Placement - Need reassurance/advice (David Hazell reply)

mothermayi
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: Singapore Math

Unread post by mothermayi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:21 pm

Expecting Singapore 3A/3B in two days. I really pray it works for ds! We just can't keep switching, kwim?
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by kw4blessings » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:14 pm

Help! I need some guidance here. A little background of our math journey: We used MFW 1st grade last year, doing the math as written in the manual. It went well. For the most part, my dd seemed to grasp most of the mathematical concepts we went over and the hands on was really good for her as she had previously struggled with some of the math in K (we began using Saxon...our pre-MFW days!). I decided to begin using Singapore 1A, following MFW recommendations, with her last summer to keep up with math skills through the summer and then carry on through the year. It didn't go well. She often got frustrated and told me she didn't understand. We continued with it slowly during the summer until about lesson 25. I started looking for alternatives that may be easier for her to grasp (easier for me to teach).....

Enter MathUSee. We began Alpha in the fall and we are 3/4 of the way through. For the most part it has gone well. My dd is the kind of child who is either on or off. Some days are great! Others she is in tears like she has never seen this math before. MUS is a mastery program, so they recommend not moving forward until each lesson has been mastered. Because my dd is so on and off, if we followed that approach, we would never move forward! Can she spout off all single digit addition facts and 1/2 of the subtraction ones? No. But, on a good day, she can figure them out. ;) Within the last several weeks, math has been a daily struggle again. She looks at me like she has NO idea what to do.

So, where to go from here? I don't like to curriculum hop. Especially with math, I think it is best to find something that works and stick with it. The only problem is that I feel like I haven't yet found what works for her. Ug. My ds moving up behind her has a math brain and I think he will do great with Singapore. I pulled out her 1A book tonight to see about re-starting Singapore with her and my ds (5) was answering all the questions, and most before his sister!

What are your thoughts? Should I start Singapore again where we left off? She'll be 8 in August and we're still working on simple addition here. I try not to worry about where we "should" be or grade levels, but I want to make sure I'm at least doing all I can to encourage and help her with math. I'm figuring it can't hurt to give Singapore another try, right? If anything it would be good review of the addition she knows. But, what about down the road? I've always heard that Singapore is on the more difficult side of the math curriculums. Is it wise to try again with this particular child?

Thanks for listening to me vent. :~ This homeschooling thing is tough and it's nice not to have to figure it out by myself! :) Prayer! Yes, I need to do more of that, too.
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

asheslawson
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:37 am
Contact:

Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by asheslawson » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:37 pm

kw4blessings wrote:Help! I need some guidance here. A little background of our math journey: We used MFW 1st grade last year, doing the math as written in the manual. It went well. For the most part, my dd seemed to grasp most of the mathematical concepts we went over and the hands on was really good for her as she had previously struggled with some of the math in our pre-MFW days.

I decided to begin using Singapore 1A with her last summer to keep up with math skills through the summer and then carry on through the year. It didn't go well. Enter MathUSee. We began Alpha in the fall and we are 3/4 of the way through. My dd is the kind of child who is either on or off. Some days are great! Others she is in tears like she has never seen this math before. MUS is a mastery program, so they recommend not moving forward until each lesson has been mastered. Because my dd is so on and off, if we followed that approach, we would never move forward!

So, where to go from here? I don't like to curriculum hop with math, I think it is best to find something that works and stick with it. The only problem is that I feel like I haven't yet found what works for her. Ug. My ds moving up behind her has a math brain and I think he will do great with Singapore. I pulled out her 1A book tonight to see about re-starting Singapore with her and my ds (5) was answering all the questions, and most before his sister!

What are your thoughts? Should I start Singapore again where we left off? She'll be 8 in August and we're still working on simple addition here. I try not to worry, but I want to make sure I'm at least doing all I can to encourage and help her with math. I'm figuring it can't hurt to give Singapore another try, right? If anything it would be good review of the addition she knows. But, what about down the road? I've always heard that Singapore is on the more difficult side. Is it wise to try again with this particular child?

Thanks for listening to me vent. :~ This homeschooling thing is tough and it's nice not to have to figure it out by myself! :) Prayer! Yes, I need to do more of that, too.
I don't know how much help I can give - my dd is very good at math, but my ds has always struggled. However, fortunately early on, he did ok. I have just a few pointers - and I'm thinking someone else may jump in here that has been through something similar. I understand not wanting to curriculum hop - and I agree - especially with math. I didn't always love Singapore - but I never really loved anything when I didn't feel like dealing with their cries of despair. It took a ton of patience and creativity.

I really encourage you to also call the MFW office, I did when my son started to really struggle - the first year I homeschooled him (he was in 4th) - and they were an immense help. Now he's hanging on - pretty much right where he should be in Saxon 87 (7th grade). He can even work some larger equations in his head when I need to work them out on paper - even when they involve multiple operations, fractions with different denominators and a decimal or two - he has quite a knack at solving more in his head than I could hope to do.

These are some things I did - and both of my children do quite well - although one seems more gifted than the other. We did MFW K and the math explained in that was exemplary in my opinion and my daughter really grasped it very well. I continued a few concepts until 1st & added a bit on my own.

1. Every day she was given a craft stick to add to a cup of them - and every 10 days we bundled them in a rubber band. EVERY day we counted the 1's, then as we progressed, we counted the 10's and 1's. This was so seemingly simple to me - but I think it helped her a ton.

2. Every day, in another cup, she was given a penny. Every 5th day she changed 5 pennies for a nickel. Every 10'th day she changed a nickel and 5 pennies for a dime. (Sometimes we'd be silly and she'd get a nickel for 5 pennies, then change the two nickels for a dime.) Of course on day 25, 50, 75, etc...she exchanged her dimes and a nickel for a quarter. I NEVER stopped adding this - every school day earned a penny, day 1 to completion....and on the last day she had over $1.70 I think - always having encouraged her to remember when she needed to change her small change for larger denominations and her quarters for a $1.00. I repeated this in 1st grade, even though I don't think it was in the curriculum. I've yet to find an amt she cannot correctly count now - I have her count any cash I can get my hands on - and she can accurately tell me the change due at the register if I can get the clerk to wait to enter it into the register. Even though this got a bit dull for me - I kept my attitude fun and light and made it a game for her.

3. Always count anything you can - driving down the road I would count cars at lights, in a small parking lot, salt shakers on tables, any stacks on displays. I'd play fun word problem games with her such as if 2 cars turn right, how many cars will be left at the light or if a car hauler drives up with 15 cars stacked on his truck, how many cars will there be. Gradually we started adding difficulty such as what if there were twice as many cars (or whatever object), or what if there were 6 fewer, or what if 1/2 the cars drove away.

4. I found domino math games online and printed some sheets and slid them into sheet protectors. She would add the dots or subtract the dots on both sides of one - or on 2 dominoes and mark the answer on a space beside. An old washrag wipes it away easily. We came up with games of our own - she LOVED her box of domino math.

5. I found and made up many other games - we kept all her math toys in a special box. We also used the beans glued on a craft stick for 10's and loose beans for 1's and counted those. I think this was from 1st. And - also from 1st - we'd let her write up tickets for us at dinner and figure our bill.

6. One game they both LOVED was I cut out a bunch of loose numbers 0-9 and put them in a shallow box. The would sit at the table with a large book standing between them (or dad or I would play her - or her friends). I would give them a number with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or even more digits drawing a separate set of number cards. I had a small dry erase to write the digits as they were drawn, each round had been pre-determined to know how many digits we were drawing. Once the final digit was on the board we would draw an index card to determine if our challenge was to make the greatest possible number or lowest possible number out of the digits on the board (and 0 could NEVER be used in the 1st place). This was a big favorite.

7. I also bought the game Allowance - and it is still popular. Unlike Monopoly, this game also has nickels, dimes, quarters, and small bills. The winner is the first one to $20 - so it's not an endlessly long game like Monopoly - and it teaches counting with reasonable dollar amts they are likely to use.

8. They always helped in the kitchen to measure, and more. It was especially helpful to have them help me double a recipe or half a recipe if I needed to. Anything measured I always encouraged them to help me figure it out - because "I always forget"! They LOVED to help me remember.

9. All of these things, and more, I keep remembering games we played - really helped (in my opinion) to cement the math in the real world - and then when the numbers were presented on paper, I could show them how they were still just counting apples / toys, etc...by adding or subtracting. Sometimes I literally laid out toys in the amts on the paper to help them - or used a place value chart and little plastic circles I'd pre-marked with a sharpie in designated amts. One color was one's, another 10's, then 100's, 1,000's, so on...I would use these little plastic chips (I think I bought them at Rainbow Resource in a bag of 100 or so) to represent the math problem. These also made it simpler to SHOW them what was happening when carrying and borrowing was taking place.

Hope these help some - your sweet daughter may need a very hands on approach - she may be getting that with MUS - so I'm not sure - but I just incorporated these math "games" into everything we did - without EVER telling them it was math.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:40 am

Just a couple of thoughts...

1) are you drilling math facts daily? There are lots of options out there - flashcards, online (xtramath.org), apps for phones, etc.

2) some kids will cry at anything new or harder than they want it to be. We're in 3B with my sons, and it was a review page and all the word problems were 2 step problems, and one of my sons (my dyslexic one who hates to write so will do complicated math problems in his head) just broke down. So, I took the pencil and had him tell me what to write. Taking that out of his hands helped him calm back down and get it done (otherwise he'd have been doing math until bedtime!

3) Also, make sure you don't have another issue going on - eye sight and eye tracking are good, getting plenty of rest, has gotten plenty of protein so she's not hungry, no food sensitivity, etc.

4) change it up to doing math first thing in the day when she is fresh, maybe.

I want to go to asheslawson's house for math - sounds like lots of fun!
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by kw4blessings » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Thanks for the replies! :-)

You have given me a lot to think about and pray over. No, I haven't been drilling math facts daily. I need to put this on our Adventures grid. So easy to forget!
gratitude wrote:The good news Kelly is that the daily math fact drill reminders are on the ECC grid!
Thank you! This is good to know.

Tricia - I am pretty sure we do have other issues going on, definitely eye tracking issues and possibly food sensitivities... working on testing for those. I really think this is the root of the problems at this point, especially with her being so on and off. Maybe it's not so much the math curriculum at all, just that it is her most trying subject so we see the issues magnified here?

asheslawson - Thanks for all these great ideas! I admit that I often want to give the workbook page and move on to the next thing. This is a good reminder to dig in deeper with the hands on stuff. I know she would benefit here. And it will be more fun! My son will start 1st in the fall and do the craft sticks, coin cup there, so I think it would benefit to have her join in and do her own cups again along with him. I wouldn't have thought to add her into that. Thanks!

Lori - Thanks [for the PM]! So much good info. to look over. :-)
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:22 pm

Kelly, I was just looking at some old Singapore threads for some answers to some of my own questions regarding Singapore. I thought of your thread, and thought I would share! :) Recently, I came to the conclusion that we need to re-start Singapore ASAP. The reasons we tried other math programs are not very good ones since Singapore was actually working very well for myself and our children. Here I am though reading an old thread of all the great things I loved about Singapore until I stopped using it this school year; as well as the many good inputs by a number of moms. I have also been reading my own struggles with getting those math drills done with a second grader 2 years ago! So those drills really are challenging until the routine is in place (which it is for us at this point). I wanted to remember the 'whys' behind choosing Singapore and found this a great thread to read. Anyways, I thought I would share. It even has David Hazell on it and the reasons MFW choose Singapore and the time they took and thought they put into the decision. It also has moms on it that choose Singapore with non-mathy children and those who used it with math oriented children. Interesting read:

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ore#p91759

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by hsm » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:46 am

I had another idea I wanted to share. We drill daily using flashcards and my dd would get very anxious and frustrated. I read an idea on another site that was extremely helpful in her learning her facts.

We use the MFW flashcards and I let her read the answer side. Yes, the answer side. We did this for a few weeks everyday. Sometimes she would sing the facts or march or clap or just read them. She would read out the entire fact on each card, not just the answer. This helped her memorize the facts rather than struggling to come up with the answer on her own.

Now, she is doing well with coming up with the answer using the opposite side of the card and it is carrying over to her work. Maybe this idea will help others.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by kw4blessings » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:50 pm

gratitude wrote:... found this a great thread to read. Anyways, I thought I would share. It even has David Hazell on it and the reasons MFW choose Singapore and the time they took and thought they put into the decision. It also has moms on it that choose Singapore with non-mathy children and those who used it with math oriented children. Interesting read:

http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ore#p91759
Thanks for the link! This gave me some inspiration to give Singapore another try. I felt like such a dunce reading the post on the link, as different people talked about explaining the concepts with manipulatives. Um, the thought never crossed my mind before. &) Whenever my dd didn't understand a concept (back when we started Singapore), I would just try to "re-read" the textbook to her. She just got more frustrated. Hence the abandonment of Singapore! Maybe that's why MUS has been mostly working for us... it's based on manipulatives. !? We started up this week back where we left off in 1A. At this point, we'll keep moving forward.
hsm wrote:We use the MFW flashcards and I let her read the answer side. Yes, the answer side. We did this for a few weeks everyday. Sometimes she would sing the facts or march or clap or just read them. She would read out the entire fact on each card, not just the answer. This helped her memorize the facts rather than struggling to come up with the answer on her own.
Absolute genius! My dd is the same way with flashcards and runs at the mention of them. :-) This idea is awesome. We will start this tomorrow. OK, maybe Monday! ;)
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

MFW-Lucy

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:19 pm

Hi Kelly,

Just a couple of thoughts.

My youngest was a math brain and my oldest struggled so I really kept them separate and even asked my youngest to not interrupt us if he did hear us while we were doing math. So, I would recommend to not let your 5 year old hang out with you when you are doing math with your older child. Also at this time you may consider just using Singapore with your oldest and letting your son use something else until next year or even 2nd grade. This will allow her to hopefully move a head a little without the comparison helping her to build her confidence. You will also find that 1B is quite a jump from 1A.

If you use Singapore again, try using blocks to represent the pictures to help your daughter understand it. Some children need this a bit longer and learn by doing it. This is o.k. to do and as they get older they will likely need the manipulative less and less. Although when introducing a brand new concept we often pulled out blocks again to see and do it.

Please feel free to call the office at 573-202-2000 and ask for Lucy.

Blessings,
Lucy

rodenburgal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:51 pm

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by rodenburgal » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:25 pm

Thank you all so much! You have given me the hope and confidence that I can make this work and not only work but a fun and positive experience. This is our first year homeschooling and I've just been trying to figure out what my daughter knows and where to begin with things. I think it was also partly me assuming she knew more than she knew, I really appreciate your input and advice. I did give her the 3A test as my mind said "yes, she is third grade". Finding my MFW has been the best thing ever!
Amy - NoVa
DD 9 Soon to be ECC
DS 5 MFW K (and LOVING IT)

MFW-Lucy

Re: Should we give Singapore another try?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:30 pm

Amy,

I'm so glad this thread has been an encouragement to you. To encourage you further the Singapore levels are just that levels. They do not equate to American grades. This is why a 6th grader only has to complete a minimum of 5B to enter 7th grader math. So starting in 3A is not really behind as a 4th grader.

If you have any questions as you get started do not hesitate to call our office to speak with one of our consultants.

Lucy

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