Math Curriculum Help Please!!!!

Everything from basic math up through high school!

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newtothis
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Math Curriculum Help Please!!!!

Postby newtothis » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:50 pm

Hi, I pulled my son from public school a couple of wks. ago (2nd grade). He was having a little trouble in math so I had a friend who used Math U See and said I should try that. I ordered the Alpha version even though it's supposed to be for 1st grade b/c he was having trouble with remembering math facts, skip counting, etc. Anyway, now I've read some reviews that it's not that good and doesn't cover things like time, measurement, money, etc. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! Please help. I'm so scared that I'm going to fail him. I don't want him to be behind what is going on in public school b/c I may end up having to re-enroll him next year. Hopefully not but just to be safe I want him to be on target with the public school. Was purchasing the Alpha a mistake since he is in 2nd grade? I feel so out of my league here. PLEASE PLEASE tell me what to do!!!! Thanks in advance
Ashley & Logans Mom

4given
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Postby 4given » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:21 am

Breathe...

I do not use MUS but am seriously considering a switch soon. Everything I've heard is very good. If I remember correctly, MUS uses the immersion approach rather than the spiral. You see, it covers ONE thing at a time and does it until there is mastery. At least, that's my understanding. MOST PSers use the spiral approach.

If you are concerned about time, money and measurements... maybe supplementing MUS is the answer? Those are subjects that create the perfect opportunity for hands-on mastery.

Just this last week, I had these overwhelming feelings that I'm failing my kids... and we are 7 years into it. You are not alone in your fears. In fact, I suspect that any HSers who claim they DON'T have doubts are NOT being honest. Remind yourself WHY you chose to HS... that usually helps me. Perhaps, a local HS group would be supportive?

Keep us posted!

newtothis
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Thanks for your help

Postby newtothis » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:22 am

I know that pulling him was the right thing to do, he was being verbally abused by the teacher. I just hope I can do him justice. I do not want to have to put him back in next year b/c there are deff. a lot of hard feelings between some of the admin. and myself over what happenened and honestly it would prob. be taken out on him. At the same time I want to make sure that he is learning just as much if not more than his peers. The prob. is just not really knowing which materials to purchase.

Do you have any sugg. on what I should supp. with? There are so many things out there but I have no idea what any of them are like. I can't really afford to go purchasing at random just to discover that what I bought won't work. I did check into home school groups and there is only one around where I live. I e-mailed someone with the group to ask about it but didn't get a very inviting reply. I don't want to intrude on anybody so I'm kinda on my own. Thanks again for talking with me. I so appreciate it.
Ashley & Logans Mom

Lily
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Postby Lily » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:30 pm

Yes, BREATHE!

We use MUS here. It has been a lifesaver. Yes, measurement is included, along with decimal usage (money), and time is very easy to supplement with.

I tutor as well, and MUS as a program wasn't really an option for her, so we supplement with a few well chosen pieces. Montessori items tend to work very well, but here's a list of the oddball collection I've acquired:

A Math Balance (addition)
Learning Wrap Ups (all four basic skills)
Paper Toys (skip counting/multiplication)
Math Chef (basic skills)
The Sir Cumference series and Unit Studies (measurement, multiplication, pi..)
Tangrams (early geometry and logic)
3 card Memory - I made my own; each match requires two numbers to add/subtract/multiply/divide and the sum or difference.
Cathedral (to work on logic and reasoning)
Pick up sticks (reinforce skip counting and adding; the directions have values given to each color but you can change that to match the value of the blocks)
A caliper ruler, to help measure accurately.
Yahtzee (skip counting/multiplication)
Battleship (graphing)


The program is designed in such a way that giving alternatives doesn't hinder the child as long as they have a grasp of the concept. If you're working on addition, chutes and ladders and other simple board games are wonderful.
We usually set aside one day a week and use different games to "test" what was taught, and then take the actual test the next week, along with him teaching me. It works out wonderfully well.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
Proud non-member of the HSLDA

newtothis
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Postby newtothis » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:10 pm

Lily,

Thanks! Do you think the Alpha version of MAC is okay since it is directed toward 1st grade or should I go on to the next level which is supposed to be for 2nd? He is in second grade.

Also, I was looking at Math Mammoth. Any opinions on that? Possibly as a supplement with MAC or by itself? Sorry for all the questions.
Ashley & Logans Mom

Lily
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Postby Lily » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:26 pm

We started a year back when we ended up homeschooling. He was doing well with multiplication but we wanted a good foundation. I think it's better to go too easy than too hard, you know? Too easy means they're confident and end up loving the subject, too hard often means they struggle and lose focus. It's a balancing act.

MUS does have their own way of doing things, too, so starting at the beginning won't hurt. If you're worried about his interest level, don't write in the student text. Have him just verbally do the work and then give a print out once in a while (they have them on their site). If it's way too easy, sell the entire set (they have a good resale value) and get Beta. We ended up going through one and a half programs in the first year because I just wanted mastery demonstrated. As long as he could, and teach the lesson to me, he was allowed to move on. As it was the first book took 4 months to complete, while the next took much longer.

Since you're starting with Alpha, you may like this mom's blog - The Daniel Academy. Her Decimal Street lapbook is sooo cute! It goes right along with the Alpha lessons. In the next post she makes little cars to go with it.

I haven't used Math Mammoth, but I believe it is spiral. A lot of people really like it, and the price is very decent. I don't know if I would use it as a supplement to MUS, though. Each program has their own way of teaching, and extra workbooks might be a turn off. I don't know. What kind of a learner is your son?
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

newtothis
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Postby newtothis » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:03 pm

I'm pretty sure he is a visual learner. He seems to understand more when something is shown and explained rather than just told. Okay, so maby I shouldn't get the math mammoth, sounds like it may not be the best choice right now. Do you have any suggestions on what would work well with the MUS? You don't know how much I appreciate your help. Thank you so much.
Ashley & Logans Mom

Lily
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Postby Lily » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:32 am

You really don't need anything with MUS, though mixing it up is fun for us. I think the only necessary items I would insist on for his age are
a Judy clock (or variation of the same)
a set of play money and price tags
measuring devices - rulers, tape measures, etc.

Everything else is optional and fun. Those above can be had for under $20 total.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

newtothis
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Location: Tennessee

Postby newtothis » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:52 pm

Thanks. We did our first "real" day of homeschool today. I can't help but feel total anxiety over it. I'm just so scared he won't be on track with everyting he needs to be. I told my husband it's like he's at home so he just wants to relax, not really do school. I know we just have to get him used to a schedule but whew, it's gonna be difficult. Anyway, thanks again. Have a great day.
Ashley & Logans Mom

Lily
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Postby Lily » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:27 am

:hugs: all of us felt like that on the first day...and week...even lots of the first year. Hs'ing is a very different experience and it takes time to find a groove and get to know each other so deeply.

One thing that helped here was putting my son in charge of the schedule. I filled it in as he told me which subjects were happening when. I filled in the details with what was happening in each lesson.

And you know, sometimes even the schedule didn't matter. Yesterday our lesson of classifying penguins was cut short by a duck wandering through the backyard. We took a break, played with the duck, fed her, and then finished the lesson of sorting penguins AND ducks. :lol:
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

newtothis
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Location: Tennessee

Postby newtothis » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:17 pm

:) Thanks Lily. I think it'll be okay. I actually just sent the MUS back and ended up purchasing the whole A Beka 2nd grade kit from a friend of mine who had homeschooled her daughter last year. I think this may be better since it tells me what to say and do. With the lessons already being planned out for each day that will prob. work better since I have no clue where to begin. Thanks for all of your help. It's nice to have someone to talk about all this with.

Lisa
Ashley & Logans Mom

Jill
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Postby Jill » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:31 am

Welcome!

Lily wrote::hugs: all of us felt like that on the first day...and week...even lots of the first year. Hs'ing is a very different experience and it takes time to find a groove and get to know each other so deeply.


I felt this way for 2 years...so don't panic.

I think almost everyone makes a "mistake" when choosing curriculum at one time or another in their hs journey. The good thing is, you figure out what works and what doesn't for your child and you adjust. It make take a few tries, but eventually, you'll end up with something your child loves and does well with.

Best wishes!
Jill

newtothis
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Postby newtothis » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:53 pm

Well, yall are probably gonna be dissappointed in me. I got the Abeka yesterday, got it all home and started going through it. It took me from 3:00 until 11:00 last night to get everything in order. There were SO MANY pages missing. There was no way I could teach him with this. I had already sent the MUS back and didn't know what I was going to do. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. I questioned everything I have been trying to do. I was afraid I was going to get him so far behind because I don't have my ducks in a row. I could not take a chance on failing him.

My husband and I went back to the school where he had previously gone and had a very long heart to heart with the principle and decided to put him back in. I have prayed and prayed about this and I still am not sure of my decision. Either way I go, I'm afraid for him. :cry:

Any prayers yall could offer are so needed. Thank you all for talking with me and trying to help. :)
Ashley & Logans Mom

Lily
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Postby Lily » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:43 am

Aww.. I'm just sorry you were so overwhelmed before you had a chance to start.

I wish you guys the best, and the best situation for your little guy, no matter if it's public, private, or home school.

Perhaps, if this is something that you feel called to, or even just in case, you might want to spend the last half of this year reading and researching, so that yes, you can do this if it comes down to it.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

newtothis
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Location: Tennessee

Postby newtothis » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:14 pm

Thanks Lily. I think it'll all work out. I hope so anyway.
Ashley & Logans Mom


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