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re: Math Advice

re: Math Advice

Ok, instead of Saxon, why not Rod and Staff? Excellent teacher manual with scripted oral lessons, where you do the actual teaching, and then seatwork. Lots of repetition if you need it. Blackline masters for first and second provide extra practice, if you need it. Cute visuals that you can make on your own. And it isn't pricey.

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.

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I completely agree with the above comment. Our state still has age 8 on the law books; and, our intent form isn't even due until age 8! Age 9 was very common for the age of kids to start, and since they forget so much at age 8 I really do think it made good sense!

Those parts aside I really love Bob Jones University math for their elementary math. It includes hands on, review, conceptual, arithmetic, and has a solid scope and sequence. My children love those early grades of 1 - 3 from BJU.

I have used at some point Singapore, MUS, R&S, Horizon, and BJU for elementary math. I loved Saxon 8/7, but I don't like their approach for elementary. I did think BJU was the best of those choices for an overall elementary math program.

This post was edited on Aug 31, 2017 07:59 PM

re: Math Advice

You already have recognized that he is slow to understand, use and master and that is ok. He is just 7 and there will be times in which he is slower than others and times in which he'll soar on by with particular skills. Those blocks are used in MUS up through Algebra so it is OK to use them each and every time until he says he's ready to move away from that visual tool. It sounds like he needs many visual/hands-on tools to help make the connections and the time to mature and process.

Yes, there are other options but before you jump ship consider a few things:

Some programs require a lot more mom teaching time. Some moms have that time and some don't.

Some programs require many more practice problems and repetition and memorization and some don't.

If he has been doing well, overall, with MUS then I wouldn't switch. There are additional sheets you can print and work through those. Also, you might try some math games to practice those skills - either purchase some or make some up (printables) that work on the skills that he is working on. Check out your local library for some picture books that cover the skills you are working on (MathSmart) and spend the week reading through some of those and use the blocks to work out the stories.

Math manipulatives help kids make the concrete connections needed when learning math skills.

re: Math Advice

Thank you all. I appreciate your advice. It sounds like Saxon is fairly cumbersome to teach. I definitely don't want to be stressed out teaching math everyday. I guess I was just hoping for a magic curriculum that would finally help everything click for him. It also stresses me out the MUS has such an unusual scope and sequence. I don't like feeling like my kids are behind on certain topics that other kids he age know(and I know everyone says not to worry about that, but I do). They have friends and activies outside of homeschool, and it makes them feel bad when they don't know things other kids their age know.

Maybe we will do MUS and Math Lessons for a Living Education together. MLFLE is super short, and still introduces some of those other topics (time, money, fractions).

I love CLE, but I don't think it will work for this DS. The only reason that I considered Saxon was that it moves so slow, and explains everything so explicitly.

Rod and Staff would probably work, but I already have MUS and MLFLE so maybe I should just make it work with them.

I also considered Rightstart, but the method is so foreign to me.

This post was edited on Sep 01, 2017 10:58 AM

re: re: Math Advice


I really love Bob Jones University math for their elementary math. It includes hands on, review, conceptual, arithmetic, and has a solid scope and sequence. My children love those early grades of 1 - 3 from BJU.
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ITA with this. My dc thrived on BJUP math. Some were quick in math; others needed a lot of teaching and help and review. But they all did very well with BJUP. We used it from K - 4, used Saxon for 5th and 6th (mainly because I preferred their method of factoring), then went back to BJUP math from 7th on up.

A couple of our guys did use Saxon 87 (because they had used 65 and 76), but had a very hard time with Alg 1 and Alg 1/2 (they tried both, in that order). Dh, the resident math guy, was totally disgusted with Saxon Alg, so we happily went back to BJUP, and the younger dc followed the path I mentioned above.

re: re: Math Advice

Would I need the Teachers manual for the early grades of BJU?

re: re: Math Advice

Yes you would need the TM because you need to teach the lessons - and the manipulatives and be prepared to do some printing because you use a lot of visuals to teach the lessons.

re: re: Math Advice


Yes you would need the TM because you need to teach the lessons - and the manipulatives and be prepared to do some printing because you use a lot of visuals to teach the lessons
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The Teacher's Edition is needed, yes. Lessons are laid out and it is very easy to use. If they still have the SMP (student's materials packet), most manipulatives were there. I bought one or two and then didn't use them from then on. The main thing we used in the early years were things to count and group. We used large beans, Legos, etc.

Other than counters, these are things we used:

~ a blank calendar (I did this on my own) -- We filled out the name of the name of the month at the beginning of each month, counted as I wrote the numbers on each day (I'm talking K here -- as the dc grew older, they could write the months' names and fill in the numbers), and I had weather stickers for them to put on each day.
~ a Judy clock, with moveable hands -- to me, this was invaluable, and it held up well with all 4 dc. When they were through with it, it still looked (and worked) great.
~ up to $10, we used real money. Above that, I used play money.

I never had to print any visuals. There was a Home Teacher Packet that included all of that. If they are printables now, I would just print them before the school year started and have them at hand.

For visuals I wanted to save and use with younger dc, I saved cereal boxes, glued them to the gray side, colored them if necessary, then saved them in ziploc bags. I used them over and over with all 4 dc.

Oh, and when teaching place value, I bought popsicle sticks in bulk (cheap at parent-teacher store), then bundled them in 10s with rubber bands for the tens' place, then 10 bundles of 10 in a ziploc bag for the hundreds' place. I know people who've done this with crayons or other objects.

(I would have used all those manipulatives with any math curriculum.)

One thing I didn't use with all my dc, but loved for the ones who needed it, was a Reviews book (there was one for each grade, through sixth grade). A quick 5-minute review each day kept them fresh on everything they had done.

BJUP math is mastery math. And concepts build from chapter to chapter in a very orderly, easy-to-understand manner.

This post was edited on Sep 02, 2017 08:17 PM

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