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Still have half of the lessons left to do for this school year


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We are about half way through our lesson books for history, grammar, phonics, and math. I was wondering what other parents would do. Would you continue on through the next year trying to finish the books, or would you move on to the next grade level. I would like to keep going on the SOTW but grammar, phonics, and math I feel overlap in the following years curriculum. But I am new to this. Thoughts?

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If you're confident that it overlaps enough, and your kiddos are elementary age, I'd move on to the next level like your instinct is telling you! We've approached this question differently depending on the kids' ages and abilities and the curriculum. If you're doing Saxon Math, I'd say you can pick up with the next level without completing the previous book until Algebra 1 but after that you should probably finish the book unless your kids are very mathy; not sure about other curricula though. We used First Language Lessons for grammar and always finished those books, but I think you could probably stop at 60-70% complete and go on to the next level. Elementary programs do tend to build in a lot of review. That gets less true the older the kids get 🙂 

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We are using Time 4 Learning for math. I am not super pleased with it but it does a lot of the work for me. I have Saxon for grade 3, it was supposed to be for last year, my daughter was in 4th grade last year but a 3rd grade level math. So I am not sure what to do for math for her. She really struggles with math and so I don't know if we should just keep going with the same level or go up a grade level. She would still be in 3rd grade level math starting her 5th grade year. I'm worried for her with this.

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To the first part, I would absolutely keep going with anything that is working.  Sometimes, though, it's better to cut your losses with something that isn't and find a different avenue.  If there are struggles across the board, testing might be a good option. You didn't say why you are only half through, though, and if it's not a struggle issue, then you need to explore the reasoning behind that.

FWIW, we finished our year with:

3/4 of history done
1/2 of the Latin book done
1/2 of the spelling book finished

The history book was intentional, the Latin book I reassessed and pulled back, and the spelling book is because he finished 2.5 levels this year.  We'll pick up with all of them in the fall.

5 minutes ago, Rachel Tyson said:

We are using Time 4 Learning for math. I am not super pleased with it but it does a lot of the work for me. I have Saxon for grade 3, it was supposed to be for last year, my daughter was in 4th grade last year but a 3rd grade level math. So I am not sure what to do for math for her. She really struggles with math and so I don't know if we should just keep going with the same level or go up a grade level. She would still be in 3rd grade level math starting her 5th grade year. I'm worried for her with this.

My oldest kid was math phobic after public school and then Saxon at home.  It wasn't a good fit for that kid.  I set him backward in Math U See and let him gain at his own speed.  He ended up back at grade level in a few years.  BUT, it was important for me to be extremely engaged with the material so I could see exactly what was giving him issues, and it was important for him to not look at his books and feel like he was hopelessly behind.  I ended up buying most of his materials from non-grade level programs.  Either they were alphabetical, colored, or some other numbering system of progression so that he was always comfortable with the material and not feeling the extra weight of meeting grade level.

 

I don't know if any of this helps, but we all approach sticky areas our own way.  In our house, I have to know by being a part of every lesson, knowing what is being taught and how it is being taught, so I can learn to teach it and reinforce it.

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We school round, so I would probably just keep going in the current books at least another fourth of the way. Then we would probably break for a week and start back with the new stuff. 
 

When I was a homeschooled kid, there were several grades in which I was in the same math two years. My mom always had us personalize the covers of our books anyway so no one saw who was doing what. 

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I actually would just keep going. Why not finish the history?  It isn’t grade linked in anyway. Just start the new one when you are done. Spelling and grammar, too. Otherwise you will likely review the same thing and never get to adverbs or igh words or something. There is no real grade for those subjects. 

For math, because it’s not working, I would change math. I would chose something more conceptual.  I would have her do a placement test and then I would teach her each day and not expect her to learn on her own. I don’t think that works for most children in math and it doesn’t seem to work for her. 

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I would also be worried about her going into 5th grade at a 3rd grade math level, but my solution to that issue would not be to skip her ahead to a higher math level if she is currently struggling.

My first step would be a heart to heart with myself about why exactly the student only got through half the lessons. If I can honestly answer that math is getting done consistently, with me sitting right next to the student offering one on one support and scaffolding, then I would be very tempted to actually move down a level in math and into a curriculum like Math u See.

OTOH, if part of the problem is a lack of structure and consistency, then that is what I would focus on first. Math is simply one of the subjects that needs to be done every day, especially for students who struggle. It might even be better to do two short sessions a day, sitting right with her, teaching her and helping her every step of the way.

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We almost school year round (a month or so break in summer). We usually end half way through a curriculum and just pick up again when we start up.  Don't be afraid to skip lessons that are review that they already know.

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14 hours ago, wendyroo said:

I would also be worried about her going into 5th grade at a 3rd grade math level, but my solution to that issue would not be to skip her ahead to a higher math level if she is currently struggling.

My first step would be a heart to heart with myself about why exactly the student only got through half the lessons. If I can honestly answer that math is getting done consistently, with me sitting right next to the student offering one on one support and scaffolding, then I would be very tempted to actually move down a level in math and into a curriculum like Math u See.

OTOH, if part of the problem is a lack of structure and consistency, then that is what I would focus on first. Math is simply one of the subjects that needs to be done every day, especially for students who struggle. It might even be better to do two short sessions a day, sitting right with her, teaching her and helping her every step of the way.

I agree with all you have says here, but I have a question about Math U See. Didn't it have it's own, slightly unusual, sequence? It seems like moving into it halfway through might be tricky. I've never used the program, so I'm curious if I'm just missing something, like maybe every year starts off with a review to that point or something.

OP you may have noticed already that this forum has a bunch of people very knowledgeable about math teaching, like WendyRoo, so you could also start a separate post just on that topic for your dd.

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27 minutes ago, SusanC said:

I agree with all you have says here, but I have a question about Math U See. Didn't it have it's own, slightly unusual, sequence? It seems like moving into it halfway through might be tricky. I've never used the program, so I'm curious if I'm just missing something, like maybe every year starts off with a review to that point or something.

 

MUS has its own topical sequence, but the lessons are structured so that the 3 pages of new material is all bite sized amounts of incremental approach, but there are 3 pages of review material that cover the previous concepts and refresh memory.  They also have a new product that aims to teach the basics faster and catch an older kid up: Accelerated Individualized Mastery

For kids who really need a visual, consistent approach, MUS isn't hard to jump into.  We started in Gamma with my oldest because his big issue was going beyond multiplication facts.  He needed that full year of "easy" math to get himself in a good place again.  So, I started him with material he knew, he got his confidence back, and then we could move into harder material.

Edited by HomeAgain
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