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    Help with Prealgebra Please

    Hi all! Can you help me decide what to do for my oldest daughter? A while back both my daughters began to struggle with their math programs. We have only been homeschooling for 3 years, 2 of which have been with MP. They were both using Math Mammoth at the time. My youngest needed a more spiral approach so we tried CLE and have never looked back with her. She is thriving and I am happy she is loving math! However my oldest will be starting the 7M core this year and I'm not quite sure what direction to head with her. She did not want to switch to CLE at the time, she loved her math mammoth. She was finishing up 5A and understanding things, but as soon as we hit 5B and 6A it was a struggle. She used to love math and now is very discouraged. She didn't want to change in the middle of 6th, so we powered through, and with my help and Khan Academy, she has a pretty fair grasp on fractions, decimals, and math facts. We did not get to percents. So with that being said, COTR Prealgebra looks like a strong program that reviews a lot of what she missed! With that and speed drills, I feel she could be confident again. Is that what you all would do? Or should I find another math program and redo a year, like having her try CLE 5/6? I also have Derek Owens Lucid Math PreAlgebra Program with videos as well if anyone is familiar with that! We tried Rod & Staff and it just wasn't a good fit for her. Thank you in advance for all your advice!

    Beth
    DD 12 - 7M
    DD 10 - 5M

    P.S. My plan is to have my youngest finish CLE 6 and then go into COTR, unless anyone has experience with just continuing into CLE 7/8
    Last edited by home4good; 08-01-2018, 05:12 PM.
    Beth
    DD12 - 7M
    DD10 - 5M

    "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
    -Benjamin Franklin

    #2
    Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

    We used CLE with good success through grade 6 and then switched to Derek Owens prealgebra. I thought there was a great deal of review of previous years. It was an excellent course and we plan to continue using him for future math courses.
    DS13: Mix of MP 7/8
    DS11: MP 5M
    DD9: MP 2/3 mix
    DS6: Public school 1/2 day kindergarten, plus outside OT, PT and speech

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

      Originally posted by Insertcreativenamehere View Post
      We used CLE with good success through grade 6 and then switched to Derek Owens prealgebra. I thought there was a great deal of review of previous years. It was an excellent course and we plan to continue using him for future math courses.
      Thank you so much! I love what I see with the course we have! I just wanted to make sure I picked the best option whether it be Derek Owens or COTR, that filled in those gaps we have and cemented the things she isn't super strong on. They both look like fantastic math courses, that is why I am having such a hard time choosing haha *sigh*. If I listened, I think my gut is telling me to do Derek's course with her because it has the video instruction, and I think my youngest who uses CLE would thrive with COTR or DO when the time comes. I truly appreciate your advice!

      Beth
      Beth
      DD12 - 7M
      DD10 - 5M

      "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
      -Benjamin Franklin

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

        We used and liked Derek Owens Preagebra as well. It sounds like you have the self contained course he used to sell. MP's current Algebra 2 course is set up the same way, with the benefit of a book. (Note taking guide + video). If MP's Algebra 1 is also structured that way, it would be a good step after DO's pre-algebra.
        Bean. Long time MP user. I usually post before my coffee is finished. I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

        DD 10th: Aerospace enthusiast. All AP & dual enrollment courses for 20-21.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

          Hi Beth,

          I have come to the conclusion that for many 6th-8th graders, math is a nerve wracking subject. It isn't because they missed the exposure to the content, but because they lack the confidence to apply it. It is usually somewhere around these ages where the students who have picked up "bad habits" start to discover their weakness. Some of their bad habits include:



          Not knowing their multiplication facts cold

          Memorizing *how* to solve the problem (not understanding the math behind it) - distance/rate/time problems come to mind

          Rushing, making small mistakes

          Trying to do too much in their heads

          Thinking they are "bad" at math OR being terrified by the word "Algebra". Yes, this is a thing.



          I used to privately tutor middle school math, back before I homeschooled and these were the most common issues I noticed.


          If you feel that your daughter has any of the above going on, then I'd worry a bit less about *which* pre-Algebra program you choose and work on any of the above with a text like Rod & Staff 7, which extends the study of arithmetic for another year while continuing to practice decimals, fractions, and percents.


          You see, "pre-algebra" is a made up term in the sense that it has no body of content that is standard across the board. It is understood in the math world as the transition to algebra while the student (generally) reinforces arithmetic, decimals, fractions, percents, word problems (which will figure largely in algebra), and some simple "solve for x" type problems. I have looked at dozens of pre-algebra books (my 3rd kid struggled with this transition) and have come to the conclusion that they are all about the same: if the child is NOT ready (she has any of the bad habits from above), she should continue to work on the math skills that build her up to the ability to take algebra. As long as she is taking algebra by 9th, all will be well for college.


          A final thought. Whether you decide on something like R&S 7 or COTR or DO (we used Chalkdust, which also has videos), whether she takes one year or two to get to Algebra, watch for any of the above habits and work on them with her. Consider a private tutor, even if it is your husband. What I found in my tutoring days was that the students usually *did* know their math. What they lacked was CONFIDENCE. The one-on-one setting of tutoring was what the students needed for success. So, if you don't have the knowledge/patience/desire to sit by her as a tutor during your homeschool days, then I'd recommend finding one for her. Does that make sense? The videos will take her only so far if all she does is try to apply the math algorithm without understanding the mathematical relationships between the numbers.



          Not sure I helped answer your exact question, but this is a topic that is very individual to certain students. Good luck!






          Jen
          DS, 27 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

          DS, 25 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

          DD, 22 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

          DS, 12 yrs, 8th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

          All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

          Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

            Jen, I am experiencing just what you described my son is just finishing up PreAlgebra this week before going into 9th even though we started it in 7th. He definitely had gaps (and he didn't like to hear it because other things come naturally!). I finally started adding some of Strayer Upton Book 3. When he hit something I felt was shaky we would turn to that book. I use the improvement tests as speed tests though the times they list are nearly impossible even for me because it's from 1934. I almost wonder if that book would be considered Pre Algebra because it covers everything like you said.

            I have to teach it again this year with my upcoming 8th grader and hopefully I know what I'm doing this time!
            Courtney
            Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

              Originally posted by bean View Post
              We used and liked Derek Owens Preagebra as well. It sounds like you have the self contained course he used to sell. MP's current Algebra 2 course is set up the same way, with the benefit of a book. (Note taking guide + video). If MP's Algebra 1 is also structured that way, it would be a good step after DO's pre-algebra.
              Thank you so much for your suggestion! I appreciate it very much!

              Beth
              Beth
              DD12 - 7M
              DD10 - 5M

              "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
              -Benjamin Franklin

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

                Originally posted by Insertcreativenamehere View Post
                We used CLE with good success through grade 6 and then switched to Derek Owens prealgebra. I thought there was a great deal of review of previous years. It was an excellent course and we plan to continue using him for future math courses.
                You have confirmed my choices, I feel so much better, thank you! I decided to use CLE's supplemental algebra, geometry, and fractions workbooks. Someone suggested them on FB and I had no idea they had them, I am so excited! They review concepts from important LU's from 300-800. I am going to have her do the lessons that will get her up to speed and fill the gaps she missed by not taking the 300-500 series. She should finish those before Christmas and we will begin the 600 series! I will have her do 700 in 8th and then do D.O. Algebra 1 in 9th. That way we get some continuity for a couple of years without jumping around again. Thank you for your help!

                Beth
                Beth
                DD12 - 7M
                DD10 - 5M

                "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
                -Benjamin Franklin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Help with Prealgebra Please

                  Originally posted by Jen (formerly) in Japan View Post
                  Hi Beth,

                  I have come to the conclusion that for many 6th-8th graders, math is a nerve wracking subject. It isn't because they missed the exposure to the content, but because they lack the confidence to apply it. It is usually somewhere around these ages where the students who have picked up "bad habits" start to discover their weakness. Some of their bad habits include:



                  Not knowing their multiplication facts cold

                  Memorizing *how* to solve the problem (not understanding the math behind it) - distance/rate/time problems come to mind

                  Rushing, making small mistakes

                  Trying to do too much in their heads

                  Thinking they are "bad" at math OR being terrified by the word "Algebra". Yes, this is a thing.



                  I used to privately tutor middle school math, back before I homeschooled and these were the most common issues I noticed.


                  If you feel that your daughter has any of the above going on, then I'd worry a bit less about *which* pre-Algebra program you choose and work on any of the above with a text like Rod & Staff 7, which extends the study of arithmetic for another year while continuing to practice decimals, fractions, and percents.


                  You see, "pre-algebra" is a made up term in the sense that it has no body of content that is standard across the board. It is understood in the math world as the transition to algebra while the student (generally) reinforces arithmetic, decimals, fractions, percents, word problems (which will figure largely in algebra), and some simple "solve for x" type problems. I have looked at dozens of pre-algebra books (my 3rd kid struggled with this transition) and have come to the conclusion that they are all about the same: if the child is NOT ready (she has any of the bad habits from above), she should continue to work on the math skills that build her up to the ability to take algebra. As long as she is taking algebra by 9th, all will be well for college.


                  A final thought. Whether you decide on something like R&S 7 or COTR or DO (we used Chalkdust, which also has videos), whether she takes one year or two to get to Algebra, watch for any of the above habits and work on them with her. Consider a private tutor, even if it is your husband. What I found in my tutoring days was that the students usually *did* know their math. What they lacked was CONFIDENCE. The one-on-one setting of tutoring was what the students needed for success. So, if you don't have the knowledge/patience/desire to sit by her as a tutor during your homeschool days, then I'd recommend finding one for her. Does that make sense? The videos will take her only so far if all she does is try to apply the math algorithm without understanding the mathematical relationships between the numbers.



                  Not sure I helped answer your exact question, but this is a topic that is very individual to certain students. Good luck!






                  Jen
                  Jen you are so right on in all of it! We are going to go back and review the basics and build her confidence. That is most important before moving on. I finally made a decision and a plan on how to do that and feel at peace and I am really excited for her, I think this will be a great year! I really appreciate your thoughtful, honest and heartfelt advice. Thank you!

                  Beth
                  Beth
                  DD12 - 7M
                  DD10 - 5M

                  "When you're good to others, you are best to yourself."
                  -Benjamin Franklin

                  Comment

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