My ten year old has nearly completed Math-U-See Epsilon.  Give him a page of addition, he gets them all right.  Subtraction, same thing.  Multiplication?  100%.  Division?  He gets a perfect paper.  He’s always been good at math.  This kid was playing in cribbage tournaments at age four.

And now he’s confused.  Combine different types of fraction problems together on the same page and he can’t remember what he’s doing.  It’s driving both of us crazy.  Obviously a change is needed.

With the elementary Math-U-See levels, kids learn a lesson, then have six pages of problems to work (not all in one day! – a lesson usually takes a full week to complete).  Usually I have my kids work pages A and B.  If the problems are all done correctly, they get to skip page C and do the review problems on D and E.  If those review problems are done correctly, then they skip F and just do the test to prove that they really understand the stuff.

  • A – lesson practice (Monday)
  • B – more lesson practice (Tuesday)
  • C – more lesson practice (skip)
  • D – review (Wednesday)
  • E – more review (Thursday)
  • F – more review (skip)
  • Test over lesson (Friday)

In addition to not wasting time on busywork when kids obviously understand the material, this gives us the option of going back to pages C and F if I later decide that extra review is needed.

When it became obvious that this child was getting confused, we repeated some lessons.  He worked pages C and F on many of the lessons.  Always, he has done well when we’ve done this, seeming to have mastered what he had previously not understood.

And now he is bewildered yet again.

So we are ditching the remainder of epsilon for this child.  For the past two weeks, he’s been using Life of Fred and loving it.  The seven-year-old has been evesdropping, and he’s learning fractions, too, and enjoying it.  After dinner, they’ll sit on the couch together and ask if we could do another chapter of math!


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