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Old 06-08-2010, 10:30 AM
 
276 posts, read 465,194 times
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I am thinking of supplementing my child's school work with the K12.com Math package. would love to hear from people who have already used them.

Another question :
some background : He is a rising 2nd grade. he took the placement test on their site which said that he was ready for their 3rd grade math package. I have been so far supplementing his school work with work books that I found online and in local stores. He is a smart boy who is happy at school. However he has always been one step ahead of what is taught at school - he joined Kindergarten after spending 2 years in a wonderful Montessori program. He had started reading chapter books like the Magic tree house series by the time he joined Kindergarten.I think he is at the right grade level socially, and he seems to be engaged at school academically to a certain extent.
Since I have no experience as an educator, I also wanted to ask experienced people on this forum if using the third grade curriculum for a child who will just start second grade would be too much of a work load ?( I do not teach him science or any other subjects at home yet just math since its a subject I love and I have an engineering background) We read a lot together and that's about it. I dont think he is a genius but I dont think he is challenged enough at school.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nclass View Post
I am thinking of supplementing my child's school work with the K12.com Math package. would love to hear from people who have already used them.
. . .I also wanted to ask experienced people on this forum if using the third grade curriculum for a child who will just start second grade would be too much of a work load ?( I do not teach him science or any other subjects at home yet just math since its a subject I love and I have an engineering background)
I am not familiar with that program, so I can't comment specifically about it.
Teaching a rising second grader third grade math won't hurt him a bit. It can be plenty of fun.
But . . .
For a child that age, work-load isn't going to come from the level of the math. Work-load will come from whether he is being pressured. I taught second graders multiplication and division (3458 times 6; 642 divided by 3, etc.), decimals, fractions, factoring, solving algebraic equations (5x + 12 = 57), order of operations, square roots, negative numbers, and averages. Just regular kids, just because it was fun, just because it came up, just because they could learn it. Learning math can be exciting for a kid as he sees how it all makes sense and fits together.
For him to spend some time with you learning new things (and even figuring some out for himself!) could be exciting. To spend his time going through workbooks could be drudgery. Even that depends on the child, though. I loved going through math workbooks when I was that age, but most kids don't. Don't duplicate school. Do the things that great teachers would do if they had the time.
I wouldn't have him spend much time on any sort of computer program, though. Not at that age. He can learn more math from interacting with the world than he can from a tutorial. You love math; just look for ways to share that with your son.
One small example: building towers from blocks? Some are taller than others? How tall would they be if you leveled them all to the same level, taking blocks from the taller stacks and putting them on the shorter ones? There you have average, and he'll get the concept much deeper than he would from learning an "add and divide" rule. And he's playing, creating, refining his motor skills, etc.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
2,117 posts, read 3,135,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nclass View Post
I also wanted to ask experienced people on this forum if using the third grade curriculum for a child who will just start second grade would be too much of a work load ?
No. I would double/triple up on math and get the school to cut the crap, i.e. the loads of busywork and memorization.

Your child will load up the left brain which will leave him in good stead to apply that logic to complex problems in the sciences and humanities.

The general, uniform approach most schools take is too costly, not the least of which is overwhelming kids to do everything.

What is the ideal level? The answer is not a number or grade level, but the point at which he starts to make serious errors and gets lost. Now back up a bit. Challenged but not lost. For your son, that would very well end up being 6th or 7th grade...or third as you surmise.

S.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:08 PM
 
276 posts, read 465,194 times
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Thank you both for your advice. It is much appreciated.
sll3454 - The worksheet overload was exactly what I was worried about(the website said their 3rd grade math program had around 180 lessons(for a year) which should take around 60 mins each). But then again since I would be buying just the material I can decide how much or how little of those lessons is right for my son. Thank you for the excellent example you provided - I just read a book called "The wonder of boys" where it said boys tend to think better spatially and understand better when using objects such as blocks. I usually tell him about how a particular concept is used in real life but as you said actually making him do it on his own would greatly enhance his understanding. He hates to memorize for some reason so we are stuck at the multiplication tables right now. He would rather add 8 - 7 times to answer 8 X 7 than memorize the 8 tables.

Sandpointian, I totally agree with what you are saying. I am just apprehensive about pushing him too much. I do not want him to loose the zest he now has for learning. But at the sametime I do not want him to think that he can just slide by in school with minimum effort. As of today I can see the pride on his face when he grasps new concepts but he would rather spend time at the pool these days after school than work on something new or revise with me.Thankfully tho he is not resentful when I set the rule that he needs to finish his assigned work before he can go out. So hopefully I can work with him over the summer.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
2,117 posts, read 3,135,625 times
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Originally Posted by nclass View Post

Sandpointian, I totally agree with what you are saying. I am just apprehensive about pushing him too much. I do not want him to loose the zest he now has for learning. But at the sametime I do not want him to think that he can just slide by in school with minimum effort. As of today I can see the pride on his face when he grasps new concepts but he would rather spend time at the pool these days after school than work on something new or revise with me.Thankfully tho he is not resentful when I set the rule that he needs to finish his assigned work before he can go out. So hopefully I can work with him over the summer.
Students need to know where their frontier lay. Parents and teachers need to find that in a way that does not overwhelm. Yes, this may involve a couple of exercises that are too much for him. But it also means a continuum of exercises leading up. What would really stress out kids would be ploughing through to higher and higher levels with the child's performance declining at an accelerating rate--and parents/teachers unconcerned.

On the other side, what would be stressful would be under-challenging your son. The "stress" would come later, say when he streams into middle school or high school with better prepared kids.

And since he is presently receptive and eager, now is the perfect time to find how far he can he taken.

As for pool, etc. Yes, it is a balancing act. The goal after all is to help nurture a your son into man, not to win a a pissing contest on standardized test scores. Ironically, as he develops in the way best suited for him, that time in the pool and the confidence and health it will give, will help in all other aspects of his life. It will also keep him focused.

On homework before going out...you'll have to balance that one. Sometimes it works as well the other way.

S.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:33 PM
 
276 posts, read 465,194 times
Reputation: 220
I cannot rep you again, thank you again for responding.
You have addressed a lot of my unspoken concerns.
I spoke to a few middle schoolers over the past few weeks who are in the 6th grade and almost all of them say that Middle school is very very hard. I know of several others who complain of the enormous amount of homework they are given etc. This is exactly what I want to avoid.
You are also right about balancing - I am not too rigid with our schedule tho homework after pool has never happened. It usually gets postponed to the next day since we are all ready to crash when we get back
Thanks again for all your help - I just need to get a curriculum that works and then work on it together with him.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
2,117 posts, read 3,135,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nclass View Post
I cannot rep you again, thank you again for responding.
You have addressed a lot of my unspoken concerns.
I spoke to a few middle schoolers over the past few weeks who are in the 6th grade and almost all of them say that Middle school is very very hard. I know of several others who complain of the enormous amount of homework they are given etc. This is exactly what I want to avoid.
You are also right about balancing - I am not too rigid with our schedule tho homework after pool has never happened. It usually gets postponed to the next day since we are all ready to crash when we get back
Thanks again for all your help - I just need to get a curriculum that works and then work on it together with him.
You are welcome. The entire process is humbling. Just keep an open mind and avoid the ideologues whose beliefs are based on faith rather than evidence and observations of the real world.

Let me clear: there is nothing "hard" about middle school. But overwhelm students with mindless homework, the stress of disappointing their favored adult, and ill-fitting pedagogy and materials and together with puberty, it gets "hard" in hurry.

Best of luck!
S.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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The worksheet overload was exactly what I was worried about(the website said their 3rd grade math program had around 180 lessons(for a year) ...

My son is a 2nd grader taking the 3rd grade k12.com curriculum. It does not take him 60 minutes to go through the lesson. The average time is 10 minutes, longer if he plays the games they have online (which he loves). There's animation with some lessons that are perfectly suited for them. The 60-minutes alloted are for the average if not below average learners. Kids who "gets" math go through it pretty quickly. My son prefers to go through the lessons by himself.
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