We are with a charter school and it’s time for testing again. I like MUS, my kids like it, but whenever testing time rolls around we all get a bit frustrated. My daughter especially gets frustrated by being given questions that she’s never seen before, division or fractions or decimals. And I start stressing out about test results because I don’t want the school to start interfering with what I do.
How have you delt with testing if you use MUS?TristanParticipant
I have! Now, we do not work under a school that handles the testing. Here in Ohio if we choose to use testing as part of our reporting (we have other options) then we only give the school the composite/total test score, not scores on the individual sections. Even if a child fails several sections of the test their composite score is above the number required in Ohio law (25th percentile). So the school can’t do anything.
With that said, yes, MUS has a different sequence so the elementary years of testing end up a bit messy as kids just haven’t encountered some topics. I tell my kids to just choose an answer and move on. (One child was so incensed by that idea – “But mom, if I get some of those right it’s not ok, I didn’t know how to do the problem.” She just left those blank.)
Once kids reach PreAlgebra the sequence of MUS and the schools is much more in sync. (Now, if you are not reaching PreAlgebra until 10th grade then you’re not going to be in sync. Being several levels ‘behind’ the traditional MUS sequence would be an issue. We try to have kids ready for Algebra 1 in 9th grade at the latest.) You mentioned your daughter hasn’t seen division, fractions, or decimals, so I am guessing she is younger and in Gamma (Multiplcation). What grade level is she considered by the charter school for testing purposes? If she is 3rd grade that would be on target for the traditional MUS sequence, which would put her finishing Zeta in 6th grade and starting PreAlgebra in 7th. That is the year that MUS will have covered their different sequence pretty much and be more traditional.
I agree with previous poster.
We do MUS and yes the S&S is different, focusing on one concept per year, but by the end of 6th grade they will be about where other kids are.
We do standardized testing and so far the over all scores have been good because yes, some things they have no idea they know enough of the other things so well (from MUS being mastery) the scores even out with out a problem.
She is in third grade, but only recently started gamma. She will probably only get half way thru gamma this school year. I guess I just need to relax about the testing.
Tho it does make me wonder if I want to use MUS with my next kid. I was already thinking of putting him in something else to avoid competition with his older sister (and avoid him obviously passing her up) , and this feels like one more reason to do that. :/
You know your children best, but my two older kids though 2 grade years apart (5th and 3rd) are only one level apart in MUS. My oldest in 5th is working through Epsilon and my second in 3rd is working through Delta. My 3rd grader just “got” numbers and started Alpha in Kinder and just keeps moving along. Sometimes my oldest will mention that her brother is only a year behind in math, but I remind her that we all have different skills and gifting and to not let it worry her because we all learn at our own pace. So far so good 🙂 That is actually what I like about MUS, that it works for my one student who just “gets” math and my other one that needs a bit more time.
Personally I would have a harder time running two different math programs just because scope and sequence are different and methods are also taught differently. I would be concerned that I would confuse my student. That said you know your kids best 🙂
Oh and what helps us is that we do math year round. We take summer break from school, but continue working through our MUS books through the summer. My kids have never finished their math books in 172 days (our required school days) but it works out well to continue into the summer so that when they start the next book there is not a break and they don’t forget, they just continues on into the next book.
Yeah, it is easier to just use one math program… Easier on this tired Mama’s brain. Lol
But if I stick to MUS with him, and especially if we continue thru the summer (which I’ve been considering for the older two), then he’s going to hit gamma sometime mid year first grade. I think he’d be better off going deeper in addition and subtraction, rather than zooming ahead to multiplication. So that’s part of my consideration using Singapore or math mammoth or something with him next year.
My third grader just started gamma this month, so she’s a little ‘behind’. I only expect to get halfway thru gamma before summer. My kindergartener is three years younger than his sister, started this year finishing up primer, moved on to alpha 2-3 months ago, and is flying thru it. He will easily finish alpha this year and start beta before summer. Which would make him only a year behind her.
Tho maybe instead of switching him to something else, I should think of it more in terms of MUS being his main curriculum and supplementing with something else just to slow him down a little. Maybe after he finishes alpha, I’ll have him do Singapore 1 and beta. That should give him enough for first grade and I can reassess afterwards.
Tho I’d really like a long term plan nailed down right now. LOL 😀
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