Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Simplifying Math Mammoth

We tried Math Mammoth this past school year after Saxon totally bombed at our house. It was better than Saxon...for about two weeks. Then the same problems started happening. Like, the whining. And the complaining. And the frustration. And the tears, even from the 6th grader! So we stopped and began doing just Life of Fred. Nobody complains about doing Life of Fred. Ever.

Well, there may be a complaint here and there when "A Row of Practice" pops up in "Your Turn to Play", but on the whole, LOF is very, very popular around here. We will keep doing it, for sure.

And yet.

Grace still has a bit of confusion with things like ratios and decimals. Granted, she hasn't done Life of Fred Decimals & Percents yet, but I would really like to see her  finished with sixth grade math now that she is due to start 7th grade. So I am going to have her do some Math Mammoth to catch up.

Christopher (rising 5th) needs more practice on concepts than LOF provides. So he will be doing some Math Mammoth.

James (rising 3rd) started at the beginning of the LOF books and has yet to reach the books that cover things he has already learned. He needs more challenge. So he will be doing some Math Mammoth.

Rose (rising K!) will start the first LOF after she finishes up with Singapore Essentials A & B. And then she will also do some Math Mammoth.

So in short, pretty much everybody is going back to using Math Mammoth.

My plan right now is to go more lightly through MM than we did in the past. I actually read the introductory material for the curriculum and realized that even the author does not recommend doing it all. I think this was my mistake before, having them do every problem.

So new plans are in order-

  • We will not be doing every problem, except on the tests. We will aim for maybe half of the problems on the sheet, unless more practice is needed. If the material is too easy we will try to move along fairly quickly.
  • The kids who are "behind" grade level, will start out just doing the tests, in order. If they do okay on a test, we will skip all the lessons leading up to the test. If there are issues, we will back up and focus on those things. When there are more than a few things causing confusion, we will back up and start doing the lessons properly.
  • I am going to make myself sit at the table with them all to do the math sheets together, instead of just handing them the sheets. It's a huge temptation to just let them figure it out on their own while I do another subject with someone else, put the laundry in, etc.. But I think that is not working out. I think math and snack time will now coincide and everyone will sit down together. Like a little math party:). And maybe I will get some knitting done while helping.
  • After we spend 30 minutes or so on Math Mammoth, everyone will do a chapter of Life of Fred to finish up math for the day. Rose can sit at the table and do her math along with everyone else, but that should only take a few minutes.
I printed out the first few pages of Math Mammoth for each child and put them in a folder on their shelf. So I think we are pretty much ready to go, math-wise at least! One week left of break!

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