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Math problems...

Math problems...

Well, I was all set to use MUS Pre Algebra with ds and decided to back up and do some of Zeta with him, as he did not get the metric system to well in part of TT PA last year (he did not get enough practice in TT last year, not enough for him.So, we didn't finish the book).

I thought this would run smoothly and then we'd pick up the MUS PA and move on along.. well, he gets stuck on the word problems in the review sheets almost every lesson. Sometimes, he does better than other times. It is usually in the metric or geometry type problems. Right now, he is stuck on Lesson 23 and those word problems are hard!

He has done well understanding Mr.Demme's lesson explanations, but these review sheets are spanning former books and it is a big pain! I am not so sure that we should have jumped into MUS at this late in the game, even though ds placed into their PA.

I am totally math challenged and really need something that explains every problem. However, we switched math a lot in elementary and I hate to jump ship! I have thought about taking him through Saxon 8/7, but not sure. I am sooo confused! Any help appreciated!

fun@home

This post was edited on Nov 13, 2017 08:33 PM

re: Math problems...

I don't think I have any answers, but I feel your pain. I tried some new things for math this year, and it definitely hasn't gone well either. I also discovered MUS is very hard to jump into, and we eventually dumped it because it didn't work for us at all. We are finally going to try Teaching Textbooks for one child. I would say it's probably the best program for parents who aren't that great at math. But I never use just one math program, as I like my kids to learn different ways of doing things, so we supplement with Math Mammoth. We do use it behind grade level, but the mental math and word problems can't be beat. So what I'm saying is that maybe Teaching Textbooks would still be great for you, but with a supplement? Would that work? I know not every child has the time or inclination to do 2 math programs. But if you use one behind grade level, they're not learning anything new as much as they are reviewing it and putting it into practice different ways.

re: Math problems...

I'd just like to gently encourage you to stick with MUS. One thought that might help would be to call MUS and ask them some of the questions you have regarding your student's struggles with the word problems. They might be able to give you some insight into what might be tripping him up, or causing confusion. It could just be he needs to brush up (or just get more practice) on a few concepts. I know you mentioned some jumping around with different curriculums in the past, and that can be hard, I know. Moving to Saxon will likely be the same situation of figuring out where those gray areas are in his math knowledge. Pre-Algebra is kind of a solidifying point, where you want to make sure all those earlier math skills are firmly in place before moving on to Algebra. That's usually where any weaknesses will surface and cause problems. Ask me how I know that! :)

MUS has been phenomenal in our house this year. I've jumped around a bit over the years trying to find the right fit for my unique learners, leaving us a little shakey with some math concepts. MUS has been excellent to fill those gaps and really cement their understanding of math. My 10th grader jumped into MUS this year at the Algebra level, and it's going well for him. We've had a few moments where we backed up, or just slowed down, to make sure he was solid on a concept or two, and then kept moving forward. MUS's customer service has been excellent in helping me fine tune placement for the four kids I'm using it for. They also encourage parents to call them if they're having struggles as they want to be able to help you utilize MUS, and for students to ultimately be successful in math. ;)

re: Math problems...

I hate to see you reroute, but the best thing I found was mathwithoutborders instructional videos.

They are very affordable. But they use Foersters books. (Which are very good.)

What was particularly good about MWOB was that they also taught the homework.

The videos would do the practice from the lessons then the video would assign certain problems and when you were done with the problems you can check over them with the video to see exactly where you messed up.

The best part was that he also spoke about other ways to solve the problems or portions of the problems as he went along. So you learned process and also learned that there are a few ways to get to the answer, (which sometimes meant the way we found the answer wasn't wrong and the way they found it turned out to be easier.) And you always found the right answer.

We have had some rough patches in math, these videos helped a lot, but we also slowed down and didn't overwhelm the student, some of our lessons took several days or we even took a break and then in the calm started up again...

re: Math problems...

Thanks everyone..
I am thinking about calling MUS. They are very helpful. However, in the past when I've called, they didn't always explain answers very well. One particular problem in our book did not have enough info to work the problem. I asked math gurus around here IRL and they said the same thing. When I called, the rep could not really explain the problem. This is not to put MUS down in any way. They are very helpful and supportive. I have had them explain before and it made perfect sense! Maybe, a weird problem??

I do hate to jump ship, but I will call and see what they say anyway. I will post back later! Thanks again!

fun@home

re: Math problems...

I called this morning...
No help really! :( The young lady was real nice, but seemed clueless as to what would be a solution.

I wonder if MUS is farming out their customer service or etc.???
One day when I called, I could hear a baby in the background. I wonder what's up with that??

fun@home

re: Math problems...


I would highly recommend BJUP Math 7, called Fundamentals of Math (unless the title has changed) for your situation. It reviews all arithmetic, including basic geometry, and has basic pre-algebra in the last chapter or two. You could let him do the chapter tests until he got to the point where he needed to do daily lessons.

Eta: There were daily quizzes which took about 5 minutes per day. I loved them because everything stayed fresh in the dh's minds.

I would do that, then have him do their pre-algebra. Dh, the resident math guy, prefers their material 100% over Saxon, MUS, and some others too. He says they are the most logically-presented, including word problems. ITA. If you want online or taped instruction, that's available at BJUP's website.

The materials are non-consumable except for tests (quizzes were in the books in the edition we used), and chapter reviews can be used for tests if you like. They can usually be found at online used curriculum sites. I never had any problem finding them 50% off. HTH

Editing once more to say you would not need all the materials which are listed at CBD, for example. You would only need the Teacher's Edition and the student book. If you wanted the tests, you would also need the test answer key.

If you go with online learning, the BJU rep would tell you what materials are needed. You might not need that much.


This post was edited on Nov 15, 2017 07:08 PM

re: Math problems...

Thanks gr8fl for the recommendation..
I will check it out.
For now, I am continuing the MUS. I don't know for sure if we'll stick with it. I have another review sheet to check to see how he did. I can only hope for the best!

fun@home

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