Encouragemen/Ideas - Helping with Math frustration

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lyntley
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Encouragemen/Ideas - Helping with Math frustration

Unread post by lyntley » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:23 am

Laura M wrote:I am doing Singapore math with my kids and my 8yr old gets pretty frustrated at times. He is only doing 2A and it seems like he should be ready for it. We did 1B last year and he did pretty well with that but we seem to have hit a road block.

I really...and I mean REALLY struggled with math in school. I was homeschooled also and my parents used all Bob Jones curriculum. I remember that as much as my parents tried to help me with math I just didn't "get it"! I would end up in tears because of their frustration, and mine. I really wanted to understand but I just couldn't. I wonder now if I would have done better with a different math program. But I don't think their were as many choices available to homeschoolers in the 80's and early 90's.

I am worried because I don't want this for my son. I see the same reaction and frustration that I use to have and it makes me sad. Anyway, I am wondering if I should go back and review some of 1B with him or if perhaps he would do better with a different math curriculum.
I think review would be a great idea. If there's still a problem you can take a break and work on that particular thing in a different way like with games or over the internet. Then come back to it when he's ready. Singapore moves quickly from one thing to the next. He might just need time to mature a bit before moving on.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:04 pm

Just tagging on a few ideas....
Remember to use blocks or other concrete objects to help with teaching a young child.

Add in basic computation drills (flashcards) for 5 minutes everyday(addition, subtraction). That's not in the textbook in Singapore math because it is assumed the teacher is doing it as part of "classroom" time or something like that. But remember to do drills.

If you are having problems with a certain lesson, post and someone will probably have an idea or two that helped. I'm in 2A this year with my very average 8 y.o.

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:22 pm

Laura,
I wouldn't panic yet, or make any long-term judgments about your son & math.

One thing teachers know -- and parents probably don't notice -- is that math has many difficult points along the way. Expect some hurdles. Be prepared to calm your child down and dwell for a while on something, or go away & come back (as others have mentioned).

"Borrowing," "long division," and "lowest common denominator" come to mind as points where almost all kids will feel their brain just doesn't get it for a while. But feel confident that they will :o)

Julie
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caod
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Unread post by caod » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:13 pm

My dd has struggled so much with math. My heart goes out to you.

One thing that I have learned that if they don't get it trying to drill it really doesn't work.

A small book that I read that was very helpful to me in understanding my child and math was Taking the Frustration out of Math by Mary Hood. It is a small booklet type book and cost $7. You might also check out a website ( www.triviumpursuit ). They have some information about their philosophy on teaching math. It is a bit radical but comes with some good research. The longer we have dealt with this the longer I see the value in what they are saying.

I don't know that there is a perfect math program.

If he is really frustrated I would not hesitate putting it away until some "healing" begins. Then try again.

I also think that it might be worth doing it only with manipulatives and taking the pencil and paper completely out of the picture. He may not be developmentally ready for that.

Blessings
Connie

LizCT
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Unread post by LizCT » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:11 pm

I want to second the recommendation on Mary Hood's booklet Taking the Frustration out of Math. I also would endorse the Bluedorn's Teaching the Trivium.

My almost 8yo dd has also been in tears about things that seem so simple to me, and I get frustrated too. I realize that I am asking her to do things that she really may not be ready to do.

A couple of things that I have found help are:
1) Really limit how much math I do with her each day. If she knows that the lesson & work time will be short, she seems to be able to get through it.
2) Be willing to take a step back to a place where she is comfortable and play some learning games to reinforce basic facts.
3) Maybe once a week I will let her choose what she wants to do that day for math work. Then she feels like she has some control over her math learning. It helps.

We use Singapore Math, and I will keep with it.
That's it from me!
Liz in CT

Julie in MN
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Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:42 pm

doubleportion wrote:Okay maybe I just need to vent, be encouraged, know I'm not the only one or something!

We are sooo struggling with math. Math has always been a challenge for my dd. We started with Abeka math when we were doing Abeka. Then when we did SL we went with Horizons math because Abeka wasn't doing much for her. Then when we began MFW in 2nd grade we started with their recommendations. She HAS made great progress since we started with Singapore math. BUT she seems to be soooo slow some days. Others days she does great. And then.... we get to a Review section and it is as if she never learned the stuff in it.

Does anyone else deal with this? We are in 2B. Some stuff she flies through like measurement, graphing etc. But then when we get to the Reviews she gets 50% or more wrong. Do I need to get the extra practice books? It seems like she gets it and understands when we start a new skill. She seems to have mastered the skill by the end of the skill chapter; but then when we get to the review a few sections or chapter later she fails miserably.

I do know that she is NOT visual and is VERY auditory. I don't have time to add in more extras with math or play a bunch of games with her for math or buy anything else to use. I have been trying to take it slowly and in small chunks and leave it for the day if she starts getting frustrated. But there are just times when it has to get done and I can't keep giving in every time she struggles or we would NEVER do any math! She is very smart and every other subject comes easily to her.

Sorry if this is long winded and whiny. Maybe I just needed to whine.

Edie
Edie,
No, you're not alone! Wait til you have an 8th grader who doesn't want to learn any more Algebra :) Here are a couple of things that worked for us when we got to a "hard part" -

- for a while, we had a second program to just sort-of stay in a holding pattern when needed, like Annie describes, though that can be an expensive option; we would have done that whatever math program we were using, so it wasn't a Singapore issue

- if you're talking about getting 50% wrong on the reviews that are in the *textbook,* I personally did everything in the textbook WITH my child; reviews in there were a chance for me to check the status of my "classroom" before going on -- remember in public school when the teacher would have different kids come up to the board to do problems? I treated it like that. I know the MFW guides have kids doing these on their own, but we'd use the marker board and see how he' was doing. If he had a lot of trouble with a problem, we'd flip back a few pages and review the pictures. We'd build with models again. Then we'd try another problem on the marker board. So that's one option - doing the textbook reviews together.

- if you're talking about getting 50% wrong on the reviews in the *workbook,* then I wouldn't panic too much in levels 2 & 3, as they do have a couple of problems that are above-and-beyond; plus, levels 4-6 will have tons of review and build on the skills, too, so they don't need to have every last thing down solid in 2 & 3

- we've always spread math out during the day, and my son still experiments with where he's going to do his math

- when it's really hard for him, I still sit beside him and do things with him; usually it's really just a small detail that makes the dominoes fall & all seem hopeless

HTH,
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jasntas
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Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:48 pm

I can so relate. ((hugs))

My ds actually scored very high in ps last year in math (way into the advanced range) yet he had to start with 1b last fall with Singapore. I actually started him with 2a but after just a few days I realized it would be better to go a step back and do 1b. I still feel it was the right decision. He could have done the math but just felt overwhelmed I guess. As I type this his dad is actually working with him on exercise 15 of 2a and has been for the last hour. He was already having a hard time focusing today and I knew I didn't have the patience. Luckily for me his dad is off for 3 months recovering from knee surgery.

Anyway, the main thing I have found is that in ps he never learned his math facts. Any of them. We have been working on that. I don't know if that would apply to your situation.

When doing the review questions I don't hand it over to him and tell him to complete it. He requires a lot of hand holding, btw. I will read or help him read the questions and make sure he understands what they are asking for. I try to gently remind him that he has learned this if he starts acting like he doesn't. I sometimes will even give him a few examples to jar his memory. Then I usually can almost see the light bulb go off in his mind. As your dd, he also has no problem with bars and graphs.

Another thing I do is if I see he isn't getting a subject when we are working on it I will take a break for the next day or two from the written worksheets and just do a few games or other related activities with him and that usually helps. I do know what you mean about not having the extra time for the games but for my ds it is worth it. The HIG has been a good investment for me. It gives extra game and activity ideas with things we usually have around the house such as a deck of cards. Maybe you could have your dh or an older sibling (if there are olders) play a few of the games or activities with her after dinner or before bedtime, etc.

If he is just being slow but knows how to do the work on his own I make him go to his room or any other room he can concentrate in until he gets it done. He hates to feel "isolated" so for some reason that seems to work and he miraculously gets it done very quickly most days.

Be thankful that it's only math she struggles in. (Not that it doesn't make it any less frustrating). My ds likes math and it's still an issue. He hates reading and anything to do with writing which may explain the problem for us with any lengthy math sheets.

I'm sure there will be others with some great ideas. That's just what we do. HTH

(Wow. While I was posting, there were three other posts. Be encouraged today. :) )
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BHelf
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Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by BHelf » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:33 pm

I finally gave in a bought a new math program. It has helped some. But I'm wondering if you can implement an idea from it without buying it?

They do what's called "5-A-Day" problems---these are problems that you do each day as a way to review things your child already knows. If it's something recently learned, you might do it each day until your child is super comfortable, or maybe you only need to review a particular concept once a week or once every 3 weeks. But either way you're doing 5 problem each day on things they've "already" learned. Eventually this commits it to long-term memory. This way you can review often things your child has already learned and mastered and they won't forget it as easily.

Note: I was only suggesting that she try the 5-a-day concept from it and not completely change programs because it sounded to me like her child only needed a more constant review of the lessons learned. :)
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cbollin

Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:47 pm

Julie in MN wrote:Edie,
No, you're not alone! Wait til you have an 8th grader who doesn't want to learn any more Algebra :)
Julie
oh julie.....

giggle giggle. giggle.... real story 2 weeks ago.... 8th grader, algebra. saxon I.

oldest:Mom! I hate Mr. Smith (the guy at mfw who wrote the saxon plans). He hates me! he wants me to do two 5 day weeks in a row in Saxon! man!
me: oh?
oldest: yeah... I mean we just had 2 four day weeks in a row, and I wanted another light week. I miss light and independent Friday. and this happened while there was a quarterly test in Apologia Physical! you think you can tell that to Mrs. Hazell?

me: get your work done and we go to the zoo and watch the sea lions?

oldest: ok. can we get some pizza on the way home?


****
we had that a few weeks ago...... .

another thing for my 8th grader... we dropped the books for a day and did a math a thon for ST. Jude's Children's Hospital and dd did the 8th grade math portion!


-crystal

doubleportion
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Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by doubleportion » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:47 pm

cbollin wrote:I think Julie and i are both asking --- which book is she getting only 50% on the reviews --- in the text or workbook. We're not asking which book do you want to buy extra :)

-crystal
Hmm okay I will have to look. But just off the top of my head, it has been the Reviews with letter names by them in the textbook. Like today was Review E in the 2B book. I don't even know if she got 50% right today, might have been more like 25%.

sigh

Edie

cbollin

Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:27 am

Edie,

Brooke's onto something here. What if you use part of the regularly scheduled "math drill time" on the ECC grid to work on concept drills instead of just rote math facts?

If you think that the Extra practice books in Singapore would help (I've never used them honestly....) to achieve that -- just keep it to 5 minute "drills" (for lack of a better term). You don't have to do it with a workbook. You can just repeat problems from the textbook you have, or try again on workbook problems, or even out loud stuff.

For example: your child takes one of the reviews from the text and doesn't remember any of it, it can be your "drill stuff" for next day's work. You can go around the house and have her measure things (real objects) with both centimeters and inches. Ask her to estimate how big something is. Help her figure it out. Ask leading questions to prompt the memory and offer whatever help she needs.

Then you work together in the text on all problems and like Julie said (and I say it too just not on this thread) --- in the reviews, work together to see really where she isn't remembering it.


More ideas: at your daughter's age, would you consider letting her glance back in the unit while doing the Reviews? I don't use them as closed book tests.

Does she need a conversion chart to reference? For example -- is she forgetting 12 inches in a foot? It is perfectly ok to write your own chart of the little things that don't click in her memory. even in college physics, the professors give formula sheets on the tests. so it's got to be ok to have a reference list for a 3rd grader.

-crystal

doubleportion
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Re: Math aaaahhhh!

Unread post by doubleportion » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:19 am

cbollin wrote:Brooke's onto something here. What if you use part of the regularly scheduled "math drill time" on the ECC grid to work on concept drills instead of just rote math facts?
Thank, Crystal! I think that is what I will do.
cbollin wrote: Does she need a conversion chart to reference?
That is a great idea! Because she def forgets the difference between meter and feet, how many inches in a foot etc.

I may go back in the book and repeat the places where th Reviews were the greatest struggle and break it up into 5 minute increments. I think I will still do the regular math drills too, simply because she's still not solid on her math facts. That also may be the key to some of her problems. She knows the methodology most of the time, like with the three number subtraction and addition. She will go through all the steps in the review question, but still get the answer wrong. Hmmm maybe that is the key! Maybe we need to work more on the math facts and then things will fall into place more for her.(thinking out loud here) Helps to be typing this.

thanks for the all the ideas!

Edie

Julie in MN
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Is it really supposed to be this way?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:35 pm

Winni wrote:I have so many issues going on this year...well, nothing new, I suppose...but I am starting to second guess my curriculum choices for various reasons.

1) My 11yo. She has so much trouble with Singapore math. She will do the lesson fine with me, and then when it comes to doing her "homework" in the workbook after lunch, it seems she has forgotten most of the concepts. Story problems usually confuse her a lot.

2) My 8yo. He is starting to struggle in math. He's good at it, but Singapore seems to go so fast. The borrowing concept seems to have gone right from 20-8 to 400-28. This needs to slow down. Word problems confuse him like crazy.

I really want my children to enjoy homeschooling. Sigh...I go back and forth with this so often...even though it is our 10th year homeschooling!
Hi Tracey,
Nice to hear from you, even if it's not all good news :)

I'm sure you know you can switch any and all of your programs and your kids will be okay. As Brooke mentioned, people switch math programs all the time. But since you're posting here, I'd like to brainstorm how to make what you have work...

1. Singapore math word problems are tough. Even my then-college-student son was taken aback by some of them. But for a kid who was raised on them, like my youngest, they are the cream of the crop in my book! There are some helps in the archives ( http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=23 ) both for teaching and for specific lessons. But in general, I think the best thing to offer your kids is modeling how to look at a new problem and jump in to try something, then try something else. If they hate to write & erase, they could use a marker board. Say, "Hmmm... this is what we have looks like on two bars, now lets add the next piece of info on a third bar. No, didn't work? How about if we put them all on one bar?" By level 4 or 5, you simply must use bar diagrams in order to figure out some of the problems, IMHO. Any time reviewing the textbook lessons on those will be time well spent.

2. Double digit subtraction is really something that kids can need extra time on, no matter what program they use. Don't be afraid to stop at a hard part of math now and again. While you are on pause, you can skip ahead to a fun measurement chapter or you can play math games or do a random review, etc.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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mamacastle2
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Re: Is it really supposed to be this way?

Unread post by mamacastle2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:17 pm

She will do the lesson fine with me, and then when it comes to doing her "homework" in the workbook after lunch, it seems she has forgotten most of the concepts. Story problems usually confuse her a lot.
Can you have her do the homework right after the test book lesson so there is less time to forget? My 9yo has 1/2 hour between her textbook lesson and her workbook work, but my 6yo does it right after. I know I'm looking at younger kids, but maybe doing one right after the other will help?

Story problems are complex in Singapore math. For me, I think that's awesome. But there have been problems in 4A where I really have to figure out how to solve what they're asking. I can usually do it using algebra (variables), but I have to really figure out how to do the bar diagrams. Once I can, I can show her. And I was excited because she figured out a real hard one last week all by herself.
My 8yo. He is starting to struggle in math. He's good at it, but Singapore seems to go so fast. The borrowing concept seems to have gone right from 20-8 to 400-28. This needs to slow down. Word problems confuse him like crazy.
One good thing with homeschooling is you can slow it down and really explain it till he understands. I use base 10 blocks to explain borrowing and that seems to work well with my 6yo (he's in 2A). You can also google math videos that explain borrowing and sometimes just a fun little animation can help them with what seems hard otherwise. It helped my daughter a lot with long division.

Sometimes curriculum woes can be joy-stealing. I remind myself that I love my kiddos, I love the Lord, I want my kids to love the Lord wholeheartedly, and the rest of the curriculum stuff is just figuring out how to do that as best I can. And lots and lots of prayer. After ECC last year, the Lord gave me peace about MFW and our other choices and it is just so much more joyful now that I have "landed" on a curriculum and don't have to swim upstream in all the other choices anymore. I'm hoping you get this same peace in your choices.

Blessings,
Jeanne
Jeanne
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doubleportion
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Re: Is it really supposed to be this way?

Unread post by doubleportion » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:30 am

My dd hit some bumps in Singapore (she is finishing up 3A now), now she has really mostly hit her stride I went ahead and got the extra practice book for 3A and that helps. We also slowed way down and focused on understanding rather than quantity. Maybe you could wait to do the workbook pages for the next day? Then do the first couple with her and sit with her if she needs help. I had to do that some until it clicked.

If your dc has jumped into singapore later in the books and didn't do it from the beginning perhaps that is part of the confusion?

I will say we tried Developmental Math before we started MFW and Singapore and I HATED IT! I found it confusing and so did my dd. Just one opinion here.

Edie

gratitude
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Re: Is it really supposed to be this way?

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:24 am

Hi Tracey!
I thought I would comment on the Singapore parts of your question:

1. For Singapore: to keep the program, could you teach the lesson after lunch, right before she does the workbook? I think my ds, who likes math, would be confused if the two were separated.
2. 2nd point regarding Singapore: Last year I tried 1A with my oldest for K (he is strong in math), but I couldn't figure out how to teach it (although I am strong in math and it was part of my major in college). So we did Horizon K for a year, now that we are back to Singapore we love it. However, as much as I like how Singapore teaches to calculus /physics type thinking, I don't think every kid needs to have that in their curriculum.
3. 3rd point regarding Singapore: My home schooling friend who strongly dislikes teaching math loves Math U See and has used it, without switching, for 3 years now. It is a great program that allows both her and her kids to learn the math they need to. Her oldest is in 5th grade.

Blessings for a Peaceful Day! :)

Tracey in ME
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Re: Is it really supposed to be this way?

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:44 am

You are all so sweet to respond to all of this!

Lol...don't kill me, but I feel much better now. I think I just needed to vent! This happens about once a year.

This is my 10th year homeschooling, so I'm actually a bit embarrassed that I even felt that way...ha!

Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
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cbollin

Singapore and math manipulatives - questions

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:41 pm

Mexmarr wrote:Ok, I m helping out a girl who is really struggling with math. Six months ago, they did a diagnostic test and put her in 2b. In 6 months, she is working on exercise 8, and had skipped a number of problems before that, so it doesn't look too good. She was able to figure out problems using manipulative. For example, 100-1. My 7 year old, who just started 1b, can do that mentally. The girl (age 16) put out 10 10-count base-10 blocks. Then she realized that she couldn't take one away, so she removed a 10, and put 10 singles. Then she took one away. Then she recounted all of the 10's, and then all of the 1's and got her answer of 99.

Um... is that normal? Yes, she was able to get her answer, but did she understand it??? No! I'm tempted to tell her mom to go back even more. The poor girl shouldn't be in 2b, if she can't do 100-1, right? She used the blocks for 8-6, too.

Would you recommend pushing through, or backing up. I am very new to singapore, having only completed the first book, but I felt like I could put my daughter in 2b, and get similar results. (no, I'm not suggesting that!) I think she needs to go back at least a couple of books. I am not opposed to using manipulatives, if needed, but isn't the idea that they are a tool to use till it clicks, and then you work towards learning to not need them? Of am I wrong, and we should push through where we are at?

Thought please! She is coming back tomorrow.
Praying right now for you to have God's wisdom to help this child. HE knows her and what she needs to make it click.....
********
what "labels" are you working with on this student? Clearly at age 16, this is not a normal development stage. what kinds of things are you working with?

yes, I would back up in the series. definitely.

to try to get some practical helps, I just asked my autistic kid. She struggled just now with the verbal math of 100-1. she kept saying 101.
So I started with 5 animal crackers and took away 1.
She giggled and said "4. mine!"
We did it with 10... 9
I tried with 20, but she said 21.

I asked her "what number comes BEFORE 20".. and that didn't help...

so, then, while the Wiggles were on TV in the background walking on the moon.... We did a jump backwards game. and counted down the rocket ship.

So, depending how much the mom of this student is expecting from you and what other members of a tutoring team you are part of....

Home based exercises right now that I would do with my child in this situation (as in,... guess what I'm going to work on with my 9 y.o)..

*make or use a place value chart to 100.
*take some kind of marker (from a board game or coins or dry beans)...
*place the marker on the 100
*roll a dice or spin a spinner
*move backwards the number of spaces while saying out loud that it is take away time! to blast off! the goal is to get to Zero to blast off from the table and go do something new.

and use that along with the 1A/1B pages with the kids jumping on the number line.

Use the math terms take away and all of that.

Next:
on chalk board, dry erase, whatever.
play the game of "what number comes before and what number comes after?"
You the teacher will write like this
________ 10 (and then you fill in the blank)

15 ________ (and then you fill in it)

etc. As teacher, I'd recommend you give 3 Inputs (you do the work) and then ask the student to do 1.
Try again at 50/50.

Do not ask the student to guess. If student doesn't know, have her say "show me please". and have her repeat correct answer.

Encourage parents to do this at home too.

Input input input input... output... input input input. output, input input output...
get it?

But at this point, given the minimal insights that I have (and I dont' know her), I would work on the concepts of before and after, take away, or adding more. Teach the concepts with audio input, and using the whole body and games.
*****
How did she pass into 2B? was a calculator allowed or something? If she has some physical issues where rote facts do not stay part of her long term memory recall, they might be letting her use a calculator to function higher? But yeah, if she is struggling with take away 1, 2B is not the right level right now.

if they are hoping and working on rote memory facts, I'd like to recommend a drill facts program out there for special learners called Rapid Recall - it's from Little Giant Steps. It is just and only a drill program to help with facts recall.
it goes through a mastery approach instead of number bonds. so you work on addition first, then go to subtraction.
It starts with early concept of adding Zero, and adding one. Designed to be a 10 minute or so a day, done in smaller segments. (in other words, they don't recommend it is 10 minutes all at once because some people need smaller segments and more of them).
***
I might make sure the student can do some hands on stuff to make sure that she understands "number minus 1" means to take away. What is her language development like for "take away" or "less than"?

Have her set the table for snack and count backwards as you eat the cookies.

Play around with sequencing of numbers on tape measure (i.e. a number line) or place value chart.

I'm in the midst of this with my special learning child, so I definitely offer a ton of supportive hugs to the parents.
Mexmarr wrote:Thanks Crystal. I just skimmed, and will be back to read more carefully. No labels. Her last year was upside down with drama - extended family issues, death, will drama, step and half inlaws causing all sorts of grief. Her mom thinks this may be part of the issue.

She seems to be pretty bright. I think that some of the basics were simply not learned. She has been homeschooled all the way.
Praying then, for you to have the words from God to ignore the parts of my post that don't apply to her situation and to glean from the parts that do apply.

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Singapore and math manipulatives - questions

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:30 pm

Mexmarr wrote:Ok, I m helping out a girl who is really struggling with math. Six months ago, they did a diagnostic test and put her in 2b. In 6 months, she is working on exercise 8, and had skipped a number of problems before that, so it doesn't look too good. She was able to figure out problems using manipulative. '
Is someone teaching her the Singapore lessons from the textbook, or is she handed the textbook to do on her own? I know it looks easy, but obviously she's not getting something, so I think she needs a teacher.

Singapore is set up to use "visual manipulatives" and gradually move to abstract numerals. And if the transition doesn't work, then back to the original visuals you go, staying with the lesson and working with it until it is understood. And no skipping!

I haven't used Singapore 1A/B so I can't guess whether it would help, but I do think 2 would be a good level since it has that transition from visual to symbolic, and that sounds like a good place for her to start working.

Also, is she working on drill on the side? That should be scheduled separately each day. Drill of basic facts is especially important for a program like Singapore that teaches you to hold much material mentally.

Just to encourage you, there was one student at the center where I tutored who was in late high school and was taken all the way back to 2x2 and in just over a year was back up at calculus level. It can be done, but the discipline of going back and doing every step until it is understood and learning every drill fact is very important, I think, until proven otherwise.

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

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
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Trouble with Math

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:59 pm

705emily wrote:I wanted to share my math struggles with my very right brained daughter. She is 10--and we have SO much trouble with math. When everything is very concrete we are fine--but as soon as we move to numbers on a page, it seems to throw her. It's not that she can't add or subtract, multiply or divide--in fact she knows her facts. It's that she cannot seem to process what she needs to do with the facts when presented with a problem. If I leave a worksheet for her to do alone, it's almost certain that she will miss at least half of the problems. These are not staight addition/subtraction/multiplication/division problems--but problems where she has to think through the steps. Aurally she cannot process anything so mental math is almost impossible for her to do. In fact, if I were to ask her her while driving along in the car--what is 220 minus 200, she would give a most ridiculous answer. If I would frame it so that I had 220 oranges and gave 200 of them away--she would be fine. It's the same with fractions. She is simply unable to visualize 1/2. If I show her we are fine or if she has a picture of something in her mind--but if I were to ask her what is half of 21--she would say 1 1/2 (half of 2 is 1 and half of 1 is 1/2) I sometimes just want to scream %| --because we have been over and over the basics but it doesn't seem to stick. We will work on a concept for a couple of weeks and move on--and then come back to it a month or so later--and it's like starting from scratch. I hired a math tutor to come one day a week, just to help solidify some things, and because there was simply too much emotion tied to math. My dd really likes her and she is very encouraging and I'm sure it will help some--but it seems to me that she has a block that we just can't get through.

I am concerned because now she is in fifth grade and I want to be sure she doesn't fall far behind. I use a combination of RightStart Math and Singapore right now. Dh thinks that a program with someone else teaching math on the computer program may help. For this year--we will continue doing what we are doing and if we change--will likely make the change next year. With my dd--I don't think any math program will be "a cinch" for her. She simply struggles with this subject. We will pray about it! I am just getting very discouraged.

In other subjects dd really excells. She is an avid reader, writes very creatively, and most of all, her heart is so tender toward the Lord. I am just noticing that she is starting to say things, like, "I just can't do it." and "I'll never get this." She is a very "flightly" little girl, though, very creative, but very disorganized with her room and her things. I guess, I just wanted to post and see if any of you have had similar struggles and could offer some suggestions. Part of me is saying that if she needs the visual, just keep giving her the visuals and manipulatives, but then I am also thinking that there has to come a point when she should be able to make the transition to numbers without visuals.

Ds who is 9 is a whiz kid at math and this doesn't help her! I have also done some reading on a problem called "dyscalculia" (a learning disorder like dyslexia--but with math) and sometimes I wonder if she has something like this--but from what I read--it seems that the remedy is doing just what we are doing--keeping things very, very concrete.

Anyway--thanks for listnening to me ramble! I sure appreciate it!
Blessings!
Irmi Gaut
I agree with the concrete.

And if the tutor helps with the stress, wonderful :)

And on the panicking about being in 5th grade, I'll just throw out that my oldest son was 6 in K... so at age 10 he was in 4th. He was 11 before starting 5th. Oh, and the Bluedorns don't suggest pen-and-paper math to even *begin* until age 10. Their sons were likely raised that way, and they went on to write the logic books that MFW uses in high school :)

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

TriciaMR
Posts: 999
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Trouble with Math

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:47 pm

My oldest is right brained and struggles. I just don't leave her alone to do her math. If she cant remember the next step, then I'm there to remind her. My dd is definitely dyslexic, and may have a bit of dyscalcula (or whatever that is). My dd reads well, and does well in everything but spelling and writing. I just keep plugging. We used to use MUS, but I switched to singapore a couple of years ago (and I'm glad I did). It keeps it more concrete longer than MUS does. I don't ever ask my dd to do mental math. I'm not worried about it - she just won't be able to do it. This is a kid who will see 26-24 written on the paper and then have to really think hard about what 6-4 is, and then she'll spend 10 seconds thinking about how 2-2 is 0. So, right there with you. I find I just keep plugging through the lessons, and don't leave her to do math by herself at this point. I think they just need lots more practice than most.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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705emily
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Re: Trouble with Math

Unread post by 705emily » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:38 pm

I appreciate your taking the time to respond! I guess what I am hearing is to -- as you say, Trish-- keep plugging away! It is very helpful to hear others who are having the same problems! Sometimes dd's math problem seems very overwhelming to me and I need to remember that after all it's just Math! Hearing your responses helps me to put things in perspective! I think nagging at me is the fact that we are taking the 5th grade standardized test this year, and I was just looking at the PA Standards for math on the website, and noticing all of the concepts that they expect the kids to know!! (Hate those standardized tests!) ;) Anyway--I am learning to accept, be patient with, and be OK with my kids' challenges!

Julie--thanks for responding! I always appreciate your comments which come from a wealth of experience! Thanks again!

Blessings!
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

terick89
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Trouble with Math

Unread post by terick89 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:41 pm

I could have written your post! We also have a tutor to separate the math issues between my daughter and me. My daughter is the same way as yours...she is just not going to be a math person. I'm just trying to get her to know the basics and find her other God-given talents! It's quite challenging in that she has two brothers and they're all the same age. EVERY CHILD learns DIFFERENTLY! I have to keep telling myself that and her tutor tells both of us that all the time. Her tutor advocates using a calculator often. She figures if my daughter can at least figure out the operation then go ahead and use the calculator (my daughter does NOT know her facts...numbers mean nothing to her and she can't hold onto what she's been taught all these years).

It sounds like what you're doing is fine thus far. And who knows...maybe some day (maybe they'll be in their 20's) these girls of ours will finally "get it!" I have to say I'm learning by far more than I ever did when I was IN school as I'm homeschooling my kids! So, that's kind of fun.

The only other advice I have is to pray often! And of course just enjoy being with your kids as time just goes by way too fast!

Blessings,
Teri
DD 12, DS 12, DS 12
CtG 2010-11
RtR 2011-12
Teri
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

705emily
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Re: Trouble with Math

Unread post by 705emily » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:45 pm

Teri--

Thanks so much for your post! It made tears well up in my eyes--because I am so relieved to hear that someone else has a kid that struggles with math too! It's not that I think that homeschooling should be without struggle! It's just that it seems that this problem with dd doesn't seem to get any better--the more that time goes by. I keep telling myself that she'll outgrow it---that her brain will mature--that one day the light bulb will go on--but deep down I worry that it won't. I am not looking for an easy way out--but more that someone else's explanations might be more clear to her. After the level we are on now--we will be at the end of what RIghtStart offers with regard to elementary math--(their next level would be geometry), I have loved the concrete nature of RightStart--and their teacher-led approach--but I just don't feel that a year of geometry would serve her well when she needs to be secure on the basics -- not to mention it is pricey! My thoughts were either to repeat a level next year--just to solidify things or to go to a different program that would reteach the same concepts. Just not sure what to do yet.

Thanks for the advice about the calculator. She does enjoy using it from time to time. I will also take your advice to pray often! Thanks for taking the time to post!

Blessings with your three 12-year-olds! That would definitely be a challange! :)
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

terick89
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Trouble with Math

Unread post by terick89 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:57 pm

My pleasure! That's why I love this message board. It's so great and such a help when you meet people who have the same struggles. I will pray for you, too, as we have a lot in common with our bright and beautiful girls!

Hang in there,
Teri
Teri
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

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