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Curriculum Help

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    Curriculum Help

    After much debating and prayer I've decided to order the kindergarten package for my soon to be 6 year old (June birthday). We've done some kindergarten activities this year, but he was very difficult when it came to sitting for any type of writing. Phonics are not consistent, which is what eventually led me to decide on the kindergarten package. My big question is what to do with math. He can add and subract up to 10s in his head, and using counting bears can do addition to 20. That being said, he won't write his numbers consistently. I don't know what math level to order for him. I don't want him bored (he will just refuse to do things at that point), but with everything he's done being orally, would the first grade math be too hard for him to work on with the writing, or should I just do it orally and assume he will eventually catch up?

    For background information we are a math and science oriented family. My biggest problems in math is getting my oldest two to show their work. My husband, and oldest two (ages 18 and 16), just see how it all comes together (for example: my ds (16) is in precalculus this year, he looks at the problem, sits quietly at his desk and writes down the answer. Thus far this year he has missed less than a dozen questions). I would like to find a balance with my younger two boys (5,3). I've used singapore with my older 2 through 6th grade, so the other option is to continue with that since it obviously has worked. I like the fact of ordering one curriculum and being done with it though. I hate planning out lessons, only to fall behind and stress out over catching up. Just not sure where to go with this particular subject. I'm open to any ideas at this point.


    DD 18 (sophomore in college)
    DS 16 (11th grade)
    DS 6 (K)
    DS. 3

    We did a very light K year with my son at 5 and used the Singapore K books at the tail end of the year. He also wasn’t ready for much formal school at K, especially the writing. We used R&S first grade as written this year with much success. We eased into all the writing but it wasn’t a big deal after the first month or so. I’ll think you’ll be surprised at how quickly he picks up writing the numbers given consistent practice. You could also practice writing numbers a few minutes each day over the summer. I think K would move way too slowly if he’s already adding and subtracting up to 10.
    DS1 (8) - MP3
    DD (7) - MP2
    DS2 (4) - SCB
    +6 little souls in Heaven+


      I would use kindergarten. MP stresses really knowing math facts.


        I would caution against leaving components behind that have worked for you in the past in order to have the benefit of following the MP guide exactly. When we switched to MP two years ago I changed to the MP math and phonics/spelling even though we were perfectly happy with our programs. While it was nice to just follow the MP curriculum guides, I have come to regret those changes. We will be substituting our previous programs next year.

        Also, you should really look into how Rod and Staff works before making the switch. It is completely different from Singapore. Concepts are introduced very gradually, and the emphasis is on fact and procedure memorization (at least in 1st-5th). My daughter finished Singapore Primary Math 3B before we switched to Rod and Staff. After successfully completing the 4th and 5th grade R&S programs, we're going back to SM. She has placed into 4A, right where we left off 2 years ago.
        9th year homeschooling, 3rd year with MP
        Girl 6M
        Girl 3M
        Girl MPK
        Girl toddler

        Levels we have completed: Preschool, Jr. K, 1, 2, 4NU, 5


          Welcome to the forum!

          MPK is one of my favorite grades. My little guy was already decoding CVC words when we began, but the added writing component really cemented the pairing of the letters with the first (and later second) sounds they made. It's an incredible program, and it sounds like he is perfectly placed. Many boys need that extra year to mature, and most children catch up to age-grade standards by third grade. I had once read that more valedictorians are older for grade, if that helps.

          Rod and Staff is incredible at plugging gaps and getting students mastering math facts so that they can tackle higher level math in the older grades. I have quite a few Ph.D. engineers in my family. I have a feeling math runs in our DNA. My little guy is excelling in math (he is naturally gifted in math stuff I've never taught him), and my eldest (who, bless her heart, has done so many different math programs) loves math now. She recently declared it her favorite subject. We have done everything from Arithmetic 1 through Arithmetic 4 in R&S, and in the summer we're starting R&S 5. Every time I feel tempted by math programs with all of the math terminology that I feel they should be "memorizing" or geometric shapes they should be analyzing, I take a deep breath and remember that HLS students go on to AP Calculus and math and science careers. But seriously, if that's all you sub out, you are still giving your little guy a fine education.
          Mama of 2, teacher of 3
          SY 22/23
          6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One

          Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
          SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)


            Originally posted by Tibbymia View Post
            I don't want him bored (he will just refuse to do things at that point), but with everything he's done being orally, would the first grade math be too hard for him to work on with the writing, or should I just do it orally and assume he will eventually catch up?

            With R&S, kindergartners go through the first half of grade 1 math. If you went with R&S math, your son would be doing the same math just at a different pace.

            One of the benefits of having your son complete R&S as planned is he would be able to focus on building his writing stamina while not also simultaneously learning his math facts. Sticking with the plans will also give your son something “easy” after the hard work of learning to read and write with FSR and Coplybook. My current second grader flies through his math each day. It gives him a sense of accomplishment and a mental break to have something that doesn’t require the same mental exertion as literature and Latin does.

            None of my children care to write because it takes their time and effort. Laying the foundation early for good writing habits and the character it builds has been worth the work. With that being said, I believe you could sub math for another program but would expect him to begin writing his math answers.

            For 2022-23
            dd- 7th
            ds- 4th
            dd- 2nd
            ds- adding smiles and distractions


              Sometimes the speed drills can help to solidify those writing skills. I would begin with the shorter Rod & Staff ones first.