going to have to do them they want them plain with a lot of white space. For some kids, the color is distracting and in those cases, I think R&S, CLE and MUS mentioned above are great. I only hesitate to say MUS (which I love) because a) it's expensive and b) you still need to take the time to teach it when they're younger and not just sit them with the video and the book. For that reason, I do think it's slightly more teacher intensive than MM or CLE- not by a ton, it's less than Miquon or RS-- but it's still there. And I'm reading that time is your biggest factor right now.  

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8 hours ago, Calizzy said:

Thank you so much! I was looking at rod and staff last night. I wasn't sure if it would be "boring" since it is just basic and black and white?

It's math. I don't think color will make much difference. :-) What is more important is your interaction with her during the oral classtime.

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I wanted to add that with Rod and Staff in levels 1-3 the lesson is truly in the teachers manual and the workbook is less necessary if you are happy writing out the speed drills and a few of each problem.  If you choose to get the wotkbooks I would only assign 1/3- 1/2 of the problems as needed and do every other speed drill so that the workbooks can be used by the next child...kwim.  The workbooks are very inexpensive, but I feel that there are enough problems for a classroom...especially since we tutor one on one and can see what they know well and what they need work on.

This year I am doing Rod and Staff 2 without the workbooks this year and I have been just writing out the problems and speed drills on Sunday night for the week and it has went very well....and only takes about 20 minutes....so I think it is worth it.  I sit with the manual and start at the top of the page with a checklist of counting practice, math fact practice, and the lesson for the day on the sheet...then I follow the next side of the page with her drill and practice problems.  I like doing it this way as we are doing 2 days in one as she already knows her math facts, but I like the progressive review and the building of other skills that she needs practice in before moving on to multiplication.  

I like that it is easy to slow down and do the same lesson 2 or 3 days in a row this way or double up and move along at the pace of the student this way.

I love Rod and Staff Math as it gives a strong arithmetic base.

 

Brenda

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My favorite combination of math programs (using 20/20 hindsight) was Rod and Staff and Singapore word problems. I used the word problem book about 1 /2 level behind, but it worked great. We did lots of them together. 

Again, in hindsight, I wish we had used a high school math with more review as this dd has forgotten so many Algebra I and geometry concepts. 

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4 hours ago, lmrich said:

My favorite combination of math programs (using 20/20 hindsight) was Rod and Staff and Singapore word problems. I used the word problem book about 1 /2 level behind, but it worked great. We did lots of them together. 

Again, in hindsight, I wish we had used a high school math with more review as this dd has forgotten so many Algebra I and geometry concepts. 

Hmm.  I never thought to use the word problems from Singapore (which are excellent).  That's such a good idea! Thank you!  The word problems are the only part of R&S that I'm not sure about...

And not to take away from the OP's questions, but do you mind briefly sharing about your high school math experience? If you don't mind my asking, what curriculum did you use, and do you have one in mind that you wish you'd used?  Thank you! ❤️ My oldest R&S Math Girl is only in 6th grade, but I'm starting to ponder over potential high school maths for her.

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This has been very helpful. My problem isn't so much that I need something less time consuming. As I've thought about it I've realized that the problem is that I need more explicit instructions on how I should teach it. I am fairly mathy, I would have loved Miquon as a kid. But I really struggle with communicating the ideas because it's just "logical" to me. I went ahead and bought rod and staff for both girls. The suggestions for how to supplement with more conceptual math are great ideas. Thanks again!

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On 9/29/2018 at 9:32 AM, Ellie said:

Miquon is a process-based math; that is, it depends on manipulatives. Not all children need manipulatives, which could explain why your dd becomes confused and frustrated. Perhaps a more traditional math would work better for her, one that doesn't depend on the manipulatives. My favorite traditional math is Rod and Staff Publishers. You will teach for about, oh, 10 minutes using the scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then your dd will do her seatwork independently. You can get free samples by calling the publisher at (606) 522-4348.

You can also see free samples by going to the webite linked below.

https://www.milestonebooks.com/list/Rod_and_Staff_Curriculum/

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On 10/1/2018 at 11:42 AM, Calizzy said:

This has been very helpful. My problem isn't so much that I need something less time consuming. As I've thought about it I've realized that the problem is that I need more explicit instructions on how I should teach it. I am fairly mathy, I would have loved Miquon as a kid. But I really struggle with communicating the ideas because it's just "logical" to me. I went ahead and bought rod and staff for both girls. The suggestions for how to supplement with more conceptual math are great ideas. Thanks again!

This is so me!  I liked math so much but I suck at teaching it because it seems to obvious to break down!

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On 9/29/2018 at 12:47 PM, MamaHill said:

I also agree with Ellie's comment regarding manipulatives.  My youngest girl doesn't need them, and is frustrated by them actually.  Most of what you read in the homeschool world is that there must! be! manipulatives! in! math!  Not the case with some kiddos. 🙂

Also look at CLE.  It's more traditional and might fit your scenario better with 4 little ones. 

Best wishes as you figure out what is best for your kiddos. 🙂

I totally agree with this. None of my kids needed or wanted manipulatives. 

We used CLE for my older two guys from about 200 through 600. Fab stuff and very meaty. My younger kids all hated it. They are doing well with Saxon and Horizons (after forays into other things.) Every child is different.

I did use R&S with my younger 3 in K/1st when we were working through the original MP cores. We all have fond memories of the ducks. SIGH!

Edited by Paradox5

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