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This is our second year homeschooling my third grader and kindergartner. My oldest son attended a private school that used Singapore for kindergarten and first grade, and he did well with it. He tested more than a grade level above when he was assessed at the end of first grade. So, when we started homeschooling last year, I began by using the same curriculum...and he was miserable. He cried, he hated the way it was structured (like having all the extra steps just to show an addition or subtraction problem that he could easily do in his head), and I was a bit perplexed as to how to teach it, since it wasn’t the way I learned math. 

So, next I tried Beast Academy, which I thought he would love. That ended up being even worse. He liked the graphic books, and haaaaated the workbooks. It was like pulling teeth to get him to do anything at all, let alone an entire lesson. Every day ended in tears and tantrums. Finally, after googling something like, “math curriculum for kids who hate doing work” (ha), I stumbled across Math Lessons for a Living Education, and we ended up doing that for the rest of the year. He liked it a lot, loved the short lessons and the stories, and breezed through it. (I ordered him a year ahead, so he was doing level 3 in 2nd grade.) it seemed to be a good fit for a kid who is good at math and doesn’t need a ton of practice, and is reluctant and whiny about doing “too much” work, and has a VERY low frustration tolerance. I ordered the kindergarten level for my preschooler last year (only because he wanted to do math like his brother), and he flew through it.

This year I ordered the same math for them, but am second-guessing it. I keep reading that it is very light and “behind” academically (and I had the same thought, but it seemed like the grade above was about right?). It probably doesn’t offer enough practice problems. I read Kate Snow’s article about math curriculums, and she was pretty negative about MLFLE. I don’t want either son to fall behind or to be unprepared for higher level math. Both boys claim to want to go into engineering/architecture type fields. (I know they’re super young, but that’s what my dad and brother are, and I would like them to at least be ABLE to if they want, and would feel horrible if they can’t because, as young kids, they fell behind, then felt totally unprepared later and ended up hating math.)

Anyway, know this is super long. Sorry! Long story short, does anyone have any insight into this program? Any thoughts? I am considering The Good and the Beautiful for next year. I am going to purchase Kate Snow’s math program for my preschooler for next year, and potentially use her new curriculum for him, but it will not be at high enough grades for my older two. I think they really need something engaging and creative (in MLFLE they love the stories (they are very connected to the characters in the book, haha) and recipes, and the fun things like mazes and spot the difference), and something that is short and not overwhelming. They are NOT  AT ALL the type of kids who enjoy writing and worksheets. They do love read alouds and books. I don’t want to keep switching curriculum, and am also okay doing different things for different kids when it comes to math, since I have to work with them separately anyway. 
 

Should maybe add that math is not my strongest subject. I’m doing fine with fourth grade math, haha, but it was *always* my most difficult subject in school, and I truly hated it until Statistics in high school and college, which felt like the first time math clicked for me. I *really* want my kids to like it, especially since the two older boys seem very naturally inclined towards it. (My husband was a math whiz.) I have to admit that I like teaching MLFLE because it appeals to me, too—lots of white space, quick lessons, and little stories. But I don’t want to do them a disservice just because I am not very strong in math. TGTB looks similar, which is why I’m considering it, and is apparently a little more rigorous.

Would love to hear any suggestions or recommendations! Thanks!

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I have a couple of thoughts: one is that you may be able to return to Beast Academy when he's a bit older. My youngest son is strong in math but when we did Beast Academy three during his third grade year the more difficult problems involved more frustration tolerance than he could handle at the time. I brought it back out this year (he's  in fourth grade this year) and he flew through the level three books in half a year and is starting on four now. I expect we'll finish level four by the end of this summer and be all caught up. In the meantime, we used Miquon math, math games like Prime Climb and Mythmatical Battles, and math books like The Adventures of Penrose. 

My oldest son, who is really into reading, enjoys Life of Fred. We do a lot of other "mathy" things in addition to using Fred, but he enjoys the stories and the minimal number of problems.

Sorry I cant speak to any of the other resources you've mentioned. I'd be curious what others have to say, but my feeling is that you can beef up a curriculum that seems lighter if it's working for you and you're comfortable doing so. 

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Thanks! I am just worried that I’m taking the easy way out, because I don’t want to argue or deal with tears and fits all the time. (Despite the short lessons, my oldest son still throws fits if he feels like it’s more work than he wants to do, and also if something doesn’t instantly click for him. He gets very frustrated very easily, and I hate the battles.)

I agree that we could probably beef things up a bit. We did try life of Fred this year, too, which they loved. I can continue that. I already had made a list of “fun” math supplements, which included prime climb and the adventures of penrose, so I appreciate seeing those listed! They love games and books. 
 

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36 minutes ago, Masers said:

Thanks! I am just worried that I’m taking the easy way out, because I don’t want to argue or deal with tears and fits all the time. (Despite the short lessons, my oldest son still throws fits if he feels like it’s more work than he wants to do, and also if something doesn’t instantly click for him. He gets very frustrated very easily, and I hate the battles.)

I agree that we could probably beef things up a bit. We did try life of Fred this year, too, which they loved. I can continue that. I already had made a list of “fun” math supplements, which included prime climb and the adventures of penrose, so I appreciate seeing those listed! They love games and books. 
 

I can absolutely relate to being worried about taking the easy way out, but it sounds like you're doing a great job with finding extra resources and being responsive to what works for your kids!😃

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I have two thoughts.

1. It's nearly impossible to destroy a child's math future in grade school. Honestly. I adopted a 4th grader that could only add/subtract as far as her fingers could take her. She caught up by 8th grade. The closest thing you can do to destroying their math future is by making them hate math.  So don't worry about 10 years in the future.  Worry about this year.  It has enough worries.

2.  I don't know anything about MLFLE.  But I find it easier to add extra practice to a light program than I do to provide the correct amount of scaffolding/help to a difficult one.  If they are happy, I sat stick to it.  If you want more review and/or depth, add it.  Life of Fred is a popular option, though my kids hated it for the most part.  Singapore has word problem books you could buy a grade down.  Math Mammoth has affordable topical books and grade review books.  You can always read the beast comics as a supplement, and not do the books at all.  Ect and so on.  

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16 hours ago, Coco_Clark said:

I have two thoughts.

1. It's nearly impossible to destroy a child's math future in grade school. Honestly. I adopted a 4th grader that could only add/subtract as far as her fingers could take her. She caught up by 8th grade. The closest thing you can do to destroying their math future is by making them hate math.  So don't worry about 10 years in the future.  Worry about this year.  It has enough worries.

2.  I don't know anything about MLFLE.  But I find it easier to add extra practice to a light program than I do to provide the correct amount of scaffolding/help to a difficult one.  If they are happy, I sat stick to it.  If you want more review and/or depth, add it.  Life of Fred is a popular option, though my kids hated it for the most part.  Singapore has word problem books you could buy a grade down.  Math Mammoth has affordable topical books and grade review books.  You can always read the beast comics as a supplement, and not do the books at all.  Ect and so on.  

Thanks so much. This was very reassuring to read! 

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Wow, did I write this?

We were homeschooling prior to COVID using Saxon/Singapore. Then, the world went crazy. Dd had major pandemic induced anxiety. Based on strong recommendations from the therapist, I reluctantly set aside our math (to lower stress levels) and started looking for a curriculum to repeat (maintain skills, but no added stress). I choose Math Lessons for a Living Education, mostly for it's low cost. Dd7 flew through level 1, doing one week's worth everyday. Then did level 2, one week's worth every two days. Now we picked Saxon 2 back up, planning on ordering Saxon 3 to begin in April.

So, my thoughts on MLLE. Yes, it's crazy easy compared to Saxon or Singapore. Stories are fun, but way less drill. I bought Kate Snow's Addition and Subtraction Facts That Stick and we're having to go back through the games because dd's forgotten a lot of facts. We only used MLLE during our pause, I don't think it's rigorous enough for the "regular season." But, as always, kids are different and your milage may vary!

We've also dabbled in Beast Academy. It was too much, even pre-COVID, for dd so I just read the comics aloud using voices. (I love read alouds and voices, I think I missed my true calling in theater.)

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4 hours ago, Pintosrock said:

We've also dabbled in Beast Academy. It was too much, even pre-COVID, for dd so I just read the comics aloud using voices. (I love read alouds and voices, I think I missed my true calling in theater.)

This.

What other math curriculum allows us to deploy our well-honed pirate voices?  

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5 hours ago, Pintosrock said:

Wow, did I write this?

We were homeschooling prior to COVID using Saxon/Singapore. Then, the world went crazy. Dd had major pandemic induced anxiety. Based on strong recommendations from the therapist, I reluctantly set aside our math (to lower stress levels) and started looking for a curriculum to repeat (maintain skills, but no added stress). I choose Math Lessons for a Living Education, mostly for it's low cost. Dd7 flew through level 1, doing one week's worth everyday. Then did level 2, one week's worth every two days. Now we picked Saxon 2 back up, planning on ordering Saxon 3 to begin in April.

So, my thoughts on MLLE. Yes, it's crazy easy compared to Saxon or Singapore. Stories are fun, but way less drill. I bought Kate Snow's Addition and Subtraction Facts That Stick and we're having to go back through the games because dd's forgotten a lot of facts. We only used MLLE during our pause, I don't think it's rigorous enough for the "regular season." But, as always, kids are different and your milage may vary!

We've also dabbled in Beast Academy. It was too much, even pre-COVID, for dd so I just read the comics aloud using voices. (I love read alouds and voices, I think I missed my true calling in theater.)

Ugh, thank you so much for your response. That’s kind of what I was afraid of. It just seems too light. I WANT to believe it’s fine, but my gut tells me math should take more time and effort to be adequate. Plus, even if it is fine (and it might be, because I do think they’re overall learning the skills they need to know), I really do want MORE than fine. My oldest seemed to be very naturally inclined toward math even as a toddler and preschooler. Before he started preschool, he could add, subtract, read a clock, etc. He *really* enjoyed numbers and measuring and all that. But once workbooks and worksheets were introduced in first grade, he lost his interest, and started becoming really resistant to math, which made me sad to see. That’s why MLFLE appealed to me...less written work and more “fun”, without the drill. But...I fear sticking to this curriculum will not let him reach his full potential in math, if that makes sense? But I also fear that going with something more rigorous would make him hate math. He is soooo bad about getting upset and frustrated by anything remotely challenging, and he wants to get through his work so quickly. I KNOW that putting him with something like Saxon would cause a battle every day.

My middle son is also breezing through MLFLE, and while he seems to have better frustration tolerance, he also haaaaaates worksheets, writing, and anything that feels long or tedious. Blah. They can be tough!

So now I feel totally stuck. Should we stick with this, but add supplemental and enrichment resources to beef up the curriculum? Stuff I know they’d enjoy, like life of Fred, games, math books, etc? 

Move to TGTB, which looks similar to MLFLE, except longer lessons/more practice, and perhaps more rigorous/advanced?

Or consider something else altogether? Mathematical Reasoning?

They get very little screentime, especially online, so maybe something like Teaching Textbooks or Beast Academy online would be fun for them? 

i just know math is something I don’t want to mess up for them. I want them to be very strong in math, and as someone who was NOT strong in math, I have some anxiety about doing them a disservice. I was always very good in language arts, so, while my oldest is NOT at all strong in that subject (great reader, but hates writing with a passion, can’t spell to save his life, and can’t remember grammar rules from one day to the next), I am confident that I am proficient in teaching those subjects. I don’t feel the same way about math, and I just want to feel confident in our curriculum and reassured that they will be successful in the future in any sort of STEM field they may want to enter.

thanks so much for your feedback!

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IF you really want to do something else, may I suggest looking at either Miquon or Right Start.  Bug price difference, and learning curve difference.  Miquon is cheap and takes a bit to learn to teach.  Right start is spendy but just about as easy to teach as it gets.  Both are fun, game based, physical, and very very solid mathmatically.

If Beast in book form didn't work, the online classes won't work either.  

Teaching Textbooks is known for being a year+ behind grade level, besides not having much depth and almost no critical thinking. I use it with my 13yo daughter one year ahead of her Math Mammoth level and it's still 100% review.

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14 minutes ago, Coco_Clark said:

IF you really want to do something else, may I suggest looking at either Miquon or Right Start.  Bug price difference, and learning curve difference.  Miquon is cheap and takes a bit to learn to teach.  Right start is spendy but just about as easy to teach as it gets.  Both are fun, game based, physical, and very very solid mathmatically.

If Beast in book form didn't work, the online classes won't work either.  

Teaching Textbooks is known for being a year+ behind grade level, besides not having much depth and almost no critical thinking. I use it with my 13yo daughter one year ahead of her Math Mammoth level and it's still 100% review.

Thank you! I remember looking at Miquon and feeling confused by the program. Or maybe I’m thinking of math mammoth. Hmm...I’ll have to go back and look at it. I have heard great things about Right Start, but that it is extremely teacher and time intensive? I’m wary about that with homeschooling 3 kids next year (with a baby to boot). But I’ll check it out, too.

good to know about the online version. I was thinking maybe the novelty of being on the computer, and typing answers instead of writing, may do the trick. But if it’s all the same and still a lot of drill and “stretching” him, I’m sure you’re right. 
I’ve heard the same about TT. He would definitely be ahead. I had skimmed their placement tests, and I know he’d be in at least one, if not two, grade levels ahead. And my kindergartner could probably do grade 3 next year, as a first grader. So, it would have all the same concerns as MLFLE. I guess what I’m wondering is, if I have them working ahead in MLFLE or TT...does that make up for the shortfall? Or are those programs just altogether weak? 
 

anyway...really appreciate your input. Thanks so much. 

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It would help as far as being behind other grades.  But it wouldn't help in terms of depth or problem solving.  

Right start is teacher intensive.  But I think every arithmatic level math program is.  Very few kids are independant in math before 5th or 6th grade.  It doesn't require any prep, it's open and go at least.

 

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Isn't TGATB in the process of redeveloping their curriculum too? Idk what level you'd want, but they are selling their stock of k-3, and developing their 4pt2 and plan on selling that single issue and then it's done. 

I think they plan on having an entirely new curriculum in 2022 for all levels. 

Just in case you don't want to start something you can't continue.

 

I have TGATB 2 and 3 I bought like, 2 months ago bc my 6yo hated MUS. She loves BA and she's flying through and weirdly able to apply what she knows when I give her more conventional math worksheets. We supplement with Prodigy and ST Math. We tried TGATB 2.5 and then 3. She HATED it. Too many problems, too repetitive, she wantes to just do it. She also didn't warm up to the fun gamey vibe it had for practicing problems. She even told me, I can add, why does it have me do this adding every day when I know what to do, this is for kids who don't know. Yikes. It's in the cabinet.

 

If, by chance you are very serious about wanting TGATB 2 or 3, message me.

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I personally loved Singapore but I'm good at math. Right start is also good and is more scripted, it is good for seeing how math works for the younger ages, I like other things for older ages. The abacus explains borrowing and carrying well in a very visual manner.

You should use the most rigorous math you can teach well. Horizons is a good traditional math program.

https://www.christianbook.com/horizons-math-grade-3-student-workbook/9781580959636/pd/12056?event=Homeschool|1001343

You can have them write the first few problems and then scribe the rest for them at a young age, gradually increasing the amount they write themselves as they get older. 

To educate yourself on how to teach math, I like Liping Ma's Knowing and Teaching math, the old version is fine and cheaper.

https://www.amazon.com/Knowing-Teaching-Elementary-Mathematics-Understanding/dp/0805829091/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1EPD7LJQX8G4F&dchild=1&keywords=knowing+and+teaching+elementary+mathematics&qid=1611387413&sprefix=knowing+and+teaching%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-3

Singapore also had some teach the teacher books, I'm not finding them on their website right now, they had some about how to use the bar model method and how to teach word problems that are good to know regardless of what program you use, I'll have to find the titles and see if they're still available somewhere.

For Singapore math, they show various ways to do it, you just have to try one of each and then can do whichever way is easiest. For my daughter, she wouldn't have figured out a few of the different methods on her own. My son figured out some of them intuitively. There is one edition that has better instruction guides, I forget which, I think it was Standards and the US was not as helpful, but I could be forgetting, it's been years since I used it. You're not meant to spend a lot of time doing these type of things, just a quick see if you understand it, then do the math the way that is easiest. But if you don't understand the method, better to teach a good math that you understand how to teach.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Coco_Clark said:

It would help as far as being behind other grades.  But it wouldn't help in terms of depth or problem solving.  

Right start is teacher intensive.  But I think every arithmatic level math program is.  Very few kids are independant in math before 5th or 6th grade.  It doesn't require any prep, it's open and go at least.

 

Thanks. Right. Makes sense. I have a friend who uses Right Start with her daughter (same age as my older son). I know her daughter really likes Right Start, and she feels like it is a solid program. However, she has complained about it being very time intensive and that she has to sit with her daughter the whole time—which she feels like is difficult with two younger kids. That makes me a little wary. I do really appreciate that my son can mostly do his math independently, unless he is confused about the directions or a particular concept. However, you’re probably right that he SHOULD be getting more instruction time. And the reviews for Right Start sound like it would be a good fit for my kids. Now I feel more confused than ever to throw another possibility into the mix! Lol. 

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11 hours ago, Mommalongadingdong said:

Isn't TGATB in the process of redeveloping their curriculum too? Idk what level you'd want, but they are selling their stock of k-3, and developing their 4pt2 and plan on selling that single issue and then it's done. 

I think they plan on having an entirely new curriculum in 2022 for all levels. 

Just in case you don't want to start something you can't continue.

 

I have TGATB 2 and 3 I bought like, 2 months ago bc my 6yo hated MUS. She loves BA and she's flying through and weirdly able to apply what she knows when I give her more conventional math worksheets. We supplement with Prodigy and ST Math. We tried TGATB 2.5 and then 3. She HATED it. Too many problems, too repetitive, she wantes to just do it. She also didn't warm up to the fun gamey vibe it had for practicing problems. She even told me, I can add, why does it have me do this adding every day when I know what to do, this is for kids who don't know. Yikes. It's in the cabinet.

 

If, by chance you are very serious about wanting TGATB 2 or 3, message me.

Yes, they are redeveloping it! That’s actually the only reason I’m interested. I had read through the samples of their previous curriculum and felt like my criticisms were the same as your daughter. It did look too repetitive. However, I feel like my kids would *probably* like the games and stories, since that’s a lot of what they appreciate from MLFLE. And the website says they have restructured it to be less repetitive and time-consuming. I don’t know if that means it will be a weaker program or not, but I just know that my kids would NOT do well lessons that take a long time. And honestly, neither would I. Even though I’m pretty “eclectic” as far as my homeschooling style goes, I am most drawn to Charlotte Mason. And part of what I like is that the lessons are pretty short for younger kids. I want something that will hold their limited attention span.

ANYWAY. I do have a friend who uses TGATB with her daughters, and she RAVES about the math program. I can always ask to look more closely at their curriculum and see if it would be a good fit or not. Thanks so much for your opinion of the program—it is SO helpful to get feedback from people who have personally used the curriculum!

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10 hours ago, ElizabethB said:

I personally loved Singapore but I'm good at math. Right start is also good and is more scripted, it is good for seeing how math works for the younger ages, I like other things for older ages. The abacus explains borrowing and carrying well in a very visual manner.

You should use the most rigorous math you can teach well. Horizons is a good traditional math program.

https://www.christianbook.com/horizons-math-grade-3-student-workbook/9781580959636/pd/12056?event=Homeschool|1001343

You can have them write the first few problems and then scribe the rest for them at a young age, gradually increasing the amount they write themselves as they get older. 

To educate yourself on how to teach math, I like Liping Ma's Knowing and Teaching math, the old version is fine and cheaper.

https://www.amazon.com/Knowing-Teaching-Elementary-Mathematics-Understanding/dp/0805829091/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1EPD7LJQX8G4F&dchild=1&keywords=knowing+and+teaching+elementary+mathematics&qid=1611387413&sprefix=knowing+and+teaching%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-3

Singapore also had some teach the teacher books, I'm not finding them on their website right now, they had some about how to use the bar model method and how to teach word problems that are good to know regardless of what program you use, I'll have to find the titles and see if they're still available somewhere.

For Singapore math, they show various ways to do it, you just have to try one of each and then can do whichever way is easiest. For my daughter, she wouldn't have figured out a few of the different methods on her own. My son figured out some of them intuitively. There is one edition that has better instruction guides, I forget which, I think it was Standards and the US was not as helpful, but I could be forgetting, it's been years since I used it. You're not meant to spend a lot of time doing these type of things, just a quick see if you understand it, then do the math the way that is easiest. But if you don't understand the method, better to teach a good math that you understand how to teach.

 

 

Thank you! It looks like the book you linked would be super helpful in teaching Singapore. I totally agree with you that I should be looking for the most rigorous math that I can still teach well. I just need to figure out what that is. Scripted is probably good for me. I feel bad for my older son, because I feel like he’s going to be my “experiment” kid, and as I learn what works best and am more confident in teaching concepts, my younger kids will probably benefit from that experience. Sigh! I just don’t want to steer him wrong. He is DEFINITELY geared towards a STEM career, I know it in my bones! He is not at all drawn towards the arts, and is extremely interested in how things work, engineering, and mechanical things. He can pore over a book about bridges or the inner workings of appliances for hours. Because I feel like this is meant to be his path, I do NOT want to do anything to make him fall off the path! Or make the path harder than it needs to be!

Lots to think about and consider. Thanks so much for weighing in!!

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33 minutes ago, Masers said:

Thank you! It looks like the book you linked would be super helpful in teaching Singapore. I totally agree with you that I should be looking for the most rigorous math that I can still teach well. I just need to figure out what that is. Scripted is probably good for me. I feel bad for my older son, because I feel like he’s going to be my “experiment” kid, and as I learn what works best and am more confident in teaching concepts, my younger kids will probably benefit from that experience. Sigh! I just don’t want to steer him wrong. He is DEFINITELY geared towards a STEM career, I know it in my bones! He is not at all drawn towards the arts, and is extremely interested in how things work, engineering, and mechanical things. He can pore over a book about bridges or the inner workings of appliances for hours. Because I feel like this is meant to be his path, I do NOT want to do anything to make him fall off the path! Or make the path harder than it needs to be!

Lots to think about and consider. Thanks so much for weighing in!!

I tell people half jokingly that I should have practiced on other kids with math like I did with phonics (I've been tutoring with phonics since 1994.)

My daughter needed a lot of different things to do well with math, my son, who is engineering minded, would have done well with any math. 

I would switch to a traditional math that is not behind for now with him, something like Horizons. Or, you could try Math Mammoth, she has more explanation about how to use it, it is similar to Singapore. 

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1 hour ago, ElizabethB said:

I tell people half jokingly that I should have practiced on other kids with math like I did with phonics (I've been tutoring with phonics since 1994.)

My daughter needed a lot of different things to do well with math, my son, who is engineering minded, would have done well with any math. 

I would switch to a traditional math that is not behind for now with him, something like Horizons. Or, you could try Math Mammoth, she has more explanation about how to use it, it is similar to Singapore. 

Thanks! I’ll look into horizons and math mammoth, too. So many choices! Too many! 😜

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@Masers Have you decided yet? 

I want to switch from Singapore and I posted about that today in a new topic.

Lots of people (in real life) say Math Mammoth but I don't know why I'm hesitant. 

I too looked into Horizons.

I had narrowed it to BJU PRESS math and Rod and Staff but I got an excellent comment today which made me scratch Rod and Staff. 

I would love to hear what you decided.

Thanks.

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11 hours ago, simplyalethia said:

@Masers Have you decided yet? 

I want to switch from Singapore and I posted about that today in a new topic.

Lots of people (in real life) say Math Mammoth but I don't know why I'm hesitant. 

I too looked into Horizons.

I had narrowed it to BJU PRESS math and Rod and Staff but I got an excellent comment today which made me scratch Rod and Staff. 

I would love to hear what you decided.

Thanks.

I have not decided. If anything, I feel more confused than when I first posted. 😝 
for my older son, I’m currently thinking either math mammoth or TGTB, but I’m not sure. I don’t think he would like math mammoth, but I could always supplement with “Fun math”. But then I think, “would I actually DO the supplements?” Because I was going to supplement more this year, too, but by the time we’re done with what “needs” to be done, nobody really has the time or energy or desire to do more. (Especially my son.) I think he would prefer TGTB, but I have concerns about the rigor and also about the “fluff”....that it’s time consuming without adding much. However, they are supposedly streamlining it...trying to keep the good and get rid of the “meh“. I Am anxious to look at their samples of the new materials before I make a decision. Ultimately, I want him to be a strong math student, but I also want him to enjoy math and I want to enjoy doing it, too!

for my second son, I have even more choices. I’m looking at math mammoth, TGTB, right start, and Kate snow’s new line, “math with confidence.” I would go with hers, as it seems to hit everything I’m looking for, but I need to see the first grade samples, which haven’t been released yet. I suspect it will be too easy for him, but I’m not sure . I think he’ll be somewhere between first and second grade for next year. 
 

I may order “learn math fast” to do over the summer, to hopefully get them up to speed on any gaps they may have, but also to give me a refresher course in middle school math! 
 

So are you leaning towards BJU? 

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Math Mammoth! I initially was hesitant to try it because of Kate Snow’s review. I believe she said it’s not for math-intuitive parents and that when a child has difficulty understanding a concept the program doesn’t offer a lot of help. Don’t let this scare you! I am so glad I went ahead and gave it a shot anyway because it has worked fabulously for my son.

Yes, the books are not visually appealing and it’s not “fun”. However it is a solid conceptual program with straightforward instruction that I can spend 5 minutes going over with him and then have him do the remainder of the page independently. I then review his work and we correct any mistakes together. We watch Maria Miller’s video lessons and play some of the practice games on Math Mammoth’s site. I add in Xtra Math for facts drill. 
 

Because I am not a math person, I review the lessons myself before going over it with him. If we hit a concept that he or I struggle with, we can stop and take the time to research and find a way to understand it. I really wish I had had a program like this when I was in school, I struggled with math all throughout and always just thought “I’m bad at math”. Most likely what I needed was a conceptual, mastery program with lots of facts drill. 
 

Math Mammoth is also among the cheapest options, and the teaching videos and games are free. Highly highly recommend! 

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1 hour ago, TK5004 said:

Math Mammoth! I initially was hesitant to try it because of Kate Snow’s review. I believe she said it’s not for math-intuitive parents and that when a child has difficulty understanding a concept the program doesn’t offer a lot of help. Don’t let this scare you! I am so glad I went ahead and gave it a shot anyway because it has worked fabulously for my son.

Yes, the books are not visually appealing and it’s not “fun”. However it is a solid conceptual program with straightforward instruction that I can spend 5 minutes going over with him and then have him do the remainder of the page independently. I then review his work and we correct any mistakes together. We watch Maria Miller’s video lessons and play some of the practice games on Math Mammoth’s site. I add in Xtra Math for facts drill. 
 

Because I am not a math person, I review the lessons myself before going over it with him. If we hit a concept that he or I struggle with, we can stop and take the time to research and find a way to understand it. I really wish I had had a program like this when I was in school, I struggled with math all throughout and always just thought “I’m bad at math”. Most likely what I needed was a conceptual, mastery program with lots of facts drill. 
 

Math Mammoth is also among the cheapest options, and the teaching videos and games are free. Highly highly recommend! 

Thank you for this! That’s exactly what I saw on Kate Snow’s review that has made me hesitate. I felt the same way as you, and the math I did in school was definitely procedural. Not good for someone like me. However, I feel like my son might balk at all the drill and the visually crowded pages, etc. in math mammoth.  He catches on pretty quickly, and I feel like MLFLE has worked for us in part because of the LACK of review. He can handle doing three review problems, but would flip out at 30. And I kind of get it...I am definitely drawn to clean, simple, and minimalistic, and I feel a little stressy looking at the math mammoth samples. Which I know is a stupid reason to second guess something!

i May end up just buying it and going for it, since it’s not very expensive. It definitely seems like a strong program, and that’s really important! I don’t know that I would use it for my second son,though. I’d rather do something with games and stories for him, since he’s so drawn to that. And then I feel like if I do TGTB or right start or whatever with him, my oldest will freak out because his brother gets to do fun math, and why does he have to always do hard stuff, and life isn’t fair, waaaahhhhh! 😝🙄

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1 hour ago, Masers said:

Thank you for this! That’s exactly what I saw on Kate Snow’s review that has made me hesitate. I felt the same way as you, and the math I did in school was definitely procedural. Not good for someone like me. However, I feel like my son might balk at all the drill and the visually crowded pages, etc. in math mammoth.  He catches on pretty quickly, and I feel like MLFLE has worked for us in part because of the LACK of review. He can handle doing three review problems, but would flip out at 30. And I kind of get it...I am definitely drawn to clean, simple, and minimalistic, and I feel a little stressy looking at the math mammoth samples. Which I know is a stupid reason to second guess something!

i May end up just buying it and going for it, since it’s not very expensive. It definitely seems like a strong program, and that’s really important! I don’t know that I would use it for my second son,though. I’d rather do something with games and stories for him, since he’s so drawn to that. And then I feel like if I do TGTB or right start or whatever with him, my oldest will freak out because his brother gets to do fun math, and why does he have to always do hard stuff, and life isn’t fair, waaaahhhhh! 😝🙄

There are several people who print it to have more space, I'm not sure exactly, you can ask or Google.

You can also cut down the number of problems:

If you get at least 9/10 right, that's all we'll do, otherwise we'll do them all--pick a few of each type, including more of the hardest.

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1 hour ago, ElizabethB said:

There are several people who print it to have more space, I'm not sure exactly, you can ask or Google.

You can also cut down the number of problems:

If you get at least 9/10 right, that's all we'll do, otherwise we'll do them all--pick a few of each type, including more of the hardest.

That’s true...good idea! Thank you!

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12 hours ago, Masers said:

I have not decided. If anything, I feel more confused than when I first posted. 😝 
for my older son, I’m currently thinking either math mammoth or TGTB, but I’m not sure. I don’t think he would like math mammoth, but I could always supplement with “Fun math”. But then I think, “would I actually DO the supplements?” Because I was going to supplement more this year, too, but by the time we’re done with what “needs” to be done, nobody really has the time or energy or desire to do more. (Especially my son.) I think he would prefer TGTB, but I have concerns about the rigor and also about the “fluff”....that it’s time consuming without adding much. However, they are supposedly streamlining it...trying to keep the good and get rid of the “meh“. I Am anxious to look at their samples of the new materials before I make a decision. Ultimately, I want him to be a strong math student, but I also want him to enjoy math and I want to enjoy doing it, too!

for my second son, I have even more choices. I’m looking at math mammoth, TGTB, right start, and Kate snow’s new line, “math with confidence.” I would go with hers, as it seems to hit everything I’m looking for, but I need to see the first grade samples, which haven’t been released yet. I suspect it will be too easy for him, but I’m not sure . I think he’ll be somewhere between first and second grade for next year. 
 

I may order “learn math fast” to do over the summer, to hopefully get them up to speed on any gaps they may have, but also to give me a refresher course in middle school math! 
 

So are you leaning towards BJU? 

I totally understand and relate to everything you said!

I was leaning towards BJU. A friend of mine showed me Math Mammoth and I've rewatched YouTube flip throughs and it really does look like it's everything I'm looking for.

I guess it just doesn't look very pretty but the colored version seems doable. It seems straight forward that even if you don't like Math, you could still teach it.

So I've added the 2 sets in my cart on Rainbow Resources. The set has the work texts, answer keys and reviews. I know that I could buy the CD and print but since I would need to print for my 7 and 5 (soon to be 6) year olds, I think the set is cheaper. Or maybe I just love books?!😁

If I do buy it, I'm going to start them both at 1a ( go quicker with my 7 ) and then just move on to the next level when either is finished. But since both would be using it then I would just need to buy the extra books not the set twice.

Oh and she suggested that I could use Mathematical Reasoning by Critical Thinking Co and Singapore word problems occasionally.

That's where I'm at as of this afternoon. 😀

How does this sound to you?

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6 hours ago, Masers said:


i May end up just buying it and going for it, since it’s not very expensive. It definitely seems like a strong program, and that’s really important! I don’t know that I would use it for my second son,though. I’d rather do something with games and stories for him, since he’s so drawn to that. And then I feel like if I do TGTB or right start or whatever with him, my oldest will freak out because his brother gets to do fun math, and why does he have to always do hard stuff, and life isn’t fair, waaaahhhhh! 

I just saw this after posting lol.

Is this a 2nd son thing? My 2nd son is the same.

But what I plan to do if I really buy Math Mammoth is to get manipulatives specific to him.

So I'm thinking of STEM blocks, popsicle sticks and even cheap Matchbox cars as counters. He's obsessed with action figures so maybe toy soldiers? Not sure but I'm planning it out.

Thanks to @TK5004 I'm really considering it now. 

 

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2 minutes ago, simplyalethia said:

I just saw this after posting lol.

Is this a 2nd son thing? My 2nd son is the same.

But what I plan to do if I really buy Math Mammoth is to get manipulatives specific to him.

So I'm thinking of STEM blocks, popsicle sticks and even cheap Matchbox cars as counters. He's obsessed with action figures so maybe you soldiers? Not sure but I'm planning it out.

Thanks to @TK5004 I'm really considering it now. 

 

You could also let him do some Beast online? That often scans as "fun math" to mathy kids. 

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6 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

You could also let him do some Beast online? That often scans as "fun math" to mathy kids. 

Yes I actually need to check that out for myself. I've heard mixed reviews but I've never actually looked at it.

So thanks again for your help here and on my topic I started yesterday.

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6 hours ago, Masers said:

my oldest will freak out because his brother gets to do fun math, and why does he have to always do hard stuff,

Maybe play math games with both together, it will be easier for the older but still practice & exposure?  We’ve used Kate Snow’s games that way (Addition Facts that Stick) for my 7, 9 and 12 year olds all together, and I think Math for Love would have some that could work for mixed ages. 
It’s hard being the oldest! 

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6 minutes ago, simplyalethia said:

Either it was fun but not enough drill or child didn't get it. But I'm going to look into it.

I do know people who've only used it and said it was enough drill for their specific kid, but those do seem like common interpretations! I don't think I'd do it as a main program, but it's a fun add-on if your kid falls into the former and not the latter category 😉 . 

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15 hours ago, simplyalethia said:

I totally understand and relate to everything you said!

I was leaning towards BJU. A friend of mine showed me Math Mammoth and I've rewatched YouTube flip throughs and it really does look like it's everything I'm looking for.

I guess it just doesn't look very pretty but the colored version seems doable. It seems straight forward that even if you don't like Math, you could still teach it.

So I've added the 2 sets in my cart on Rainbow Resources. The set has the work texts, answer keys and reviews. I know that I could buy the CD and print but since I would need to print for my 7 and 5 (soon to be 6) year olds, I think the set is cheaper. Or maybe I just love books?!😁

If I do buy it, I'm going to start them both at 1a ( go quicker with my 7 ) and then just move on to the next level when either is finished. But since both would be using it then I would just need to buy the extra books not the set twice.

Oh and she suggested that I could use Mathematical Reasoning by Critical Thinking Co and Singapore word problems occasionally.

That's where I'm at as of this afternoon. 😀

How does this sound to you?

Thanks! I think I’m going to buy a book regardless, just to have. They’re cheap enough that it’s definitely worth a shot. I’m going to still look at TGATB when it comes out, to see what I think. If it looks like like it hits our wish list, I’ll probably try it, too. Maybe use both for awhile and see what seems to be working best. I don’t know!  That’s where I am right now! 

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15 hours ago, simplyalethia said:

I just saw this after posting lol.

Is this a 2nd son thing? My 2nd son is the same.

But what I plan to do if I really buy Math Mammoth is to get manipulatives specific to him.

So I'm thinking of STEM blocks, popsicle sticks and even cheap Matchbox cars as counters. He's obsessed with action figures so maybe toy soldiers? Not sure but I'm planning it out.

Thanks to @TK5004 I'm really considering it now. 

 

Yes! That’s a good idea. I am just not sure what direction to go with him. 

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14 hours ago, Eilonwy said:

Maybe play math games with both together, it will be easier for the older but still practice & exposure?  We’ve used Kate Snow’s games that way (Addition Facts that Stick) for my 7, 9 and 12 year olds all together, and I think Math for Love would have some that could work for mixed ages. 
It’s hard being the oldest! 

Yes, for sure...he’ll insist on being part of any game playing. He stops his work every time I try to do something fun with his brothers, no matter how young it is. Which is frustrating, because I just want him to focus! 😜

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Masers and simplyalethia- I hope you’ll keep us updated and let us know how math ends up working out for you! I was in your shoes about a year and a half ago and it really is so stressful not knowing what to do for math. It’s such a relief when you finally find a great program that clicks with your kids! 

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3 hours ago, TK5004 said:

Masers and simplyalethia- I hope you’ll keep us updated and let us know how math ends up working out for you! I was in your shoes about a year and a half ago and it really is so stressful not knowing what to do for math. It’s such a relief when you finally find a great program that clicks with your kids! 

Yes! I will. 🙂 I’m so glad that you found a successful program. I hope I will be able to say the same! 

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On 1/30/2021 at 2:13 PM, Masers said:

Yes, for sure...he’ll insist on being part of any game playing. He stops his work every time I try to do something fun with his brothers, no matter how young it is.

We tend to do our games at other times besides “school time” so as not to distract people, and also because I’m only home in the evenings, but even easy games are open to all and I try to make them feel like actual games, even if they also give math practice. 

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2 hours ago, Eilonwy said:

We tend to do our games at other times besides “school time” so as not to distract people, and also because I’m only home in the evenings, but even easy games are open to all and I try to make them feel like actual games, even if they also give math practice. 

Yes, we do lots of games at other times. I often play games with them in the afternoons when preschooler and/or baby are sleeping, and my husband plays games with them a lot—that’s his go-to thing to do with them. And we do a family game night on a weekly basis. The problem is that my younger son will often have a little game as part of his math lesson, or even just a little manipulative thing like counting beans, and my older son has to stop his independent work, every time, and come over to see what’s going on. And if they’re both working independently and I want to try to do something with my oft-ignored preschooler, like read him a picture book, my older son immediately drops what he’s doing and comes to read with us. He just has to be a part of the action, which I understand, but it makes it so hard for him to complete anything without getting distracted. I feel like I give him most of my time to keep him on track. And he won’t work in a different room, ever. He literally must be around people all the time...he is a true extrovert. As an introvert, it is hard for me to manage this need!

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On 2/1/2021 at 10:13 AM, Masers said:

He just has to be a part of the action, which I understand, but it makes it so hard for him to complete anything without getting distracted

It sounds like you are doing everything and then some with games. I think this will get a bit easier as he matures, but I don’t have any good suggestions. I’m an introvert but so are my kids. 

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11 minutes ago, Eilonwy said:

It sounds like you are doing everything and then some with games. I think this will get a bit easier as he matures, but I don’t have any good suggestions. I’m an introvert but so are my kids. 

It is challenging, as an introvert, to raise a highly extroverted kid. He wants to be around me or his dad ALL THE TIME. Literally always. He definitely gets his tank filled from socializing and time with others, and gets really upset when he feels like he’s not getting that need met. He is also insanely chatty and can talk from morning till night. I, on the other hand, NEED quiet time and alone time to refuel. The only thing he will do on his own is read, so I keep him well-stocked. 😝 

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15 minutes ago, Masers said:

He wants to be around me or his dad ALL THE TIME. Literally always. He definitely gets his tank filled from socializing and time with others, and gets really upset when he feels like he’s not getting that need met.

That would be super challenging! My youngest wants to be around people all the time, but doesn’t need to talk all the time, fortunately.  I wonder if you have other extrovert, or even extrovert-tolerant kids? Especially as they get older they can pair off and amuse each other.  That might not be realistic yet, though. Thank goodness for books!  Does he like to read out loud? Maybe he could read to the preschooler while you were doing a bean counting demo with your other son? 

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1 hour ago, Eilonwy said:

That would be super challenging! My youngest wants to be around people all the time, but doesn’t need to talk all the time, fortunately.  I wonder if you have other extrovert, or even extrovert-tolerant kids? Especially as they get older they can pair off and amuse each other.  That might not be realistic yet, though. Thank goodness for books!  Does he like to read out loud? Maybe he could read to the preschooler while you were doing a bean counting demo with your other son? 

So far, my second son is more on the introverted (but social) side, and hard to tell with the third...he’s 3. We shall see! Great idea to involve him with teaching/reading with my 3 year old! He’s super helpful and loves to feel grown up and important. And he does like to read aloud. I’m going to try that! Thanks!

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On 30/01/2021 at 7:02 PM, TK5004 said:

Masers and simplyalethia- I hope you’ll keep us updated and let us know how math ends up working out for you! I was in your shoes about a year and a half ago and it really is so stressful not knowing what to do for math. It’s such a relief when you finally find a great program that clicks with your kids! 

 

An update:

I will be continuing with Singapore but as a supplement. I really do like the layout just not necessarily how it teaches some things.

My spine and "drill" will be Themeville math.

I bought the K5 and Grade 3 math manipulatives pack from BJU Press. I laminated them so all my children will be able to use them.

I also will be purchasing a set of Cuisinare Rods to use for bar modeling, fractions etc.

I was heavily considering Math Mammoth but it's too similar to Singapore and I prefer Singapore's layout.

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5 minutes ago, simplyalethia said:

An update:

I will be continuing with Singapore but as a supplement. I really do like the layout just not necessarily how it teaches some things.

My spine and "drill" will be Themeville math.

I bought the K5 and Grade 3 math manipulatives pack from BJU Press. I laminated them so all my children will be able to use them.

I also will be purchasing a set of Cuisinare Rods to use for bar modeling, fractions etc.

I was heavily considering Math Mammoth but it's too similar to Singapore and I prefer Singapore's layout.

Let us know how things go!! 

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On 2/4/2021 at 9:58 AM, simplyalethia said:

 

An update:

I will be continuing with Singapore but as a supplement. I really do like the layout just not necessarily how it teaches some things.

My spine and "drill" will be Themeville math.

I bought the K5 and Grade 3 math manipulatives pack from BJU Press. I laminated them so all my children will be able to use them.

I also will be purchasing a set of Cuisinare Rods to use for bar modeling, fractions etc.

I was heavily considering Math Mammoth but it's too similar to Singapore and I prefer Singapore's layout.

You can’t go wrong with Themeville.  It really is pretty good.  We love it and used it with zearn.org, it was a perfect fit.  (We had to level down in themeville for two of my kids FYI).  I’m just sad themeville only goes to grade 5.

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On 09/02/2021 at 4:37 PM, MGS said:

You can’t go wrong with Themeville.  It really is pretty good.  We love it and used it with zearn.org, it was a perfect fit.  (We had to level down in themeville for two of my kids FYI).  I’m just sad themeville only goes to grade 5.

Oh wow that's great to know. Yes, it's a bummer that it only goes to grade 5. Thanks for telling me about the levels. I'm waiting on my new budget to purchase. 

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