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#1 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So now that my kids and I have decided we would like to try homeschooling I am trying to find materials we can use and am starting with finding a good math program first. I'm leaning towards math-u-see but am still looking at everything else too. I have looked at the Khan Academy and like that site a lot but wouldn't use it as the main curriculum just as an extra. So i'm kind of trying to find a program that would tie in well with that website. I need materials at a 1st grade level and then stuff for around a 3rd grade level. My daughter likes a mix of hands on and workbooks and my son (the youngest) probably will do best with more hands on, he gets frustrated very easily when he can't get stuff right on the first try.

Can anyone offer any suggestions/recommendations for good math programs?

 

Also any other subjects, phonics, grammar, spelling etc. I'm all ears! I only have handwriting figured out so far so am open to suggestions on any programs in any subject that have worked for other kids.

Thank you :)

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#2 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 08:54 AM
 
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Is Saxon math to rigid? I like the math wraps and the math board.
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#3 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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I really have liked Singapore Math. We did that for 1st, 2nd and part of 3rd, and then switched to Math in Focus (my son is in 4B now), which is also Singapore Math. I find Math in Focus a little better organized, and better explained in the textbook, than the "regular" Singapore Math series. It is pretty fast paced though, but it does work well for my son. He found Saxon too boring actually, too much repetition.

Good luck finding something; sometimes it takes a few tries to find what works for you and your kid.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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I think Khan Academy is pedagogically weak until you reach the high school level. I would not choose a main curriculum at this early stage in order to have it mesh well with Khan Academy. Besides, it's extremely flexible when used as a supplement. 

 

Math-u-see may be a good choice for the combination of hands-on and written work. I would also suggest you have a look at RightStart. It's based on an extensive kit of manipulatives and games, though, which are fairly expensive. Both those programs have solid reputations. I believe that MUS is a little less advanced, or perhaps a little out-of-order when compared to traditional US school scope & sequence, but that's only likely to be a temporary issue at a point of transition (i.e. starting back to school in 7th grade) and only if you've stuck strictly to the grade-level pace of the program. Not a big deal.

 

We used a combination of Miquon (lots of manipulatives with little emphasis on the written work) and then gradually transitioned into Singapore Primary Math (which is mostly written work, though with a fair bit of use of visual symbols that are similar to manipulatives). We timed the transition from one to the other, and the amount of overlap, based on how much each of my kids seemed to enjoy and need the hands-on stuff. I liked the "mathematical thinking" promoted by both these programs, meaning that they focused a lot on concepts and understanding more than rote memory and arithmetic drill. I also liked that both of them are quite inexpensive.

 

Miquon only covers K-3 math, with some conceptually more advanced work, while Singapore covers (approx.) K-7. While it's tempting to look for something that will serve you straight through for as long as you need it, the reality is that kids' needs change and the necessity of changing programs often becomes an opportunity to find something new, refreshing and better-suited to your child's particular needs at that point. So I personally wouldn't let that be a big factor in your choice. 

 

Miranda

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#5 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

 

We used a combination of Miquon (lots of manipulatives with little emphasis on the written work) and then gradually transitioned into Singapore Primary Math (which is mostly written work, though with a fair bit of use of visual symbols that are similar to manipulatives). We timed the transition from one to the other, and the amount of overlap, based on how much each of my kids seemed to enjoy and need the hands-on stuff. I liked the "mathematical thinking" promoted by both these programs, meaning that they focused a lot on concepts and understanding more than rote memory and arithmetic drill. I also liked that both of them are quite inexpensive.

 

Miquon only covers K-3 math, with some conceptually more advanced work, while Singapore covers (approx.) K-7. While it's tempting to look for something that will serve you straight through for as long as you need it, the reality is that kids' needs change and the necessity of changing programs often becomes an opportunity to find something new, refreshing and better-suited to your child's particular needs at that point. So I personally wouldn't let that be a big factor in your choice. 

 

Miranda

I had forgotten about Miquon. We used it too in the early years, K and 1st, and even some in 2nd! And starting in 1st we used Singapore alongside. Really loved Miquon for those first couple of years, with the quisenaire rods.

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#6 of 12 Old 03-04-2014, 10:01 PM
 
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We use Saxon & love it, after tryinf MUS, Singapore, & a filler online program called Dreambox. My son is a math person, though, and we're flying through the book ahead of his "grade". What I love about Saxon is that I feel we're covering all the range of math things at once, but with tons of repetition. I mean, time, dates, addition, subtraction, multiplication, graphing, geometry... It is scripted, which I usually hate, but I seldom follow the actual script, but use it as a guide. If your kid is really hands-on, MUS might be great. I liked that program, but DS didn't. He is really just an auditory learner, though, and he hates worksheets. 

HTH

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#7 of 12 Old 03-05-2014, 08:48 AM
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I have really liked Singapore, but after three kids I have it down.  My second & fifth graders are using it now.  However, we do a lot of the "money lessons" with a pile of money, we have the learning resources geared clock for telling time, and a finally bought a box of units/rods/flats.  I wish I bought this box when my 5th grader was in first.  We also have the math games kit from right start math, which is fun and has games all the way through fractions.  I incorporate hands on whenever I can.  

 

I also really liked Beast Academy, but it isn't complete yet so I can't recommend it for a curriculum.  Also, it really tries to stretch the brain--many kids could get frustrated.  It was a great thing for us when my dd was in fourth grade.  We used the third grade book because I was wanting to reinforce some things.  It was awesome because the workbook is like a book of brain teasers and so it was fun for her.  The text was a comic book style.  It is made from art of problem solving --which produces challenging materials.  

 

We use math mammoth when we need extra work on a subject, but she has full curricula available too.  

 

We really did not like Saxon.  I know some do, but we really, really didn't.  

 

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#8 of 12 Old 03-07-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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What we mainly do when my kids are in a math mood, nowadays, seems to be Khan Academy, but the exercises only. The kids don't really like the videos. Nor do I except when I really don't get something. I should say, I use the videos a lot in other subjects, say biology, for my own studies, its the math videos I find not so clear and quite wordy. Anyway,  what they appreciate is the battery of questions which let you play about with the concept and try to work out where you are getting it wrong. I also often sit with them and help them work through it, explain the issues, or whatever, or they know they can come find me. I think, personally, its a good program for generating a lot of interesting questions (and bearing in mind its easy to avoid doing any given set of questions if, say, you REALLY get the concept but you keep making silly math errors or its one of those questions where the answers are really time consuming to generate. 

 

My own personal experience is that, aside from possibly Miquon which I think is great, any old book will do in many ways, and any old program. Its helpful to have a spine, a guide, but really, I think most math my kids have learnt is from working through puzzles and me on hand to troubleshoot and help if things go wrong. That's a much faster and more efficient way to work, IMO-its more labour intensive but faster. Might just be my kids though.


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#9 of 12 Old 03-07-2014, 01:32 PM
 
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We're just starting out and I think we're going to go with Miquon and possibly DreamBox. I used Miquon when I was a kid and just looking at it online feels homey. I have to figure out where to start with DS.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-07-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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Anybody know what the math workbooks I used in Montessori as a kid might be?
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#11 of 12 Old 03-07-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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We use Dreambox Learning and love, love, love it. They offer a free trial membership. It's a great option for kids who are visual learners and those who prefer using keyboards and computers to worksheets and pencils. 


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#12 of 12 Old 03-07-2014, 03:43 PM
 
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I just got back from our consignment store. I bought the Miquon Lab Sheet Annotations and will go back to get the children's books, and hopefully cuisenare rods.

My first grader played around with the DreamBox demo this afternoon and I played around with second and third grade. The K-2 section is harder to figure out but I really liked the 3-5 section. I think my DS is going to love it when he tries it.
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