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  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie Misty6425's Avatar
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    Default Math for engineer hopeful

    My 10 yr son loves math and strives to be an engineer. We just recently began homeschooling and missed all of the cutoff dates for outside classes so I will need to supplement this year with a heavy math program. So far, Saxon math has been the program most have pointed us towards, but I would like additional opinions.

    We are beginning RightStart Math with my younger, kinesthetic learner, but I would like something a little less hands on with my oldest since he works so well independently. He has no problem with worksheets, he enjoys being able to see what he has completed.

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    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Saxon is not a program I would recommend for a fast learner (as you indicated elsewhere your son is). Saxon is a drill-and-kill program, where you do the exact same kind of problem over and over and over.

    Singapore is a good, solid program with a lot of mental math and abstract thinking, but it can be teacher-intensive so it might not be a good fit for you if you arent really comfortable with math. Its a different system than most of us were taught, but I love it as does my mathematician husband.

    Many people like Math Mammoth but I believe it only goes through 6th grade?

    Life of Fred is a fun one which can be done independently by math-oriented kids - is he ready for fractions and decimals? thats probably where i'd start with LOF for him if he's ready for that. LOF has the answers in the book right after the problems, though, which is sometimes an issue. LOF is story-based, very silly, and moves VERY quickly. There are a few pages of story, then maybe 10 problems. its very engaging, though. and not entirely secular, but the mentions of religion are sparse - like mentioning he says his prayers before bed.

    Whichever program you use, most have online placement tests so you can be sure to get him at the right level.
    Cara, homeschooling one
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    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't think of Saxon as the best program for encouraging a STEM kid. It's old fashioned drill and kill. Solid, sure. But not really conceptual and not for quick thinkers.

    Math Mammoth does only go to 6th grade, but it's very independent and worksheety and in depth. I might give it a try anyway. It's not terribly expensive and then you could consider something like AoPS for pre-algebra.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

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    Senior Member Arrived AddlepatedMonkeyMama's Avatar
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    I second Singapore. My aspiring engineer is doing very well with it (he's on level 4B now). I think the textbooks break down each concept into very manageable steps and I haven't had any trouble teaching him (and he's much "mathy-er" than me!). Singapore also has extra workbooks with more difficult problems ("Intensive Practice") and books of word problems if your son wants to do more. The program has been a great fit for both kids.
    Mother of two monkeys...daughter age 9 and son age 10.5.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Newbie Misty6425's Avatar
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    He has already completed fractions & decimals and tends to be ahead of his age range in math. I don't mind it being teacher-intensive if that is the direction we need to go, I was just curious if there was anything else out there recommended for an independent learner.

    In regards to Saxon math, is a majority of it review of lessons previously learner w/new lessons added in & heavily drilled? He becomes bored quickly when he masters a section and then does busy work to drill it into him. I'm curious why it has come recommended by 2 different homeschool stores for math enthusiasts?

    I contemplated RightStart math for him as well, but the curriculum is pricey and I don't know that he really needs the manipulatives to understand the mechanics. Is Singapore a manipulative based program and/or use an abacus?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Saxon was the old time wisdom in homeschooling. It was the best game in town for years. But that was more than a decade ago. Some people seem to have not caught up. And some people are intimidated by some of the other options out there. Singapore isn't like how you probably learned math, for example.

    One more option - look at MEP. It's a free pdf math curriculum that goes all the way through. It's very well respected and really cool. The only drawback is that it's very metric heavy and all the money is in pounds (it's from the UK).
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Enlightened Rocky's Avatar
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    We're using Singapore Math for an 8-yr-old who is an abstract thinker & needs to be constantly challenged. It's working out great. Math was one of our big problems in public school. It was the same thing over and over again, basic concepts drilled and drilled. My son was starting to hate math, even though he's very good at it. So we did a ton of research before selecting a homeschool math curriculum. This is the best we've found (although we're very new to homeschooling so what do we know!).

  8. #8
    Junior Member Newbie Misty6425's Avatar
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    We just did the placement test for 4th grade Singapore (grade my son finished in a GT program) and his words, "I didn't know some of those, that simply does not happen." The baffled look on his face was enough to make me want to order it.

    From everyone's experience, is Singapore ahead of most math curriculums? Based on other curriculum placements, he was starting with grade 6. Singapore has him at 4th, with some of the material being a review. I don't want to jump to 5th, but am just curious.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Yes, singapore is ahead of all other programs. And I would definitely, if you are still homeschooling, suggest Art of Problem Solving after you are done with singapore. Art of Problem Solving is more discovery-based, where the child has to figure it out. If he doesnt get overwhelmed, its a great antidote for a kid who never had to work hard in math
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  10. #10
    Junior Member Newbie Misty6425's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the help and advice. We are going to start with 3B to make sure there are no gaps.

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