Need direction for math selection for upper elementary

Everything from basic math up through high school!

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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:16 pm

Need direction for math selection for upper elementary

Postby MiraclesHappen » Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:14 pm

My daughter is doing fourth grade math but she is having a terrible time memorizing her times tables. She is certainly a visual learner so I am considering Math U See, Mortensen or something of that nature. However, I am afraid that she will quickly outgrow this manipulative-based learning because she is already in upper elementary. I know she needs to master these concepts so it leads me to lean toward making the investment regardless of how quickly she will "outgrow" it.

I would like to know if there are families with older children who are continuing use of programs like Math U See and Mortensen, or if most families continue on in other curriculums after 5th or 6th grade. If you have chosen to change curriculums, would you please share what programs you have found most beneficial to your children who started with the manipulative based programs?

Thanks so much!

Bob Hazen
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:45 pm

math life after Mortensen

Postby Bob Hazen » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:27 am

With both my sons, we used Mortensen Math (MM) exclusively for grades K-4/5. What I liked about MM more than Math-U-See (MUS) is that with MM, the student starts doing Algebra right away in 1st grade (yes, FIRST grade), whereas with MUS, it's a something separate that doesn't really start until the customary time. So in MM, kids are doing all the usual arithmetic and geometry along with Algebra, so by the time they've done this for 4-5 years, they are very VERY familiar and comfortable with and competent in the use of variables, exponents, negative numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents - which means they're ready for a traditional Algebra 1 course. With both my sons, we used Saxon Alg.1 and made it be a TWO-year course - every other day was Algebra, and in between I had them work on math enrichment materials. The enrichment materials included heavy doses of mental math (we used the book "Rapid Math Tricks" which we now carry on our website at along with math enrichment activities (such as the many games we also now carry on the same website). Both my sons have very, very good mental math skills now, plus they're very good with shapes, logic, and problem solving - because of all the exposure to those skills in the math games that I incorporated into their homeschooling as a deliberate, overt, planned part of their mathematical experiences. Much of the details of what I'm saying here are summarized and expanded upon in the booklet "Math Games to Supplement Any Math Curriculum" that I've written, that is also available on our website.
Hope this helps.
Bob Hazen

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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:16 am

Postby Ramona » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:07 am

We use manipulatives to teach the very basic concepts of what multiplication is and how you do it, but once they comprehend that we start memorizing times tables by using flash cards which we make ourselves. (Having the kids make the flash cards is a big help in them learning the multiplication facts.)

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Location: Utah

Postby Miyu » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:37 am

My daughter is also having trouble with her times tables. I had her make flash cards, and we go through them several times a week. I have also been having her watch Multiplication Rock on her Schoolhouse Rock dvd.

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Postby FLMom » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:30 pm

There is a free game you can download that my kids love called Timezattack.

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