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Can you help me think through 8th grade math?

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    Can you help me think through 8th grade math?

    This may be the first of many questions. I apologize in advance, but with the earlybird MPOA discount, I need to get my ducks in a row before it's too late.

    My son was homeschooled for K-4, then went to school for 5th and 6th. He is back home now in 7th and doing BJU's 7th grade Fundamentals of Math. Math has always been his weakest subject.

    He is very much a language oriented person struggled from the get-go, although he seemed to do relatively fine in school. I do not expect a STEM career out of him at all and he is the first to declare that he "hates math". We are muddling through this distance learning course this year, with my husband often times reteaching the concepts in the evening. He forgets things really easily and so I am not really considering sticking with BJU's pre-algebra because I've heard from many moms who have said it's very weak on review, which he really needs.

    And so, please tell me where I should go from here. There's a good chance he is going to the public high school for 9th. He enjoys someone else teaching and I'm not equipped to tackle pre-algebra with 5 younger siblings. I'm considering MPOA but am concerned that they only meet 2x/week. What happens the other days? He seems to need a lot of hand holding. And honestly, we were thinking MPOA for science and two MPOA classes will be difficult for us financially.

    And so what I'm looking for is:
    1) A logical, clear program
    2) An enthusiastic and patient teacher
    3) Success for a kid who struggles

    Is this CoTR? Something else? Mrs. Kassner? Help!

    For pre-algebra I would highly recommend Mrs. Kassner!

    That being said, my oldest struggled even with her excellent teaching and support. If he stays home for 9th, I would plan on doing VideoText. Hands down. It’s really increasing my son’s understanding of math and he’s finally feeling like he gets it.

    The 2019 Sodalitas videos are free now — you might want to watch the session with VT’s author, Tom Clark. Part of his background is actually in linguistics and he talks about the importance of precision in our words in mathematics. In the early lessons of the Algebra course, he relates the words we use for number and operations to the parts of speech. Both my husband and our son-who-struggles-in-math (AND grammar!) were blown away: “That makes so much more sense!” Go figure.
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      Well, I think you've got until mid March for the early bird discount. But I'm like you --- I need to have my ducks in a row earlier than later, for peace of mind.

      My 8th grader has struggled with math since about 4th grade -- and I can't put my finger on it. At first, she struggled because she didn't know her facts. We've conquered that now, but there is still much wailing and gnashing of teeth about math. #shootmenow

      Rachel did R&S Math for the most part, with a foray into Teaching Textbooks. TT has too many bells and whistles (literally), and moves too fast without enough review for my kids.

      We are currently in COTR in the MPOA with Mrs Kassner. I couldn't have served up a better teacher on a silver platter for Rachel --- Mrs Kassner is tough, but fair, and she's even a horsewoman. (My daughter is a budding equestrian) I think COTR is clear --- the text is laid out simply, with clear explanations, and everything you need to know is in a grey box. "Hey, this might be important."

      For my daughter, it comes down to attitude, and I have no idea how to fix that, honestly. I try to be non-emotional and say, "I'm sorry you hate math. It's a part of life." I've tried to convince her that part of the reason that she struggles is because she doesn't memorize rules. It's JUST like learning the Latin endings or vocab. She doesn't have to go back and look something up in Latin, because she memorized it long ago. That hasn't carried over for her into math.

      My daughter is much like your son, and prefers a live teacher --- either in person or in the online academy. In the past, pre-recorded classes haven't been the best for us.
      What I would LOVE is an MPOA 3 day a week format, but I know that's not an option.

      The classes meet twice a week --- An outline is provided for each class, and the student is expected to read through the outline, and read the section in the book that will be covered, and work the example problems. Homework is assigned, with speed drills and quizzes along the way. I feel like it's well organized, and Mrs Kassner is very responsive to emails, etc. On quizzes and tests, she annotates everything --- giving partial credit for problems, then explains where the student went wrong. (was it a computation error, wrong formula, etc) So, on the days outside of class, I would suggest homework and review. Quizlet sets for rules, etc.

      You could explore both options --- watch a class session with Mrs Kassner to get a feel for her teaching style, and watch the VT session that jen1134 mentions. I think you can even watch VT classes, too. I suggested VT to Rachel and she said absolutely not. Again, that's part of my hurdle, to get her to take ownership.

      What are you thinking about Science in the MPOA?
      Plans for 2021-22

      Year 11 of homeschooling with MP

      DD1 - 26 - Small Business owner with 2 locations
      DD2 - 15 - 10th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA/True North Academy/Vita Beata - equestrian
      DS3 - 13 -6A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
      DS4 - 13 - 6A Cottage School -soccer -auditory processing disorder
      DD5 - 9 - 4A, Cottage School/MPOA -equestrian
      DS6 - 7 - MPK - first time at the Cottage School this fall!