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mo2
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I'm still stressing over what math program to use next year. Dd7 used to enjoy math, but now she tells me that it is no longer "fun." It's boring. This is our first year using MUS, and I just don't think it's the program for us. She rarely uses the blocks, and the plain black and white pages are, apparently, uninteresting. Does anyone have a more fun math suggestion?

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It was the word problems in Singapore that finally helped get her spark back for math. She discovered that she loved math problems that were a story. I agree with the previous poster that suggested BJU or Singapore. They both have a variety of ways of explaining concepts, a variety of problems and a good amount of thinking problems. In the end, it wasn't the color that made the math more interesting; it was more interesting problems.

 

I think BJU is easier to transition into and teach. Singapore shines in thinking problems which can be also be hard to transition into if a child is bored or frustrated with math. When we first tried Singapore after my dd had decided she hated math, she would get very frustrated because she didn't immediately know how to solve the problems. We switched over to BJU for a while and she started enjoying math. Then when we tried the Singapore again, she loved it. Now whenever we run into a conceptual wall in Singapore, we switchover to BJU for a while then come back stronger and more ready to move on. (Singapore is my first choice which is why I keep putting her back in it)

 

 

Good luck in finding a program that fits both of you.

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MUS is boring! LOL We switched to Abeka. If she was doing well with MUS Alpha, we would have gone into Abeka 2. She wasn't, so we called Abeka and they told us to review Abeka 1 this summer and start Abeka 2 on time in the fall. There is a lot of review in 2 and it should work just fine. We are just going to finish it. I don't want to rush her since we are already having problems. Abeka is more fun. There are games, color, and a variety of problems.

 

Rightstart is very, very, good too, but I ordered the games first and she balked at the Abacus so I knew we couldn't use it. :( The games are great though. We just substitute MUS blocks for the Abacus. :)

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I finally pulled the plug on an ARDUOUS--at times TORTUOUS--year of Rod & Staff math 1. We've gone to Right Start. This was our first week, and I had to INSIST that we stop doing math each day because I just couldn't play another game. :001_huh:

 

Obviously, at this point, I'm a major fan! :D

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I'd love to try this:

 

Math in a Nutshell

http://www.delta-education.com/miansplash.aspx?subID=44&menuID=70

 

Rachel Jane on FIAR boards

I have bins of manipulatives to learn every math concept from grade 1 to 6. I bought the math in a nutshell kits when my guys were young and they played with math until 6th grade.

I also purchased inexpensive math workbooks from B&N and teacher stores in order to teach them the written side of doing math. I used the manipulatives first and then found a corresponding lessons in a worktext

--

I asked my guys and they both said that their favorites were the Probability bins. It is hard to say what I liked the most because we mixed and matched from all of them.

 

Back when I purchased the MIAN, they had a special offer of all of the bins from 2nd thru 6th for a reduced rate. I received 14 bins. We used them randomly w/no particular order other than what I had planned for that week by looking at a scope and sequence for each grade level. I often just let them open a bin and have at it (probably 2 or 3 times a month).

 

Geometry for grades 3 and 4 has:

Set of geometry solids

Geometry draw cards

Dial a shape

2 compasses

2cm/inch rulers

pattern blocks

1 minute timer

Number choser (0-9)

color cube

FEV cube

Bendable straws

string

 

Geometry for grades 5 and 6 has:

Symmetrix

dial a segment

100 centimeter cubes

2 isometric and squre array geoboards

rubber bands

set of 4 custom number cubes

rulers cm/inch

protractor

hole punches

1 minute timer

game markers

100 sheets of 4x4 paper

 

 

If you have any questions regarding a particular bin, I would be glad to answer them.

 

The measurement bin was great fun (has purple sand!) but at least 1/2 of the objects are things you already have in your home. The other half is cool stuff but perhaps not worth the purchase price. You'd have to look at the list of items.

 

One rule that I had was that everything go back into it's original bin. When I have taken these to curric share (show what you are using), I always have someone ask if they can buy it from me when I am done with them. My guys were messing with the stuff from the bins as recently as last week.

 

Every home is different and what works in each household can be so varied. These worked for us. I decided back when my boys were very young, to teach them as if they had to have concrete items in order to learn. I know some kids would much rather fill in the blanks and be done.

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I'm still stressing over what math program to use next year. Dd7 used to enjoy math, but now she tells me that it is no longer "fun." It's boring. This is our first year using MUS, and I just don't think it's the program for us. She rarely uses the blocks, and the plain black and white pages are, apparently, uninteresting. Does anyone have a more fun math suggestion?

 

Is it possible she finds it boring because she gets the concepts and is ready to be challenged with something new?

 

We are 2-3 years behind you, so my vision is prospective rather than one of "experience" (so take it for what it's worth). But if she's at all like my little boy perhaps she just needs things that keep her brain busy with new challenges.

 

Singapore seems like a good "spine" for this type of child. They can work through it relatively quickly, so there is time to add other elements, including one of Singapore's own "word problem" supplements.

 

The Right Start math games, which we just acquired recently, I can already see are valuable for cementing low-level (but practically useful) "math fact" memory, in a fun way and without "drill".

 

Many of the other Right Start manipulatives are proving very useful in teaching place value, time-telling, and will (I have no doubt) prove to have value as we move along.

 

Then there are two other programs that really make their little brains stretch. The first is Miquon, some of which may be a little "easy" for her now. But is a wonderful way to get children started thinking "mathematically."

 

The other is the Mathematics Enrichment Programme (MEP) which is British adaptation of a Hungarian Math program. Hold your hats, because this one is "different". It is NOT color, the pages probably make MUS look exciting (same with Miquon) but what a "critical thinking" challenge (to you too :D).

 

You asked about how your encourage a child to "think" in another thread, well MEP and Miquon are outstanding ways to promote logic thought in my estimation.

 

MEP, is available for down-load without cost BTW, so you could try it for the cost of printing. Prepare your own head to hurt at times, but if a "challage" is what their minds need, a challenge they will receive :D

 

http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm

 

Good luck,

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
Anyone proof-reading this stuff???
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Becca asks to do math now that we've switched to Right Start. She says that it's fun now. Of course that also might be code for "easy," since we backed up and went to the K level after going through Singapore 1A and part of 1B. ;) Sylvia likes to sit in on lessons too. Hopefully Becca will still like it once we get back into addition and subtraction!

 

And Bill's observation of the "boring" assessment occurred to me too - it's possible she needs a challenge. :)

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Is it possible she finds it boring because she gets the concepts and is ready to be challenged with something new?

 

:iagree:That is exactly the problem with MUS, Bill. The same concept everyday until you finish the curriculum. Everyone kept telling me that Alpha was boring and it would be better after we got through that. In the meantime she has regressed. I hope I can find something fun and challenging after we get caught back up, but at least a spiral program is better for her than MUS.

 

What RightStart games are you enjoying? It seems like I can only figure out a couple of them. (Math War and Go to the Dump)

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Is it possible she finds it boring because she gets the concepts and is ready to be challenged with something new?

 

We are halfway through MUS Alpha, and it has been all addition. So do I think she is bored with addition? Yes. But she does not know the addition facts from memory, and she can't work all the problems in her head...some of them she still needs to use manipulatives. Is this okay? (I really don't know. She's my oldest and therefore my hsing guinea pig ;) ) I know she gets the concept of addition and how to do it, she just can't yet do it automatically, which I believe is what MUS is trying to get her to do. So is it okay to move on to something else, or do I need to stick it out until she can repeat all the addition facts from memory?

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If you are doing all of the worksheets, then just move on and find another way to review the facts. We switched to Abeka. The speed drills are wonderful. If you don't want to switch you could just get the speed drills. DD hated MUS, hates oral drill and flashcards, was not happy with Rightstart games because they were "too hard"; she loves the speed drills. Go figure.

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We are halfway through MUS Alpha, and it has been all addition. So do I think she is bored with addition? Yes. But she does not know the addition facts from memory, and she can't work all the problems in her head...some of them she still needs to use manipulatives. Is this okay? (I really don't know. She's my oldest and therefore my hsing guinea pig ;) ) I know she gets the concept of addition and how to do it, she just can't yet do it automatically, which I believe is what MUS is trying to get her to do. So is it okay to move on to something else, or do I need to stick it out until she can repeat all the addition facts from memory?

 

I guess my son is a "guinea pig" too, and is younger than your daughter (he's not yet 5) so take my "authority" for what you will.

 

Personally, I would not sacrifice exposure to other math concepts (lots of them) on the alter of mastery-of-addition-facts. My approach would be to stimulate as much cognitive thought, and exposure to as many "concepts" in as many ways as I can think up or steal, from as wide a variety of sources as I can manage. And to keep it challenging, and fun (which I believe are related attributes).

 

I highly that Miquon, for example, has kids "exposed" to fractions, multiplication and division in book one. And that MEP has them working with "variables".

 

When my son has to really "think" (deeply and critically think) to solve a problem, I almost feel as if I can hear his brain growing. And it excites him to ask for more.

 

The "boredom" issue with your daughter concerns me. This is the age to be making huge discoveries, not to be "bored" repeating one basic operation. At least that's my belief.

 

Math facts, addition facts, are something to be learned sure. But no brain well assimilates even this kind of "low-level" thought when one is disengaged, under-stimulated, and "bored."

 

I'd try to re-stimulate the math program with a battery of new and challenging concepts, using as many different manipulatives as you can to help get the concepts across, and try to revive her interest in math.

 

My experience with Right Start games is still new, but the "results" in just a couple days playing "Go to the Dump" (one of the many Right Start math games) cause me to be optimistic that the many (many) users who've written on the efficacy of Right Start games for cementing "math facts" are correct.

 

These RS games might be a way to deal with the lack of retention issues you fear, while moving in the "fun" direction on their own, and allowing you to "move on" without your feeling any anxieties about dropped facts.

 

But if this were my child I would move on, and start a bombardment of new "concepts". When your daughter is "begging" to do more math, then you've hit the mark.

 

My two cents :001_smile:

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
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:iagree:That is exactly the problem with MUS, Bill. The same concept everyday until you finish the curriculum. Everyone kept telling me that Alpha was boring and it would be better after we got through that. In the meantime she has regressed. I hope I can find something fun and challenging after we get caught back up, but at least a spiral program is better for her than MUS.

 

What RightStart games are you enjoying? It seems like I can only figure out a couple of them. (Math War and Go to the Dump)

 

Carmen, it's been all "Go to the Dump" here. My son is turning into a "savage" player (who does not like to lose) :D

 

We are learning sportmanship.

 

But pairs that make 10 are "wired". I'm looking for the next game myself.

 

Bill

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But no brain well assimilates even this kind of "low-level" thought when one is disengaged, under-stimulated, and "bored."

 

I think this is exactly what happened with Emily. She was doing very well with math at a very early age and PS K followed by MUS has killed all love of math, along with the knowledge that she already had, and she was having trouble learning the facts in this way. I am just shaking my head at myself. I can't believe I let it go on so long.

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