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FireweedPrep

Advice for elementary math I can stick with!

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On 12/8/2018 at 6:53 AM, Ktgrok said:

my daughter is like that. The only time she gets upset or confused in math is when they try to teach "mental tricks". Because she's already been using them all along - she figured them out herself- so when I try to teach it as something new she can't figure out what is new about it and tries to overly complicate it and drives herself nuts. Finally she will realize it is the same thing she's already been doing anyway, and get angry at the book for confusing her by talking about it, lol. 

In my experience (small sample size) kids that are math will figure out the "why" and the patterns and such on their own mostly, as they work the problems. The kids that are not mathy might not, but those are the ones that most need the basics and the extra practice just doing the algorithms so they develop a muscle memory of it. 

I agree.  I think the way maths is taught now even though I was taught using rote algorithms.  I have met people who went through the school system more recently who can't divide by 10 without a calculator.

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As an update we have embarked on Rod and Staff 2, with good colored pencils!  She continues to insist that math is her least favorite subject, but I counter that she has to have a least favorite!  We are going to stick with it. The interactive part of the lesson is blessedly shorter than Saxon but still worthwhile and we like that. Sometimes I sit with her for the worksheet part, sometimes not. She gripes but eventually gets it done. 

Thanks for all the support and recommendations!

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41 minutes ago, FireweedPrep said:

As an update we have embarked on Rod and Staff 2, with good colored pencils!  She continues to insist that math is her least favorite subject, but I counter that she has to have a least favorite!  We are going to stick with it. The interactive part of the lesson is blessedly shorter than Saxon but still worthwhile and we like that. Sometimes I sit with her for the worksheet part, sometimes not. She gripes but eventually gets it done. 

Thanks for all the support and recommendations!

Excellent. 🙂

Just to reinforce the fact that the interactive part of the lesson is necessary (through third grade), because there is no instruction at all in the children's materials. The publishers thought it was important for teachers to actually teach the children in those early years. 🙂

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On 12/4/2018 at 8:08 AM, FireweedPrep said:

Neat I've never looked into Rod and Staff or CLE even though I've seen them mentioned. Price is certainly right for both!  I looked briefly through the teachers manuals online for both but couldn't quite tell how much hands on stuff with manipulative there is scripted in? Though I've got bunches of manipulative and it's easy to add in when needed.  I love the streamlined aspect of Rod and Staff and she would love all the little animal pictures.  

We actually gave MEP just a few more days before I had to call it good effort and go back to the drawing board/decision matrix.  I wanted to love MEP but I continued to feeel flustered teaching it and DD felt very rushed and uncertain, likely because of me but she likes all the activities with Saxon and I'm just going to have her do one side of the worksheet. Basically I need to find a math curriculum that I feel confident teaching, as a previous poster on this thread pointed out. I did the math curriculum questionnaire that was suggested and the secular one came out as Saxon being the best choice for us by a long shot. The Christian one said Horizons or Rod and Staff thought not as strongly as Saxon. 

My husband has said no more math curriculum purchases this year! Haha smart man. We are going to finish the year with Saxon. However the local homeschool resale shop has bunches of Rod and Staff stuff so I will definitely look into that for third grade. 

I want to add that 3rd grade the student text is mainly drill with the teaching done through the manual.  Secondly, I love levels 4and up and enjoy the lower levels...but I think 3 for some reason just doesn't feel the same to me...I still do it as it is a strong program...but levels 4 and up are awesome.

Also CLE is good, but instead of say a week or 2 focusing on a certain strand of math...everyday is on a different strand...so that may be a plus or a negative for you...but both programs are well done.

 

Brenda

We like our Rod and Staff, upper level BJU, and all of Life of Fred in our home😁.  I also enjoyed Singapore, but with 6 kids I no longer have time to do it in addition to R&S so it kinda got left behind😭.

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3 hours ago, homemommy83 said:

I want to add that 3rd grade the student text is mainly drill with the teaching done through the manual.  Secondly, I love levels 4and up and enjoy the lower levels...but I think 3 for some reason just doesn't feel the same to me...I still do it as it is a strong program...but levels 4 and up are awesome.

The first three books follow exactly the same format: the teacher does the teaching with the excellent scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then the children do the seatwork, which reinforces what they have just been taught. The only difference is that the first two have workbooks and the third is a textbook. 🙂

The first three would be different because they are the building blocks for the rest of the series. The scope and sequence for fourth and up is comparative to Saxon or any other publisher; the lower three seem to be behind other publishers, but that's because they are working on basic arithmetic, without throwing in some advanced concepts they way other publishers do, concepts which are not taught comprehensively at all. When R&S students reach those concepts at fourth grade and above, they have *strong* basic arithmetic skills and are ready for the more advanced maths.

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16 hours ago, Ellie said:

The first three books follow exactly the same format: the teacher does the teaching with the excellent scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then the children do the seatwork, which reinforces what they have just been taught. The only difference is that the first two have workbooks and the third is a textbook. 🙂

The first three would be different because they are the building blocks for the rest of the series. The scope and sequence for fourth and up is comparative to Saxon or any other publisher; the lower three seem to be behind other publishers, but that's because they are working on basic arithmetic, without throwing in some advanced concepts they way other publishers do, concepts which are not taught comprehensively at all. When R&S students reach those concepts at fourth grade and above, they have *strong* basic arithmetic skills and are ready for the more advanced maths.

I agree...which is why we use it from the beginning...I think the 3rd level feels a little different is because of using both the teaching time via the manual plus the student writing out of the textbook that it just seemed different...kwim the lower 2 levels have workbooks and take less time.  It really is a transition year for the kids...to have them write out their problems, but after a longer teaching session...it made math last longer for us...so we fixed that by having them write out the math fact drill only and circling like a third of the other problems and having them answer them right in the book😉- this allows about 3 kids to reuse the same textbook, but also doesn't require them to write out every problem and makes it manageable.  Like I said before...it is my favorite math program...it is just the way levels 4-8 are written for the older children is amazing as they can go back into the text and study examples...if they ever did a revision of the program I would wish they would choose either workbooks for levels 3 or design it with a teaching box at the top of the page with examples as it would streamline it a bit.  I love CLE because of the teaching box at the top of each lesson...but I prefer a mastery program to teach from...spiral works well for my kiddos, but it messes with myblogical step by step brain😂.  Ellie I always love your choices for curriculum...it is like you pick my brain😁.

Brenda

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On 12/19/2018 at 4:20 PM, Ellie said:

Excellent. 🙂

Just to reinforce the fact that the interactive part of the lesson is necessary (through third grade), because there is no instruction at all in the children's materials. The publishers thought it was important for teachers to actually teach the children in those early years. 🙂

I agree with direct teaching as well...especially in the primary group.  Intermediate students can begin to read and study the lesson, but I still feel it is ideal for the teacher to immediately correct work for them from the new section before they go on to the review...it prevents them from getting the wrong method stuck very long if they are making consistent mistake.  I am a firm believer that the time we invest doesn't come back void...I know you also feel this way...but I thought I should mention this as I have personally made this mistake thinking they can just go and do when they get older and finding a few days later that when I begin grading the same mistake being done over and over😉.  Just trying to save others from doing the same thing😂.

Brenda

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On 12/19/2018 at 3:37 PM, FireweedPrep said:

As an update we have embarked on Rod and Staff 2, with good colored pencils!  She continues to insist that math is her least favorite subject, but I counter that she has to have a least favorite!  We are going to stick with it. The interactive part of the lesson is blessedly shorter than Saxon but still worthwhile and we like that. Sometimes I sit with her for the worksheet part, sometimes not. She gripes but eventually gets it done. 

Thanks for all the support and recommendations!

I also want to encourage you that with level 2 to only have her do the amount of seatwork you believe that she needs, as I feel that there is enough problems for 2 students😉.  

Brenda

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:43 PM, FireweedPrep said:

I am a chronic math curriculum switcher. DD1 is in second grade and a bit "behind" in math due to my inability to stick with things. I won't even list everything we did in K and first but for,this year, Math u see was a disaster. Saxon 2 has been ok; she does well with the one on one tutoring aspect but she doesn't like the lack of color and frankly it's so incremental that it's killing us both and she isn't being challenged at all. We have done a few days of MEP 2 and I like the level of thinking she has to do and that there is some review built in. It's just a different format; I think we'd both prefer a more distinct lesson followed by her doing problems on her own.  She wants more color. And the drill has to be done separately.  I'm strongly considering the new Singapore Dimensions math but it's just so different from how I was taught that I'm unsure about it. I used Saxon when I was homeschooled and loved it!  I think Saxon could work for DD1 but I can already see that DD2 will not tolerate it. 

Basically I need to find something and stick with it through till 8th grade because the constant switching is stressing me and holding her back from where her true ability is!

Skipping all other comments. For starters, your child is in grade 2 - they're not behind. Many places don't even start forma education until ages 7 or 8, and there are some advocates/studies suggesting to wait till age 10 or 11, so... RELAX.

Have you considered dropping all formal math for awhile, and instead just focusing on living math? Books, games, hands on application etc? That is more than sufficient for the early years.

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We are not using a curriculum with my 6 year old, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt... but when I make up math lessons for my daughter, I think about two things: first of all, what am I trying to communicate to her? And second of all, what kind of lessons does she enjoy? 

Are there any kinds of problems she seems to enjoy more than others? What concepts are you currently working on? 

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8 hours ago, homemommy83 said:

I agree...which is why we use it from the beginning...I think the 3rd level feels a little different is because of using both the teaching time via the manual plus the student writing out of the textbook that it just seemed different...kwim the lower 2 levels have workbooks and take less time.  It really is a transition year for the kids...to have them write out their problems, but after a longer teaching session...it made math last longer for us...so we fixed that by having them write out the math fact drill only and circling like a third of the other problems and having them answer them right in the book😉- this allows about 3 kids to reuse the same textbook, but also doesn't require them to write out every problem and makes it manageable.  Like I said before...it is my favorite math program...it is just the way levels 4-8 are written for the older children is amazing as they can go back into the text and study examples...if they ever did a revision of the program I would wish they would choose either workbooks for levels 3 or design it with a teaching box at the top of the page with examples as it would streamline it a bit.  I love CLE because of the teaching box at the top of each lesson...but I prefer a mastery program to teach from...spiral works well for my kiddos, but it messes with myblogical step by step brain😂.  Ellie I always love your choices for curriculum...it is like you pick my brain😁.

Brenda

You are such a sweetheart. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

The reason that there doesn't need to be a teaching box at the top of the page even in the third grade book is that the children never work independently in that book; the seatwork always follows an oral lesson.  I'm guessing that the authors believe that at this age children still *need* that direct instruction. 🙂 The textbook helps prepare them for using a textbook the following year, but they don't have to write out every problem in the drill sets: they fold their notebook paper on a line, hold it on the page below a row of problems, and write only the answers.

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4 hours ago, Ellie said:

You are such a sweetheart. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

The reason that there doesn't need to be a teaching box at the top of the page even in the third grade book is that the children never work independently in that book; the seatwork always follows an oral lesson.  I'm guessing that the authors believe that at this age children still *need* that direct instruction. 🙂 The textbook helps prepare them for using a textbook the following year, but they don't have to write out every problem in the drill sets: they fold their notebook paper on a line, hold it on the page below a row of problems, and write only the answers.

That would be smart!  I had never thought to do it that way!!  You learn something new everyday😀.  Thank you😎.

Brenda

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On ‎12‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 3:17 PM, Ellie said:

The first three books follow exactly the same format: the teacher does the teaching with the excellent scripted lessons in the teacher manual, and then the children do the seatwork, which reinforces what they have just been taught. The only difference is that the first two have workbooks and the third is a textbook. 🙂

The first three would be different because they are the building blocks for the rest of the series. The scope and sequence for fourth and up is comparative to Saxon or any other publisher; the lower three seem to be behind other publishers, but that's because they are working on basic arithmetic, without throwing in some advanced concepts they way other publishers do, concepts which are not taught comprehensively at all. When R&S students reach those concepts at fourth grade and above, they have *strong* basic arithmetic skills and are ready for the more advanced maths.

Reading that R&S matches up with other curriculum in fourth grade greatly relieves my anxiety!  I know that when we have our annual (required) homeschool evaluation in August, my daughter will be considered "behind" but I also trust with R&S that she will be solidly grounded in arithmetic, which absolutely makes everything else easier later on!

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On ‎12‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 4:38 PM, Ellie said:

You are such a sweetheart. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

The reason that there doesn't need to be a teaching box at the top of the page even in the third grade book is that the children never work independently in that book; the seatwork always follows an oral lesson.  I'm guessing that the authors believe that at this age children still *need* that direct instruction. 🙂 The textbook helps prepare them for using a textbook the following year, but they don't have to write out every problem in the drill sets: they fold their notebook paper on a line, hold it on the page below a row of problems, and write only the answers.

Oh that's brilliant!  Tucking that in my brain for next year!  I like doing the math lesson with her, so I'm happy to keep doing that!  At first we skipped part of the "drill" with flashcards and such, but I now see that for her, at least, she does need all that direct instruction, immediate feedback, and drill/review!

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Just tossing this in. Most people use the R&S 3 text as a workbook. There is plenty of space to write the answers in.

4th on up I disagree with anyone who says there is enough space to work the problems out in the books.

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18 minutes ago, Paradox5 said:

Just tossing this in. Most people use the R&S 3 text as a workbook. There is plenty of space to write the answers in.

4th on up I disagree with anyone who says there is enough space to work the problems out in the books.

I don't like using it as a workbook because of the awkwardness of writing in a textbook. Writing on a piece of paper which is lying on a flat surface is much easier for little persons who are still developing their penmanship, KWIM? Also, setting up a word problem properly is much easier on a piece of paper, and they need to be able to do that.

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