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Best math curriculum to catch a 7th grader up to grade level?


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What has she used in the past? What skills does she need to work on? What grade level would you guess she's at now?

Math Mammoth can be good for this because of how they have so many problems (you don't have to do them all) and how they have the single topic books. However, some dyslexic kids find the page overwhelming. Teaching Textbooks can be good for this because it's computer based and it's good for kids who aren't so great at math because it teaches all the topics, but it's on the easy side. Other online options work for some kids. The Key to Math series is great if she needs fractions and decimals primarily, but won't be comprehensive if she is lacking in skills like long division. But that's not all that's out there. It depends.

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We used Mastering Essential Math Skills by Richard Fisher and it worked great for dd. There are workbooks that address specific areas (fractions, decimals, etc.) and general workbooks for Middle / High School skills and Prealgebra. The pages are not overwhelming and there's some review with each lesson.There are online videos to go with most lessons, but we didn't use those. 

 

 

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If your kid needs a lot of review, Math Mammoth may not work so well, at least without lots of extra work on your part. It’s a good program, I thought it was well explained and designed, but DD’s lack of retention due to not having constant review made it a fail for us.

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I would hit it from a couple different angles.  Name them different things so she doesn't think she is doing all math all day.  It's all in the perception.  🙂  

- Math Facts - math is going to be awful from 4th grade on up if you don't have the facts down cold.  Apps, games, and such for five minutes a day, and a speed drill (100 problems, mixed operations) once a day.  We time the speed drill and then try to beat the time each day.  Every missed fact adds 3 seconds to your time.  One of my kiddos started at 18 minutes because she was working every one.  She is now down to 2 minutes, but it was a hard slog!  So print the speed drill, and tell her you will time her and hope she can finish in 20 minutes with 100% accuracy.  Almost every kid will be much faster.  If she does 19 minutes, tomorrow set a goal of something less than 19 minutes.  Eventually you want to get to under 2 minutes.  Keep doing them daily until you are firmly at that goal.

- Key To booklets - work through Fractions, then Decimals, then Percents.  We do this in the car first thing each morning, along with a Math Minute and a Reading Detective.  One of each each day, and we call it a "Brain Warmup."

- Khan Academy - don't enter a grade level - just work through from the bottom up.   She will fly through Early Math, kindergarten, 1st, etc.  This will identify where the holes are and help fill them.

- Math Mammoth for your true curriculum.  Use their placement guide.  

Kids who are behind need LOTS of math.  You don't want to move on to algebra until arithmetic is 100% solid!  

Edited by MeganW
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On 3/6/2019 at 12:35 PM, MeganW said:

Kids who are behind need LOTS of math.  You don't want to move on to algebra until arithmetic is 100% solid!  

 

I agree with this depending on the reason they are behind.

If it was because she was focused on reading and other things and just fell behind in math that would be very different than if she struggled with math in general also. 

The Key to series is very thorough for the subjects it covers. For someone struggling with say fractions specifically it would make sure she understood that subject well but wouldn't cover everything. It has very little written directions so she could work on it on her own for extra if you wanted to work through a more comprehensive program.

My son with dyslexia actually did well with Mammoth but we skipped a lot of directions but he could see the patterns and reasons for doing things because of the way it breaks things down in patterns and pictures etc. That being said I put him in a grade behind but on many pages he only does half if it's stuff he already knows so he is catching up. I thought it would be good to do it faster and start the next grade quicker but get to hit all the subjects again at a later date for review. If you think that retention is an issue, you can also do the reviews after the subsequent lesson. In other words, do chapter 3 review after chapter 4 and do the test after chapter 5.  Or do the review directly after the chapter to see if she has got it down but give the test later for review. 

I find it hard to speed up or control Saxon but it is more important that she really gets the material down. Saxon has tons of review to the point I'd wouldn't make an average child do all the problems but for a struggler the constant extra practice might be a really good thing. It breaks it down to such tiny increments that I found it difficult to teach so that the concept was really understood. 

 

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With my older two, I did a review in the second half Year 6 and into Year 7 to check for gaps and firm up the foundations before we moved on to secondary maths. For one this involved catch-up due to issues elsewhere and the other was kinda burnt out on maths and needed a change of pace to see the forest for the trees again. 

As mentioned by hhm, Math Essentials has a lot that can help. It worked well for us, the videos and notes on the page were great. This was our base. I bought both the general books PDF, the first one has some topics that the middle school/high school one doesn't so I add in those pages and included both books end review sections. Each day is one page which can be good for a child who dislikes maths and doesn't need a lot of repetition. I added a page of Math Mammoth or maths puzzle or other things on the back each day. For Math Mammoth, one piece of advice I found helpful when we switched to it in primary was if buying the big bundle, just going through the all the review sections from the start to see what is already there and what need works.

Another option that might be worth considering is MEP for Year 7. Most of the sections are online with checks right there to see if you got it right (lovely for me as they don't argue with me anymore about it) and it's free to look through and print and it alternates between reviewing arithmetic with more complicated topics in Year 7 & I think 8 and even 9 had a bit of review in the first half. This is what we do after the Y6 review and it is, for us, a great gentle move into heavier secondary maths topics (though this jumps up significantly in Year 9). Both my maths loving child and my maths is an evil I barely tolerate child took well to it. Having a very clear beginning and end to what we were doing each day so she could see the light at the end of the tunnel was a major help to my the maths is evil child. 

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Mastering Essential Math Skills was helpful for my oldest DD. Some concepts I thought there wasn't enough teaching, so I added videos from Khan and other sites.   But the constant review really helped her and it was zero dread. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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