Math Decisions...Help!

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mylittlewomen
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 2:32 pm

Math Decisions...Help!

Post by mylittlewomen » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:00 pm

Ok, so I could use some help thinking through math for next year...It helps me to "think out loud", so I'm sorry if this is long and boring! 🙈 I have 3 girls, ages 10, 8, and 6. We will be using Preparing for the oldest two, and finishing Little Hands first semester, starting Beyond second semester with my youngest.

Anyway, math. I started my oldest with Singapore when she was in K, but it wasn't a good fit for her. (She has some learning challenges associated with spina bifida) I switched to RightStart when my middle was in K, and did it with them both. (Because who wants to use three different math currics?? Which is what I am doing now) It was also not a good fit for my oldest, but I continued on with it with middle. She is finishing up RS-C. I have a love-hate relationship with RS. I love it's novelty, its genius, and the way it teaches my daughter (and myself!) to think! What I don't like is the heaps of manipulatives (it feels like clutter to me!), multiple books, the price $$$, and the way it makes me feel super dumb sometimes 🙈 Anyway, I can't decide if I should switch my middle to Singapore, or just keep keeping on with RS because I really do hate changing things around. Or switch them ALL to Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic (which is what my oldest is using currently, and I love it for her. It's one re-useable book, It has minimal manipulatives, and I just feels straightforward and clean. Which is my style for sure.) Cons are that the series hasn't been finished yet, so there is always a chance we could advance beyond what's ready. Also, is it too simple for this day and age? Does math NEED to be fancy and hip?? Add daughter #3, who will be in 1st grade, and I have NO idea what to do with her at all. I like things about all 3 programs, and I don't like things about them... Help! Do I sound like I'm leaning one way or another?
Janelle
Married to my best friend for 12 years
Mama to 3 sweet girls, ages 6, 8, and 10
Working Bigger with my oldest two, and Little Hearts with my little one!

my3sons
Posts: 10598
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Math Decisions...Help!

Post by my3sons » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:00 pm

mylittlewomen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:00 pm
...I can't decide if I should switch my middle to Singapore, or just keep keeping on with RS because I really do hate changing things around. Or switch them ALL to Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic (which is what my oldest is using currently, and I love it for her. It's one re-useable book, It has minimal manipulatives, and I just feels straightforward and clean. Which is my style for sure.) Cons are that the series hasn't been finished yet, so there is always a chance we could advance beyond what's ready. Also, is it too simple for this day and age? Does math NEED to be fancy and hip?? Add daughter #3, who will be in 1st grade, and I have NO idea what to do with her at all. I like things about all 3 programs, and I don't like things about them... Help! Do I sound like I'm leaning one way or another?
I can't speak to Right Start or CM Elementary Arithmetic, but I have used Singapore Math from K through 6B three different times with our three sons, so I can help with that part! I like that Singapore Math teaches mental math, focusing on the 'why' of doing things, as well as the 'how.' I also like that it doesn't take forever to do and has a strong scope and sequence that prepares kiddos well.

The hands-on lessons Carrie wrote to accompany Singapore Math K through 2B were excellent! I think that mind-body connection helped our sons first understand math on a concrete level and then move more easily to an abstract level.

For your 1st grader, I'd definitely consider 1A/1B Singapore Math, with the hands-on math activities Carrie wrote that will be in the Beyond... guide you will have, as a front runner for math choices. This is the perfect time to give it a try, as she is young, it is inexpensive, and you will already own the Beyond guide with the awesome hands-on math plans Carrie wrote!

For your oldest daughter, I think you will know much more after giving her the placement test. Keep in mind kiddos only need to score 80% or higher to move on to the next level, so the test is meant to be somewhat challenging. Here is some further information on that...

Math Placement Test:
*Be sure to choose the Primary Mathematics placement test. Singapore math is considered a year advanced. So, for example, if your daughter is in 4th grade, she should start with Level 3A as a placement test. If she gets 80% or more correct, she would move on to Level 3B. When you print the test, the answers will be at the end. Each test take about 30 minutes to do. If she places in a "B," she'd do that the first semester (i.e. 3B first semester, 4A second semester). PHFHG will have plans for 2A through 4B, so wherever she places, she should be covered.

https://www.singaporemath.com/placement-tests

I don't think math needs to be fancy or hip; in fact, I think that lots of bells and whistles can get confusing and draw math out, causing it to take more time than necessary or advisable, as dc lose their focus as time drags on. Math is considered to be a disciplinary subject instead of an inspirational subject. I have found trying to make disciplinary subjects (i.e. math, grammar, spelling/dictation, etc.) more inspirational (or fancy and hip :D ) just makes them take too long and steals the 'inspiration' from the subjects that are supposed to be more inspirational (i.e. history, Bible, poetry, etc.). Hope this helps!

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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