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Elizabeth86

Math - what am I looking for

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We tried Singapore, the boys did I fine and I hated it.  I crave scripted and handholding and Singapore left me feeling at a loss knowing what to say to my boys.  I also dislike the many supplemental books.  We are now trying BJU math.  The boys are doing great.  They love the fun characters.  I like the scripted lessons.  It feels good to be, BUT I feel the lessons are a bit overkill.  Like, the boys are giving the final answer as I'm sitting there talking through each VERY detailed step of the lesson.  I feel the lesson are just overkill for them.  I can and do cut out what we don't need.  I'm just looking for something that might suit me better.  My 3rd grader is doing distance learning online and we are both happy, BUT I just feel neither Singapore or BJU is perfect for us.  Any suggestions?  

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I think BJU is still your best bet, if they like the characters etc especially. If you just started, I think it'll ramp up more as the year goes on and it'll become more unfamiliar so may take them a little longer to catch on. You'll just really have to cut back on the lesson plans... I know it's written for a classroom and I think any teacher would really be picking and choosing very carefully what to use their classroom time for....
Another idea... if they get the concept just let them do the page without "teaching it" if you notice they didn't really understand it, you can then teach the lesson more thoroughly the next day and give them one of the "review" pages to work on the same concept. 
If you like scripted Rightstart is very scripted and I think a bit more challenging than BJU but it is not workbook based, no real story-line and not colorful, but some kids love all the games and manipulatives. 

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Have you tried that math curriculum selector @HomeAgain links I believe? It might be a handy place to start. If you want scripted you have a lot of options at least. 

I felt the same way about Singapore and BJU as you describe. (I didn’t use DLO though.) Right now we’re trying Saxon 2& 3 and it’s being my “just right”. Too soon to tell for the kids. For me it took everything I liked about Right Start and leaves our all of the stuff I hated about Right Start and BJU. 

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Here's the math curriculum selector🙂 Take both the secular and religious.

FWIW, it helped me to make a list of what features I did want.  And, I ended up picking one not in the curriculum selector quiz - it was free and had the features that worked for us, but the quiz gave us a path to go down to find it.

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Rod and Staff Publishers. Excellent scripted oral class time, no twaddle or cute stories, first through third.

Beginning with fourth grade, there are still scripted oral lessons, but they are unnecessary, as they don't add any information to what is in the student text.

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6 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

I just feel neither Singapore or BJU is perfect for us.  Any suggestions?

My suggestion is don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough.

I've used or tried almost everything out there looking for the "perfect" curriculum and I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't exist. The closest for us was Math On The Level but I had to make, plan and execute everything on my own with just some guidance from MOTL. I don't have the time or brain power to do that anymore. lol So we are using MEP (which is scripted but I don't use the script) and some Beast Academy here and there. It's not a perfect match because ds is flying through the lessons right saying, "I like this, it's easy!" so we may do a week's worth of lessons in a day when his attention span will allow it. But I know eventually, we will come to lessons that are more challenging for him. It's ok for them to not be challenged with every lesson. If they understand the lesson well enough to cut you off in the script with the answer, let them just work the worksheet/workbook and only do lessons on concepts they don't understand. Just my 2 cents.

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Yeah, that's a pretty big hill to say your math has to be PERFECT, mercy.

BJU is very good math, and your kids are doing well with it. It sounds like the issue is your kids are bright and that you end up needing to compact, etc. That would happen in ANY curriculum, so you're probably shooting for the moon. 

The usual jump point for BJU (or any math) is either after 6 or after the pre-algebra. What grade are you doing now? Rather than thinking that it will stay this way indefinitely, consider that either how the dc works (more independently) or the entire curriculum will change. Ie. it's only going to be a pain in the butt a short while longer. Like if you're doing gr3, it's literally just a few more years. And you won't need to change curriculum for them to become more independent because it's developmental. 

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Thanks for taking the time to reply.  I always feel uncomfortable with my curriculum choices at the beginning of the year.  I always feel better as the year goes on and we get used to everything.  Right now I feel panicky.  We really do like BJU, just somewhere in the back of my mind I'm worried I'm failing them because I won't torture myself with something rigorous like Singapore.  I worry BJU is just good enough. Bleh.  I am starting up my fourth year of homeschool and I still can't find the confidence I need.  

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3 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

 Right now I feel panicky.  

Me too!

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I think "good enough," when consistently carried over several years, becomes "perfect." 

We had good experience with BJU. Just don't let the teacher's guide boss you around! 

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14 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

I worry BJU is just good enough. Bleh.

Why the negative connotation with "good enough"? What are your long term goals with math? Do you expect to have math majors? Even so, there is nothing wrong with a basic basal math program that teaches them the basics of arithmetic. Sometimes, the "perfect" or best math curriculum isn't the one with the most creative approach or the one that teaches calculus to kindergartners, it's the one that gets done consistently with the fewest tears along the way, from you and your kids. If it teaches them all the basics of arithmetic in elementary school, then it is good enough and that's not a bad thing.

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On 8/10/2019 at 2:43 PM, sweet2ndchance said:

Why the negative connotation with "good enough"? What are your long term goals with math? Do you expect to have math majors? Even so, there is nothing wrong with a basic basal math program that teaches them the basics of arithmetic. Sometimes, the "perfect" or best math curriculum isn't the one with the most creative approach or the one that teaches calculus to kindergartners, it's the one that gets done consistently with the fewest tears along the way, from you and your kids. If it teaches them all the basics of arithmetic in elementary school, then it is good enough and that's not a bad thing.

I just struggle with good enough when it comes to my kids.  I feel guilty knowing he is so much more capable than good enough.  I'm not sure I expect math majors, I don't expect anything of him really.  I just don't want to fail my kids.  I don't want them to be in college one day struggling with something because I made bad homeschooling choices.  

 

 

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*Hugs* You are more invested in your children's education than most parents. Good enough is good enough. ;-) You will make mistakes, everyone does but he will not fail at life because his math curriculum could have been better for him. I say this as someone who has grown children and has spent plenty of sleepless nights wondering if I was really doing the best I could do by my kids. I made mistakes. They struggled in places. Since we can't go back and do things differently to find out if they wouldn't have struggled if I did something different, I just have to accept that it is what it is. None of them have failed, in fact they have come out stronger for it and thrived as young adults.

I still have one at home young enough to be homeschooled, I do still worry sometimes but I will admit that it is easier going through this time knowing that none of my older kids have failed due to my mistakes. I wish I could let you walk in my shoes for a while so that you can know that it will be okay no matter what math curriculum you choose. ;-)

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I am starting up my fourth year of homeschool and I still can't find the confidence I need.  

Well, I'm starting year 19 (I think...) and still don't have the confidence I need. I second/third/fourth guess my curriculum choices especially with math. If I have a kid who is a stronger math ability I really question my decisions. For us, Singapore has been a strong choice for some, Saxon for some, CLE for some. I aim for what sweet2ndchance said: " Sometimes, the "perfect" or best math curriculum isn't the one with the most creative approach or the one that teaches calculus to kindergartners, it's the one that gets done consistently with the fewest tears along the way, from you and your kids. If it teaches them all the basics of arithmetic in elementary school, then it is good enough and that's not a bad thing."  If my kids enjoy math then I am thrilled. I have to supplement every math program I have used and am OK with that (supplement meaning adding more, making it more interesting, etc.). Unless you are completely neglecting math instruction I would just breathe and make the best out of whatever program you choose to use for the year.

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I have a rising junior and a rising 3rd grader.  I started the now-junior on BJU in K, which I liked but thought the grass must be greener in the Asian math world  because of all the rave reviews I heard (Singapore, Math Mammoth, Right Start), and also tried several others in search of the holy math grail.    Looking back, we should have stayed the course with BJU, because it worked fine for us.  I always felt (as an engineer) that I should TRY Asian math because my daughter would  probably like it better and learn better.   DD never did come to love math (she does well but is a humanities girl).  Current 3rd Grader is in BJU 3 and I'm sticking it out until Pre-Algebra or longer (and she LOVES math and does well).  I always felt bad for some reason that I liked BJU, but it is a solid program (and I love the distance learning option).  I agree with the advice to skip over all the stuff in the TM.  If they get it quickly, just let them do the worksheet.  There is nothing magic or superior about one curriculum over another; use the one that works and stick with it. My older DD just took the SAT and ACT as a sophomore and did respectable on math even without having algebra 2 yet, despite all my crazy jumping around math curriculum.   It will be ok! 🙂

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