Experienced Oak Meadow Parents: Question on grade placement - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 4 Old 04-26-2015, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Experienced Oak Meadow Parents: Question on grade placement

We're considering Oak Meadow for ds in the fall. He'll be going into the 4th grade. After looking over sample lessons from OM, it seems as though their 5th grade is more akin to Massachusetts 4th grade level, especially when looking at the math lessons. Do I level him up a grade at OM? I don't think he would be considered a 5th grader by MA standards but the 4th grade OM curriculum looks too easy and more like what he did this year in 3rd grade in school. We'll be ordering the curriculum and going at our own pace, not joining the distance learning program.

I have looked through posts and noticed that OM skews easier in the younger grades, again especially in math. Have you had this experience? Thoughts on what to do? I'd rather just purchase one grade or the other, both reading and science topics look great (4th and 5th grades), and ds is an avid reader so no problems using either curriculum there. I have looked at other math curricula (love the Beast Academy for ds), but I'd like to order everything from one place, even more so with this being our first year of homeschooling...

Thank you for any advice you can offer!
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#2 of 4 Old 04-28-2015, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolo'smom View Post
We're considering Oak Meadow for ds in the fall. He'll be going into the 4th grade. After looking over sample lessons from OM, it seems as though their 5th grade is more akin to Massachusetts 4th grade level, especially when looking at the math lessons. Do I level him up a grade at OM? I don't think he would be considered a 5th grader by MA standards but the 4th grade OM curriculum looks too easy and more like what he did this year in 3rd grade in school. We'll be ordering the curriculum and going at our own pace, not joining the distance learning program.

I have looked through posts and noticed that OM skews easier in the younger grades, again especially in math. Have you had this experience? Thoughts on what to do? I'd rather just purchase one grade or the other, both reading and science topics look great (4th and 5th grades), and ds is an avid reader so no problems using either curriculum there. I have looked at other math curricula (love the Beast Academy for ds), but I'd like to order everything from one place, even more so with this being our first year of homeschooling...

Thank you for any advice you can offer!
Hi, Lolo'smom!

I'm currently using OM for 3 of my children. So far in my homeschooling career, I've used every OM year except 7th grade and high school.

My feeling on OM math is that it's the ONE part of the curriculum I would opt out of, particularly for 4th grade and up. The workbooks are definitely about a semester behind other math curriculum, and they are very poorly put together. My son (11 and in 5th grade) has loathed their explanations (and I find them hard to decipher myself!) and hates that the book gives him almost no room to work the problems on the page.

The issues with student-centered instruction are the greatest drawback to any OM math curriculum. I have supplemented quite a bit of instruction out of necessity. While I absolutely don't mind re-stating or re-explaining anything that the kids don't "get" in their math work, I do think I spend more time re-instructing with OM than I ever have with any other curriculum (for math, that is).

If you decide to purchase an OM math level, I would go with 5th as 4th doesn't seem (to me) to be a necessary step. Everything is re-introduced and practiced again in 5th grade math.

Good luck and happy homeschooling!

P

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 23, 22, 19, 13, 11, 9 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my
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#3 of 4 Old 04-30-2015, 10:24 AM
 
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We have actually found value in staying with the age appropriate curriculum, and tweaking when necessary. There have been many times when I thought we could move ahead or skip but have chosen not to and I have not regretted it. I personally prefer that we add in more of what we are interested in and expand lessons of interest.
That said, we supplement.
We love the OM math in grades 4+ ( finishing 6th now). For us, the explanations are very clear and for my son, who is not a huge math fan, they have been solidly taught. We supplement as I want more critical thinking/targeted work and I have found his skills to be on grade level. We've used Key To books and a few months ago started Critical Thinking Co.'s 6th grade comprehensive program and there is very little in there that I will have to teach after completing OM grade 6.
Also, my son's math skills are good enough for him to do grade level science work and even pick up on pre-algebra needed for next year's physics without a problem.
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#4 of 4 Old 04-30-2015, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for the input! Although it seems both of your families are very different!

What other programs have you each used for math? Was it along with OM or instead of? I found a Singapore math book at a local bookstore and picked it up just to see what that was about. I've seen it go around the homeschooling forums. I like that there is vertical math or what I call vertical math in the Singapore book, ds's school taught addition and subtraction via number-lines and essentially teaching the kids to break down each problem into several steps. I plan on un-teaching this first. I simply think it is unnecessary and I don't see it working any better for ds or his friends in terms of ability to solve problems easier/faster. Are other hs math programs like this? Less common core, more traditional math? I'm curious as to what is out there but overwhelmed at the same time.

Thanks again for your perspectives. Even though they are different they are both very helpful!!
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