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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our personal experiences with EM, FWIW.<br><br>
EM was the only math program in my DD1's K and 1st grade class*.<br><br>
The K curriculum was basically doing what we had been doing for years: count the number of steps from your sidewalk/equivalant to your front door, guess how many items are in the bags of groceries you get from the store, find and draw different shapes you see around your house etc.. I wasn't too impressed. Our DD made it through K fine, but no one stood out or fell behind in math.<br><br>
The 1st grade curriculum started out slow. I was worried she'd get lost in the shuffle. Her teachers evaluated the kids and placed them into 3 different groups for math. One for introducing concepts, one for reinforcing, one for going beyond. They all used the same EM math books though. The program picked up throughout the year. Calculators were shown as a tool, along with many other math, algebra and geometry tools. They were not used, just shown. Games in the EM curriculum (on homework pages for parents) were suggested utilizing calculators; beat the calculator, where the child tries to solve the problem faster then the parents do on a calculator. Our DD did not use calculators in class. They were also drilled, as part of the EM curriculum on 'fact families', and in the homework pages were the equivalent of flashcards for the kids to cut out and use at home (same ones they'd have at school for use there). At the end of the year they did do time drills, focusing not only on accuracy, but on speed. They also introduced fractions and standard equations.<br><br>
That said. Her school suppliments with Singapore starting in 2nd grade.<br><br>
While I was concerened initially through heresay on the calculator issue once we were there the issue proved moot to me. It's possible that different schools use EM differently and I can only speak on our experience. My biggest issue with EM is their cicular pattern of teaching. Teach, teach, review. It's a spiral that can lead to boredom in kids more advanced or adept at math. The review could be boring.<br><br>
* I wrote that they didn't suppliment, and as a program they did not. DD's teacher called her at home one night and only spoke with DD. DH and I were confused, what's up with that? What did she want? Apparantly DD had expressed to her teacher a desire for harder, more difficult math problems. The teacher found a standard 'old school' style workbook and put it in DD's work folder. She called to tell her about it and that she could get it at any point and do any of the work in there. She was given supplimentation, but it wasn't standard in the program or the class. Yeah Mrs. R! We love you!<br><br>
FWIW we are concerned and will be speaking with her 2nd grade teachers. DD loves math and has a 'natural talent' for it. The kids were given math "reviews" as part of EM and DD ate them up like they were candy. We will go into next year asking for supplimentation for her, but I imagine that won't be hard based on her teacher comments/eval.<br><br>
Overall I like the program. It maintains a global math awareness that our DD has and I am happy with that. The games tho were much more suited to our then 3 year old. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I've read the criticism of Everyday Mathematics put together by various parents' groups and posted on the web. I've watched the YouTube Video about the bizarre multiplication algorithms encouraged by at least one version of the program. When I noticed the huge pile of boxes emblazoned with Everyday Mathematics in my daughter's elementary school, it provided the final impetus for me to pull her out of school. I'm sure that some teachers manage to teach math despite EM. But I don't want my daughter learning in spite of the curriculum. So we'll be doing something else. But I'm interested to see if what others' experiences are.
 

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DS's school used something similar called Investigations. A bunch of silliness, no real math. It's not bad for thinking skills, planning, and group work, but in actual math, he hasn't progressed at all in this program. I've had to supplement with Singapore.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bird Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11556318"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've read the criticism of Everyday Mathematics put together by various parents' groups and posted on the web. I've watched the YouTube Video about the bizarre multiplication algorithms encouraged by at least one version of the program. When I noticed the huge pile of boxes emblazoned with Everyday Mathematics in my daughter's elementary school, it provided the final impetus for me to pull her out of school. I'm sure that some teachers manage to teach math despite EM. But I don't want my daughter learning in spite of the curriculum. So we'll be doing something else. But I'm interested to see if what others' experiences are.</div>
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I was seriously going to do this if I saw EM in my daughters school (she was in K last year), but I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out they don't use EM, but Saxon Math.
 

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What a helpful thread; thank you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> What a great teacher, btw, giving your daughter the old math problems.<br><br>
I hadn't heard about the issues with the repetition; I'd heard something about "spiraling" leading to a very superficial treatment of some of the material, where the teachers sort of allude to concepts and then leave them behind before there's a chance for the kids to really sink their teeth in. Did you see that, as well?<br><br>
As I'd mentioned before, I'm genuinely unconcerned at this point about the lack of "standard algorithms" (which have only been standard for a few decades, cf Tom Lehrer), but that's because of what we'll end up doing at home. I'd be worried if I were a parent with no ability to spend the time or do the teaching. I do wonder about the teachers' ability to jump with the math games -- my experience with their ability to take imaginative leaps in ELA, which I've written for a living, is not good. We had to sort of lead them step by literal step, which is a form of death in math games. But we'll see.<br><br>
I'm in complete agreement about the bales of books. I'm in this business, and that sort of thing is a complete racket. There's no good reason for it, and it astonishes me yearly that districts are willing to go along with it.
 

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Does anyone know if this is (substantially) different from Miquon? We use Miquon and Singapore, which seem to balance each other out well. I love Miquon, my kids love doing it and have been able to grasp mathematical concepts and thinking that seems very advanced to me...
 

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"it astonishes me yearly that districts are willing to go along with it"<br><br>
They get money from the state to do it. Therefore, they are going to do it. The cardinal rule of school administration is: If I have money, I must spend it. (With as little forethought as possible)<br><br>
My mom's been saving her math textbooks from last purchase, her spelling from two purchases ago, and her social-studies from three purchases ago, because the new texts were so much inferior.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Miss Information</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11559029"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was seriously going to do this if I saw EM in my daughters school (she was in K last year), but I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out they don't use EM, but Saxon Math.</div>
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Saxon math is generally considered an awful program for gifted kids. I know the little bit of time we used it was by far the worst curriculum experience we had with homeschooling and that was even with allowing for skipping as much as we wanted to. The program is terribly slow and repetitive. It uses the "spiraling" approach that was mentioned earlier in the thread.<br><br>
The one good thing I'll say about the Saxon books is that they are very plain black and white without the USA Today look of many textbooks.
 

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We just finished 1st grade EM. We are very frustrated. our son is really good at math, but is now convinced that he isn't good at it. . . because he fails to use his number line every time. We didn't even get close to timed tests. I don't think they even really went over the basic addition problems more than a couple times each (we have the flashcards for practice at home).<br><br>
But the theory behind EM, isn't mastery. The kids aren't supposed to master concepts. So for kids who struggle with math, they just don't get enough time to even start to figure it out and the next time through the "spiral" they add more stuff onto the basic concepts, so they get even further behind.<br><br>
Another problem is that because they do things so funny, that parents can't help their kids with the homework!<br><br>
i have talked to lots of parents about it, and some are fine with it, but MANY families are teaching their kids math at home.
 

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And I've read that in many EM communities, parents who can afford it send their kids to Kumon etc. centers.<br><br>
Those who can afford the money or time to supplement, do. Those who cannot... I'm afraid these kids are the ones that suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm fascinated by this thread. I read many EM threads when I found out DD's school used it and I am enjoying the different opinions here. We're skeptics, and we watched all the youtube videos and I took each of them with a grain of salt. Math programs change generationally. The way I was taught was different then the way my dad (a math teacher) was taught when he was young. Today he told me of a story where DD1 was doing some calculations on how much further it would take to get from our house to theirs and he commented on how her way of doing math was foreign to his.<br><br>
I think the problem with math is that people learn it differently. In a school system it would be ideal but impractical for every class to have different methods of teaching. Teach 1 group one way, another a completely different way. I believe math is one of the more difficult subjects to teach because of this, and because it covers so much and each child can be at a different level for different things (really good at telling time, still learning money etc.). That's why it goes through so many evolutions.<br><br>
My DD loved it when she got to come home at the start of a new 'unit' and say "I have no homework, but you do!". There were pages at the start of every section explaining how things were done. Sometimes I was lost and had to go back and review them in order to check DD's work, but I always found the information there. I thought the teaching of the parent was a great way around the confusion. I had no problem learning a new way, and I understand that their methods of addition aren't for pen and paper problems, but again for mental math, which is something I really like. That may be because I feel it would have helped me understand it more then sticking to memorization (how I was taught). I think part of the problem with it could very well be implementation and giving the teachers all the tools and understanding they need to teach.<br><br>
We did not have some of the issues other people I know (and here) did. DD's teachers did not mandate that they do a problem using the number grid. If they knew the answer w/o is they just answered. Our DD also made it through the entire book, which as I said earlier started out a little slow (with review) but ended on a high (fractions, polygon differentiation, symmetry, more complex money addition problems etc.). We have some friends at a different school and their kids only made it 3/4 of the way through the book and I am not sure why. That seems like a big problem to me especially if they are going to start the next year with review from material they may have never received. I take that as an implentation issue, not a program issue.<br><br>
Interestingly enough my issue with the spiraling is boredom, but we have a DD who is very adept at math and did master all of the things in between. I would say for that reason I don't think a spiraling program is the perfect choice for kids talented in math. But with others who have kids talented in math and having issues with EM I may have to adjust my thinking and go back to my earlier point of how kids learn differently. Our DD naturally does math similiary to how EM teaches it (25 + 15 = 20 + 10 +10). When she was 4ish she came up to me and said "6+7 is 13 because 6+6 is 12 and 7 is one more" and we just continued to let her do it her way. (A great way to do it mentally, but works out for garbage on paper.) Her way is closer to the EM way of teaching, so that could be here edge. She does love to do traditional math worksheets, so I'm not sure about that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I still am not a fan of spiraling programs though, if they have mastery then move on, but I agree with it in the way I saw it practiced at DD's school for the kids who didn't have the mastery in between. I felt it gave them time to catch their breath before getting frustrated.<br><br>
Fascinating.<br><br>
And yea, we have to thank Tom Lehrer for more then just Weird Al. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>xaloxe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11572365"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I understand that their methods of addition aren't for pen and paper problems, but again for mental math, which is something I really like.</div>
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Urgh! The computer ate my post.<br><br>
The gist of it was that I agree with you that addition the way you describe it does lend itself to mental math and that's great. I have a question, however, about multiplication and division. My dds came into EM a bit late and my older one only had one year of it before we took her out of that school and will be sending her to middle school next year where they use a different system. My little one will be a 3rd grader next year and will be at the elementary that uses EM for 3 more yrs.<br><br>
My only exposure to EM multiplication/division was with my older dd's 4th grade class last year and I, honestly, don't see how their partial quotients method of division or lattice method of multiplication could either: 1) help you do the problem more quickly or accurately, or 2) be done in your head more easily.<br><br>
Does anyone have any experience with the multiplication and divisions methods EM and have any opinion on these? As I know that dd#2 will be learning these next year, I am trying to preemptively teach her a little multiplication and division this summer using standard algorhythims.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11562403"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Saxon math is generally considered an awful program for gifted kids. I know the little bit of time we used it was by far the worst curriculum experience we had with homeschooling and that was even with allowing for skipping as much as we wanted to. The program is terribly slow and repetitive. It uses the "spiraling" approach that was mentioned earlier in the thread.<br><br>
The one good thing I'll say about the Saxon books is that they are very plain black and white without the USA Today look of many textbooks.</div>
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What if she's not gifted in math, though. I mean, maybe she is too, but her strengths are a bit more with verbal ability. She hasn't complained about the math being too boring. Wouldn't she say so if it was? IIRC, she used to think math was a little hard. So maybe for her, the repetition won't be too bad. If she's like me, the repetition will be okay, if she has her dad's math ability, then she might actually not do well with the repetition.<br><br>
She's mastered all the concepts in K math. I've also seen extra math worksheets (addition and subtraction drills) come home that were not part of the Saxon workbook. I never did get a chance to ask the teacher if all the students got them or if just a few (my dd thought everyone got the same worksheets).<br><br>
And if she is bored next year, we will work on that. But for now, I still think I'd prefer it over EM any day. Not that I'm against learning ways to perform mental calculations, or of learning how to apply math to everyday life. Except I would rather it be in addition to, not instead of more conventional math.<br><br>
I pulled this up before, and this is kind of what made me decide I really preferred Saxon math over EM. Of course, I will have to change my mind if it's not working for any of my dds.<br><br><a href="http://www.illinoisloop.org/math.html" target="_blank">http://www.illinoisloop.org/math.html</a><br><a href="http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html" target="_blank">http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html</a><br><br>
Here's a link of review summaries of 3rd grade math textbooks<br><br><a href="http://www.textbookreviews.org/index.html?content=rev_math.htm" target="_blank">http://www.textbookreviews.org/index...t=rev_math.htm</a><br><br>
While the Saxon math may spiral, the above doesn't seem to criticize it like they do with the spiraling of the EM curriculum.
 
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