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re: Math Advice

Math Advice

My 7 year old is a slow learner, and needs lots of repetition to learn things. For K math we jumped around a lot. I was trying to find something that really clicked with him. He did Singapore Essentials A, the beginning of MUS Primer, and almost all of Math Lessons for a Living Education. He is currently using MUS Alpha, and on lesson 7D (+ 2's). It is going fine, but he definitely can't add without the manipulatives. The last few lessons though he has hated having to use the blocks to find the answer. Even though we have done lots of work counting and doing place value he still struggles identifying numbers above 20 by name.

I considered switching to Saxon. Since it goes so slowly, and it has so much repetition I thought it might work for him. But then I hear so many negative reviews about Saxon (long lessons, kids crying) that I am thinking maybe Saxon isn't a good choice.

Math Lessons for a Living Education was fine, but he found it kind of boring. It honestly doesn't seem like enough work daily to me.

So do I stick with MUS...try Saxon....or something else?

This post was edited on Aug 30, 2017 12:46 PM

re: Math Advice

I also have a son that struggles with concepts and we've had to stop a couple times with MUS and work on a concept before moving on. My personal opinion would be to stay with MUS and print the additional worksheets they offer online to use with your son until he has mastered the material.

I have thought at times about switching to another curriculum but I do not think there is one out there with more repetition when you consider the fact that they get to spend an entire year on each concept before moving ahead not to mention the additional worksheets available for printing online through the MUS Worksheet Generator.

I think Saxon is a great program (by looking at it online) and also CLE Math is wonderful (we've actually used it ) and one you might consider if you really think a switch would help. My struggling son can't handle new concepts thrown out him everyday though even though there is constant review with such spiral programs. He MUCH prefers the mastery syle of MUS with the weekly review thrown in. HTH!

FYI: My children also hate when they have to use the blocks! I don't understand it lol but I will only make them use them occasionally. Maybe you could just use different manipulatives like beans or buttons on days when he REALLY doesn't want to use the blocks.

This post was edited on Aug 30, 2017 01:02 PM

re: Math Advice

You're at a perfect time to start CLE level 1 and use a calendar. You can use their calendar book or use your own calendar and go over it every day. I did calendar with my 4 year old and we would count the days together every day and then we would point out the day we were on, the day of the week, season, and the weather. Then you can switch over to the 100's chart and count those together. He'll be counting to 100 in no time and then you can learn to skip count with the chart when directed in the Light Units.
I wrote a review on CLE Sunrise math in the reviews section.

re: Math Advice

I'd definitely stick with MUS! ;) I have everything from math phobic strugglers, to very mathy STEM kids, and we're finding MUS to be a great fit for all! We've used a lot of different programs over the years, and struggled to progress. One of my kids needs a ton of repetition for concepts to stick. We tried Saxon with him and it was really tough for him to retain anything with all the different topics being covered at once. Sounds like your little one does best with a mastery approach. It may take time for your student to come to that developmental stage where those concepts start clicking and make more sense. Hopping around will likely only bring more confusion. MUS is a really great program. :) The math a child truly understands is the math that will take them the farthest. ;)

This post was edited on Aug 30, 2017 01:33 PM

re: Math Advice

From what you're saying, I definitely would NOT use Saxon. There are other spiral math programs out there, if you think that's what he needs. But most are them spiral quite quickly, so if you don't think he could handle a new concept every single day, that would definitely be out.

re: Math Advice

But there are countless positive, happy Saxon users. People tend to post when they're not happy rather than when they're happy. And I know *many* happy Saxon users.

Having said that, let me say this: The primary levels are not the same as Math 54 and up. I like Math 54 and up, I'm not crazy about the primary levels.

Also, sometimes people put their children in a Saxon text without first doing the placement test. You must always do the placement test.

And with Math 54 and up, you must always, always, always do every.single.problem. The art of Saxon is that every problem is carefully written to continue developing concepts; when children skip problems, they are missing half of what they should be getting. Children can sometimes skip with impunity, until algebra. That's when it will come back to bite them, because they don't have the necessary foundation.

And also, when children are struggling through a text (presumably they were placed properly), the publisher recommends going back to the beginning of the text and doing it over.

Oh, and one final also :-) Many people have a set amount of time for their children to work on Saxon lessons; if the children have not finished a whole lesson at that time, they just put the book away and pick it up the next day, starting where they left off. And often, when the children know they only have to work for [insert your number here, say, 45 minutes] they miraculously find that they can finish the whole lesson after all.

I can't tell which math publisher will work for your son, but I wouldn't dismiss Saxon out of hand.

re: Math Advice

A boy that is only 7, not unusual, boys aren't generally suited to seat work until around age 9 (a good read is better late than early.) And math, numbers are very abstract, so it is also not unusual for a child of that age to use manipulatives, and that is ideal because it is this hands on processing that causes the learning of math concepts that are abstract.

All math programs will get the job done, but it is also good to be aware of what 7 year olds often do and your child is not out of the norm.

Math U See is good,

Practice is good,

Waiting is good, (either just a few days, a couple weeks or even longer)

I used Singapore precisely because it was concise and didn't want to burden my child who took a lot of time on math, now that the child is older I can see how that slow processing has made him rock solid in his math today.

Be Patient, this isn't a race.

re: Math Advice

Be Patient, this isn't a race.


Amen. Whatever math you choose, DO NOT simply advance your kiddo without complete understanding of concepts. Mastery. Math builds on itself, more so than any other subject. Not getting a concept now, while you may be able to move on to something else for the moment, will come back to haunt you later on. Slow down, and aim for mastery. If it means buying and using every available resource the budget will allow and then some, by all means do it. Your kiddo will thank you for it some day.


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