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At what point do we slow down?


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We are covering things 2-4 times (or more) faster than the books tell us to, so instead of doing 1 section of 1 chapter from the Singapore book, we may cover 2 entire chapters including CWP and IP in one day and work through 4 or 5 steps in AAS that same day. Then we may do an entire week of WWE and a week of FLL. At that point, Jared does not usually want to stop yet, but I need to be done so I have him do the Flashmaster for 5-10 min and then get on time4learning.


Since Easter, he has gone through almost all of Pathway Reader's grade 1 books/workbooks (Days Go By and More Days Go By), and has just a few pages left of Singapore 1B.


I know there is no "typical" for kids who are like this, but is there a way to know how many grade levels he will continue to speed through before slowing down a little? As proud as I am of him, I am afraid that if he moves this quickly he will not keep all of the knowledge he is gaining and I am scrambling to keep up. It's also getting expensive. I don't mind buying the materials if he needs them, but it really adds up.


So, any advice? By the way, a big thank you to whoever suggested we switch to Singapore from Saxon. It is a *much* better fit.

Edited by Melinda
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So at what point did you slow down? I was planning to slow down when he is being challenged, but it doesn't seem like that is going to happen anytime soon. I will have to think about how to make the concepts deeper or more meaningful. Boy, it's never boring, is it?

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We are covering things 2-4 times (or more) faster than the books tell us to, so instead of doing 1 section of 1 chapter from the Singapore book, we may cover 2 entire chapters including CWP and IP in one day


He will slow down (a bit) as the work gets more challenging. I would let him whip through the books at the pace he chooses, but when it does start to force him to think a bit more, he may tackle it less enthusiastically.


Something you might consider to broaden your math studies (and to effectively slow him down, as you could do this in the alternative to regular math once or twice a week) is to supplement with Living Math. We do a lot of literature-based math study and look at math through the ages as a way of introducing new concepts that keep the kids busy for awhile (such as tessilations or fibonacci numbers) and prevent them from just viewing math as a pile of workbooks to whip through.


You might also consider Primary Challenge Math by Ed Zaccaro as another fun supplement.




Lisa in Ontario

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Sounds like mine at that age. Laura in China (Laura Corrin, now) recommended we go deeper instead of faster. It has made the world of difference. Thanks, Laura!

Are their subjects that he can read up on? Projects that are more indepth? Websites that will challenge his blossoming math skills? These are things I would consider.

In answer to your question, Huck hit a wall when he hit 5a in Singapore. He's since slowed down but still covers math quickly. If you're using Singapore, I buy 2 or 3 semesters worth of material at a time. It saves on shipping costs and that way I'm not scrambling to purchase the next set should he speed up.


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Math for Smarty Pants (about a 4th grade reading level? But you could read it out loud if he's not ready)

The I Hate Mathematics Book (same author, misleadingly titled)

I loved these two books, and they're part of what made me want to pursue mathematics.


Primary Challenge Math

The Sir Cumference series

Any sort of computer programming, once he's ready.


But don't worry too much about having him forget what he's learning in math ... the arithmetic curriculum is pretty sequential, so he'll repeat the same topics at higher levels or use them in more challenging ways. Even if he does forget a little bit, if he got it so quickly the first time he'll get it even more quickly the second time.

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Oh yeah I forgot about computer programming. DH works with DS on some of that.


And...what about foreign languages? Have you gotten into any of that? We are doing Latin and German. That takes up time and effort. ;)


He loves the big snap circuit set (came with computer interfacing stuff, but we haven't let him do that yet) that Santa brought for Christmas. DH uses that with the kids quite often. We have been doing informal Spanish (memorizing a sentence here and there, learning to count, colors, etc) and I am looking for an actual Spanish program as well as a Sign Language program to use. Next year, we plan to start Latin.

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As others have said already, it's frequently better to add depth than to just speed through, but for some kinds of work I really do prefer to just get it over with.


Arithmetic, as useful as it is, is much more limited in how much depth it can have than algebra, for instance. So I just let him sail through most of arithmetic (adding the Challenging Word Problems and some abacus work, but not really seriously fleshing it out much more than that). If he really really gets it, that's all I think I can ask of that. But once we hit algebra we slowed WAY down. Not because he hit a wall, but because there really is a whole lot more you can do once you're there.


Same with grammar -- I like to just get through the parts of speech/ structure of a sentence/ punctuation part of grammar just as quickly and painlessly as possible so we can get on to Latin, modern languages, Shakespeare, and the turn of a phrase in a well written work... All of those (for me) come after the quick-but-thorough dash through the basics.


There was an editorial on NPR a few years ago, by a British man living in California who had wanted to take the train somewhere rather than flying and was met with a flood of discouragement from the locals... He ended up flying, but his point was that people are in too much of a rush all the time, and he threw in a list of points other than the plane/train issue, including rushing to get ahead academically. What struck me as funny in all that was how apt it really was, only not in the way he intended. No one who has been forced to ride Amtrak through the switching yards of Gary, Indiana, at ten miles an hour would liken it to "stopping to smell the roses"!! Where there are roses I absolutely advocate stopping to smell them, to wander through the garden, bring out the sketchpad, write a poem, listen to the bumblebees and consider the history of rose breeding... but where there are only diesel fumes, please feel free to skip it and take the plane.

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I agree with the others. We speed through the basics...math facts, spelling, grammar rules, etc... but slowed down and went for depth and breadth otherwise.


My 6yo does two foreign languages (Spanish and Gaelic), science and history are very hands on and we read a lot on each topic (in some cases, I think we cover more with her on an individual topic than many kids get in high school). She is very into her music so she does a lot of reading on theory and lives of composers and musicians. In math, instead of simply following along in the book, we do Challenge Math, extra word problems, and are working through Hands On Algebra, plus follow her interests in math topics as they arise. We read a lot of classic literature and discuss it in depth. We read poetry and discuss that as well.


There is sooooo much to be learned out there that I don't see any reason to gloss over subjects simply to do them quickly if she is capable of higher level learning. Like other posters have said, I don't have plans of sending her to college at 12yo so there is no "race" to be finished for us.

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For me, it depends on the subjects.


My daughter is language arts oriented and began testing at a high school level at the age of 8. We use MCT to cover grammar, vocabulary, and some writing. I also use IEW for more writing. I figure when she's done with that we can always find more literature to read and analyze and more compositions/essays to write.


My son is math oriented. We use Math-U-See (Singapore doesn't work for us). So far, he's on pace to complete two years during each grade. He did Saxon 1 and Alpha last year. This year he's finishing Beta and Gamma...and happens to know all of the material in Delta simply by paying attention to his sister's lessons. He'd go faster but I still require every question on every page to slow him down. It's only 6-25 questions on a page and I figure that practice is always good at an elementary level. He's also ok with it. Even with that, he'll hit Calculus by age 13 if he doesn't slow down. I'm waiting to see if he does as he understands the basic algebra I've shown him from time to time. If he's still going at the same pace, I may either stop him after algebra and hit some rabbit trails (probability and statistics and consumer/business math) and/or move onto college level math.


For history and science, we use a spine and only cover one year per grade level. We flesh it out be reading a lot of extra library books, doing time consuming projects (when we have the money for supplies), watching related movies, and going on related field trips.


Next year, we are adding a foreign language because both kids are finally interested. My daughter wants Spanish which I can teach with a curriculum. My son wants Korean which I have no interest in so I'll let him do it on his own and practice on his taekwondo instructor.


My biggest mistake was allowing them to have very short school days. If they finished a day's work in 1-2 hours, they were done. I'm trying to lengthen their school day to prepare them for upper grade work loads. When my youngest begin school, they won't get those super short days...we'll begin fleshing out the work to make it take longer in 1st grade.

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