Math Woes (4th grade) – Please pray with me

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  • my3boys

    In our home, I watch the video with my dc 1/2 the time only because the concepts are simple for me to explain or for them to understand. I will begin watching them first or with my dc soon. It almost always works best if we have an outsider explain the math concept (I tend to confuse the issue and get frustrated) and then I assist if/when they have trouble when doing their worksheets. With the early levels (up to Beta and I’m assuming Gamma), the videos can be very short, so to watch with the dc wouldn’t take long at all, and unless it’s a concept that takes a bit to understand, you only have to watch it once.

    We have one set of blocks (for 2 dc) and use a plastic shoebox container and put it up when not in use. I do not foresee needing more than one set.

    We have only used 2 other math programs (one for a very short time), and at this point I don’t see us switching any time soon. I do have the RS program, level A, and we use their games to supplement (really no need to, but I use them since we have them), but that’s it for now.



    OK, I’m ordering Math-U-See all around. We’re going to use it and stick with it! Thanks.


    UPDATE – It’s been 3 years since my last post. Time to revisit. A huge thank you to those who prayed . God has answered and DD is progressing fantastically!

    We’ve stuck with MUS all this time! My daughter is 14 (Finishing 8th grade now) and finishing the MUS Pre-Algebra book within the next few weeks.  This year we hired a weekly tutor to come and teach her.  It has made all the difference! DD began the year midway through Epsilon and has finished Epsilon, Zeta, & almost finished Pre-Algebra! HIP HIP HOORAY, we’re back on track! She will be ready for Algebra I in 9th which was our goal. I am as yet undecided if she will continue on her own or with the tutor with MUS. I’m also peeking into Thinkwell. ?

    DS11 is 1/3 through Epsilon and taking a break this summer. He’s playing with CTC math online. He gets math fairly easily, but needs to remember to slow down, read carefully, show his work and always double check. Where to go from here? MUS is clearly working and ds doesn’t complain, but he does find it boring. Other possibilities to consider – Systematic Mathematics level 6 or Math Mammoth or Thinkwell.

    DD8 finished MUS Alpha and is working through Rapid Recall Addition and Subtraction. She seems to get math concepts easily. She would love more color and variety. I’m considering Strayer-Upton book 1 (first 1/2) & doing a lot orally or Math Mammoth.

    DS5 – just starting K and won’t have a formal program most likely.

    I said I wouldn’t change from MUS; it’s working well and I probably shouldn’t, but I can’t help but want to see what the kids think.

    Also, I’ve wanted to love TT, but the spiral method and lack of practice just doesn’t cut it here.

    I’m simply pondering at this time of year and thought I’d update this old post to show the progress.

    Warmly, Christie


    Thank you for the update! It’s awesome to see that she has progressed so much!

    We use MUS and I was waffling this spring about adding a little “color” as you say but your thread is confirming what I have been feeling. MUS is a solid program and switching around, especially for color is not in my kids best interest.  I will have to check out Rapid Recall though. Dd9 needs some serious help with her math facts.


    @eawerner – Rapid Recall is by Little Giant Steps. It isn’t cheap, but it is the only thing that helped her with her facts. My other kids have or will use it bc it works, I have it and want to get my $$$ worth!? I slept on it and looked into Thinkwell a bit and decided to stick with MUS for dd14. She’s finally in such a good place with math and I don’t want to mess it up! I may see if we can do 1/2 hour tutoring sessions for her and cut that cost in 1/2.

    I’m still slightly unsure for ds11 and dd8, but I did decide that Thinkwell wouldn’t be a fit for ds11.  Progress in the thinking!



    Thanks so much for posting your update. You see, I am currently in the same boat and could have written your original two posts. We must have similar tastes, because I unknowingly have closely followed your path.

    Quick summary, dd11 (just finished 5th grade) started with A Beka K & 1st, switched to MUS Alpha, Beta, Gamma…(3rd grade)got stuck on or about lesson 24, multiple digit multiplication, (4th grade) switched to Singapore 2A & 2B (because she tested lower than grade level), (5th grade) switched to Strayer-Upton book 1, completed first half (3rd grade portion).

    Fortunately, her most recent achievement test results show her on grade level for mathematics procedures and slightly above for problem solving. THIS IS TOTALLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD!!!

    I too did well in math, but for whatever reason am a failure at teaching it. I fear my inadequacies and jumping around have hindered her progress, though I believe she is capable, as she’s extremely bright and tests post high school in most other areas. She also now has math phobia 🙁

    This year, at the end of 5th grade, she tried Life of Fred and absolutely loved it. After talking with Stanley Schmidt, author of Fred, I started her in Kidneys. However the math was too difficult and she felt she was missing part of the story and wanted to go back. She’s currently in Dogs.

    I also just bought SCM Business Math at a homeschool convention. For 6th grade, she wants to continue LOF and work through the SCM math. I’m wondering if this is enough? I’d like to see her either go back to MUS or Singapore or possibly add in some of the Keys to… series. I just worry all of these programs combined will be too much. But, with middle school fast approaching, I’m feeling stressed to settle on something.

    I also have a rising 5th grade boy with dyslexia. His math journey also has little to be desired 🙁

    I’m encouraged to see you write that your dd will be starting high school with Algebra. God is good! Congratulations, your diligence paid off 🙂


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