2nd grader - Finish MFW-1st math and/or Singapore

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2nd grader - Finish MFW-1st math and/or Singapore

Unread post by caod »

7 year old who is struggling in math - Singapore?
pjssully wrote:My last struggle with homeschooling decisions is math. My 7 year old is behind and I worry that Singapore won't give her enough repetition to get her back up to grade level. Anybody using Singapore with a child that was behind and had success. My older daughter will do great in whatever I choose for her, I am just stumped on my younger daughter.

Any thoughts?
Thanks again for all the wonderful support
In talking with David Hazell at our convention he communicated that Singapore 1A was not designed to be a beginning first grade curriculum. From one who did that I can easily see this to be true. Starting a child in Singapore without doing at least of a year of what MFW recommends is a mistake. Especially if they are not "naturals" at math. If your child has a very good foundation in using math in a practical way, using and playing with math manipulatives and so on then perhaps she could handle the Singapore 1A at 7 years of age. Much of it is about maturation and development.

I would say, get that solid background in there and give time for development. No math program really works unless they have that background.

Bless you on your journey.
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Unread post by girlzx3 »

Here's what we do with Singapore that has worked for our 7 year old dd. We began in 1B last year. At first I tried to plug through, "We must do 2 pages a day, ok let's go." Well some things were harder for her to master and we just couldn't keep up that pace.

When she got stuck, i.e. subtraction with borrowing, we would take several days off and I would just work with her on problems of this type. I would just make up the problems. When she seemed to get it we would go back to the book, until another bump in the road. Some things (i.e. telling time, went quickly) other things, beginning multiplication (in 2B) went a little slower and we would just stop and work on that for a while.

I decided this year that making sure my child learned the concept was so much more important than finishing the book. We ended up finishing just fine even with the pauses.

You could give Singapore a try this way, it's relatively inexpensive so even if it doesn't work you're not out lots of cash. I think math is one of those very individual skills with kids learning in such different ways. BTW my daughter loved that the lessons were short and to the point, that way we only did lots of problems if it was a concept she was struggling with. Sorry so long!! HTH

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Unread post by Jacqueline »

David Hazell pointed out to me that with Singapore it's critical to do the placement tests if you haven't used it from the beginning, and then don't panic if you feel like your child will be behind because of the book number they are in!

I hope you find the math program that is the best fit for your child. It's tough, but at least there are choices for the different learners.
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Unread post by jwood »

Does your daughter "need" to "catch up" and be on grade level?? If you think, "No, I just want her to learn and love learning," then my reply might help.

My oldest is behind grade level in Math. We started with MFW recommendations in K and 1st, OK not ALL but a lot of them and then tried other math programs at a great investment.

At age 8, she began Singapore 1A (she really needed a confidence booster, with her 6 year old sister who had just finished 1st. Needless to say she caught on quicker than her sister and is doing great. We took it slow and in the beginning she was so upset because she could already "do" the work but I wanted a review so she would not miss any concepts in Singapore. We are now in 1B and she is learning multiplication just fine.

Is she on grade level? No. Do I believe there is a math program to get her on grade level? No. Does it matter? No, absolutely not. She enjoys Math now and understands it, so that is all that matters to me.

I am not saying that Singapore will be great for your daughter but it is great for mine and I am thankful that we found a program to work for her.
happy customer since 2002
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Unread post by Fly2Peace »

Singapore's style is a little different. It teaches concepts, or how to think of numbers (units) and such very thoroughly. It gives a couple of methods to do problems visually. It is a very visual program. (At least at this level, we are in 2A now). We love it. I don't know whether we started ahead or behind. We had not used MFW or Singapore until 2nd grade, with 7 yo dd (we started in 1A). Before that... well, it was a mixed bag. Our core program had some included math, but, mostly I pieced it all together.

I love that dd is being taught to really THINK about numbers as things that she can use, control and manipulate. I mean that in the best way... It is hard to explain. OK, thinking of my own college algebra experience, I felt controlled by what I saw... I didn't know what to do with it. The second time through, with a totally different teacher (same textbook by the way), I got it... because he showed me how to use the information, not just see the problem in the book. I guess I feel that Singapore teaches in a way that seems much like that second instructor...

Then again, maybe it just clicks with me, so therefore it works for us. :)

It did not come naturally to me though. I have had to re-think basic math myself. Number bonding... you mean you can rearrange numbers in basic math to make it easier? For some reason, something as simple as that was like a foreign concept to me.

DD did standardized testing very well in math after a year of Singapore, and we were doing 1A and 1B for second grade. (Remember that levels in Singapore are not equal to grade levels.)

Wow, I am really rambling here... maybe it is time to stop.
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
Kim Schroter
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Unread post by Kim Schroter »

My 7 yo dd struggles with math and we will start using Singapore 1A and 1B this year. Language arts came so easily to her, so when the math doesn't make sense, she gets frustrated. I have not pushed her in math, being confident she'll get it one day when her mind is ready. I could easily let myself get upset about it, but I'm trusting God. I really don't know what program would be perfect for her, so I'm trusting those with expperience (The Hazells) and trying out Singapore.

A wise unschooling father once said to me, "curriculums are more for the parents." I don't completely agree, but I know there is some truth there too!

May God grant you insight,
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Unread post by tiffany »

We have 3 children using Singapore. Two of them are math naturals and the other one is not at all.

Once we found MFW, we decided to switch to Singapore. The kids welcomed the change, and although I can't say that Singapore was a miracle for my math-challenged child, she does find it less frustrating and there have been some breakthrough moments with the mental math approach.

We will stick with Singapore. I am pleased with how the kids are doing and I find it more enjoyable to teach than what we used previously.
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Unread post by Joy1139 »

In my opinion, a seven year old can not be behind in math. We are very relaxed with math and plan to stay that way until age ten when the child's brain takes a huge developmental leap.

Singapore is an advanced program. The levels of Singapore have nothing to do with grades. The children in Singapore do not begin the program until they are atleast seven or eight. If you try Singapore and like it, your child will actually end up being quite advanced and this will really show up around levels 3 and 4.
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Unread post by VanessaS »

I totally agree with Joy1139 - a 7yo really can not be behind in math and at age 10 their brain does chemically change making things much different. Technically, my 9yo is "behind" but I'm confident that when he turns 10 next spring many things will change as far as math. There is an article at Trivium Pursuit on delaying formal math until age 10 that may help ease your mind.

That said - my boys really enjoy math so we chose a hands on approach called RightStart Mathematics. My husband is able to do figures quickly in his head and it is because of the way he learned. We wanted our sons to have this skill as well so that's why we chose. The bonus is I'm learning math all over again as well and am learning how to do "math in my head".
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Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

2nd grader - Finish MFW-1st math and/or Singapore
henryteachers wrote:Last year, I had already bought Singapore 1A and 1B for my first grader.

Then I found MFW and loved the first grade math, so I incorporated the math literature but didn't buy the complete book of math. We used Singapore 1A and and we came to a difficult part in 1B with the mental math so we stopped.

Now for next year, would this work for 2nd grade: Using the complete book of math, math literature books, and finish up singapore 1B? Would she be far behind if we went back to 1st grade math?

Those of you who do what MFW recommends for first grade, do you start Singapore 1A and 1B in 2nd grade anyway or do you begin in 2A and 2B?

The mental math is hard to explain for me. Math isn't my best subject. I know I can figure this out with the Lord's help, but just wanted some feedback from you who have done this before as I make my decision.
Thanks for listening! :)
Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:36 am

Keep in mind that kids in Singapore actually don't start math until age 7 or 8 so although it is level 1 it is not necessarily grade one here. I think you are fine.

choosing math for 2nd grader

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:45 pm

I found it helpful when learning Singapore's way of teaching to use math blocks and talk out loud with the problem. So, still remember to use concrete ways to teach math at this age. It helped my kids to touch and move the blocks while talking it out. In some ways, it's like having a Lego instruction book with just pictures in it.

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choosing math for 2nd grader

Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:52 pm

Hi Henryteacher,
In the math section of the manual, Marie Hazell tries to make it clear that the Complete Book of Math is optional and not the most important part of the MFW 1 curriculum. I am adding this for those who may not be familar with the program yet as well as for you as you plan for next year. The workbook is used only as a supplement to the daily activities and other hands-on math games and activities in the MFW 1 math. The hands-on activities cement the more abstract thinking that comes with numbers.

This leads to your question, would this work for 2nd grade?

I would recommend not just using the CBofM, but also looking back in the TM and figuring out where you need to begin with the hands-on lessons. There is a lot of value in doing the daily math activities to help with understanding place value. That is a very abstract concept and is key to understanding math. If you look at the scope and sequence, it goes through all the topics twice. You may just start at the 2nd sweep through those topics if you think she is ready.

I would not do any other math program at this time. She may be able to move through the MFW1 math at a faster pace but I would not try to add at this time. I think it would involve too much time. You can still use the CBofM but you do not have to use all of it. Refer to the TM. As you know there are also some other great hand-on activities suggested in this book. .

I do not think it will put her behind. You will probably just be able to pick up with 2A again. It would be better to go back and lay a solid foundation than to try and build on what she is not getting right now. It will all work out. She is young.
henryteachers wrote:Those of you who do what MFW recommends for first grade, do you start Singapore 1A and 1B in 2nd grade anyway or do you begin in 2A and 2B?
My kids began much later but I have heard David Hazell say that most test in at 1B or 2A and some cover 3 books in that first year since 1B is usually pretty easy for most.
henryteachers wrote:The mental math is hard to explain for me. Math isn't my best subject.
Singapore is different. Keep in mind that Singapore has been one of the top scoring nations in math, Maybe it has something to do with this different kind of thinking. It is not American in style. I have found those I know who are already mathy think this way naturally. This is to say that for those of us who do not (that would be me) it is a great advantage to have it broken down in a way that can help us to learn what some have naturally. Do not give up to quickly on Singapore just yet. I would take a break from it and if you get stuck on it again ask over here or give the office a call.
henryteachers wrote:I know I can figure this out with the Lord's help, but just wanted some feedback from you who have done this before as I make my decision.
Thanks for listening! :)
You can do it with Him as your helper. Every kid is different and when you realize you're hitting a wall you stop and do something to correct it. You are doing just that! You will do a great job.

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Unread post by henryteachers »

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:00 pm

You have given me more confidence in what I thought would be a good plan, just needed some encouragement and tips. Thank you all so much! I feel at peace that we should just take a step back instead of going with a whole new math program.