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Math help please! I am getting desperate!

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!

The first thing to figure out is whether a child needs a process math--one that uses manipulatives--or a traditional math--one which doesn't. This is more important than whether something is mastery or spiral.

MUS works well for children who need manipulatives; IOW, it isn't because it's mastery or spiral (I've seen it described as both). Other process maths would be Miquon and Moving With Math. The primary Saxon levels are heavy on manipulatives, as well.

Traditional maths would be BJUP, ABeka, Rod and Staff, Saxon (Math 54 and up), and Teaching Textbooks.

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!

For you, the parent, I recommend reading The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child by John Mighton.

As one who changed math programs several times during my children's elementary years, I will say that it probably doesn't matter which one you choose. Just proceed at your child's pace.

My children have had success using Khan Academy. If I had to do over again, I actually would use Rod & Staff for 1-8, though we do part of it orally and don't do every problem in every lesson. For high school, I prefer Thinkwell Math.

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!


BJUP math does use a lot of manipulatives in the elementary and middle years. It is mastery with lots of review, building very logically from concept to concept. My dc thrived on it.

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!

CLE has worked for us. Now we've always used spiral because I figured they would forget how to do the older problems. And in the past, we've used Mcruffy and Horizons. Then when oldest started 6th grade, I switched to cle for her and cle 4th grade math for son. It was so great that I decided to start my youngest out with CLE. Love love CLE. Not crazy about the language arts, but that's for a different topic;)
As a matter of fact, we just started Foerster Algebra I and have made the transition with ease. Thankfully!

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!

Abeka can be used with or without manipulatives, as can R&S, if you choose to go either of those routes. I used manipulatives alongside Abeka and it worked out very well. Rainbow Resource is a superb source for math manipulatives. (Well, they're superb for everything, but I digress.) :)

re: Math help please! I am getting desperate!

Does he struggle with math because he dislikes it and you haven't been consistent in teaching him every single day, and practicing 5 days per week....

Or Do you find that he truly doesn't understand the concepts? Even with a good explanation and use of manipulatives, that the concepts don't stick?

If the former, this would be the scenario in which I'd recommend Saxon math, and you can use the placement test. You could start him out in 6/5 or 7/6 and the first 30 lessons or more are all review of several years worth of math. Although the lessons are long and dry, they build confidence and speed, so that by the time he gets to lesson 50 or so, he is truly ready for the new material.

If he struggles with concepts, and operations even after a good explanation and use of manipulatives you may need an approach that continues use of manipulatives and spends more time on each new concept. For that I would recommend Math U See. Again, placement tests are paramount.

If he doesn't like manipulatives you can look at Developmental Math. I love this program and have purchased it and find it looks so easy to use and very friendly and gentle. I didn't end up using it because I misdiagnosed the issue with my dd (she was gifted in math and that's why she hated it, not struggling), but the books were extremely appealing. Very thorough, step-by-step and friendly.

What have you been using up until now?

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