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Old 03-15-2004, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am very new to this...actually I haven't started yet. My son is in Kindergarten right now in PS. I wanted to HS him this year but I have 2 year old twins and was scared of how well I would be able to do it. I AM homeschooling him for 1st grade though and right now am in the midst of choosing curriculums. Right now I'm obsessing on Math and I want some "professionals" opinions. There is actually another curriculum I'm looking into besides Singapore and Saxon but I can't think of the name right off. So please tell me what you use and the adv and disadv of it. By the way, what concerns me about the Singapore is the fact that there isn't much help for the parent in how to present the material...and also the difference in money, measurement, etc.....
Thanks for any help,
Heather
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:40 AM
 
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My dd loves Singapore. She's very independant though, and prefers to work on it herself--we don't sit down for lessons. She's had no trouble working through the books on her own. (She's on level 3 now.)

I don't know how long ago you looked into Singapore, but they now have teacher's guides and a US version (with English measurements.) I haven't seen the teacher's guides, but if you go to the website, you can view examples and the table of contents, etc. There is also a message board there if you have questions about a particular problem or the series in general.

Dd started with Singapore before they had the US version--she worked the metric pages, and skipped the money pages. She learned the English measurements and American money just through everyday life.

I like how Singapore will show several ways to attack a problem, and also emphasizes "mental math."

I looked at Saxon about 4 years ago and it struck me as very dry and repetitious--lots of drill, and I didn't like how scripted it was. (ymmv) It reminded me of school!

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Old 03-15-2004, 11:55 AM
 
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We started Singapore math last year and my son likes it. I decided on it because I heard Saxon was very repetitive and didn't think that was my sons style.

And I like that it is metric because I don't understand inches and feet
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Old 03-15-2004, 01:37 PM
 
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Hi there,

We had bought Saxon65 for my 9yr old last yr and we absolutly hated it. My son was soooo bored with it that we had to quit using it.
We just went and bought some workbooks at the local school supply store instead and worked on that.
Last week I ordered our first real curriculum,Oak Meadow 5 with OM6 math-I hope that we will like it.

Tina
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Old 03-15-2004, 01:59 PM
 
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repetitive as the posters above mentioned
I am very weak in Math ( discalculia) and dh was to teach math but it didn't happen that way.
I also have a child on the autism spectrum so the reinforcement has been good for him
But I have also found it to be very hands on with the manipulatives and he is a visual/audio learner..
My daughter really liked the Math U See..
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:51 PM
 
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Okay, what are Saxon and Singapore?

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Old 03-15-2004, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by momto3cuties
There is actually another curriculum I'm looking into besides Singapore and Saxon but I can't think of the name right off.
Miquon?

This is what I want, when DS is old enough.

Sonlight's print catalog gives an in-depth description of theses three methods, which is probably also on their website. www.sonlight.com
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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Joyful, they're math programs designed for homeschoolers.

Saxon: http://www.saxonhomeschool.com/math/...9A720011784C41

Singapore: http://www.singaporemath.com

Math-U-See and Moving With Math are two other name I see often on homeschooling boards.

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Old 03-15-2004, 06:10 PM
 
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I am dealing with the same question. I've haven't come to any sort of decision, but thought I'd include a few links that I've been researching. My problem is that all of the different approachs make sense to me. We're pretty much secular unschoolers who are finding the need for a little more structure.

http://www.mathusee.com/
http://www.profb.com/homeschoolers.htm
http://www.welltrainedmind.com/J01singapore.html
http://www.systemath.com/

I'd love to hear any opinions on this too!
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:43 PM
 
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Thank you, Joan.

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Old 03-15-2004, 09:16 PM
 
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We use Miquon, and then move to Singapore 3 when we're through with Miquon. If I had a child who needed extra drill I might combine Miquon with Sinagpore, and if that didn't work THEN I would think about using Saxon.

~ Amy ~

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ds 16, ds14, ds9, dd6

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Old 03-15-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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Wow, that was a great comparison of Singapore/Saxon at the Well Trained Mind Newsletter site. I've been dithering about which math curriculum to choose.

I think that a parent who is good at math could use Saxon math, but supplement the instruction with mental math activities of his/her own invention. At least in the early grades. I think that's what I'm going to do.

I want a math curriculum that will leave my children competent in advanced math such as calculus (eventually.) Just because most people do not choose math-demanding careers such as physics or engineering doesn't mean we shouldn't give our children the tools to pursue such a career if they chose.
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:17 PM
 
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I've heard people like Math U See but don't know much beyond that. I'm so hesitant to make a financial commitment to one when I feel so undecided.
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:56 AM
 
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All I know about Math U See is that it provides videos for the parent to watch and that watching them is a major time committment. I don't like learning through a video, so I've rejected that one, plus I can't warm up to an educational curriculum, even a math one, that spells "you" as "U".:

A friend of mine is using Saxon for her sixth grade ds and A Beka for her 3rd grade dd. She said that the Saxon seems really hard, but her ds is doing well with it.
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by daylily
plus I can't warm up to an educational curriculum, even a math one, that spells "you" as "U".:
:LOL I hadn't even thought of that and usually something like that would irk me!

My fear with Saxon is that it is going to be very time consuming and a drastic change from our unschooling style. At this point I have a 4th grader who is fearful of math and really want to make the right decision so I don't turn her off any further. My main goal would be that she be able to think mathmatically and know where to turn to figure out whatever she may need to know. I'm trying to weigh in my mind how much rote learning or repetition is necessary or beneficial. I really go back and forth on this
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:05 AM
 
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Thanks for the links. I haven't decided how we're going to "do" Math yet, but after perusing the Singapore website, I think we're going to go with them. I definitely don't want a program that a majority of people think is boring or repetitive.
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Old 03-18-2004, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to thank you all for your input here. I'm still up in the air but yall gave me some things to consider. I've actually added two other curriculums to my "possibilities" list. :
I'm going to a homeschool curriculum warehouse this weekend that has all four of the curriculums I'm considering so at least I'll get to look at them.
Thanks again for all of the input,
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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My mother used Saxon math texts with us when I was homeschooled years ago... I cannot describe to you my level of hatred for them. However, I was in 7th grade, so perhaps the younger grades are better.
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:39 PM
 
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The SAxon series is very regimented and structured.

John Saxon was a retired Air Force Officer who did not like the "new math" of the early 1960's and published this series as a reaction against it. One of the reasons the Saxon series is so repetitive is because he discovered his math students would forget how to do one process while focusing on another, so his approach was to introduce one concept at a time and build it on top of other math concepts while at the same time keeping all other math concepts current in the student's recall. Saxon bedcame a millionaire from selling this series and has since published a phonics series. He worked closely with Jaime Escalante, of "Stand and Deliver" fame.

A-Beka is a good alternative to Saxon, I feel. Regimented, yes, but easier to work with.

Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, was the mind behind the "new math" which focused on set theory at an early stage - third grade - and then focused alot on other number bases and clock arithmetic. The math was fun, but the connections were never made for me and it totally confused me. I had a problem transitioning over to regular math when the time came, and by then I was totally confused.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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My dd and I both LOVE it. Very relaxed, and fits well with my unschooling leanings. I tried Saxon Math K and I HATED it, and so did my dd. It was too regimented. She wants to play and learn her own way, on her own terms, and that's what I want for her as well.

A note for the original poster- you should critically consider how you want to set up a math lab or store manipulatives since you have twin 2 yos. With Saxon, there are a LOT of manipulatives, and you DO NOT want them scattered all over the house. You'll probablly need to stay right on top of things to make sure the kids don't carry them off.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:33 PM
 
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Piping up to add another vote for Miquon and Singapore (I guess that's two votes? ). We're pretty much secular unschoolers too. Miquon's discovery-oriented "math lab" approach is about as close to unschooling as I can imagine a math program to be. And Singapore is so clear, efficient and non-repetitious, so strong on applications of math and mental math skills, that it hardly cramps the unschooling style at all.

To Lemon Balm, who wants her daughter to "be able to think mathematically and know where to turn to figure out whatever she may need to know" I would have to say that Saxon is not this type of program. Saxon is focused primarily on the "how" of math, rather than the "why", relying on rote memory and applications of algorithms. When questions are presented in a formulaic, symbolic way, Saxon kids are excellent at applying the rules they've learned. But as to thinking logically and creatively about numbers and relationships between them, I think Miquon and/or Singapore are the way to go. Perfectionistic, methodical kids, especially older ones (>7?) who are visual rather than hands-on learners might do better to start with Singapore. Those who are younger and/or seem to need more exposure to manipulatives and hands-on creativity-with-numbers would do better with Miquon. One of the newer Singapore curricula (My Pals Are Here) apparently uses base-ten manipulative sets as an integral part of the program, so that might be a decent compromise.

Miranda

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Old 03-21-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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moominmamma, your last post was incredibly helpful in a number of ways.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:57 PM
 
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We love Saxon. I like that it repeats some things from previous lessons in each lesson - keeps it fresh. I also love how it's organized and how to teach it.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:14 AM
 
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Both saxon and singapore are good choices. Just wanted to point out that anything can be dry and repetitive, it will depend on how you present it to your child. And just cause a texbook has review ?s it in does not mean you have to do them. If your dc has demonstrated the knowledge of that particular skill, you can SKIP the review bit and move on along. Saxon is excellent because it does a great job of preparing children for upper level math where certain things must be commited to memory to move ahead.
Some kids need lots of review to really get what they need memorised as well as learning to think in a math minded critical how/why way behind the numbers.


I personally think math u see is way too expensive for what it is, mignon is not teacher friendly time wise to use and is slow paced & uses those cusinese rods that some kids really hate, gander has on cloud nine now and that is those unifix cubes, saxon is excellent but you need to be there with your dc to help them & be enthused that this is great, if you have an anti textbook bias or not sure mindset going into it, your dc will pick up on that.
Workbooks like singpores also need a parent sitting there explaining what the book asks for on review pages even after the child has learned the concept.
I use singapore cause it is cheaper then saxon and it is okay NOT great, has some flaws and we do a lot of guessing and skipping stuff with that. Singapore has two workbooks in one year with a textbook/workbook to fill in also & teachers key.
and that IMHO is too much busy on paper work
We just use the two workbooks and I sell the other stuff on the 'bay' We have used mortenson math also in the past and loved that but had a hard time finding it to buy.
http://www.mortensenmathdirect.com/
You can hit a teachers supply for the base ten blocks IMHO better choice then any of the other manipulatives
or buy them here
http://www.michaelolaf.com/1CW612math.html
and play lots of board games, yahtzee to drill addition facts easily
and use montessori homemade things to supplement,
http://www.montessorimaterials.org/math.htm
or the free stuff online like activities from aims
http://www.aimsedu.org/Activities/samples.html
i like the cdrom rainbow math the sonlight sells and the quartermile to use for review instead of the saxon type drill in the texts.
http://www.thequartermile.com/
http://www.lexialearning.com/product_xtrn.htm
for visual spatial to teach thinking skills VIP we use their reading software also and it is excellent
There is hooked on math now from the H o phonics folks that I have heard both good and horrible things about.

I have MCP for one ds and will move into that after my ds#3 is done with this years singapore and we give a thumbs up to the videotext algebra series and jacobs geometry for older kids which prepared my oldest for his college algebra well.
I suggest figureing out how much time you want to spend, how much money you want to spend and how your dc learns best before buying anything and ask on the trade board if anyone has a workbook or text from the series you are most intersted in they are not using to check it out before buying the whole shebang. .
I suggest ~ Get a rainbow resources catalog and read their reviews of each math curriculum they sell. They are fair ones.
http://www.rainbowresource.com/index.php


sorry so long, it is late and I am trying to hurry before getting to bed

mary
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:01 PM
 
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I used Math-U-See with my kids for K-3rd grades, then moved them into Saxon.

Math-U-See employs visual, auditory & kinesthetic learning, so if you have kids with those learning styles, you might find it a good fit. I think the program does a good job of instilling the basics as well as making sure a child understands WHY they're doing something versus just memorizing a way to do it.

My oldest 2 LOVE Saxon math now. I actually have the Math-U-See tapes for Intermediate/Advanced, but they prefer Saxon. I like the spiral-approach, which prevents them from forgetting how to do things, and I have found that since they understand why they're doing each process, the cut-and-dried approach isn't a problem for either of them.

I was hesitant about using Saxon with my oldest, as math is her weakest subject and I was afraid she'd be bored silly by it, but she LOVES it and has improved her math abilities exponentially! So....I think it depends on the kid whether Saxon is great or a flop.

It's good you are going to a homeschool fair so you can check out curriculum. Another option is to check out eBay ~ you can often pick stuff up cheap and that way, if you decide you don't like the book, you aren't out a bunch of $$$ (and you can always resell it, too!).

Good luck! I know that choosing curriculum has always been a super-fun, but super-stressful event for me. I hope it goes easier for you and you find a math curriculum for Ryan that both of you will love!
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:14 PM
 
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I love Miquon. My son loves it.

My daughter on the other hand. LOL We did Math-U-See and she hated the blocks. I still like the program. Just was not a match for my dd. We ended up with using Rod and Staff (perfect match). The problem was how my dd visualizes things.

I decided to not do Saxon because of a few people calling it saxon masocist. LOL These are "serious" type of math people **one was a chemist.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:30 AM
 
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Just to throw something else in the mix... I won't be purchasing for quite awhile, but am currently torn between Singapore and Right Start Math for the early elementary years. The site is: http://www.alabacus.com/.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:15 PM
 
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I think the best way to choose a math program is to try to find one that matches the way your child thinks and learns. Saxon and Singapore are great math programs.

We used a hands-on, manipulative based program for K, and then moved to Singapore for 1st w/my DS. Now at 8, he uses Singapore as his base program with Miquon. He picks up things pretty quickly, and prefers to do most of his math in his head. The Topical Sums book from Singapore is a one of the best parts of the program. Word problems are one of Singapore's strongest points. The teacher's book for Miquon has helped me immensly in finding different ways to present a topic and I like how the program encourages creative thinking. THe program purposefully sets up some problems to have more than one answer, and also invites students to create their own problems.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:00 AM
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We own (or have owned) a whole lot of math curriculum... I thought Miquon was darm cool but Rain wasn't interested, she did ten pages in a key to book and swore she wanted the rest... and then did 5 more pages and that was it... and I pick Saxon stuff up for resale, and I've got Harold Jacobs in the wings... but generally what seems to happen for us is that something comes up and I start scribbling on the back of an envelope, and then we get further into it and use a real piece of paper, and maybe Rain will ask me to write out some problems and then she'll do them, and that's it. Recently we did some multiplication of big numbers for some reason, so I went online and printed off a chart of all the basc multiplications facts so she could just do the actual problems without having to figure them all out, but mostly stuff comes from my head.

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Old 04-28-2004, 10:04 AM
 
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Just to add another course into the mix:

While my dd loves Singapore, my ds was finding it difficult (he's 13.) We just bought "Moving With Math" and he's really into it. Even in the upper levels (through 8th grade) they use manipulatives. It seemed kind of expensive when I first looked at it, but then I realized we had most of the manipulatives already, and we didn't need the "extra practice" books or the test booklets or the organizational record-keeping stuff, so it wasn't so bad.

For each page, there is an explanation of the concept, and instructions for figuring the idea with unifix blocks or some other item. Once the student "gets" the idea, there is a corresponding workbook page.

So if your kids need to *see* their math, you might want to look into this one.

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