Saxon Algebra 1 - Ideas when stuck

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
cbollin

Saxon Algebra 1 - Ideas when stuck

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:17 pm

Winni wrote:The time has come that I have always dreaded in our homeschooling adventure: One of my children (oldest -- 13yo dd - 8th grade) is stuck in math - and I don't know the answers...

Algebra 1 - Saxon

She is stuck at about Lesson 37. There are some concepts she is just NOT getting.
She has the DIVE cd and has gone back and listened and reread the lesson a few times and is just not getting it.

What do I do? I do NOT remember Algebra. HELP?!?!?!
Ideas:

Is it possible that she should stop Algebra I this year (8th grade, right?) and wait until 9th grade? Some kids -- no matter what program they use need to wait until 9th grade for it to click. She might benefit from being in Algebra 1/2 after math 8/7 even if she did 80% or higher in 8/7.

What happens when she looks at the step by step solution manual for the problems she is having?
can she copy the correct answers to a few "odd numbered" problems to model doing the right way and then practice on the even number?

-crystal

Tracey in ME
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:41 pm

Wow, Crystal, I hadn't thought of that...going back to Algebra 1/2. She might be a little upset about that...since her best homeschooled friend is in Algebra 1. I'll mention it to her and see what she thinks. Not that it is up to her...but...you know.

She did struggle a bit last year with Saxon 8/7, too...so...yeah...I was thinking she might have trouble this year, too.
cbollin wrote:What happens when she looks at the step by step solution manual for the problems she is having?
can she copy the correct answers to a few "odd numbered" problems to model doing the right way and then practice on the even number?
The solution manual doesn't show step by step how the problems are done...that is a big problem. We have the third edition -- is that the newest? Is there a step by step solution manual for that somewhere? They have the step by step solutions for the test solutions only in this one.
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:03 pm

Winni wrote:The solution manual doesn't show step by step how the problems are done...that is a big problem. We have the third edition -- is that the newest? Is there a step by step solution manual for that somewhere? They have the step by step solutions for the test solutions only in this one.
I bought Algebra I from MFW in 2009 and got the whole package they sell. MFW sells a package that includes the "homeschool kit" (i.e. the solutions to the tests and basic answers to all problems), and the package includes the Solutions Manual in addition to DIVE and text book.

In my solutions manual (not the one with the test solutions), I think that is a step by step solution. You can't get too much more detail in that manual. It shows enough steps that I can find out where my daughter has messed up on her problem set or a practice problem and tell her to look in the solution or to try again in a spot.

yep. 3rd edition. MFW sells that manual ala carte too. If you ordered from MFW and for some odd reason didn't get the detailed solutions manual, give them a call.

-crystal

cbollin

Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:52 am

winni wrote:I think we will stick with it if possible.

One more question, please? Ok, I'm going to call MFW today and see about getting that solutions manual. Now, what would you recommend my 8th grader does while waiting for this? Should she keep moving forward, since it is only 1 or 2 concepts that are confusing her? Or, should we go back a little bit? Or, should she just wait until next week for the manual
I'd recommend that you call MFW and ask them as well.

if it were my kid, I'd find someone to help with those concepts if possible.... so... Which concepts are causing her? Maybe my daughter can help her a bit.

There are times that my oldest "cries" with Saxon -- but that's because she is 14 years old. This book hates me. This computer hates me. the whole world hates me......

story time... On Monday, when we went to Archery class, we were talking about school stuff as we got there. Kate told the archery organizer "we got everything else except math done today and still got here on time. But I have to do my Algebra when I get home." The veteran mom asked "what are you using?" Saxon Alg I. and we got the double thumbs up from the veteran homeschooling mom of 20ish years. She told my daughter "some days in the book are tough".then, the kids went off and did their thing. the mom said "that's a good program and worth the tears sometimes."

so I thought I'd toss that veteran perspective in the mix. no... saxon isn't right for everyone, but don't toss it for a *few* concepts that are tough. Jr. high years are a time of transition in many areas of life. A few challenges here and there are good for our kids. balance of course.....

so in that light.... which concepts are tough right now in Saxon Alg I. Maybe Kate has a trick or two to help someone else. She might enjoy helping someone.

-crystal

cbollin

Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:47 am

Winni wrote: CRYSTAL - one more question, please? Ok, I'm going to call MFW today and see about getting that solutions manual. Now, what would you recommend my 8th grader does while waiting for this? Should she keep moving forward, since it is only 1 or 2 concepts that are confusing her? Or, should we go back a little bit? Or, should she just wait until next week for the manual?

Thanks, everyone!
well... I'm thinking in too many directions this morning in my own life and didn't actually tell you what we are doing this week in Algebra I.

Basically, after several tests and problem sets, I noticed a trend in specific problems that my daughter was missing. So, we simply backed off this week from continuing on and instead, looked at the little numbers in the book and went back and re-did those lessons. This time it was from reading the text without DIVE CD and then doing all of the practice problems in that lesson again.

I like doing that after the test so that it has the ability to let the info settle in my kid's brain in case it was just a bad day on the lesson, or a hard concept.

-crystal

cbollin

Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:35 am

I didn't actually tell you what we are doing this week in Algebra I.

Basically, after several tests and problem sets, I noticed a trend in specific problems that my daughter was missing. So, we simply backed off this week from continuing on and instead, looked at the little numbers in the book and went back and re-did those lessons. This time it was from reading the text without DIVE CD and then doing all of the practice problems in that lesson again.

I like doing that after the test so that it has the ability to let the info settle in my kid's brain in case it was just a bad day on the lesson, or a hard concept.
Winni wrote:Ok, here is where she is stuck. The concepts taught in lessons 26, 27, and 31. She should be at about Lesson 40-something by now, but has had to back up a couple of times (I have her back up if she gets a C- or lower on a test).

You think that re-reading these lessons (only, no DIVE?) and just doing the practice problems (a, b, c, etc.) will be enough?
let me explain why we have our daughter not listen again on the DIVE this week: she never read the text the first time and I know she missed a sentence. ;) So both can be done. It was enough in my daughter's case because the practice problems were the focus on the lesson. You can also pick up the same lesson sections in other problem sets and do those too.

the other thing is: I have a friend whose daughter ended up doing Saxon Alg I in 8th grade and then repeated it in 9th grade. It was just that the kid needed to do it again. So maybe your daughter is like that gal. That gal is now in 12th grade and it all worked out well. She claims she's the dumb kid in her family, but ...... nah...
She said she'd love some help from your daughter, if she is willing. We actually have a boy living near us (he and my daughter have been friends for 5 years) who is in the same book this year, so maybe he can help her, too. Tristin is going to read over those lessons and try the practice problems today, as well as make notes of the problems she is having. Thanks for the offer!
I know on lesson 31 my dd just said "oh that was easy for me, maybe I can help. I can try. "

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:16 pm

Oh my....
I didn't have time to read ALL the posts yet! Math must be a hot topic! ;)
But, I did want to put three big cautions out there and comment in more detail later...

1) If your child struggles with math, they will struggle in (almost) every publisher you choose, so hopping around is NOT the answer (MHO :~ )

2) If you have a child where math is not their strength, it may be a big help to them to be current with the subject matter yourself (one step ahead of them, so to speak!) - I can hear all the Ughs out there right now. JMHO, again ;) , but from personal experience (including a senior, homeschooled all the way) a child that doesn't get math can often use a real live person seeing where they are at and what part of the problem they are not getting.

3) Also, make sure you do your homework with researching the "latest" math programs. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but Saxon (and some others) have stood the test of time because they get results in the long-term. Some programs look great, but may be missing conceptual pieces, etc.

One Note about Saxon Solution Manuals...the upper level solutions manuals for Saxon choose to leave some of what they think are the simple steps in a problem out as you move through the course. That has been a hurdle for us. We have solved it by using their help line. They are wonderful about getting right back to us with an attachment showing all the steps!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

Tracey in ME
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:30 pm

Found it!



It's actually an email address, I guess.
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

Tracey in ME
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:32 pm

I just found out on another board that Saxon has Teacher CD's, too!
Saxon now has their own CDs called "Saxon Teacher" that may be of more help than the DIVE CDs. The Saxon Teacher CDs go through every problem in every lesson step by step and explain it. There is even a CD with the test problems explained for students who miss test problems and don't understand the "why" of the steps in the solution manual. They're available from CBD.
Yowzer...they're $63...I will try the answer manual that goes through the problems, first...that should help. Still, it is nice to know that this resource is out there! ;)
cbollin wrote:how do they compare to DIVE other than price ? maybe I should ask on that on wtm.....
Well, I think they are similar to the Teaching Textbook approach, whereas you can listen and watch all of the practice and lesson problems worked through. Not sure about tests...there are demo's here: http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com/en/sax ... r_demo.htm
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:32 pm

You gals really put your heads together on this! :-)
I love the idea of some of the students helping each other when possible. I'm sure it will feel very supportive for them - in both directions! It's always nice to interact with another homeschooler doing schoolwork just like you!
I love the little numbers you mentioned that Saxon puts in the textbook. It really is a big help to see if they keep missing the same or similar lessons.
Crystal, I love your idea of taking time after a test to review with them any weak concepts/lessons before moving on. It is such a natural break.
I'm sure that MFW office had some great advice as well.
Praying that this all falls together for you, no matter which direction you choose!

I'm just loving everything today!! :-) Can you tell we are finished with school for the week and have a long weekend off?!! ;)

cbollin

Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Winni wrote:Well, I think they are similar to the Teaching Textbook approach, whereas you can listen and watch all of the practice and lesson problems worked through. Not sure about tests...there are demo's here
ah....we're watching the demo now. my dd says she really prefers DIVE so far...

the Saxon CD seems to "read the text" to you and draws the same thing that is in the book. (but then again we are looking at a demo versus whole thing) shows how to work some of the problem set.

DIVE -- he teaches the lesson, but uses other problems for practice to learn the lesson. or he'll give another way to do the problems sometimes. My oldest thinks he sound more like he is talking to you instead of reading a book to you.

different tastes and needs, right?
===
oh... we have a cute little DIVE story from last week. Oldest had her DIVE CD lesson finishing up and it was at that point at the end of the lesson. Then there was a Proverbs verse on the screen. Youngest (the one in 1st grade and has autism) makes Oldest keep the Proverbs verse on the screen for a while. awwww .... so that youngest could read it out loud just like in 1st grade Proverbs.

sniff

-crystal

Tracey in ME
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Re: Struggling with Saxon Algebra 1

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:49 pm

Awwww!

Yes, different tastes/needs. We have the answer manual coming to us. I'll see how that goes. I have a feeling that will be enough for her.

I should probably just learn this stuff...I am pretty sure I will have to when my now 5th grader gets up to it...
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

cbollin

Re: More help needed with Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:17 am

Winni wrote:Ok, so I bought the Solutions Manual, went through the practice lessons on questions she got wrong on Test #10 (which included lessons 3, 10, 28, 31, 33, 35, 36, and 40). I went over all of the practice questions that she got wrong with her. She indicated that she understood everything.

Retook the test yesterday. STILL got the same exact questions wrong.

NOW what?! Have her re-do the whole lesson #'s 3, 10, 28, etc.? Help!
options:
change programs, --- it's the cool homeschooling thing to do. maybe it's ok to do that.

or: is it missing the same problems for the same reason?
just make sure that it isn't tiny stuff that she's missing. Are there computation errors? dropping of negative signs? what's the reason she is missing the problem?
Can she look at the solutions manual for homework and find out why she got it wrong.

I would work on knowing why she is missing the problems. What is she doing wrong? Is it big concept issues? they you might have to go back. Is it careless stuff?

I have a suggestion that will probably be tricky depending on mom/daughter issues. (in other words, yeah... don't roll your eyes at me again) LOL!
Can you sit with her while does this specific test as an open book retake finding where she is getting the problem wrong? And then work on the "trouble weasel".
for example on test problem #19, (that's one from lesson 3) is she just forgetting what perimeter is for a shape like that? Is she adding in sections that don't need to be added in (such as the dotted lines)?
Is she just forgetting the formulas? -- if so, I think it is acceptable to make formula sheets for a test. The college I worked for in the physics department -- we did that. We made a sheet of formulas for the test and gave it to the kids. With Saxon Alg I -- you can simply open the back of the textbook and use that. Eventually, they will need a specific formula less and less.

problem # 9 (from lesson 28) -- is she getting too many negative signs in there? is it the square?

them, from all of that -- why not make a gentle check list sheet that says "next test, I need to double check my work for this stuff"

Yes, you can change programs, but let's pretend for a moment that she is experiencing the same issues in another program. I would still recommend that you find why she is missing the problem. Also, my oldest gets stuff wrong when she tries to do too much in her head on those switching of signs and stuff.

-crystal

cbollin

Re: More help needed with Algebra 1

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:24 pm

Winni wrote:She'll probably take 2 years to do Algebra 1. Her other homeschool buddies are doing Algebra 1 right now -- so she will feel "below them," but what else can I do?

I don't want to switch programs.

We should have done Algebra 1/2. Crud.
Tracey
((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

your child is not the only one who has done it that way. Even one of the Hazell kids had to repeat Saxon Alg I. ok? If they have a kid who needed longer, you can too.

and my oldest says that some of the friends she has in church and archery -- are in 8th grade and not doing Algebra. So it's ok if you have to re do alg. in 9th grade. It's ok. It's not always easy in math with those ( ) things and switching negatives. and even I mess up those perimeter things and forget it is a 2 semicircles or stuff. I get mad at myself too.

-crystal

LA in Baltimore
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Re: More help needed with Algebra 1

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:41 pm

You would want to figure out if:
1) she understands HOW to do it, but is not executing the math calculations properly. (Right Problem set up, but wrong answer.)
or
2) She does NOT understand how to do it (ie, how to set up the problem, which formula to use, ...), but
is executing the math calculations properly. (Wrong Problem set up, but right answer!)
or
3) She does NOT understand the concept AND she is having trouble doing the calculations.

Knowing where she struggles should help you get clarity to what is the right way to help her with it.
If she is making lots of little mistakes (#1), she'll do that in any program.
If she doesn't understand it (#2) you may want to go back over it with her, work alongside her for a while (if she has been working independently up until now) or see if another program might work better for her.
If she doesn't understand AND is shaky with her computational skills (#3) she just might not be in the right level of the program.

Hope that helps!
Feeling your struggles and sending (((hugs))),
LA
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

cbollin

STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by cbollin » Sun May 02, 2010 7:26 pm

Winni wrote:Here is what we have been doing...do you think this is wrong? When she fails a test (getting C or lower, actually, because she really is an A student), I make her go back and re-do the practices for the lessons that contained the questions she got wrong, and then re-do the test. She will usually get a B after re-doing the test. It is definitely unrealistic...because in college she can't do this...so...what SHOULD I do? Just let her fail and then retake the whole course? Argghhh...
discouraged threads should always start with a few hugs ((((hugs))))
(pst... call MFW office and ask them what one of the hazell kids did in that situation. )

I might just start over with Alg I in 9th. call this year 8th grade Math. I probably wouldn't fail her though. She's re doing tests and not failing. start fresh in the fall or get another program?

if she were in a group school and struggling, you'd get a tutor even if you couldn't change curriculum.... is there a tutor in your area? or maybe there's a supplement program out there for reviewing algebra?

I wouldn't get too worried about college just yet. She's 8th grade. In college, she'll learn to get a tutor and/or find study strategies before tests.

so....What are you doing to help her study for the tests even though it doesn't say in the MFW plans -- study for test. it just stays Test. :thud: (out loud note to JD --- that needs to be in there, doesn't it?)

Remember with Saxon Alg I tests --- where's mfwstudent when I need her.. oh yeah, she's outside watching youngest..... just a moment, let me ask her.. she's the one who just got a 94% overall in the class. brainiac, like her dad.... go back outside kid.. you're a nerd... (a lovable nerd though).

she reminded me that the Saxon Alg I tests are covering four lessons worth of info, but you have a lag time for it. So the test that covers lessons 97-100, is given after you finish lesson 104. So, maybe your daughter needs to have a study day each day after lesson 101 and 102 and 103 and 104. on those "study times" that might be when to re-do all of the practices. Or maybe she can re do all of the practices from lessons 97-100 before taking the test.

so... basically, what does your daughter do to study for test? Maybe that is the next strategy to think about?

-crystal with help from mfwstudent.

Tracey in ME
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Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Sun May 02, 2010 7:46 pm

Studying? She wasn't. I didn't know that about the lessons and the lag before the test.

I like the "studying by doing the practice questions for the lessons covered in the test" idea. So, when she has a test, she should back up 5 lessons, and do the practice problems for the 5 lessons before that?

I don't know of a math tutor...and I don't think the program is the trouble, because she does very well when redoing it...
She doesn't want to take Alg 1 over again..."I've passed this far," she says. "Why do I have to start completely over?" Which, she has, but only because she re-did everything. So, for the next 4 years am I to let her "re-do" everything after each math test? My mind says, "No." How long do I let this go on?

You know, I partly blame myself for all of this. She wasn't quite ready for Alg. 1, I don't think. I rushed her through Singapore at the very end. She wanted to be in Alg. 1 this year with everyone else. She's very concerned about "being behind." Well, at least she says she is...I don't see her trying to catch up each Saturday by doing an extra lesson unless I tell her to. I'm so discouraged because she really is good at math, but she can't stand it.

I think I'll call MFW tomorrow, too...

Thanks for the hug!

She wants to go to college to be a large animal vet, though, so this stuff is important!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

jasntas
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Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by jasntas » Sun May 02, 2010 8:05 pm

I don't have any dc anywhere near high school but at my school back in the day we didn't even start Algebra until 10th grade. I was on the "college prep" track way back in hs. I don't know what my opinion will be worth since I’m not there but here goes: I think I would just continue plugging along with how you're doing it into next year if needed or at least over the summer.

I think calling MFW office is a great idea.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

cbollin

Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by cbollin » Sun May 02, 2010 8:16 pm

Tammie,
I'm just a rambling tonight..... dont' know why. I just feel like chatting.

math requirements keep changing and will vary. It seems that most places I've looked around at state requirements is that everyone seems to "have" to take Alg I, Geometry,and Alg II in order to graduate. Some places strongly recommend college bound kids get a 4th year in math to be more competitive, or to be ready for science/math/technology/ and even some business management degrees. So, if they start Alg in 10th, that "4th year" can't happen by 12th grade without serious summer work, but it doesn't necessarily mean doom and gloom either if it doesn't happen.

But in general.... I hear from various sources that seem to think 9th grade is a good "target" for being in Alg I. 8th grade is the advanced track. so, it changes.

Some kids aren't ready for Alg I until 10th grade.
and then some homeschoolers get them earlier and I'll hush and go get some decaf.

back to topic....(((tracey))), so.. , whaddya think? studying something out there to study for the test. or whether re-doing the practice problems before the test would help instead of doing them after and then a retest? thoughts on that? Does she need more time to review? Are you doing the whole problem set or just the selected problems in the MFW plans?

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun May 02, 2010 11:14 pm

Tracey,
I like the idea of starting over next year and possibly trying another program. However, if dd doesn't want to do that, and if you think the program is not the problem, then I wouldn't give any thought to college schedules at this point. She's a long way from there. She's working on *other* college skills right now --namely abstract mathematical thinking.

Also, algebra very much builds on itself --even more so than math already does. By the end, you are using all the skills you've learned in order to solve one problem. Therefore, if she doesn't take as long as she needs to truly absorb the individual steps (square roots, factoring, equations with fractions) she may get through the multi-step problems even more slowly (completing the square, quadratic equations). It's so wonderful to have the opportunities to teach well in homeschooling!

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

mommax3
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Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by mommax3 » Sun May 09, 2010 4:43 pm

I know this post is a week old, but I'm so glad I found it! I keep checking to get ideas for my ds math. He has the same story except he is already in the 9th grade. We're using CLE and I"m not sure if it's fast or if he is just having trouble with the whole Algebra thing. We're only 1/2 way through, too.

I'm thinking of just having him do another program next year so he'll get the foundation instead of moving him quickly through the summer and starting Geometry in the fall, which of course, he won't be ready.

Any thoughts or advice?
Thank you~
Kelley

chatmom
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Re: STILL discouraged with 8th grade dd's math work...

Unread post by chatmom » Sun May 09, 2010 5:14 pm

A few questions - why not finish at her pace, using summers, if you need to go slower? You could also supplement with books like Painless Algebra, Algebra for the Real World and Algebra on the Go!. These are great resources and very helpful for a break away from the routine.

Another option might be to go on to geometry with the intention of coming back to Algebra - do a review of what she mastered then finish the rest of Algebra 1 and continue on to Alg. 2. One of the issues with Algebra is that it is abstract and many students simply are not quite ready for it - with another year or so of maturity, they are ready to tackle it. It is very much like learning to read - until those developmental connections are made in the brain, you may as well be beating your head against a wall. They simply can't do it successfully. The extra time can make all the difference. You can also have her learn some consumer math.

The challenge is to break her away from mathphobia or math hating or despising math - she will need it in life. I also came across an interesting quote "Smart people don't like math more, more math makes people smart". There are many ways to hone the math skills - how strong is your daughter on the basics - arithmetic, fractions, decimals, word problems, percents, probabilities? These can also be strengthened and tackled. Especially fractions, if a student is weak on their fractions - they will struggle with all their higher level math.

Take this with a grain of salt...I tutor math and am actually looking forward to teaching Algebra 1 at summer school in July. My daughter has also been learning Algebra - her text is a 1955 Row and Peterson book which has been thoroughly enjoyable. The only downside is that I have to write the solution manual.

Julie in MN
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Teacher CD's -- anyone use these? Algebra 1 woes

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:29 pm

Winni wrote:My 14yo daughter (9th grace) continues to have Algebra 1 woes...sigh.

I am considering getting her the Teacher CD's, which work through each problem. The trouble with this, though, is that I want her to correct her work that she gets wrong. Watching the Teacher CD work through a problem gives her the answer at the end, instead of my daughter figuring it out on her own. Does that make sense?

Another solution, I suppose, would be for me to actually do the lessons as well (I don't know Algebra well). Have any of you ever done that? I am depending on the CD's to be her "teacher" in this...maybe that is a huge mistake.
Tracey,
I haven't seen the Saxon teacher CDs so I can't comment on those.

But rather than doing all the lessons, what I do is correct my child's math. I know you're a busy mom and that might not be possible, but when I correct my child's math, I am able to piece together what he is learning and where he went wrong. That helps me know what to do about it.

I wouldn't say that I remember high school math all that well, but I'm a "plodder alonger" and am able to just plod through it and figure out what the problem is. There were a couple of things in Algebra 1 that were really hard and he just needed help going thru the entire lesson. But there were also easier things that he just didn't catch (like 3(4 + 2) & distributing the 3 to each number in the parens). When it was something small, I sometimes had my son try doing it his own way or different ways, to see that it doesn't come out the same, which seemed to "convince" him :~

Anywhoo, each child is going to be different, but I think correcting my son's high school math has been good for my own review. If you can squeeze it in, it probably will help you with the kids coming up behind, too! %|

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Tracey in ME
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Re: Algebra 1 - Teacher CD's -- anyone use these?

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:20 am

Hi Julie!

I do correct it, but she doesn't show her work in EVERY problem...so finding where she went wrong isn't always possible. Should I have her show her work for every problem?
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

Julie in MN
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Re: Algebra 1 - Teacher CD's -- anyone use these?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:34 pm

Tracey,
Hmmm, if that doesn't help, there's always the opposite approach.

So if you let her correct her own work, with or without the teacher CDs, I wonder what would happen. I wouldn't worry too much about her being handed the answers since she would have already done the assignment. Not many schoolteachers have time to do more than correct the work the first time through, so she'd still be getting a bonus after she did the assignments.

Have you tried having her correct her own work with the answer key yet ( after she did all of the problems on her own)? That might help you know whether the CDs would help?

Whew, the only other thought I have is about having you read the textbook lesson aloud to her. My ds is so extremely auditory that I read when he seems to need it. I also get a sense of his understanding and possible rough spots when I'm reading. I don't read it often, but when he seems to need it (this is regarding Jacob's Geometry, but might apply to Algebra?).

Kids are all so different. I tried several algebra methods with my older dd and when finally it clicked, I just called the previous work "pre-algebra.". Sometimes it might be a maturity thing, too. I suspect my particular dd just wasn't ready for the abstractness until she was 16 or so. Maybe the only thing I can offer is to say that I know your pain in trying to help. :~

Hoping you get some more replies after the weekend.
Julie

And no, I don't ask my son to show his work if he does it in his head. Although I do tell him that I can't help him if I don't know how he did the problem. Sometimes I can still spot the pattern of problems just from his wrong answers; sometimes not. The "show your work" debate out there is strong. My oldest son (the engineer) is appalled that my youngest doesn't show his work. But youngest can do things in his head that oldest cannot... so it's harder to draw that line. And really, youngest doesn't have to prove he didn't copy his neighbor :) My stance is that (1) if he wants help or partial credit, he must show his work; (2) when he needs to do his work on paper (and he will at some point, no question), he must organize it so that it is always clear which problem is being shown; and (3) if a teacher ever requires him to show his work, well, prepare now or learn fast later, but you cannot hide forever :) YMMV.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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