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Help, please! I need to slow down the math pace for my ds.


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He's 9, and is an average/above average student doing mostly 4th grade work. We've been using Horizons Math 4 this year, after dropping out of a K12 cyber school earlier in the fall.


I have this gut feeling that Horizons is moving too fast for him. He still hasn't totally memorized his multiplication facts and now Horizons is on to factoring. I'm thinking that a mastery based program might be better for him. Or do I just put moving forward in Horizons Math 4 on hold until he has learned his mult. facts? Any thoughts?


Is there a secular mastery based math curriculum that goes at a slower rate of speed than Horizons? Or even a spiraling curriculum that is not as fast moving as Horizons?





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I've switched math curriculums so many times it makes my head spin. If I had to do it over, I would have kept to one curriculum longer and just reviewed more. I suggest putting the Horizons on hold for a few months (or whatever it takes) and concentrating on memorizing those math facts. Once your son is confident with his multiplication facts he will be ready to take on the rest. My youngest son is 12 and I spent several months with him just on his times tables (we used Times Tales because he is a right-brained learner and the stories helped his memory). Now he knows them fairly well. Occasionally I will let him refer to a facts chart to cement the correct answers in head. I usually do that if he turns in a math page and I can see his memory has slipped a bit.


Looking back on how I taught the 2 sons I have graduated already I feel I should have spent more time when they were in the early grades getting those facts down solid. They would have so much more of an easier time as they moved into the more complicated stuff later.


Horizons is an excellent program so I would not abandon it at this point. Just work on getting those math facts memorized and then go back to it later. That's the joy of homeschooling - you can personalize the curriculum to your child's particular needs. Don't worry about getting behind. In math, you may spend more time on one area and then they may speed through another. Also, 7th and 8th grades are excellent times to catch up if that's needed. The most important things are to teach for mastery and cultivate a positive attitude towards the subject. Take your time and lay a solid foundation.

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I would have kept to one curriculum longer and just reviewed more.


I'll just second that approach. We use Singapore--and I've have had to "hold up" at a week of instruction for several weeks in order to get things down*. I like using the drill worksheets at Mammoth math for the extra pracice. There are also a few free sites which you can learn to use to generate your own worksheets.


*We aren't even going to talk about long didvision, ok? Especially when he didn't have his math facts down. In fact, he still doesn't have it down....I think it is time to look into Times Tales.

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I'd take a side ways step. I think i would put Horizions on the shelf and either do some fun things to cement those facts or look at something like MM or even the Kumon workbooks which will help get the facts down. After that if he goes back to Horizions and is still struggling because it is moving too fast etc then i would look at a change.

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I have switched math programs with my oldest many times, and it has really caused problems for him as we get into higher math. From what you are describing, I would suggest taking a break until math facts are memorized. My 9dd is also doing Horizons Math 4, after completing MUS Beta and Gamma--she just really did not like MUS, she is a very artsy, creative girl and hated the plain pages. She likes Horizons. She does not know all her multiplication facts either, even after completing MUS Gamma. We took about two months off regular math and just worked on facts, and she still does not have them down cold. I really love Calculadders for this, and it worked for my oldest and for my 8dd memorizing addition and subtraction, but Horizon lessons are long at this age and I hate to give her more writing. So we wrote all the facts she does not know on the white board, and I am just verbally asking her over and over throughout the day one fact at a time until she knows it. And she is working on them using various computer games on the internet, like MUS website.

Horizons is advanced, so you could definitely slow it down if you need to.

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On the other hand...


My son didn't really, solidly, memorize those facts except through using them. Could you add a few minutes of math fact review at a different part of the day, but keep going through your main curriculum, more slowly if needed?


As I said in a different thread, I had my son make up a times table every day that he could use that day if he needed it. That isn't all we did to learn math facts, but it helped, and it kept us going until he didn't need the table any more.

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Nan, my first thought is that MANY kids don't get the facts down but can move on in math itself while practicing them.


My daughter went to 4th grade for 8 weeks. EVERY SINGLE DAY of that time, they did fact review and timed tests. But they didn't stop the curriculum (or the materials I sent for my daughter to do as she didn't need their curriculum).


My son was doing pre-Algebra before he had his facts down.


Anyway, jmo :)

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Singapore has worked for all my kids. It's a secular program and is advanced, but it's mastery rather than spiral.


My youngest is dyslexic and it has mostly worked for her too. 3A was such a challenge for her that we tried several different programs for the next year, but at the end of that year my dd asked to return to Singapore and it has worked great since then. She was able to start with 4A (skipped the 3B book). We've been back with Singapore for almost a full year now and she has finished 4A and 4B and started 5A right before Christmas break.


Singapore doesn't have systematic review, which my youngest needs, so I also have my dd do Daily Math Practice from Evan-Moor.


Sometimes kids hit a developmental wall and just need some time to pull together what they already know instead of moving forward. Adding in other programs can help to give you that time. Some free programs to look at:




Khan Academy has you start at the beginning and moves you up through the levels based on how many you get correct in a row. It's done entirely on the computer. Note: You must click on "check answer" for that answer to be counted. If you just hit enter, that problem will not be counted even though it will tell whether or not it's correct.


Mindsprinting uses a placement test and is done with pencil and paper. You come back to computer and enter the scores after your child does the printed worksheets.


I heard about Mindsprinting for the first time yesterday (on this board), so I have never used it.


I heard about Khan Academy several months ago (on this board). I had my youngest use it when I was proctoring IOWA tests for a group, because I needed something she could do for math that week that was completely independent. It was good practice for her that week. I would have loved to have her keep working on it maybe 1x/week, but she didn't like doing math at the computer at all.

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