Encouragement  Something to remember about Math struggles

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Encouragement  Something to remember about Math struggles
Math: You will hit snags with ANY math program. You will need to alter ANY program to fit your student. That may mean moving more quickly or slowly through a program. Only doing part of the problems for a given lesson. Or playing math games to cement the math facts in his head. If you find something that seems to work well try to stick it out through the snag. Sometimes you do need to switch curriculums but other times you just have to get through a tough spot and keep on going.
DD struggles with remembering math concepts!!
not sure which concepts your dd is struggling with ??byhisgrace wrote:My DD is struggling with her Math. She easily forgets. I think that she needs a Math curriculum that is very repetitious. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Susan
We use Singapore. Some kids just need more time to let some concepts sink in. And not necessarily more and more worksheets. My middle child sure does!!! She's 9 and has used Singapore 1A3A and just started Singapore 3B this week. We didn't require "mastery" of each and every concept before moving on. Instead, we kept helping her as much as was required to practice concepts properly. She's too young to try it all on her own all the time. Instead, I'd spend 15 minutes with her in Singapore and practice doing the concepts with her to help her mind.
There are times that a young kid's brain is working on a lot of things at once. So, when her brain was working hard on a concept and she blanked on a math fact, we let her count on the fingers to help along. She won't do that forever.
We kept practicing in Singapore with her.
We added a simple workbook that was about how to make a strategy to solve a Word Problem (it was 6 dollars at a local book store and had the clue words, and just things like that. It is not a full curriculum. It's pre made practice sheets to learn strategies to do word problems.) I could have made something at home, but for $6, why?
Many times it was odd little things that she needed help on such as knowing what it meant to "deposit" or "withdraw" money. Then she was able to do the word problem.
I like that it doesn't sit for too long on just one topic b/c my daughter needs to have several topics in close time to each other so that she doesn't think everything will always be adding.
Some kids just need more time to let their minds catch up to it all and it takes a bit longer for concepts to stick. I like that Singapore doesn't have tons of worksheets, but let's us move forward in small, consistent, day by day steps.
crystal
math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
If I understand correctly, the Singapore reviews are to see if the child is getting the materials. Isn't that the same as a test?jtcarter14 wrote:We have been using Singapore for the last year and a half. My son really likes math and likes Singapore math.
But my daughter does not like math at all. ]My 8 year old second grader is the daughter that's having trouble. It's her 3rd grade year that I'm trying to plan. She really does not understand Singapore math. She's just started Singapore 3A a week or so ago. Plus, we have been doing Abeka on the side for extra practice, and in that book, she's only on about page 15.
If I am really confident that we need to make a change. But should I just ditch the new books she's using now? So much money wasted, but it is worth it if it will make the difference I think it will.
Another friend suggested stopping math for now and just picking up where we left off (with Singapore and Abeka) in August. What do you think about that?
Also, dh wanted me to be testing the kids in math. Do some of you just use the Singapore reviews for tests? I've tried doing that, but he doesn't take them seriously b/c they just look and feel like regular work.
Any advice???
If your dd will be in 3rd this fall she would be ahead with Singapore if she is in 3A. According to MFW, most kids are usually in 2A at the beginning of 3rd so she is already ahead. Did she start with 1A a year and a half ago or did she test higher? Maybe you could just give her math drills or something over the summer and start fresh with 3A in the fall and see how she does then. Especially if you already have the books. She may be ready by then.
(Edit) Too funny, we are all typing in unison.
Last edited by jasntas on Fri May 07, 2010 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
According to MFW comments on Singapore (from what I understand) if your child is doing 3A, then they are doing about the first half of 4th grade math. If they are in the beginning of 3rd grade and in 3A, then they are an entire year ahead in math. And that may be your problem? You can always get the Singapore Math extra practice books and stretch out your semester by reviewing and using that. I found it has helped my dd who is in 3A and just starting her 4th grade work. (we school year round, she finished 3rd grade at the end of March). I also find that somethings for her just takes awhile to click. She has struggled in math and my motto has been to let her go at her own pace until she gets it. I just don't want her to ever say she hates math. For now she simply says she is not good at it, but works hard at it. I try and make it so that she will not have a stigma about math and her abilities there.
We used Abeka math in the early years. I wouldn't be 100% sure on this, but I believe that the way it teaches Math is very different from Singapore (mental math, regrouping in your head etc). Maybe using both at the same time is causing confusion? Just a thought.
Hope something I said in there helps some how.
Edie
(edited to say) Looks like Tammie and I were typing at the same time. Sorry to repeat somethings already said.
We used Abeka math in the early years. I wouldn't be 100% sure on this, but I believe that the way it teaches Math is very different from Singapore (mental math, regrouping in your head etc). Maybe using both at the same time is causing confusion? Just a thought.
Hope something I said in there helps some how.
Edie
(edited to say) Looks like Tammie and I were typing at the same time. Sorry to repeat somethings already said.
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Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
happy birthday! and we're all typing at the same time....
if 3rd grader....That's about a good semester or so "ahead" of the curve. I agree with your friend to stop math for a while and pick back up in August. She's really advanced and just hit a small plateau.
You don't need to keep on keeping on in 3A and probably not change. my middle child did 3A and 3B when she was in 4th grade.
I guess you could redo pages from 1A2B as a once a week refresher and rebuild confidence for summer stuff. I don't think you need to change completely, but just set all math down for a bit and enjoy a break with just touches of review and refresh over summer.
tests  yeah, i'd probably use the reviews in the textbook for that.
Could you just type them up in word processing so it "looks" different?
crystal
if 3rd grader....That's about a good semester or so "ahead" of the curve. I agree with your friend to stop math for a while and pick back up in August. She's really advanced and just hit a small plateau.
You don't need to keep on keeping on in 3A and probably not change. my middle child did 3A and 3B when she was in 4th grade.
I guess you could redo pages from 1A2B as a once a week refresher and rebuild confidence for summer stuff. I don't think you need to change completely, but just set all math down for a bit and enjoy a break with just touches of review and refresh over summer.
tests  yeah, i'd probably use the reviews in the textbook for that.
Could you just type them up in word processing so it "looks" different?
crystal
Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
hoping Sue might chime back in. She said it really well the other day or so...mommyintraining wrote:Wow, this is great. I hope the OP doesn't mind a little hijack . I was just trying to figure this out today. I know MFW says that a child can be a year or more "behind" in Singapore. But, in the catalog it looks like they have the child start Saxon 8/7 in 7th grade??? So, do they not expect the child to get all the way through Singapore 6?cbollin wrote: my middle child did 3A and 3B when she was in 4th grade.
Also, Crystal, did you use Saxon with your children?
Thanks!!!!
think of getting through 5B at the minimum goal. If you do more, that's great. Several of us over here have had kids get all through Singapore 6.
my oldest did complete 6a and 6B in 6th grade. Most of those books will have a lot of review and going more in depth with previous topics vs. lots of new material. So, if they get all of the material through 5B, then in grade 7 they are prepared to start Saxon 8/7 as a 7th grader. I wouldn't start algebra or "advanced math 7" in 6th grade, so oldest did 6a and 6b in 6th grade.
she did saxon 8/7 in 7th. and just did Algebra I in 8th.
crystal
Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
yep, that was the post Sue did that was really helpful.mommyintraining wrote:Oooo! Is this it?
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ore#p60255
Still wondering about your dd skipping Algebra 1/2. I thought MFW had them doing Algebra 1/2 in 8th?
did my oldest skip Alg 1/2?
Yes.well.. sorta. Is it ever a simple answer with me? got a minute.. .it's a story.
Ok... more than half way through 6th grade, she finished with Singapore 6B. a ha ! I thought. Let's just take a placement test in Saxon. AT that time, MFW had a link to an older placement test in older version of Saxon and my daughter actually placed into Algebra I. I knew not to go that high. So, i found the newer placement test, and MFW actually uses that placement test on the website now. And the placement was Alg 1/2.
well, silly me.... I put my 6th grader in "regular 8th grade math", or Alg 1/2 as the book title is. by lesson 19 or 20.. I said "this is silly. why am I doing this?" and we set math down for a while. she crocheted and cross stitched. put those items on an online auction to benefit a missionary.
so.... then in the fall of 7th grade, I said, I'm nut to put her in 8th grade math. So, I decided to go with Saxon 8/7 homeschool ed, prealgebra.... the one mfw sells. And realized, hey, this is where she needs to be. It's filling in the "gaps" of scope and sequence from the switch, it is advanced 7th grade math.
ok... so at the end of SAxon 8/7, I saw on Saxon's website and heard from others who had been there... if a child finishes 8/7 and is consistently getting 80% of higher, you may skip Algebra 1/2 and go into Algebra I.
now, that reminded me of what I did as a kid. I was in "advanced math 7" in 7th grade, then skipped 8th grade math, and just went into Alg. I in 8th. so it made sense.
my kid did fine this year in Algebra I.
Other kids might struggle in 8th grade in Alg I, in which case they can take longer to do it, or drop back to 1/2.
So,
basically..
7th grade 8/7
8th graders who are ready for Alg I in 8th, may skip 1/2 and go to Alg 1
so , no my oldest did not do alg 1/2 except for a few lessons from the book. and that's the long story of why not.
crystal
Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
Sorry for missing the reference to me in an earlier post. Thanks for linking the topic for me. Some other suggestions?
The other thing I would like to mention here (that could also go in another current post) is: I find it VERY important to work through problems together either after I have graded the homework and reviews (correcting the wrong answers) or even sometimes when she is doing her homework. When we went through phases of newer material, particularly in Books 2 and 3, my dd would "shut down" or get frustrated. There were times where I had to approach the problem from a different angle or demonstrate the steps showing the bars. NOT saying that you should be doing your child's homework for them, but if they occasionally "get stuck" it's okay to model or guide them (like Crystal said.)
Because I didn't make a big deal that she wasn't doing all her work independently and I was more interested in modeling the correct way to solve problems, it has paid off BIG this year. She flew through her Book 4 and started 5a for the 4th quarter. What I am so impressed with is that with Singapore all those lessons on mental math that I wasn't sure if she fully understood (e.g. +/ by 98, 99), she's using it! All that help with story problems that I modeled, she's thinking logically when she reads them and the majority of the time she sets them up properly! Now we may not be the typical case, but my dd does NOT love math, per se, but she has gained so much confidence this year.
The other thing I did was our first year of homeschooling (Book 2) I purchased the HIGs. This showed me Singapore's style and how to make the concepts manipulative. So there are times now when we are working the place values of thousands and higher and multiplying by 10s, 100s, etc., I might refer to "remember how we traded in 10 ones for 1 ten, this is similar." Back then, she had homemade plastic circular manipulatives (mentioned in HIG, similar to the drawings in textbook) and she physically would make the regroupings. Now she can take the current concepts visually and relate it to her previous experience.
Don't know if this helps, but this has been our journey with Singapore. Not everyone is wired the same way, and maybe your daughter does need a change. Praying God will give you guidance.
I don't really "test" my daughter, but I do gauge her reviews and practice sections on how well she is doing. I also administrate standardized tests yearly.Also, dh wanted me to be testing the kids in math. Do some of you just use the Singapore reviews for tests? I've tried doing that, but he doesn't take them seriously b/c they just look and feel like regular work.
I think that this is a good suggestion although I wouldn't stop cold  I would review basic facts and play mathtype games. Last summer we picked up a summer "bridge" workbook from a local bookstore to just keep things fresh and that way we wouldn't have as much review to do in the fall.jtcarter14 wrote:Another friend suggested stopping math for now and just picking up where we left off (with Singapore and Abeka) in August. What do you think about that?
The other thing I would like to mention here (that could also go in another current post) is: I find it VERY important to work through problems together either after I have graded the homework and reviews (correcting the wrong answers) or even sometimes when she is doing her homework. When we went through phases of newer material, particularly in Books 2 and 3, my dd would "shut down" or get frustrated. There were times where I had to approach the problem from a different angle or demonstrate the steps showing the bars. NOT saying that you should be doing your child's homework for them, but if they occasionally "get stuck" it's okay to model or guide them (like Crystal said.)
Because I didn't make a big deal that she wasn't doing all her work independently and I was more interested in modeling the correct way to solve problems, it has paid off BIG this year. She flew through her Book 4 and started 5a for the 4th quarter. What I am so impressed with is that with Singapore all those lessons on mental math that I wasn't sure if she fully understood (e.g. +/ by 98, 99), she's using it! All that help with story problems that I modeled, she's thinking logically when she reads them and the majority of the time she sets them up properly! Now we may not be the typical case, but my dd does NOT love math, per se, but she has gained so much confidence this year.
The other thing I did was our first year of homeschooling (Book 2) I purchased the HIGs. This showed me Singapore's style and how to make the concepts manipulative. So there are times now when we are working the place values of thousands and higher and multiplying by 10s, 100s, etc., I might refer to "remember how we traded in 10 ones for 1 ten, this is similar." Back then, she had homemade plastic circular manipulatives (mentioned in HIG, similar to the drawings in textbook) and she physically would make the regroupings. Now she can take the current concepts visually and relate it to her previous experience.
Don't know if this helps, but this has been our journey with Singapore. Not everyone is wired the same way, and maybe your daughter does need a change. Praying God will give you guidance.
Sue, married 20 years and mother to 3 (only homeschooling one):
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Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
I still found this was a MAJOR help at times during Algebra.s_duguid wrote:The other thing I would like to mention here (that could also go in another current post) is: I find it VERY important to work through problems together either after I have graded the homework and reviews (correcting the wrong answers) or even sometimes when she is doing her homework. When we went through phases of newer material, particularly in Books 2 and 3, my dd would "shut down" or get frustrated. There were times where I had to approach the problem from a different angle or demonstrate the steps showing the bars. NOT saying that you should be doing your child's homework for them, but if they occasionally "get stuck" it's okay to model or guide them (like Crystal said.)
When you think about it, kids in a group school get to watch other kids in the room. Sometimes it was just the thing for my son to watch me do a problem.
Julie
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Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
Thank you. These responses have been helpful!
Jessica
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Re: math questions ~ 3rd grade ~ Singapore ~ Math U See
Hi Jessica! If your child is "ahead of schedule" with your current program, taking some time to stop and review math facts with games or fun worksheets might help. I've had to do that with my dd this year because she was really ahead and seemed like she needed to work hard at learning new math facts for a few weeks and then needed a "break" to let them sink in. However, we used CBoM (Complete Book of Math) pages and math games to review.
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Things that help?
My dd does not enjoy math, or hardly at all anyway. Some things I have found to help with the fussing and fidgeting, and also to help me keep my cool and my sanity.Meamommy wrote:We are struggling with finding a math that we like. I know (as I try to explain) math is not a "fun" thing, but surely there's something that won't have him and I both in tears trying to finish. He is really smart as far as math, but he does not like doing it. We have done Abeka and Horizons, and he didn't love either of those. I got the singapore supplement workbook I picked up. It's like pulling teeth as well. We are pretty much in the middle of multiplication and division. Any suggestions?
1. Set a timer. After you go through your explanations and whatnot together, you set a timer for 1020 minutes (you decide what you think your dc is ready for, or start at 10  or less!  and build up a little every day). Explain calmly to dc  "I need you to work on these practice problems until the timer goes off. Work diligently, without fussing, and you can stop no matter how much you've done after the 10 minutes are up. If you get done with X number of problems before the timer goes off, the rest of the time is yours to do what you want. I'm going to be right over here (close but not hovering  *I* personally get much more impatient and frustrated when I'm looking over their shoulders, so I make myself do something else  throw in a load of laundry or whatever), so if you have a question I'm available, but do your best on your own first." Just knowing that there is an end in sight often helps my kids stay focused and maintain a decent attitude. Not always, but often.
2. Have a contest with your dc  say, "You do this problem on paper and I'll do it in my head. When you're done, I'll give you my answer and you can tell me if I'm right." This keeps my dd moving instead of staring into space  it annoys her that I know my multiplication tables well enough to speed through long division, lol, so she's motivated to learn them better. When she was younger, I would sometimes say the wrong answer, and then have her explain to me how she got the right answer. So then, she's doing the work and narrating back what she knows.
3. If they are just popping up with a million questions  that may or may not have anything do with math  you can try setting out a few pieces of candy  choc chips, m&m's, jelly beans, whatever  little things and say  if you can finish your math without talking about anything but math, you can have the candy. Every time you talk about something else, I take a piece of candy." Food  especially sweet food, lol  is a great motivator.
4. Sometimes  once in a while  we set aside our regular math work and play a game  yahtzee is a good one for math time. Can't do it every day, of course, but sometimes you just need to do something fun. My kids also like the Timez Attack game on the computer (they have +, , * and / now), and we like the card game Speed! for helping to learn mult tables. We do those last 2 often, for drill of facts, but once in a great while, we will just play games for math, rather than our regular work (oh, I'm talking about for the 5th grader  the 1st grader still gets lots of games in his math).
All of this is interspersed with pep talks and cheerleading and friendly (as friendly as I can remain) reminders that hard work is good for us, etc.
HTH,
Melissa
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Re: Finally decided to give up Singapore :( Now what?
Hi Kristin,
I also don't have experience with R&S math, but have known folks who used it in the past and I'm sure you will be fine, no worries, especially if your son does fine with plain workbook pages.
I just wanted to mention that there are plateaus and hard parts in any math program, so don't panic if it happens again. It seems like 3rd to 5th grades had them regularly, even with my mathy son. And, well, I can't say that he hasn't had those days even in precalculus, but I think he's used to them now and not as tearyeyed (although not to say it never happens). In elementary, we actually stopped Singapore on occasion to just play games, work on math facts, or use another math program I was able to purchase for those times. I didn't necessarily feel my son would benefit from moremoremore, but just from hovering in place for a while while his brain caught up. We might do just one of the "hard" problems a day, or just work on other things for a while. It sounds like you tried some of those things, as well, without as much success coming back.
I'm not trying to discourage you at all from following your plan to switch to R&S, but just to help you succeed if you find bumps again in the future, since you don't have those local homeschoolers to chat with. Here are a few encouragement threads in that regard:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3775
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3953
Julie
I also don't have experience with R&S math, but have known folks who used it in the past and I'm sure you will be fine, no worries, especially if your son does fine with plain workbook pages.
I just wanted to mention that there are plateaus and hard parts in any math program, so don't panic if it happens again. It seems like 3rd to 5th grades had them regularly, even with my mathy son. And, well, I can't say that he hasn't had those days even in precalculus, but I think he's used to them now and not as tearyeyed (although not to say it never happens). In elementary, we actually stopped Singapore on occasion to just play games, work on math facts, or use another math program I was able to purchase for those times. I didn't necessarily feel my son would benefit from moremoremore, but just from hovering in place for a while while his brain caught up. We might do just one of the "hard" problems a day, or just work on other things for a while. It sounds like you tried some of those things, as well, without as much success coming back.
I'm not trying to discourage you at all from following your plan to switch to R&S, but just to help you succeed if you find bumps again in the future, since you don't have those local homeschoolers to chat with. Here are a few encouragement threads in that regard:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3775
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3953
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd12th grades (20042014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs