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Math for Josh

You know I have been talking to God about next years curriculum. Josh, is using Math Mammoth 4A. My plan is for him to finish 3A/B by January. 4 A/B by July 2010. Finish 5A/B and 6A/B by the time he starts 8th grade. That's my goal anyway.

He started 3A back in June. We took of July do to a move. We were homeless for a month (living with some friends until our place was ready). When we moved here in August I had him start math again. He started 4A I think in late February. I also had planned to start Josh using Teaching Textbooks after he finished Math Mammoth 6B.

While praying, thinking, praying, searching, praying and sharing with Lupe, I had one of those 'light' bulb moments.

I was over at the Sonlight website reading AGAIN about TT when I decided to look at Saxon. As I was reading the 'weaknesses' about Saxon I realized that the weaknesses would be the perfect reason for Josh, to use Saxon. It said, "For students who don't require the drill, Saxon Math can be boring. In early elementary grades, it is relatively pricey. Compared to other programs on the market, it is weak on application and presentation.


1. Saxon's emphasis on drill and repetition allows a student to perform well within a concept; thus, the results on standardized testing are good. But it does not emphasize problem solving that requires creatively moving from one concept to another or thinking "outside the box" -- precisely the sort of skill necessary to excel in higher mathematics."

My Josh, DOES require drill & Repetition. Joshua, does NOT do well with "outside the box" thinking. Duh, why haven't I seen this before!

I have had tunnel vision, only thinking that math which has "outside the box" thinking was good. After all the talk and discovering with his reading, spelling and phonics. I kept saying that too many concepts get jumbled up in his brain because it has a hard time processing all the information.

With Math Mammoth the strengths of the programs is teaching children to ''think outside the box" which is fine and dandy IF your child can handle that. This is what I love about MM. It gets the child thinking. It gets the children to figure out how to become problem solvers, when they come up against something they may not understand, they can figure it out and understand the 'why' of math. It shows the child the different ways to figure thing out. All those little tricks are not good for Josh. He needs "just the facts" as they say.

Maybe once he 'gets it' then, he can use an out of the box thinking math.

I'm still in shock at how blind I had become, thinking that I new best.

One of Teaching Textbooks weaknesses is "If your children are absolute whizzes at math, they may find some portions of the lectures move "too slowly" and spend "too much time" in the basics."

Now to make a decision between Teaching Textbook and Saxon. I'm leaning toward Saxon because I like the' weakness' of lots of drill and repetition.

Josh, will still have to play "catch-up" with math. If we decide to start him next month using Saxon, I'll start him with 6/5. If we work through the summer and aim for him to complete it in December of 2010. He can start 7/9 in Jan. 2011, finish Sept. 2011. Start 8/7 Oct. 2011.

Or use Teaching Textbook level 6 now, level 7 in Jan. 2011 and start level 8 his 8th grade year.

Side note: Before using Math Mammoth we were using MUS. He used Alpha, Beta & Gamma. He actually did Beta & Gamma twice. Then I decided to try something else. We still have Delta sitting in storage. Josh, never did care for manipulatives. MUS is a wonderful program but it didn't fit Josh. I'll have to go into more detail another time.

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