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Janeway

Should I switch maths?

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I love Singapore Math and that is what we are using. I taught it previously in private school and I have used it with one of my older children. I have always had qualms about it, but I think I like it more than most. I think my 2nd in line choices would be BJU and CLE, neither of which I have used. I have used Horizon's (did not like) and MUS (it was fine, but we ditched the videos and I did not love the workbooks). I did use BJU briefly with one of my sons but that was my really fussy one. I liked it but he did not and we returned to Singapore Math. I ask him now what the issue was and he tells me he simply did not want to work, it was not the actual curriculum. So there is that.

 

My 9 yr old is pretty good at math. He is not like the "fussy one" (I really do not call that older one that fussy one, but already called him that once in this post so did not know how to otherwise refer to him). My oldest hated Singapore Math. He is the one who landed on Horizon's math and did well and stuck with it through the series then moved on to Foerster's Algebra and such. 9 yr old keeps getting upset over math now. I suspect it is because Singapore Math stays on the same topic for almost an entire book and then moves on only after that. We recently had a break through where son was excited about himself because he realized he had suddenly gotten good at division after working at it for the last few months. We are on book 3A, most of the way through. 

 

I can see how CLE or maybe even BJU could be a better fit for him. CLE has more variety in each lesson. It does not jump all over the place, but it also reviews some math facts on each lesson and does not give just an entire lessons of just one type of problem. I can see how BJU would be a good fit too as it has two week long chapters and then moves on to another topic. I guess I just feel so guilty because I am big Singapore Math person and I already own the entire series. I saw the used book store had some CLE 3rd grade used so I could pick up a couple of those workbooks to try out (but feel guilty breaking up the set, however, the store is selling them as separates). 

 

What should I do? I feel so much guilt and angst over this!

 

edited to add: He gets math fast. He does not struggle with concepts.

Edited by Janeway

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Question: Is your 9yo upset with SM it because it stays on one topic for much of the book, or because it stayed on one *hard* topic for much of the book?  I mean, has he always disliked staying on one topic for so long, even when it was easy for him, or is his recent dislike quite *recent*, and so might have more to do with all. that. division. instead of a general dislike for sticking with one topic?

One thing I've done with my kids (in SM) is that, when the kids are getting tired of hard topics that just don't end (whether hard because calculation-intensive, like multi-digit multiplication or long division, or conceptually hard), I start working in two places in the book.  We keep going on the hard section, but also start on the (usually easier) chapters past the hard section, like graphs or time or geometry.  They don't usually depend over-much on the previous sections, and they've made a nice change of pace for my kids.

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5 minutes ago, forty-two said:

Question: Is your 9yo upset with SM it because it stays on one topic for much of the book, or because it stayed on one *hard* topic for much of the book?  I mean, has he always disliked staying on one topic for so long, even when it was easy for him, or is his recent dislike quite *recent*, and so might have more to do with all. that. division. instead of a general dislike for sticking with one topic?

One thing I've done with my kids (in SM) is that, when the kids are getting tired of hard topics that just don't end (whether hard because calculation-intensive, like multi-digit multiplication or long division, or conceptually hard), I start working in two places in the book.  We keep going on the hard section, but also start on the (usually easier) chapters past the hard section, like graphs or time or geometry.  They don't usually depend over-much on the previous sections, and they've made a nice change of pace for my kids.

I have been thinking of doing that. If it is just about working too long on one topic, I could just move forward to the next book which has completely different topics and then come back to this book in a few weeks when he is a little rested. 

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I switched my ds to CLE from Math Mammoth this year. It was the right decision. However, I am so glad we did not do it before 6th grade. It is not conceptual at all. Had we done this method from the beginning, I don't think he would have the conceptual knowledge base that he has. This is perfect for his this year because Math Mammoth really taught him all the why behind all of this and now he just needs to hammer it out and remember how to do it--- and the drill of CLE is wonderful. He needed it. I am sure other parents can make CLE conceptual, and probably do  more than we do-- we just open the workbook and do the lesson . . .  I second the idea of working from two different sections to mix it up. 

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I don't have any advice on what you should use for the kid in question, but just an aside: having used all of those that you list at some point, I would try the CLE before BJU simply because of cost. BJU isn't cheap, and if you can get CLE like that to try, that would be my first option if switching at all.

I also feel like BJU might drive you crazy with the TM. I like BJU, and even for me the TM is annoying sometimes. You're experienced teaching math so maybe you can handle it without the TM though? But still. If you are going to switch, and he isn't a requirer of color, I'd try to be cheap and go with CLE! 🙂

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Huge BJU fan over here!! I started out with Singapore, but there were many things that made it feel like  not the perfect fit for us.  

What I like about BJU

I like that the student's work is the same each day. I do the front side with him and he does the back on his own.  I didn't like the multiple books involved with Singapore. 

I felt initially overwhelmedby bju's teacher's manual, it is very busy, but I really have gotten good at including  what I want and weeding out what we don't need.  Since you have taught math, I dount you need it, but BJU tells you everything to say and I really need that.  

I feel BJU is a good curriculum for us because Singapore was a bit too rigorous, not enough practice and a lot of other curriculum I looked at had lots of review and was spiral and seemed to have a heavy emphasis on just memorization.  BJU seems to be a good compromise between these two styles.  

 

Also my son really looks forward to it and feels a lot more cofident with bju.  He did well enough with Singapore, but I felt my instruction was lacking and left him scratching his head sometimes.  He loves bju's characters and stories.  After a BJU lesson he has not had a single day where he didnt understand his work.  

I sometimes feel guilty for not sticking with Singapore because I feel it is "the best" and you want your kids to have the best, but I he and I are so much happier with BJU and I know it is a solid program so I try not to feel guilty.

 

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Just a thought.... whatever math you choose to use as worksheets, you can choose to teach the topics however you need to.  I think you will end up teaching in a SM method bc its what you are used to.   I use a mix of math, and I like having different options.  I don't always lije how a book presents a topic, but as the teacher I can tailor the presentation to my student.

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On 2/6/2019 at 10:53 PM, Elizabeth86 said:

Huge BJU fan over here!! I started out with Singapore, but there were many things that made it feel like  not the perfect fit for us.  

What I like about BJU

I like that the student's work is the same each day. I do the front side with him and he does the back on his own.  I didn't like the multiple books involved with Singapore. 

I felt initially overwhelmedby bju's teacher's manual, it is very busy, but I really have gotten good at including  what I want and weeding out what we don't need.  Since you have taught math, I dount you need it, but BJU tells you everything to say and I really need that.  

I feel BJU is a good curriculum for us because Singapore was a bit too rigorous, not enough practice and a lot of other curriculum I looked at had lots of review and was spiral and seemed to have a heavy emphasis on just memorization.  BJU seems to be a good compromise between these two styles.  

 

Also my son really looks forward to it and feels a lot more cofident with bju.  He did well enough with Singapore, but I felt my instruction was lacking and left him scratching his head sometimes.  He loves bju's characters and stories.  After a BJU lesson he has not had a single day where he didnt understand his work.  

I sometimes feel guilty for not sticking with Singapore because I feel it is "the best" and you want your kids to have the best, but I he and I are so much happier with BJU and I know it is a solid program so I try not to feel guilty.

 

Do you use the activity workbook with it and such? Or just the main part of the program?

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5 hours ago, Janeway said:

Do you use the activity workbook with it and such? Or just the main part of the program?

I have the reviews book but don't  use it.  If my son got hung up on a topic I might, but he hasn't  yet. We just do the front and back of the student workbook after I teach the lesson.  We do the chapter review, but we don't do the tests.

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I'd probably switch if he wants more variety :-). Might as well not get him hating math. 

I like taking what I want from curriculums, though. If there are things you like about Singapore, you could use it every other day. And on every other day, you could find stuff he finds more fun? 

Personally, I don't use a math curriculum at all and just follow my daughter's interests (as long as they are mathematical.) We do a bunch of puzzles and also go down rabbit holes like figuring out negative numbers or the binary system. It works well for us. 

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