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SC Level 1-3 requests

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    SC Level 1-3 requests

    Thanks again for taking on this project. As requested, here is a SC 1-3 thread

    I would like to see scheduled and purposeful inclusion of manipulatives into the math. This would help, I think, with moving from the concrete to abstract expression and use of numbers. Also, a problem we've had with R&S math (and many, many other math programs) is that they move from 1+1=2 to 1+?=2 very quickly. I understand that everyone is trying to move algebraic thinking to the younger grades but my daughter just really couldn't manage this. R&S groups their addition problems by fact families of things that equal 3 or that equal 5, etc... What's been working better for her is more like adding +0, +1, +2 problems. After this gets cemented she has been able to do an occasional algebraic type question.

    I'm not sure how far you plan to include hands-on type activities (I think the website mentions "younger levels"). I hope this includes at least level 1/Kindergarten. Having things to see or move around has helped her comprehend and remember data, and sequence and discuss story lines.

    Other thoughts: songs or other memory helps to assist those who don't memorize easily. Reading comprehension questions (even for read-alouds) that are simpler but grow in difficulty. Or at least directions on how to cut down or modify the questions that are part of the standard programs.

    I'm certain others will have more and better specifics for these and higher grades. Thank you again!

    (re Math: for me, you may remember we had moved to Shiller after lots of trials and errors with other programs. She did well with it. Especially with all the manipulatives. She finished the first level fairly quickly but I have gotten too frustrated with typos and other problems to continue using it. Personally I'm not fond of spiral but it seems to help her with lots of little review. I haven't done higher levels, of course, so we may end up with the frustration you mentioned with Michelle about spiral seeming haphazard.

    I had planned to move to Saxon since it's a well-known program and it incorporates manipulatives. It ended up on backorder and in the meantime, I have tried CLE math. If nothing else, I'm very happy with the small increments of new material but especially because they leave the algebraic addition problems out for quite awhile.)
    Last edited by CelticaDea; 05-13-2014, 06:28 AM.

    My dd has super struggled in math too. She is okay with most small addition, once she is in the groove, but she gets really confused easily. She can follow a pattern, but I have to tell her what type of pattern we are following on a page because she doesn't really understand the math sentences yet. She also is completely lost with place value, having trouble distiguishing 1 and 1 is two from 1 and 1 is 11. We have tried to use the RightStart naming system ten-one etc. but with little headway yet. Anyway, I wanted to alert you to Ray's arithmetic. It works one table at a time, in order. We are having some small success following their sequencing because you work in small numbers to begin with, rather than going from say 3+1 to 31+1 as I have seen other programs do. Ray's works through math facts in their tables in small numbers through all the math processes before dealing in place value and fractions etc. I found with my dd the biggest issue with spiral programs, although the review is good is that none of the concepts cements before we introduce something else new. It works at the beginning of any program, but after a couple of months she bogs down everywhere, because she can't sort out all the little bits of info, even if they have been reviewed. I am still working on finding a good mastery program, but like you I have gotten stuck a couple of times because there is some big concept introduced that she just does not get. As a result, when you hit that in a mastery program you are stuck! There never seems to be a way to go around the concept. We hit that in reading too. We used AAR until midway through 2, but she could NOT handle multiple syllables. And once they were introduced, they were in all the stories! If she didn't get that one step, the whole program became unusable. Also, I don't have a review yet, but I bought Addition Tables to Classical Music for next year. I haven't tried it with DD, but the music sounded nice to me at least. We do try to emphasize music for memory work when possible.


      Originally posted by armymom View Post
      I am still working on finding a good mastery program, but like you I have gotten stuck a couple of times because there is some big concept introduced that she just does not get. As a result, when you hit that in a mastery program you are stuck! There never seems to be a way to go around the concept.
      That is exactly the biggest problem I've had with the mastery programs! Sometimes she just needs to let the info percolate in her brain for a little while and then it'll make sense. Or it's just something she can't do yet (algebra) but in the meantime we've hit a brick wall and just frustrating us both and doing nothing at all. I've not been creative enough to figure out how to modify the material so she can understand or come up with stuff to do when we hit these walls. Maybe as I get more experience and become better at teaching her I'll be able to do this.

      CLE definitely would not be a good fit for someone who is still needing help distinguishing numbers. Luckily that's not a place she has a problem but I'm also not sure I could have started this program right at the beginning of K. It, like R&S, is labeled a 1st grade level but it starts out pretty simple. I think I'll get through the first 3 units before we start the 'next year'. (i'm planning year round) But it doesn't have the big section in front like R&S where it just does each number. If I remember correctly we won't go past 10 in addition facts by the end of the first level (100).

      I will keep Ray's in mind. I've looked at it before but she does best with worksheets (she needs to see it) and it doesn't use them. I wasn't in the mood/motivated/overwhelmed etc...... to make up worksheets to use with it.

      We had a similar problem with AAR but much earlier. We couldn't get past lesson 7 of level 1. I'm not sure exactly, but I think they either added a second vowel sound or a third. She just started guessing. She didn't have enough background phonemic skills (location of sounds in a word, differentiating sounds, etc) and, while she could recognize her letters separately, she couldn't do it relative to sounds in the words. We backed up and cemented those skills and letter formation. She also didn't have the fine motor skills to manage to write the letters well. HWOT helped a lot with this, especially the little chalkboard that gave her a concrete edge to follow or bump against. She still confuses a few letters (especially b,d,p,g,q,9) but writing out words helps her. She wouldn't have been able to manage First Start Reading at the beginning of this year either. Nearly a year later, she's about halfway through book B and doing pretty well but we just hit the weird words of do, go, to, no, of, off. Judging by how yesterday went, I think we'll be hanging out here for a bit. I know those can be challenging for anyone but I have a few ideas for working through it. (Thanks, Cheryl, for the concentration/matching game ideas!)

      I know there's no perfect program that would have taught me that she needed to write the words to read them. Sometimes I feel bad that since I'm not a 'professional' teacher, I had to trial-and-error my way into figuring out what worked for her but I certainly had the motivation to keep trying until we did figure it out. I'm certain we'll hit walls again and I'll feel horrible and frustrated all over again until I figure out how to help her.

      I'm very excited about the anticipated SC levels. Maybe at least I won't feel like we're playing catch up with the regular levels. I'm pretty comfortable with the idea that we'll get to the individual courses when we get there but having a decent plan to follow instead of leaving the plan to work on some skill before we can come back to try again will be nice.




        Another request is Handwriting Without Tears (HWOT) for the early grades (level c or 1 maybe?) The letters look odd but the little chalkboard is awesome. I also really like the tactile letter cards. The songs are great for remembering what to do (start letters at the top). Some of the program is obviously designed for a classroom but we've still really liked it.

        My daughter didn't have trouble transitioning to NAC afterward.



          Just FYI, some group called classic curriculum makes workbooks to go with Rays and even a workbook pre, rays. I have not used it yet though.

          Maybe that is an idea for these levels, what to do when you are just stuck. I know we have hit this in a couple of areas. I completely see the need for mastery, but there are times when we hit a brick wall and nothing seems to help. What then? Do you just repeat? Quit and let it simmer? Do a different topic? Use a different method or visual? I have tried variation a lot, with limited success. I am not even sure how to do repetition as needed. What happens when you run out of extra practice work sheets, do you make your own? Repeat what you have? I admit, my dd is bright enough to memorize a worksheet before she gets the topic. I need advice on how to productively continue to work on a topic when understanding is lacking.


            I 2nd HWOT

            I second the idea of starting with HWOT preK and maybe K with Level C and 1. I know when we started into JrK no matter what I seemed to try even with some preschool printables my girl could not grasp writing letters. It was once we stepped back and did all capitals with HWOT using the small slate that she could grasp it. (Other things like the wood pieces, dough, songs were not necessary for us.) just the workbook and slate, once our sponge was worn we just dipped a finger in h2o.

            Then in HWOT K it goes through lowercase letters and numbers. Honestly she never really finished this one and just sort of does it as fun school now. Once we had a grasp on writing all 26 letters in uppercase she was more prone to attempting to copy lowercase and jumped in progress with the Alphabet Books and then FSR.
            Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

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