View Full Version : Have to start out at 3rd grade math for my 6th grader!

06-23-2010, 03:21 PM
My son is super smart. I don't need him tested. He just is. However, this just reinforces my choosing to homeschool!

I am trying to figure out our curriculum for 6th grade.
I am waiting on a book but until then I can browse around.

I was checking out Mathmammoth which BTW is so very affordable looking!

I am checking out there placement tests (we will not be grading but I still need to have an idea of what he knows)

Poor kid knows NOTHING in the 5th grade test. He is like I can not do division. Now I knew multiplication needed to be retaught and re-enforced already but I did not know how much he was not learning in school and they just keep teaching testing. Then I go down to 4th grade math placement test and yeah NO GO... then I hit 3rd grade and he is like I don't know division well or how to tell time well! Now remember in Texas 3rd and 5th grade have to pass Taks test to move up. So they literally teach the test the whole year and benchmark tests EVERY 6 weeks...

I am like wow you are so behind!
WHOOOPS that totally slipped out.

Then i am like you are behind where I believe you should be and how smart you are IF you were taught and clearly this is not a reflection on you but a reflections on the school..
So yes we have to start out in 3rd grade math. This boggles my mind. He is very bookwormish. No offense to my child but he is school smart not street smart. Always loved school, I am just frusterated but glad I caught this now before I bought a curriculum he can not do and wondering what the heck is going on...

So I told him we are going to start in 3rd grade math, if he breezes through that then we will move on up at his own pace..

BTW I can not do math for nothing so he has to have a curriculum so I know what the heck we are both doing lol

Otherwise the boy is smart as a whip..but hey you can't know what you are not taught..sheesh

(he is in PS a straight A student every single grading period, he was in student council everything..so those straight A's basically mean nothing if they are just pushing these kids through like they are cattle.. BTW we are in a very bad area too..)

06-23-2010, 04:04 PM
This is probably the biggest frustration I hear about from parents whose children are coming from public schools. Part of it I think is that many homeschool math programs are different than public schools in the way they are taught and presented. Math Mammoth is very big in teaching the thinking behind the math and teaching mental math. It is a really good program and I use it with some of my children.

Math Mammoth has two types of books. The first is the grade-level, full-year curriculum. The other option are topic books for mastery (http://www.mathmammoth.com/blue-series.php). If your son has certain math topics it is having problems with, division and multiplication for example, then you could work through those specific booklets first and then re-test into a grade-level. Either way, Math Mammoth is a complete program. Just something to think about.


06-23-2010, 04:07 PM
I may just have him take the full test to see if I can just do some booklets..

I guess I am frustrated to because I remember learning about all that stuff in 3rd grade.. But now it is just they shuffle them through for the money at least around here they do.. I am sure not all public schools are bad.. it is just the testing.. argh.. but better figuring it out now then later.

06-23-2010, 04:46 PM
Gotta love the TAKS! When I was in school it was the TAAS & everything revolved around it. It must be quite frustrating to be a caring teacher here in Texas.

I followed a link in someone's signature to Math Mammoth. Wow! I'm loving it! My girl is a couple of grade levels behind her PS peers in math (something I, too, blame PS for) & it's been a challenge trying to build her confidence back up. I purchased the Math Mammoth Clocks book & she's really doing well with it. I've totally found our math curriculum, I think. I haven't seen the placement tests you mentioned; I'll have to go look those up & see where she really does fit in.

If you don't mind my asking, where in Texas are you?

06-23-2010, 04:54 PM
There is a big old blue button that says placements at the top of the site.

I am in Arlington, Texas in the worst area in all of Tarrant County.. Who knew? LOL I am not from Texas. If you are football people then we are about 5 mins from the new stadium!

I love half price books..

I am really liking the look of math mammoth. I am completely intrigued with there 50 state math booklets. That is right up my sons ally.

He will be taking the 3rd year placement test, and 4th and I shall see where he is at..
Just all around frustration with testing.. I don't think it is needed..

Of course here every time the test for benchmarks or Taks.. The WHOLE SCHOOL is completely SILENT.. They get no electives for 2 days and no recess.. They have to sit and be quiet or if their test is done sit and read.. My son loves to read but he is so grumpy on those days

06-23-2010, 04:58 PM
UGH I hate that you and your son are in this position !! HUGS !!

He will get caught up in no time. Take a deep, it will be ok !! Just work at his pace. I think any of the choices below would be great and inexpensive !

Math Mammoth is very affordable. I love it and use it often.

There is also MEP math that is free and you just print it out. There are no placement tests but you could just look through it to see where he would be. http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm . I use both with my children, although I have just started checking out MEP and I really like it. There are tons of people who use it, there are guides for it also.

I move to Saxon at 5/4, but will continue to use both Math Mammoth and MEP for some things.

06-23-2010, 04:58 PM
Catholic school math isn't much better where they teach 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 ;) !!!

06-23-2010, 05:00 PM
I am in Arlington, Texas in the worst area in all of Tarrant County.. Who knew? LOL I am not from Texas. If you are football people then we are about 5 mins from the new stadium!

Ah the reason I started homeschooling in the first place. Good ole Arlington. LOL Shitty memories there !!!! HUGS !!!!

06-23-2010, 05:03 PM
Thanks alatexan.. He will catch up quickly at least.. I will check out the free website too. Thanks i had not seen that one.

LOLOL mommykicksbutt!

06-23-2010, 05:05 PM
Arlington makes me want to leave Texas COMPLETELY I am really over it!

The politics, the schools..I could survive without Arlington lol

06-23-2010, 10:29 PM
btw, another option is to sign up for time4learning and let him mostly do the math - you can let him advance through levels as fast as he needs to, without buys books - but its $20/month subscription. my 6 yo love it.

06-24-2010, 12:58 AM
I agree with a previous poster that the differences are probably more due to differing scope, sequence, focus, and methods than with your son "not getting it". There are so many math teaching methods out there you could write a whole book on it (and someone probably has).

My local school district uses something called the constructivist spiral method. I don't know what that means, but I know she asked me to help with her homework on ratios, and during that I found out she hadn't had to master multiplication of fractions or even understand the concepts behind some of the functions, and it was a huge old mess to try to explain it to her. Luckily she is incredibly smart, and so was able to pick it up fast...but what were they thinking?

Anyway, you may want to find out what method he was using at school (the name of the Textbook is probably enough to look it up) and either A) try to find a hs curriculum that uses that or B) start wherever you think is best if you want to go to a dofferent method, and simply disregard the supposed grade levels.

06-24-2010, 08:56 AM
Your problem isn’t really unique… the reality is, a lot of schools teach all students at the same pace, and schools even tend to focus more on state tests, which means students with specific problems suffer… they move on with the class, whether they’re comfortable or not.

I would suggest an online program that we tried at www.tenmarks.com. They have an assessment, which you could use to judge your son’s exact ability over concepts, like division, and then they will generate a custom curriculum for him, so he learns more of what he needs to, and covers the rest also at his required pace.

We tried their assessment for our 5th grader, who has trouble in geometry, and he now uses a custom curriculum which teaches him all that he needs to learn for grade 6, but focuses on geometry (It is for summer). They have hints and video lessons as part of their worksheets, which teach him on the fly rather than just testing him… and we’ve been loving it – He’s so much more confident, and class results are also better.

06-24-2010, 09:26 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice or thoughts.

I will just have to start him out and if we move faster on some things we will and if it takes longer on others we will do that too..
The worst part is he loved school lol! He was happy to homeschool but finding out where they failed is annoying!

Oh well this is why I am homeschooling him anyway..

Going to check out the website KellyJames.

I know i don't want to a subscription. With the job situation right now I don't want to be like OMG another bill to worry about getting paid lol..

06-24-2010, 10:53 AM
I'm having the same frustration, if not to quite the same extent. My son will be entering 8th grade, but struggled a lot with the 7th grade math that we did this year when I brought him home to school, and will probably need to re-do a lot of the same material this year, because he hasn't learned the earlier foundations well enough. The public school he came from has consistently ranked in the bottom ten schools in the state on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAPS) standardized testing in math for the past three years (or more). Very frustrating!

I am about to do some placement tests for my daughter who is coming out of the same public school system...I've got my fingers crossed.

06-25-2010, 01:44 AM
I sometimes wonder if the public schools have slowed down math progress at the expense of our students just for better test scores and funding. (No, I am not usually a conspiracy theory type.) And then our country's leaders say we aren't advanced enough or producing enough scientists or mathematicians or engineers. Colleges and universities are overloaded with students who need to take remedial very basic math courses.

I know my son was itching to do more math but his teachers would only let him get so far. My daughter had been bored with math, and this past year's teacher actually had her slipping backward! So DD will be catching up though I am confident she will be quick with it. And DS will be thrilled to be able to work as fast as he likes with it. Finally! Something that works for my kids!

06-26-2010, 05:02 PM
Catholic school math isn't much better where they teach 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 ;) !!!


I got the reference, having a religious background and all. ;)

06-27-2010, 05:45 PM
Sounds like where we are at. I plan to homeschool my daughter this coming year for 6th grade. We have to start off with multiplication (which we have started) then head on to fractions, decimals and percents. Not sure which direction I will take yet. If we use the Life of Fred books we should be able to get through them in about 4 months then head on to algebra. Even if I spend the entire year on those subjects then do algebra next year, she will only be a year behind. At least she will have a solid foundation in math by then.
Good luck with your year!

06-28-2010, 12:07 PM
I expect us to move fast on some things.. I went ahead and got the Math Mammoth Complete for grades 1-6a since I have 2 other kids also.. I figure if he can get through 3rd grade then we can keep moving and I will not have to worry about it later.

06-28-2010, 01:33 PM
Just adding my story to the mix, I too have a son who is behind in math. when I pulled him out of the 5th grade he was border line 3-4 grade math, but they kept passing him and really didn't say much to me about it. And I was there almost everyday! I think our problem was we moved every couple of years and there were huge gaps! because going on 3 years we are almost to grade level and 10 grade 2nd month in math words problems. Sorry I just still so proud of him for that one!

It will come, I went back to 3rd grade math with Alex when he first came home and we had days that we did 6 months worth (not of homework) of things he needed to know. Then we would get to a part that he didn't know and stop and make sure he got it, then we were off again! IT WILL COME DON"T WORRY!

07-01-2010, 02:01 PM
Just another curriculum recommendation....we use Mastering Mathematics for my oldest, have since the beginning. It is a mastery program and has separate books, 6 in all. One for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals and fractions. Each one teaches the subject to complete mastery. It is supposed to be an all in one for grade 1-6. There is not a lot of fluff and extras in it- so if he is missing other skills like telling time it's not in there. I just use free online stuff for extras. I bet he could breeze through some and would probably, since he's older, pick up new stuff quickly. You would only have to do a couple pages instead of entire sections...stop and move on when the work becomes busy work.
(note- there are a couple pages in each book that use biblical references as word problems....we've always just skipped those though.)

http://www.masterypublications.com/Math.htm it's like $135 for the whole thing- 1-6th grade (and some of 7th and 8th is says) I got mine at Rainbow Resource

07-01-2010, 02:52 PM
Arlington makes me want to leave Texas COMPLETELY I am really over it!

The politics, the schools..I could survive without Arlington lol

You should come to Fort Worth! So much nicer.

As a "graduate" of Atherton/Goodman, Hutcheson and Sam Houston in 98, I. FEEL. YOUR. PAIN!

07-01-2010, 02:56 PM
To add too, we're doing Saxon Math. I am so-so with it.... it's a little too much like what we were doing in kindergarten but Logan is doing very well with it so we'll see if we pick it up next year.

07-01-2010, 03:58 PM
LOL Well right now Arlington is very centrally located which is good. maybe we will check out Fort Worth if we decide to stay. My son would be going to Sam Houston if I let him go to school here so yeah NO! lol This school district has some serious ISSUES! You are definitely not the first one to be thrilled to get out of Arlington!