Math Question

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Deena, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Deena

    Deena New Member

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    I am thinking of switching my dd, who is almost 9 and in 4th grade, to Math-U-See next year, but not sure if that would work. We have never used it. She and my 7th grade ds have been using the LifePac Math, but we're all ready for a change.

    Anybody know some good math (not Saxon, been there, done that, it doesn't really suit us) to switch to for next year? My ds will be in 8th grade and my dd will be in 5th grade next year.

    Thanks for any thoughts/ideas on this!
     
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  3. She

    She New Member

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    Hummmm not there yet...never used it but....gut shouts....try Saxon again at 7th grade level. Most ps high school programs use Saxon because it goes through all the stuff, pre-algrebra, algrebra, etc....

    What I know of Math U See is lot's of repetition and staying on the same thing for a while before moving on. For us....that shouts RUN because my son would get bored with it.

    We use Calvert math and yes it is pricey but...I truly love it and it works so...I fork out the bucks. :wink:

    You could look into Macmillian math for your 4th grader http://www.mhschool.com/math/2003/student/level2.php?isbn=0021040052&level1=10
     
  4. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Deena...

    Is LifePac on grade level or advanced? We are using Scott Foresman and I feel the work is somewhat advanced compared to traditional grade level. I like it. We used Horizons Math for first and second grade, but I felt something was lacking. It didn't have enough examples or explanations in the workbooks. Scott Foresman does. There is no need, in my opinion, to purchase a teacher's manual when you purchase from them. There is plenty of practice, but not too much. If a child doesn't get something then there are "reteaching" pages. There are review pages frequently and chapter and unit tests. Anyway, we are happy with SF. You may want to check them out.
     
  5. Ohio Mom

    Ohio Mom New Member

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    Deena, I was also looking for a new math curriculum. A friend of mine uses Math-U-See. She recommended it. She gave me a DVD and the books to check it out. I watched a couple of the classes and I thought it looked very good. He explains the concepts very well. My gs will be in 6th grade and as far as algebra goes, I only had Pre-Algebra and it's been a long time. I need a curriculum that explains it very well because I will not be able to. Anyone else use Math-U-See?
     
  6. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I've been told my HS'ing friends that you DON'T want Saxon when it comes to the higher maths. I'm using Merrill's pre-algebra with Rachael this year, and it's going very well. It's one DH had from when he taught math. I don't know WHAT I'm going next year...the Algebra book he has I can't work with AT ALL!
     
  7. Northwriter

    Northwriter New Member

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    Whenever I hear negative comments about Saxon Math, I'm baffled. I guess kids come in such a variety of learning styles that what is immensely successful for one will be a disaster for another.

    We use Saxon Math starting at about 4th or 5th grade. After seeing how my kids have progressed, I can't imagine our family using any other math curriculum.

    My oldest has done Math 76, Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2. She is doing half of the Advanced Math book this year. She'll do the second half in her senior year. She works independently, checks her own work, and reworks any problems with errors. I administer the tests and grade those. She does very well, mostly A's, some B's. Occasionally, I have to refer to the solutions manual when she's stuck, but those occasions are rare. The Saxon book is so thorough in its explanations that she rarely needs outside help. In Advanced Math, she is covering concepts I've never even seen before. But the program is so well-done that I don't need to know anything. She can work it out herself.

    Because of the continual review process in Saxon, when it comes time for semester exams, my daughter doesn't really need to study. She doesn't forget how to do things because she does them often.

    My second child (7th grade) does not think mathematically. She has always struggled with math. She started Saxon Math with Math 54 in 5th grade. It was hard for her at first, but she kept at it. Now, in her third year of Saxon Math (Math 76), she's starting to breeze along. She's working on her own most of the time. She's doing well. I have every intention of keeping her in Saxon Math for the rest of her school years.

    I think the key to success with Saxon Math is doing it every day, every problem. It's a discipline and concentration thing. A child who can work through the daily lesson and all the problems each day is learning to stick with a task and master it.

    So . . . it works well for some!
     
  8. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    You're right in that what works well for one doesn't for another. I start my kids with Horizons, then switched to Saxon. Rachael went from the 3rd grade Horizons book to Saxon 65. She did very well in Saxon, too. I plan on putting Faythe in Saxon 54 next year. I was interested in Algebra 1/2 for Rachael this year, until DH told me to use the other (free) book. When it didn't work, we bought a TM for the Merrill pre-Algebra, and it's done very well. Rachael is also one who works very well independently. Faythe, I think, will freak out at first that it's not a workbook, but hoepfully will get use to it.

    My negative comments came from a friend who had two kids in Saxon Algebra, both with lots of difficulty. When the second one was evaluated, her evaluator (with a math background) said that almost all the students she's done that has used Saxon for Algebra had trouble with it. You are the first I've heard that has liked it for that level.
     
  9. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Jackie...

    When you say that Faythe will freak out because it's not a workbook are you saying the book is kind of a hardbound text? When we switched to Scott Foresman this year Avery went from workbooks to a textbook. She didn't like it at all. It takes more time to do the work in general since it is not in a workbook format. But, there are good things to that. She has to write out problems sometimes, and I think that helps reinforce the concepts.

    I, too, have heard some negative comments about Saxon. I think we'll try sticking with Scott Foresman for a little while longer.
     
  10. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Generally speaking, there's a BIG ADJUSTMENT from 3rd grade to 4th in the schools. Through 3rd, they're considered "primary", and teachers don't push quite as hard. In 4th, they are expected to read more, write more, and be a lot more independent. That means a lot of books change from being workbook format to hardback, textbook books. I do agree that writing out the problems has an advantage. I know Faythe will adjust, but she's one who doesn't care too much for change. She's actually 4th this year, but we're still in a 3rd math book, plus there's LOTS about her that are still 3rd.
     
  11. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Yep, Avery doesn't like change either. She still says she hates the SF book because it's so big. She also says it's harder...but I think that just means "more work".
     
  12. ChocolateBunny

    ChocolateBunny New Member

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    I'm surprised to hear negative comments about Saxon Algebra; we didn't like Saxon for lower grades, but for 4th grade onward we thought it was great. I took Saxon algebra and got 100s on my tests when I took college algebra my senior year of high school; I thought Saxon did a great job preparing me. Though I will say we did not like Saxon for geometry at all; my mom still hasn't found a textbook she/my younger brothers really like for that. And I probably would have been okay with some other curriculum since I love math anyway. I thought Saxon did a better job than any other at explaining things and giving review so you don't forget concepts, but one thing we did in high school was to work all the "practice problems," but only every other "problem set" problem -- review is great, but sometimes Saxon can get a little tedious if you already remember how to do a problem and don't need much review. So we just did every other and cut down the time spent.

    I would highly recommend higher grade Saxon because it worked great for me, but everyone is different. :)
     
  13. Deena

    Deena New Member

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    Wow, this is so hard to know what to do! The Saxon Math we had trouble with was 87 with my oldest. He hates repetition though, maybe my middle ds wouldn't mind?? I hate spending that much though if it wouldn't be right for him! I think both my kids would freak out going from teh smaller workbook style to the hardback larger book!

    Those that do use Saxon, do you use all the extra books and stuff? And what if I don't have a self-motivated child, and I don't understand the concepts the way it's taught these days (it's been a long time since I took math, and I never was that good at it)? Are they explained really well in the child's book? Are tests included or an extra? Do you all use the tests? I do want something that explains things well and has some repetition, but not too much. I would do the the placement tests, but what grade level did you put your child in which book?

    Where do you get the Scott Foresman? I'll have to go to my local Teacher Educator store and see what they have available there and the prices, then probably try on-line. I like to look at them before buying if at all possible!

    Missy, LifePacs are probably average. That's probably why my kids are getting bored with them. They did great with them for a couple of years though.

    Sheila, tell me more about Calvert. Why did you recommend Saxon and not Calvert? How high does Calvert go---all the way through highschool? Do you have a website I can look at?

    Ohio Grandma, Are you going with MUS for sure? What do you think about starting it at the 6th grade level? I heard it's a different way of thinking and working problems, and that if you start with it it's great, but not so good going into it when they're older.

    Jackie, What grade is Rachael in? Did you just do one year of Saxon math with Rachael? Do you think you'll continue it with Faythe if all goes well next year?

    Thankyou so much everyone for your ideas, thoughts and suggestions! Though now I'm thoroughly confused! :) Please keep talking this through, it's helping me a lot (despite the confusion)!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  14. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    I usually order my Scott Foresman from either their website or from Academic Book Services. You can sometimes get them cheaper at ABS. I like SF because it's all included in the textbook....tests, reviews, extra practice pages, reteaching activities and good examples.

    www.scottforesman.com
    www.academicbookservices.com

    I go to SF and make a list of what I want with the ISBN numbers and then go to the ABS website and see if they have any in stock for less.
     
  15. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Rachael is currently is 6th grade. She did both Saxon 65 and 76. Then Saxon says to put them into Math 87 OR Algebra 1/2. Carl looked at the Algebra 1/2, and felt that she knew most of it already, so I gave her the placement test. She placed out of Algebra 1/2. That's why we considered putting her directly in Algebra, but the book we had was too hard. There was SO MUCH they presumed she had already. Carl looked at the Saxon Algebra book, but didn't care for it. He's a math person, so feels strongly and "pushes" it more than I care for! It took him quite a while to accept that she's in a "pre" algebra book!
     
  16. Ohio Mom

    Ohio Mom New Member

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    Deena, I know what you mean by being confused!!! I am too. I am looking into changing all the subjects for next year and need help with not only Math, but, Language, Reading, History, Science, Spelling, etc. Any suggestions will help :) I was wondered about starting him in MUS in 6th grade. After viewing the tapes, I think he will be ok. He is very smart. He watched the DVD with me and seemed very interested. My concern is that he is higher than the 6th grade level, although with Abeka, they have not even touched on geometry yet. I think I need to stay with the 6th grade. I also think the minipulatives will help him. I feel the same way you do, I need someone to teach him - I haven't had a Math class for 30 years and it's really scary for me to even think about teaching Math. When Elijah was in K, I made the comment that "I would NEVER homeschool". .Here I am for 6 years I have been hsing I guess, I should never say I can't teach this :) One way or the other he will get an education, whether I teach him or he gets it from a DVD. Elijah's birth mother is dating a Math professor and planning on getting married, I asked him (and showed him) about this program and he seemed to like it. He was really impressed with the minipulatives and said these are a must. It can't do any harm, I will just change if I have to.
     
  17. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Does MUS have a placement test?
     
  18. Ohio Mom

    Ohio Mom New Member

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    Jackie, I will have to check on that. I was wondering the same thing. Withing the next 2 weeks we are going to be working on a little of the geometry and I am hoping if there is a placement test, what he will be learning shortly will be enough to get him on to the next level.
     
  19. Ohio Mom

    Ohio Mom New Member

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    Jackie, Yes, there is a placement test online he can take. We will do that today just to make sure what level to place him in. Thanks for the reminder to do that :)
     
  20. She

    She New Member

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  21. Maureen

    Maureen New Member

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    I use Math U See for my 11year old DD. She was really having a hard time with PS math so i started her at the Epsilon level (fractions). She totally understands math for the first time and she loves it. The lessons are explained really well and with only about 5 minutes of instruction on the DVD.
    The only drawback I can think of is that the way the program is structured, one subject per level, I couldn't switch to something else at grade level. She has not been introduced to decimals yet. That is explained in the next book. It looks like it catched up at pre algebra.
    However for a child that needs to see math and understand they why of math, this program can't be beat in my opinion.
     

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