K-3 Math curriculum
#1
Does anyone have any opinions on homeschool math curriculum?

I'm looking at getting something K level for my preschooler. She's really bright and loves to count already.
For a long time I was thinking of using Saxon math (Anthony Robinson recommends it, and he's a PhD scientist and a christian, so I'm inclined to trust him: http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p46.htm)

But reading reviews about it on various blogs and forums, people seem to either love or hate it, and mostly hate it. I think the memorization and review that they complain about would actually be a good thing for the retention of knowledge. From some of the comments I wonder if they're just using a level inappropriate for their child whether too high or too low simply because it has a particular grade level on the cover.  I've heard other people say that the K level is perfectly fine for a 4 year old, and that a kindergartener should probably start with level 1 if they can count.

I was thinking that of the alternatives, I might go with Math-U-See because it also uses manipulatives and is supposed to be big on teaching to mastery and the "why" of concepts. But I hate the idea of lessons coming from a DVD at so young an age, and I hate the poorly spelled brand name. It reminds me of a seedy convenience store I used to live near named "Bi-rite."  :LOL:

Then I hear about Singapore Math, and the high test scores it's supposed to bring about, but man alive, did I despise word problems when I was a kid.  I get that math is supposed to be practical, but why not just bake a double or half batch of cookies or take a trip to the dollar store on a budget?

I don't necessarily want to go with something that's yet unproven. There are teachers on my husband's side of the family that say the reason school budgets are always soaring and kids are performing so dismally is that school are always shelling out money for the latest and greatest curriculum that will supposedly solve their problems.

Anyone have any math success stories? Or math battles they can help me avoid? Thanks!
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#2
I am not a Saxon fan.  We gave it the Ol college try, and it is not our thingee.
I really like McRuffy Math.
http://www.mcruffy.com/Kindergarten-math-lessons.htm
They have it through 5th grade now.  I use it until I can get them on Teaching Textbooks, which starts in 3rd grade.  McRuffy is great because it has everything laid out for teacher, it uses manipulatives,  and is not overwhelming for student or teacher.  My 2nd grade level math student is with this program.
I have my K with OLVS math this year, which is very cheap and basic and thorough...but you have to have the complete K lesson plans to do it.  Next year she will do McRuffy 1st grade.
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#3
I have used both Saxon and Math-U-See and liked MUS much better.  But a lot of it depends on what will match your teaching style and the child's learning style. 

Even though MUS has videos, as I recall, they recommend the parent watch them and teach the child.  Or watch them together and discuss them.  You aren't supposed to have the student work through videos on his own until older grades.
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#4
Here's the thing, don't overthink math curriculum in the lower grades.

They need shape and pattern recognition and to learn their math facts, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.

Every single K-3 program does this. Some cost hundreds of dollars for 4 years of math, some less than $50. It really does not matter what you use as long as they are ready for arithmetic (carrying, borrowing, long division etc...) when all is said and done.

Pick what you like and whatever is in your budget. Get some manipulatives. I really like the Math-U-See manipulatives, I will say but don't agonize over picking the right one. None is really any better than the other, they all have the same end result.  Know your child, know their learning style and just buy something or don't buy anything at all. Play with manipulatives, drill math facts, and buy some tanagrams for them to play with instead. If they 'get math' easily move into a slightly more challenging curriculum like Singapore, if they don't look at MUS and maybe developmental math. 

Trust me, save your mental energy for picking curriculum until higher grades.
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#5
Thanks all!

Yes, I think manipulatives are a great idea, so whatever I get will have those.

Don't worry, mom, math is the only subject I really plan on fretting over that much. My kids love books, so I have a feeling that most other things will take of themselves. At least for a while.

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#6
I taught Singapore math and it works well.
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#7
I know of several families that use Math Mammoth (www.mathmammoth.com) and others that use Math Lessons for a Living Education (http://angelaodell.com/math-lessons-for-...education/).

Math Mammoth's biggest selling points seem to be that it is simple, inexpensive ($125 for 1st-6th), and covers everything you need to know and is basically self-taught after 3rd or 4th grade.  But you have to print out all of pages from a CD. (They might have a printed version now but I'm not sure)

Math Lessons for a Living Education is story based and teaches math through real life situations and a story line that runs through their whole math series. All the kids I know who use this program love math and even read the stories for fun in their free time.

Both use simple, inexpensive manipulatives that you can easily find at home and go all the way until pre-algebra.
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#8
(09-09-2013, 05:34 PM)iona_scribe Wrote: Does anyone have any opinions on homeschool math curriculum?

Math facts only first, all of them, to full mastery,
then first math curriculum is Saxon Math 54.

Saxon math is indeed independent as Art Robinson explains.
But begin Saxon with Math 54 and omit the K-3

Saxon K-3 covers math facts, clock, thermometer, and ruler, all of which are taught from the beginning in Math 54 so after math facts mastery, all of them, the starting point is Math 54 :-)
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#9
I asked the same question.....
I nixed Singepore based on this:
http://wildaboutmath.com/2011/08/13/taki...thematics/

I chose Teaching Textbooks for many reasons. #1 spiral learning, already familiar with this math style #2 computer time will motivate my child (I did have to buy the 4th grade level though for my 3rd grader; you can view the grades before you buy to make sure it's a good fit)

I almost went with Math U See but knew I would have to buy 2 sets as they are not a spiral learning but a mastery.
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#10
Thanks for post!
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