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  1. #31


    As far as math goes, I didn't want to go to level 3- but, I feel the benefits may outweigh the cons. If we can get through that in the first semester, we can move onto level 4 (and finish through the summer). Then we will only start next year one level behind.

    I think you're right about the importance of having the basic facts and concepts down first. Even though it's hard to go backwards, I think it's what we need to do. And will be less frustrating for him in the long run.

    As for history- he really enjoys history and big books of it. He will read the Usborne big History encyclopedia in his free time. He doesn't seem to get bored reading about history- so I was eager to introduce more fun history books for him. If both programs will be too much, then I'll have to pick one for now. Just unsure if I should go more towards the US history route, or the world history route. I'm thinking maybe the History of US books will be our best bet for now.

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  3. #32



    While I am a little late to the party, I wanted to give you some input on the math and wha we are doing for my soon to be 5th grader.

    I use Beast Academy and Mathmatical Reasoning from Critical Thinking Co. We used BA for the same reason you were thinking about using it the graphic novel aspect and the fact that it presents math in a completely differed then way. I use MR to cover some of the more common aspects of math in a more traditional mode without it being overwhelming.

    I see no reason that you can’t use BA and start from an earlier level. Last year we started with level 2. BA is so different that I don’t see it being a problem to start with the beginning levels. It is puzzle based and can be really fun, as well as challenging. The more difficult problems are identified, so if you want to skip them you can. (Sometimes the difficult ones are really challenging).

    MR is more straight forward with the math. Each worksheet covers a specific topic. We do one a day. I like that it is not an overwhelming number of problems on the page.

    We have used Math Mammath and it is excellent and mastery based. For DS, there were too many problem on a page and he would get overwhelmed. I purchased the pdf version and would edit them before printing because of that. (Or I would cut out only the parts I wanted him to do.) It is a solid program through.

    Khan Academy is great if your son likes the digital aspect. Even if you don’t use the mastery quizzes, the videos can be helpful for traditional math and cam be used with any of curriculums (except Beast Academy).

    We have not used Teaching Textbooks, but the online lessons look reasonable.

    If your child does not like math, then go with what ever the seems to think is ok. We have changed up math a few times (as you can see) in order to accommodate changing needs or desires.

    All of these math programs have samples on their website. Before you buy, download the samples and see if he likes them. All the good ones have a try-before-you-buy. So there is no point in wasting money if he will outright reject one of them.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 10-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at

  4. #33


    This makes me feel much better about trying Beast Academy. Did you use both the guide and practice books? I'm thinking we will start somewhere in level 3, but I haven't decided on which one. We will just use it on "off-time", to introduce it. If he really takes to it and does well with it, then maybe we will make it our primary math.

    Now I'm just really torn on what will be our main math. Singapore, Horizons, or MM. I think I will have him take a look at the samples, and see what he thinks.

  5. #34


    Those of you that currently use, or have used, Singapore- do you use the Common Core or US edition? Is there a big difference?

  6. #35


    I use the Standards edition.... there is a comparison on their site about scope of each. My understanding was Standards is the more authentic, less meddled with. Standards is also based on CA standards, predating Common Core.
    Im not Common-Core phobic, but especially seeing how Singapore 6, only inspired by Singapore, is so much weaker, I dont want to try something that has been messed with.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.


    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  7. #36


    I went ahead and ordered the US edition, because it was cheaper. I figure if we really like it and it's working, then I could always get the CC or standard edition for the next level. I started with 3A- it may be further back than needed, but at the very least it will allow us to review and solidify. Then we can move to 3B and 4A. Ideally, we can finish level 4 completely by the end or the school year. Then we will just be one year behind. But, we will see. I don't want to rush him either.

  8. #37


    Quote Originally Posted by DLPMom523 View Post
    This makes me feel much better about trying Beast Academy. Did you use both the guide and practice books?

    We used both the guide and practice books. The guide is the comic book and the practice books are the puzzles.
    A mama, who teaches college writing, as well as help her 10-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.
    I also share free and low-cost educational resources at

  9. #38


    Thank you all for your help!

    Ordered everything, and feeling good about it.
    REAL Science Odyssey - Chemistry, one level of Singapore math, 3C of Beast Academy to try for fun, and for History I ordered the first two volumes of History of US. We will also be watching the Story of US documentary series this year. 😊

  10. #39


    Quote Originally Posted by DLPMom523 View Post
    He has done pretty well with fractions, but hasn't memorized his times tables.
    So, he "gets" concepts like fractions, but just has problems with computing in multiplication and division? How is he with word problem reasoning? Geometry? Decimals?

    I'm asking because I had two kids who struggled with multiplication tables, but for 2 different reasons and I had to approach each in their own way.

    If he's like my son and just can't/won't put in the mental energy to do learn them, then I'd separate the tasks. Stick with a curriculum that's on grade level to keep away the boredom, and let him use a multiplication chart when working through problems. Then start each day with a quick skill drill for the multiplication tables. (Flash cards, "wrap-up" key, worksheet, etc., until he's solid with them (we actually did oral drills during car rides and dog walks for a couple of months).

    If he's more like my daughter, who also struggled with some of the reasoning, you might want to try something that comes at math from a little different direction. Math-U-See is similar to what her previous school used and it really reached a lot of kids who needed a visual and kinesthetic approach.

    And speaking of kinesthetic: I went to a seminar a while ago about helping kids (with processing disorders, but the information is good for everyone) with difficult learning tasks. It was highly recommended that teachers add movement activities to the lessons, especially when memorization of facts was the goal. This is a resource

    On the specific things you mentioned: Math Mammoth is really solid and will help with remediation. However, be prepared for whining because there is A LOT of practice. When I tried it with my son I loved it an he cried a lot. Since I wanted him to like math, we stopped. Khan Academy is great to use with something else, either as extra practice or as a benchmark to make sure you aren't missing grade level skills. Beast Academy (IMO) is great to use as a supplement to a traditional curriculum. The graphic novels are really approachable and give a critical reasoning approach to skills that other treat as process to memorize. Some of the workbook exercises are really tricky, but you don't have to do them all. I know know Horizons and Teaching Textbooks is a non-starter for us because my kids just don't retain anything they learn from videos. My son (going into 6th grade) will do Life of Fred (Pre-Algebra), some Khan when he needs more practice, and AoPS for challenge (either pre-algebra or the last year of Beast Academy).

    For Science you might also want to look at Real Science 4 Kids. We did a co-op class that used the second level Chem textbook last year and I was really impressed with it.
    AtomicGirl--Mom, old enough to know better
    Athena--13, 8th grade, home schooled, 2E, wicked cool
    Monkey King- 8, 3rd grade, home schooled, future owner of the galaxy

  11. #40


    I am late to the discussion and haven't read all the comments yet, but thought I'd chime in and say that we are Math Mammoth lovers - it is slow and methodical, but when our DD knows stuff, we just skip ahead.

    For memorizing times tables, you might try Math Reflex. It's an online program that is all games that drill the math facts. DD is very good at math and well above her grade level, but could NOT (or would not) memorize the times tables. That slowed down all math that followed. We put her on Math Reflex for several months, and that got the job done.
    Working mom homeschooling DD (10) who is working on a 4th-6th grade level and keeps me hopping! SimpleMoney is my new venture.

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Curriculum Help for 5th grader!