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6th grade math with Singapore/MIF or something else?


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My DS is 11 and finishing up 5th grade with MIF 5 and BA Online. I’m confused about what to do for math next year. A lot of posts talk about jumping from Singapore to something else. My DS is smart but easily frustrated and will always prefer to do the least amount of work possible. Is there any reason not to just continue on with MIF for 6th or maybe even all of middle school? Are most posts about doing something else for serious mathy kids? I am not at all mathy so I’m very confused about what to do next. I wrote a separate post asking about AOPS but then I started second guessing that and wondering if we should just keep going with MIF. I could really use advice. Thank you!

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My 11-year old is finishing up BA, and I’ve been stumped about what to do next with her. I seem to remember with my older kiddo that Singapore 6 was considered repetitive, but that was many many years ago and so maybe things have changed. This kiddo is easily rattled, so there’s no way I’d start AOPS with her at 11. I’ve been considering this instead: https://www.amazon.com/Jousting-Armadillos-Other-Equations-Introduction/dp/0982136315

 

I remember a thread with lots and lots of side tangents to explore after Singapore or BA 5. I’ll try to find it in my bookmarks.

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Jousting Armadillos was not a good fit for us, but I know others have liked it. IMO, it’s probably better for strong writers/verbal kids than kids who love math. It has a lot of writing and reflection. It also is geared towards being used in a classroom so you have to adapt that. And I was ttoally frustrated by the number of mistakes in the solutions guide. I used it fairly early on so those might have been corrected but it was completely frustrating. So much so, that I threw the book across the room on more than one occasion. 

 

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4 hours ago, Alice said:

Jousting Armadillos was not a good fit for us, but I know others have liked it. IMO, it’s probably better for strong writers/verbal kids than kids who love math. It has a lot of writing and reflection. It also is geared towards being used in a classroom so you have to adapt that. And I was ttoally frustrated by the number of mistakes in the solutions guide. I used it fairly early on so those might have been corrected but it was completely frustrating. So much so, that I threw the book across the room on more than one occasion. 

 

Oh gosh, that’s really good to know!

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My kids didn't do BA, but we did MIF through 5th, and then we did MIF Course 1 and from there we went to Dolciani Pre-A.   I did own MIF Course 2 and 3 at one point but didn't want to spend three years on Pre-Algebra (my kids were not ahead of grade level). That said, if you had a kid who whips through the math, you could do all three courses and then move into Algebra I. 

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I don't think AOPS is necessarily better than Singapore. It depends on the child. I love the problem solving approach in AOPS, and agree with @daijobu that the approach should be used more widely with neurotypical kids, but I don't think it's a great option for kids with learning differences.

I have one who switched from Singapore to Beast / AOPS pretty early on (1st or 2nd grade) because the Beast / AOPS approach was a better fit. For this child, AOPS has been far and away the best option. The depth and breadth of teaching and problem solving is unparalleled.

I have one who has done Singapore all the way through, currently doing Singapore Dimensions 7. I don't know about MIF, but according to the publisher, the Singapore Dimensions series covers all of prealgebra and algebra 1. There is also a bit of Geometry in the mix, but after completing Dimensions 6-8 (it's a 3 year program), the student is supposed to transition into a high school level Geometry course. (I got that straight from the horse's mouth when I emailed the publisher).  You could email the MIF publisher to see exactly what it covers. There 

I chose to stay with Singapore for this particular child because they have learning differences and a low frustration tolerance. The Singapore format is easier for me to teach (as a parent) than AOPS. AOPS is written directly to the learner, so you technically don't have to teach AOPS, but this child would not be able to do well with the self teaching format. 

Dimensions 6 does have a bit that is review from Singapore 5 (we did Singapore Standards through 5), but I chose not to accelerate it because of the learning differences mentioned above. The review gave us a chance to work on executive functioning skills specifically in the context of math with this child, and it's been hugely helpful as they prepare to enter middle school.   

I am constantly thinking about switching my Singapore child to AOPS, but the learning differences are the thing that keep me holding on to Singapore so far.  

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9 minutes ago, WTM said:

I don't think AOPS is necessarily better than Singapore. It depends on the child. I love the problem solving approach in AOPS, and agree with @daijobu that the approach should be used more widely with neurotypical kids, but I don't think it's a great option for kids with learning differences.

I tend to do problem-solving approaches with all kids, but the trick there is to keep the "problems" at the level of the child. AoPS requires frustration, and that doesn't work for lots of kids... for instance, DD8 was ready for algebra way before she was ready to tackle challenging and confusing questions that took lots of thinking. 

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I disagree that AoPS should be more mainstream and say that as a parent of multiple gifted math students. AoPS is a fabulous program for kids who fits its style, but I have come to recognize that solid math comprehension is not limited to its approach. Just because a child doesn't like AoPS, it is  not a reflection of their actual ability and understanding.

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9 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I disagree that AoPS should be more mainstream and say that as a parent of multiple gifted math students. AoPS is a fabulous program for kids who fits its style, but I have come to recognize that solid math comprehension is not limited to its approach. Just because a child doesn't like AoPS, it is  not a reflection of their actual ability and understanding.

Yes to this.  In this house, we LOVE AoPS. However, there are many good ways to learn math, and Singapore is also solid!

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21 minutes ago, WTM said:

Yes to this.  In this house, we LOVE AoPS. However, there are many good ways to learn math, and Singapore is also solid!

From what I've seen of Singapore, I personally prefer a more discovery-based approach. But I don't really mean AoPS-style discovery with the high levels of frustration, either. 

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I find this subject so confusing, so I'll definitely be following along. We are finishing up Singapore Standards 5B, and I just can't decide what to do next year -- continue through 6B and then make a change, or switch to Dimensions or MIF for level 6 so we have consistency through middle school?

To the OP's question: I don't think you can go wrong with Singapore, whichever flavor you choose. It's stronger than so many other math programs. My oldest -- barring some major metamorphosis! -- is not cut out for AoPS. So I'm crossing off that option for now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to go with Singapore 6. The fact that it's repetitive works well for us because my son skipped around a lot in BA plus he tends to need refreshers often, mostly on terms and procedures. But the cut to the chase style of Singapore while still being solid will allow him time to pursue more supplemental math things. I think this stage in math is a great place to slow down, explore, let things simmer and cement.

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48 minutes ago, Sarah0000 said:

I decided to go with Singapore 6. The fact that it's repetitive works well for us because my son skipped around a lot in BA plus he tends to need refreshers often, mostly on terms and procedures. But the cut to the chase style of Singapore while still being solid will allow him time to pursue more supplemental math things. I think this stage in math is a great place to slow down, explore, let things simmer and cement.

What does he tend to need refreshers on, if you don't mind me asking? 

From all I've heard, Singapore is a good program! 

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On 5/11/2021 at 2:10 PM, Not_a_Number said:

What does he tend to need refreshers on, if you don't mind me asking? 

From all I've heard, Singapore is a good program! 

Mostly vocabulary. What's a quotient? What's a prime factorization? Once I tell him what they are he's good to go. With procedures he might forget the different ways to expand or do partial multiplication or something if a question asks for something a specific way.

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