I have a question that I would like answered by Sonya as well as others out there if possible. I have been slowly transitioning into the Charlotte Mason method. Slowly due to fear, however I am now ready to take the plunge so to speak. The subject that I get caught up on is Mathematics. We have already tried a number of Math programs and my two oldest children are behind because of that not to mention the effect it has had on my bank account. I already own Math Mammoth and was wondering Sonya’s and other thoughts on if it would fit what would be considered a “Charlotte Mason Math”. If so, what would be suggested to use after pre algebra? I will also add that our familes priorties may be different than the masses in that we do not school based on College entrance etc. For example I value a sound personal and small business budgeting program more than extensive algebra or calculus. I feel if one of my children are called into a line of field dealing with science we will know that and they can study accordingly at that time. The majority of the poplulation would benefit more from a program in personal and small busiiness accounting. … just for a little background. 🙂
I agree that there needs to be more of a balanced focus on “real world math” and “college-prep math.”
As for what to use, if you’ve been trying to use various things and finally found something that works, I wouldn’t change it. If you’re still looking for a fit, then see what other options are out there.
Can I ask what you HAVE tried?? And, why didn’t they work for your dc? That will help w/ direction, too.
I will start by saying that I have four children, three of which are currently being formaly educated in our home. One who’s education currently consists of catching bugs, counting fingers, and lots of hugs and kisses. 🙂 Wow.. here goes..
We have used Spectrum workbooks which did not offer enough in explainaton. From there we tried Saxon. That is not a fit due to the amount of time and energy spent on that one subject. Also, it didn’t produce the love of mathematics for its absolutism that I would like to foster in my children. We have used Teaching Textbooks which my children did not like due to it’s presentation. We are not big on working problems on a computer nor did they care for the lesson presented on it. We have dabbled with the Math Mammoth sheets (topically not grade leveled) but have not committed. We once briefly used Math on the Level, which I loved the concept of but with four children at different stages it didn’t work out for us on a practical level.. I am the type of person who needs some type of lesson plan or guide. We have also used Rod & Staff’s arithmatic and Mathematics. It also had more problems a day than I cared to spend time on as well as my children thought the instruction was wanting.
I have recently read a blog on this discussion board about Ray’s arithmetic and am interested in knowing more about it as well.ClaireParticipant
We do not like MM at all here. It’s like dry toast. I want very badly to like it. I want to like any boxed/buy-me Math curriculum, but I’m not lucky in that way. We just have to use a general scope and sequence (free all over the place) for what to learn/in what order and then go from there using a wide, crazy wide variety of books and an even wider variety of practice problems.
I do worry that we don’t have the practical application of Math as well as we should as CMers. Or as people who would like to thrive in the world. I always say I’ll do more of those types of problems or that type of instruction … but it’s so easy to check the “done” box for Math by just orally going over skills and then doing problems that are more straight up problems and not living problems. Ugg. This is making me feel bad about it all over again! lol.RicheleParticipant
We currently have guests from Russia so, if you don’t mind waiting until I’m able to find a quiet space and some free time, I’ll write you a more thoughtful response as soon as I am able. From a CM-perspective and from the perspective of a homeschooling mother of a nine and 11-year-old, I highly recommend Ray’s. Currently, I am recommending Harold Jacob’s books after Ray’s. I’ve posted on Jacob’s “Mathematics: A Human Endeavor” as well as his Algebra and Geometry books on the forum. I think you might be able to see my posts on my profile page.
Until then, much grace and peace to you,
OK. I’ll share. I have purchased and used too many maths, for multiple reasons. Plus, I just love math.
I also have 4 dc (gr 4, 6, 9/10, + 11/12), and a pocket that isn’t overly full.
I can talk about Rod and Staff, MCP, SchoolAid/Study Time, MUS, RightStart, and VideoText, along w/ a touch of ChalkDust and BJU. I do have the Ray’s Primary book, too. Ug!
R+S — I keep going back to this. Yes, there are a lot of problems per page/lesson, particularly w/ the first 2nd gr books. But, it is very easy to only assign half or even less of the problems. I did that for several yrs and my dc did well. It really did help. I like that it can be fairly independent. We even wrote in some of the books like a worktext. The instructions are written in the student texts starting in 4th. My dd really didn’t need much from me for the 3rd gr set, though, and even my ds did the 2nd w/out me teaching. If he had a question, he could ask. It really would only take a few minutes to build on what he already knew for that next step. Or, it was just to explain what he was supposed to do. I think this happened a handful of times. Obviously, that won’t be the same for all dc or families. It’s basic enough at those levels, though, that it wouldn’t take a lot of teaching time. You could do it w/out the TM even. It’s there if you want or need it, but I really didn’t reference it for more than answers.
MCP — similar to R+S but worktext, only goes through 6th (I believe). Review is in the TM and not so much in each lesson. It has less problems per page. You could do half also, or a bit more. Again, it would depend on the dc. There is more “white space” like MUS’s worksheets so it doesn’t look like there are as many problems.
SchoolAid/StudyTime — are like R+S in that they are simple and straightforward, teaching the basics really well. The pages are cluttered. I like their diversity in work, though, vs the very repepetive nature of R+S for types of problems and format. ST is also not a mastery approach. I like the dictation and mental math that’s in the lessons, too. Plus, worktexts through gr 5.
MUS — We’ve just started using this. I was battling my youngest and my dd had hit a bit of a wall w/ R+S as far as explanation/application. IIRC, I believe my 2nd son had some similar struggles so I don’t believe it’s the math. I feel they just need a bit of time for their brains to be ready/mature. It’s a different format and worksheets so that’s a plus. I can’t keep up w/ my youngest ds, now that he’s started using it! R+S and SA/ST don’t go into HS so I would probably switch at that point if I were to continue w/ those. (This is what I’m doing w/ my older sons.)
RS — I really, really like this! I think it would be great, but it requires so much of my time. W/ 4 dc and all of them needing quite a bit of help, I have to make decisions. I liken it to All About Spelling. It’s not hard to do or intense; it just requires me. There’s also a bit of a learning curve because it’s different. Good different.
VT — I like it. I watched the samples and even learned a few things. Maybe it was more that ds than the program. (My oldest and trying to find that “fit” rather than just saying OK, this is what we’re doing. There does come a point in their lives, the attitudes, and our pocket that that has to happen.) This is recommended to follow RS. It’s a short clip to watch and then you work some problems, similar to MUS. The only negative at this point is that the Geometry/PreCal/Trig set isn’t complete – and hasn’t been for several yrs.
CD — might be good overall and I liked what I saw, but there are no lesson plans and the videos are long. I don’t know where to stop or break it up for shorter sections/days.
VT and CD are more HS levels. I don’t think you’re quite there.
BJU was used for less than a chapter before ds asked to go back to R+S. LOL He felt it was clearer. Rays, I don’t know. I like the premise, but it just seems, I don’t know. I like to have things clearly laid out, like a lesson plan, clearly marked pages/lessons, or know specifically what to do and how. There might be help for it w/ a TM, which I don’t have if there is one.
I also really like Critical Thinking Co’s Mathematical Reasoning! For us, it’s just fun. It’s making my dd think but my ds is flying through easier than I am. LOL It doesn’t drill the facts, which I personally feel is important (to a degree), so I can’t quite just rely on that. I know, I could add in the practice, but it would be one more thing added to my checklist. When it’s already part of the lesson, I can rest knowing it’s already there.
Anyway. Typed out that looks horrible. oh, goodness. You would think that I’ve just flitted about and not done anything. There are pieces to each that make them stand out. If you have something specific, ask away. I’ll try to help.
ps – as for being most CM. I believe, IIRC, MUS would be and the RightStart/VideoText combo would. Ray’s could also fall there. It feels like Primary Language Lessons/Intermediate Language Lessons for math. Mathematical Reasoning would be short and sweet but might be more “twaddle”-like.
After posting this I have spent the better part of the evening looking at Ray’s arithmetic. I have read Richele’s book that is sold on this site.. mostly. 🙂 (sorry) I have never been keen on mathematics and I blame the way it is taught in public schools.. rushing you through so they can crame arithmetic through calculus into every student before they graduate. I do not want to do that with my children. As an adult I learned the wonderfully simple fact that math is an absolute. We need that realization in this world so I definitely agree with Charlotte’s reasoning that an answer should remain wrong and not done over and over until gotten correct. I also would like a program that allows the child to slowly, if need be, mull over the problem at hand and really understand what he/she is doing … opposed to jolting through the 35 problems on the page to just get it done. Math is beautiful.. it shows us the laws that God put into place. I do not care if my child is a calculus ace. I do care that he/she can see the patterns and rules for math and science. The laws in nature and creation. I so so so like Richele’s book and Charlotte Mason’s teaching on how to impliment mathematics in a child’s education but do not know how to put it to work. We have a SCM book store curriculum but one of my two of my children have not mastered multiplication and division and I feel that would be best before going that route. I also realize that they can not just do that for their whole mathematics education from now until they are done. 🙂 I guess I know that Math Mammoth is not what Charlotte Mason would have used or recommended but my issue is I do not know what she would have. I am not that mother who can make her own.. just not going to happen. This post has become a rant and I do apologize.. maybe someone has the perfect thing that I have never heard of and will save the day!! Perhaps Ray’s is what we need to do and follow up with the Harold Jacobs. I will look into both of them. .. I do want Charlotte Mason but I do need a structured curriculum which is why I love this site and what Sonya has done. I could never do Charlotte Mason style of education without her. 🙂
Richele, I forgot to mention that I have already read through the posts that are linked on your profile. I have read the ones on Ray’s but did not see any on Harold Jacobs. I will look again as I patiently wait on more from you. 😉
SCM recomends RightStart. They have many manipulatives and games with few worksheets and problems. Sometimes I wish there were a little more for review problems. They use an AL abacus and stress math understanding and thinking. But this also takes more teacher time. For that reason, I am switching my son to Life of Fred and CLE Sunrise math, at least for a time. I love the samples and there are posts on this forum with good reviews. Level 300 & up is supposed to be more independent. But I am following this thread in case CLE does not work out. Thank you all for giving your opinions and experience with different math programs. Before RS, we used Saxon and MUS for a few months each. They were not a good fit for my son. We also had success with living math books like Mathstart, added as a supplement by topic.
If I am not mistaken, RightStart does not go beyond elementary years. I have looked at it online and it just did not seem to be quite what I was looking for. I thought of MUS but quite honestly I don’t really want to spend 400$ (three grade levels) to just not like it as we have already been down that path so many times. What did you not like about MUS if you don’t mind answering. I know SCM recommends MUS but from what I understand from the math handbook and the quotes from Charlotte Mason it is not quite the right thing either. Maybe I am wrong about this though. I would love correction on it if possible. As you all can see I am up researching online when I should be sleeping. Yikes!
My son struggles with math and he just did not understand the MUS blocks as I had hoped he would. I started supplementing MUS with the AL Abacus and RS games. That helped him understand better and we ended up switching to RS. I am still happy with RS, but we are taking a break from it for a season. Have you looked into CLE?
http://www.clp.org/store/by_course/47 Click on the pdf sample for one of the 10 light units. There is a variety of math including more measurements and fractions, an area I felt RS was lacking. There is a lot of geometry too. And there are word problems. Since they are a Christian Mennonite company, there are little stories and word problems with Bible facts or good morals also. I think it makes it more interesting. The sample shown for level 209 has a good example of this. They require more teacher instruction for levels 100 and 200 due to manipulatives and the lack of abstract math skills at that age. Many parents like how independent it is at level 300 and up. I like that you can buy just a few light units and not the whole program if you want to try it. They are $3.40 each and cover 15 to 17 lessons each. And the teacher’s guides show small reproductions of the student worksheets with the answers. My kids will be using their AL abacus with it. I will help them some still, but it should take much less of my time than RS. Here is their scope and sequence: http://www.clp.org/store/by_grade/23 Free diagnostic tests pdf to print: http://www.clp.org/store/by_grade/21
SCM post on CLE Sunrise math (what got me looking at it):
You mentioned a desire for sound personal and small buiness math. I was looking ahead at the upper levels and I thought you may like the sample for 707, 7th grade math about interest paid. http://www.clp.org/documents/2727/original/Math_707.pdf
Grade 8 has some business math themes as well. Profit and Loss is in the 802 sample, along with practical math in the garden.
Here is the link to 209 I mentioned above:
Writing checks, budgeting, and credit cards are in 810:
I have also looked into Math Mammoth, but I liked the review and drill in CLE. I think it will help cement some math for my son. Math Mammoth also offers Make It Real Learning workbooks with real world math. They are mostly for middle school and up so I have not used them. Math Mammoth is 50% off at HS Buyer’s co-op now.
Sorry for so many posts. There are many math options available. I know it takes much research, thought and prayer to find what is right for your family.
If I am not mistaken, RightStart does not go beyond elementary years. I have looked at it online and it just did not seem to be quite what I was looking for. As you all can see I am up researching online when I should be sleeping. Yikes!
Correct. RightStart does not go to High School. They recommend using VideoText for that.
I thought of MUS but quite honestly I don’t really want to spend 400$ (three grade levels) to just not like it as we have already been down that path so many times.
Can you get just one level of MUS to see if it would work? Does someone have one to share? (I might be able to help some, what level would you be interested in?)
I know SCM recommends MUS but from what I understand from the math handbook and the quotes from Charlotte Mason it is not quite the right thing either. Maybe I am wrong about this though. I would love correction on it if possible.
I thought I saw that RS was also recommended, but I might be mistaken. And, RS’s been discussed.
I think the reason they are suggested is that they are not long and drawn out. MFW covers it well, probably more along the lines of what you’re thinking. It’s part of their program though, and in 2nd, they start using something else. (I know, not much help.)
Your post further up helped me understand a bit more, I think. I totally get what you’re saying, and that may be why my own many options for that same reason. I want something laid out for me to follow, that gives me some flexibility based on the dc and their needs, and isn’t “drudgery.” Between my own experiences, and those of other hsers trying to find the right fit, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t going to be that one perfect program. There are parts of each that I would love to take out for one thing. You can do your own thing, which takes a lot of time; or you can use something close. A more typical book but only doing some of the problems might be the best fit. This would give you more problems when needed but allow you to move on if they get it. I don’t know. Maybe Ray’s will be what you find works best.
I have been slow to have my 10 yr old jump on board with math, b/c of the very things of which math curr, to use. We have struggled through the years with our other child and now she is ready to graduate and her math skills are not good, and I came to realise with her it had nothing to do with the curr, she just absolutely doesn’t speak or understand the math language. Her language is the arts and music. So we battled thru the years and tried them all. I vowed this would not happen with our 10 yr old, who does speak and understand math., but he has other challenges being VERY hyperactive, therefore his attention span is VERY short.
Now I would like to say what we had used with our daugh, we spent the first 3 yrs with right start math, lots of good things we learned using the abacus, but as has been mentioned very teacher intensive, and I don’t know if that was the beginning of my daugh issues b/c she was a passive learner and I was doing all the explaining etc, anyways it was not going to be a consideration for a child with short attention span. Saxon was overkill and laborious , LOF , again by time it came around my daugh couldn’t jump in and understand it, my son goes on the rabbit trails and loses himself in it, I haven’t tried MUS b/c of cost, and VT falls in that category as well. With my son I will no doubt avoid anything that uses DVD right now as he would be sucked into that realm and forget to come back. So what we are doing with him is the math lessons for a living education, I have read pros and cons , just like on this thread right now, but math isn’t something we can be so dogmatic about when choosing the curr.and that is something we can’t lose sight of, if ever there is one area that is much fretted over in any style and philosophy of learning it is math. What we need to look at is the fit for the child and his/ her learning style. Isn’t this another consideration of our homeschooling ? If not then we are going to have an uphill battle of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. No matter what methodology/philosophy we embrace to homeschool.
As far as what to use after we are done with the levels that are available with this curr, again we will assess where our child is at and fit accordingly. The idea is along the way we have attained a greater attention span and ability to focus longer. Why worry about that now. That in itself reveals to me exactly where we limit ourselves in the possibilities.
P.S. I would like to add , our mathless daugh is a gem. She has a genuine love and heart for Jesus, and people . She is a fragrance of HIM wherever she goes, She can worship and lead others into His presence with her music at 17 . and she is finally comfortable that her music and love for Him is more valuable than any math knowledge. So for us , I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Just my .02
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