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I want to teach math w/out a curriculum. (dyscalculia) UPDATE


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#1 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:57 AM

We are at nearly a stand still in math and have been for months. A few of y'all may remember me from previous posts, but here is a summary. DD11 diagnosed ASD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia last spring. She is a 6th grader, but she's way below grade level in math.

 

Right now all we are doing is Ronit Bird's Dots ebook. It's easy for her, and we should be finished by now... sigh. I'll continue with Bird's materials, but I feel like we could be doing more. 

 

We had been using Math Mammoth grade 4 blue series last year. It was going ok, and she didn't hate it. But it's so heavy on mental math. I feel like with her struggles we shouldn't be focusing so much on complicated mental math. It seems like not the best use of our time and mental energy.

 

So after much research and much thought, I'm considering ditching all math curricula. I can find standards for each grade level. Ideally, I would like to teach her real life math skills. Money for example... why not just play store? Use real currency. I don't know. 

 

She can't generalize. She seemed to be able to grasp the concepts in grade 4 MM, but then when we play scrabble, she counts on her fingers to add up her score. That's why real life math seems like such a good thing for our situation.

 

I just feel like using a formal curriculum might actually slow us down. I want my own approach. One that that teaches for mastery but also incorporates regular review. So one topic at a time with just a little review thrown in. 

 

This girl wants to go to college. She has the intelligence. I just need to get her the math skills needed to prepare her for high school math. Then I can go back to using a more traditional curriculum.

 

I just feel like there is no one curriculum out there that will meet my daughter's needs at a pace that works for remediation. I think I'm going to go it alone. So if you have any resources or recommendations... I know Khan Academy is a thing. We might use that. I can draw on my experience teaching math in public elementary school. Helpful but I only taught 2nd and 3rd grade. But I have a degree in this for crying out loud. Not that I need it. But I can do this on my own. Right???

 

Has anyone else gone this route?

 

 

 

 


Edited by stephensgirls, 16 November 2017 - 10:34 PM.


#2 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:05 AM

Quickly, why aren't you finished with RB Dots yet? And are you making a move to generalize it? I agree, it shouldn't take long. When I did it with my ds, we took much longer. We made a lot of effort to generalize it across manipulatives and situations. We added workbooks from TeacherCreated, etc. I particularly like the Daily Warm-Ups series, which they have for math and problem solving math. 

 

After we finished Dots, we played her +/- Turnovers game, which got him adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers.

 

C-Rods should take you through multi-digit addition/subtraction, which you can then extend to as many places as you want.

 

I've been using the series Using the Standards which you can get from Carson Dellosa as ebooks and print. They have books for geometry, algebra, measuring, etc. For my ds, it has been good, catching holes and giving us opportunity to explore things in a hands-on way.

 

RB's book Overcoming is meant for the age of your dc. If you feel the pace is the issue, maybe bump up? 

 

You should play store, sure! For me, having the printed topical workbooks gives me a way to catch things I WOULDN'T get done without them. I am not a huge lover of Math Mammoth. I think doing a single, regular, comprehensive math curriculum could backfire with my ds. I don't think it would generalize, totally agree. But for me to ditch EVERYTHING is really to just overwhelm me. That's way more body than I have. So that's why I use the topical ebooks, because I can target them and they can get done. And they're to common core, so I know we're working through a progress.


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#3 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:13 AM

Ok, adding on fingers. So are you generalizing RB Dots? You need to back up to the first lesson, like where you went can you see a 1, can you see 2, can you see a 1 inside the 2, etc., and you need to do that 15 ways. Get out brownies and look at clocks and go measure and count fleas on the dog and strew pens. All over, lots of ways. Till that concept is true in her brain EVERYWHERE, every time of day, no matter what.

 

So once you start building little math facts, like you're like oh 4 has a 2 and another 2 inside and 4 has a 3 and a 1 inside, well now it's time to do that fact more ways! So you stop for a week and you play board games and you cook and you make a Thanksgiving plan and you read thermometers and you make cookies and measure flour. And you do those two math facts SO MANY WAYS till her brain clicks that they'll be there (2+2 and 3+1) everywhere. And then you do the next lesson lots of ways till it generalizes.

 

So if it hasn't generalized, you aren't done with it in RB. For my ds it took a long time and was mind boggling. 

 

This week we worked on measuring lots of ways. We weighed things with a digital mass scale, with a traditional pan balance, with measuring tapes, with other units of measure (paper clips, unit cubes, etc.) Most of that was prompted by those worksheets I mentioned. They're good stuff! They catch holes my ds has. 

 

Do what you want, but it's not gonna be just store. It's going to be store AND accuweather AND poker AND board games AND... Ok, maybe not poker. I don't even know how to play. I've heard it's a game of skill, not chance, dunno. My ds just has so many functional gaps. He couldn't find a page in a book. Can your dd? It's a surprisingly hard thing!! He couldn't even begin to guess what weighed more, when given a list of things. So there's a lot of value to real life and hands-on explorations, yes.


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#4 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 02:03 AM

OhElizabeth, I like your approach. I'm not saying I want to ditch everything. I'm just saying I can't see using Horizons or MM or MUS or Saxon or any traditional comprehensive curriculum. I'm sticking with the R. Bird materials. Thanks for the tips on generalizing what we are doing with the Dots book. 

 

As far as why we are still on dots... When we got the diagnoses back in April, I just stopped. Everything. I am (to quote S.W.B's new book) rethinking school. We have been unschooling, and to be honest, I'm quite amazed at all that my girl has accomplished in these months of unschooling. And I used to look at that philosophy with much disdain! lol  So anyway...I decided that we need go back to more traditional methods of schooling back in September, and that has been met with much resistance by my ASD child. Imagine that. :/ So some days she follows her own pursuits and some days we do more traditional school. I am not a multi tasker. I can focus on one thing at a time. First, the initial evals and diagnosis. Then I got her in a social skills class. Then came OT and speech evals and therapy. Now I can focus on our behavioral issues which will lead to more consistency in our day to day schooling. It's a slow process, but we'll get there.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps me think this through.

 

I'm not stressed about this, actually. Now that I've graduated two who are both excelling in their studies in college, I have some perspective. That perspective gives me the courage to do this my way. To trust myself in this journey. Maybe I shouldn't be on this forum. I was drawn to it initially after reading Well Trained Mind, but that approach just isn't going to work with this child. Like I said, I always looked at the unschooling philosophy with disdain until this year. This kid has turned my educational philosophy upside down. 

 

I really do love reading what has worked for y'all. It helps me so much! Thanks!


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#5 frogger

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 04:15 AM

I use curriculum but I'm also actually just teaching my youngest two. I have an 80's style 7th grade math book that we are working through just to jog my memory and make sure I don't forget my topics. It has one topic per 2 page spread and that's it. We are doing a few practice problems of stuff covered earlier and moving on. When there is something new I pull out RightStart ideas on the subject and make sure there is conceptual understanding and maybe a game for practice before we do the problems in the basic textbook. Since we do about 1/10th of the problems I can also put a sticky note on the newer pages so we can go back and do a review problem for warm-ups. I like having the lessons grouped with all the types of problems on one page. It would be dreadfully boring to hand to a child and tell them to do it all but it is easier to be flexible with one topic per lesson than with newer programs which has a more variety per lesson. I can find exacatly what I want, when I want it and add more conceptual stuff, the practice, and some common core additions as I go.

You may be interested in checking out the Key to series. It is very thorough and clear for those who might struggle with learning struggles. Also, there is a focus on real life type stuff, reading measure ments, money, etc.

Another one that I like to add for practice is the Right Start games.

It's a lot of work for mom but I'm personally finding it worth it.
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#6 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:40 AM

Many moms with ASD kiddos go the unschooling/untraditional route, and their children thrive. These children are highly visual and hands-on learners. Use your child’s interests to teach the basics.

My DS does not have ASD....Let me be clear about that.

I had to go it alone with math, and I’m kinda get ‘r done in the math dept. Beyond a certain age, I’m not a fan of math games for learning unless you consider building multi-digit numbers with MUS blocks a game. Outside of Shut the Box, I never played them with DS, and he’s my maths disabled child. I followed suggestions found in RB’s Overcoming Difficulty with Number. When I knew he could subitize to 4, I went straight to multiplication portion of the book and ensured he had his multi pre-skills down. With the pre-skills, I looked to on-line sources for reinforcement.

Only recently has my son been able to work on math for a straight 45-60 minutes. When he was 11 years old, I was lucky to get 25 minutes of math work out of him. I am similar to Frogger in that I use traditional text books for their scope and sequence and problem sets. I flat out teach the math and use methods learned from RB, James Tanton, on-line resources, and personal knowledge. Traditional math textbooks are bunk and were not really designed for children with learning disabilities. I would rewrite the problems on graph paper or use a whiteboard.

Edited by Heathermomster, 03 November 2017 - 08:42 AM.

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#7 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:15 AM

I think it would be interesting if you explained what unschooling looks like in your house. What I find with my ds, who also has ASD and SLDs, is that he benefits from a much more collaborative approach. So we can, for instance, take turns, with his thing, my thing, his thing, my thing. I think to any degree that what you're calling unschooling involves collaboration, engagement, and ownership, PARTNERING together, you're good. 

 

In some ways, it's like working with a little adult. They think they're you're equal, and they have no clue why they should do something they don't want to do or how to compel themselves to do something they don't want to do. So you can make a paper with columns and go through it. What is preferred, what is not preferred, what is sort of fuzzy between those columns, and think through how you can give motivation for the non-preferred by how you structure, by how you work together. 

 

We find that anything that reduces stress is good. Even when you're saying you're unschooling, predictability is probably still really good for her. You probably have routines. You probably have a way you notify each other of the plan, make a plan, etc. Does she make lists? Do you make the lists? Is it just a free for all with wandering or do you have routines?

 

So I'd LOVE to hear how your day looks. I think the way you're going is probably latching onto some concepts that really work for her about how to work together, how to have ownership, how to make a plan and work the plan. So the trick then is to realize WHY it works and extend it. You don't want some radical break, some radical shift. You just wanna stretch it a little. And the trick is to know why it was working so you don't screw it up. :)

 

You're not crazy. :)


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#8 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:23 AM

And yes, if someone was used to a really top-down approach (WTM) and started working with an ASD kid, they would quickly figure out that more empowerment, more collaboration is going to go WAY better. 

 

Now I do make my ds do some things he wouldn't choose to do on his own. I really do, and I do that, not even because I care about academic content, because academic content can be gotten LOTS OF WAYS. I do it because the materials and tasks let me target specific parts of the brain that are calming to him with their predictability and the level of interaction. 

 

We had a thread a while back, and I'm really not a neuro hack or brain geek like Geodob, but it was something to the effect that the part of your brain that does inferencing, cause/effect, etc. is affected in autism. Like we know this, but do we really ponder this? I forget what all we said in the thread. All I know is I finally connected that when my ds does worksheets for this, worksheets that happen to target that part of the brain my ds really chills! It puts him in a good place and scratches his itch and he's like oh I know you, we're cool, this is good. Then he can go play with free play and be fine. 

 

It's really perverse. Like you would not think working on inferences, cause-effect, wh-questions, etc. etc. would be calming. It is for him. 

 

So I don't think you have to throw everything to the wind and have her only doing what she prefers. You can still make some demands or help her do some non-preferred things. But as far as methodology, absolutely, throw inhibition to the wind. You've got a kid who has closely spaced mini-columns in the brain, her brain is WANTING to collect data points, over and over, the same concept in lots of settings, with lots of tasks. It's the way she'll learn and make connections. To contrast, someone with more widely spaced mini-columns (dyslexia, straight ADHD, etc.) might like divergent connections, widely ranging connections. Your ASD person might be more like boom boom boom because of their literally brain structure.

 

With my ds, we work together. For things he drives himself, he drives. For things where he needs me, we work together. He benefits from working together, so I try to do a lot of that. So then I'm curious, at this stage, is your dd better TOGETHER or independently or a mix?


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#9 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:29 AM

Heather, I think part of the reason we have to use games so much with my ds for math is that it's the *language* plus the math. It's autism plus the math, kwim? And it's a way to generalize it and make sure that the skill will still be there if we change the manipulative or change the worksheet or change the situation, sigh. 

 

So like we might do the math task with m&ms one day, with marshmallows the next, with clocks the next, with temperature the next, with money the next. Because if we don't, he may literally only be able to do it with m&ms and not the rest. He really seemed to have his math facts down at one point. Like we had really worked on them, trying to generalize. Then I pulled out a hundreds chart and he didn't know them all over again, lol. And that was after all that other work. 

 

So that for us is why the games. And he thrives on them. He's really kind of young at heart. :D


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#10 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:33 AM

Yeah, traditional math books would give you a sequence. When I use the daily warm-up sheets, it's more giving us an excuse to try to apply it. Like I'm gonna look at that sheet and quickly pre-explore the topic, kwim? There are only going to be a few tasks on the page, and they're in a context that gives him a reason for why he wants to figure it out. For ds, he's actually really good with problem solving, like thinking through word problems and caring about them and trying to visualize them. So then to work backward from the real life context to a mathematical process that would be consistent, that works really well for him. 

 

So it's kind of different ways of working together. It's just whatever fits the kid's brain. I couldn't get ds through a sequential text. It's hard to explain, but he's just... His brain would be like why and check out and leave the room. But you give him a context and suddenly he's doing the same task in an even MORE advanced way. It's crazy.

 

But I don't think it's about right or wrong so much as realizing why something is or is not working for your student and then not screwing it up. :D


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#11 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:38 AM

Traditional math textbooks are bunk and were not really designed for children with learning disabilities. I would rewrite the problems on graph paper or use a whiteboard.

 

So with ds, I set up the concept I want to explore with a game, and then once I have him in the game, caring about the concept, thinking about the concept, then I say Hey, what would that look like if we wrote it? Would it be helpful if we wrote it here on our whiteboard instead of keeping it all in our heads? And what if we did this...

 

And that's how we get from game to written. But that's what I'm doing. The game (ThinkMats, RB, Family Math, etc.) was to set us up with excuses to get to that point. And sometimes we'll play a game over and over before it's easy enough that he can then be ready to explore what it would look like written. Then we can extend and play. 

 

Some of it is kind of touch and go. Like I'll go in, see if he's ready for something, and back off. I swear, I really think I hit on a lot of things where he's just not ready. And I could get all  :willy_nilly: and say it's my fault or I'm not a good teacher, but it's not. I can provide experiences and let him walk up to it and try. 

 

 All I know is Heather and others have said there were points that xyz seemed HOPELESS and then it came together. That's what I keep remembering.  :p


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#12 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:40 AM

Frogger, not to be dumb, but if you're doing 1/10 the problems, do you stay on the page 5-10 days and work through more of them? Just curious.

 



#13 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:52 AM

Games are great for kids that need them. I’m not poo pooing games. With DD, I will present math and she solves problems acting later like it was a game. No Honey, that wasn’t a game. That was mommy working on one cup of coffee.

Teaching this stuff over and over again is hard. My DS is currently sitting one room over solving free body diagrams. Yes, the same child that the head of the math department at his former school said would never get through algebra and balked at his usage of a basic four function calculator.

It is best to just keep plugging, try to manage expectations, and do your best. Their brains mature, and these kiddos wind up doing all kinds of stuff you never imagined, both good and bad

Edited by Heathermomster, 03 November 2017 - 10:52 AM.

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#14 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

Heather, that is so stellar!! What are free body diagrams? :)

 

Nevermind, physics stuff. Clearly I blocked it from my mind. :D

 

But like physics, the concepts of force, ds is AWESOME with that, like really intuitive. You need trig or something for it? Whatever the case, congrats, that's serious progress!

SaveSave


Edited by OhElizabeth, 03 November 2017 - 10:56 AM.

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#15 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:57 AM

What is he using for that? Is that in his math or in a physics class? Online or with a text? Just curious. I store up lists of what people say they've gotten to work. :D


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#16 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:01 AM

What is he using for that? Is that in his math or in a physics class? Online or with a text? Just curious. I store up lists of what people say they've gotten to work. :D

Apologia Physics w/lab taught at the cover by an engineering friend of mine. I hate to say this because I genuinely dislike Apologia science, but the course has been good for him.

Eta: The only trig used has been vectors. When I saw the vector math, we spent about two weeks going over it as a crash course and he understands it perfectly. He understands the concepts sometimes better than I do, which is scary. He is smarter than me.

Edited by Heathermomster, 03 November 2017 - 11:09 AM.

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#17 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:00 PM

OP, you've had some great responses here.  I just wanted to mention something that is rarely mentioned as an option but might help.

 

Math on the Level actually might work as a spine for doing your own thing.  It has a very well organized checklist of pretty much all concepts/skills needed to get from Kinder level math to Algebra 1.  It is not broken up by grade level but by skill set and concept.  It works well for kids that are very asynchronous in math.   It shows what concepts are needed prior to tackling more advanced concepts.  It has a terrific review checklist that keeps track of prior concepts that may need review, and shows you how to track which things are needing a lot of review and which things may only need periodic review.  It is a system easily adaptable to nearly any child's specific needs.  It also has lessons you can use or not and a LOT of those lessons take standard math concepts and introduces the practice, life application side.  It is teacher intense since there are no workbooks but going it on your own would be teacher intense anyway.  Using this would help you keep track of where your child is currently, where your child needs to go to get to certain levels of learning, what concepts need review, etc.  And it helps you assess periodically where your child is within specific areas of math (not grade levels, which are not very accurate and not particularly useful, IMHO, especially for kids with dyscalculia).  You can roll in nearly any outside resource to assist with getting through specific lessons and keep track of those through this system (including Ronit Bird).  I am putting in the link below.  

 

https://www.mathonthelevel.com/


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#18 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:03 PM

I think it would be interesting if you explained what unschooling looks like in your house. What I find with my ds, who also has ASD and SLDs, is that he benefits from a much more collaborative approach. So we can, for instance, take turns, with his thing, my thing, his thing, my thing. I think to any degree that what you're calling unschooling involves collaboration, engagement, and ownership, PARTNERING together, you're good. 

 

In some ways, it's like working with a little adult. They think they're you're equal, and they have no clue why they should do something they don't want to do or how to compel themselves to do something they don't want to do. So you can make a paper with columns and go through it. What is preferred, what is not preferred, what is sort of fuzzy between those columns, and think through how you can give motivation for the non-preferred by how you structure, by how you work together. 

 

We find that anything that reduces stress is good. Even when you're saying you're unschooling, predictability is probably still really good for her. You probably have routines. You probably have a way you notify each other of the plan, make a plan, etc. Does she make lists? Do you make the lists? Is it just a free for all with wandering or do you have routines?

 

So I'd LOVE to hear how your day looks. I think the way you're going is probably latching onto some concepts that really work for her about how to work together, how to have ownership, how to make a plan and work the plan. So the trick then is to realize WHY it works and extend it. You don't want some radical break, some radical shift. You just wanna stretch it a little. And the trick is to know why it was working so you don't screw it up. :)

 

You're not crazy. :)

 

Yes! It is much like working with a little adult! 

 

I am not altogether happy with what our unschooling days looked like. I keep reading how ASD kids need routine, but my dd does NOT want routine. I think she needs routine whether she wants it or not. That is why I felt the need to go back to a somewhat more traditional school day. Those months of unschooling...some days she spent way too much time watching Studio C on the iPad. Most days she was free to pursue her special interests to her hearts content. Slime making and Warrior Cats (the Erin Hunter series) and Harry Potter. So during that time we created an Etsy store to sell slime and slime supplies--which was a great learning experience for both of us. Lots of math and economics in doing that although I'm not sure how much of it stuck. She is writing her own Warriors book. I let her join an online Warrior Cats role playing game. Which is basically writing stories in collaboration with the other players. I let her do this because my older daughters all said that playing these role playing games really helped them hone their writing skills. (The players critique each other) She also makes videos about her various interests. I have been quite amazed at how she has taught herself to use all this cool software to edit her videos. She listened to the Harry Potter series on audio during those months. Played violin most days. The value in all of this is that she doesn't even realize that all this time she is learning how to learn. She thinks she's playing. But considering my lack of involvement, there really was an amazing amount of learning going on. I haven't listed everything she explored. There was some sciencey stuff going on, too. Bird watching, etc... She keeps notebooks for that stuff.  Now that I'm writing it all out, her interests are really pretty diverse. 

 

There was not much collaboration between me and her during those months except when she needed me to help set up the Etsy store. I edit her writing. We weren't setting goals or making lists or anything like that. I put no limits on screen time. I supervised, but didn't try to control anything. 

 

The one goal we both keep in mind is that she does want to go to college. That's why getting the math right is so important. 

 

OhElizabeth, you asked  "is your dd better TOGETHER or independently or a mix"? I would say a mix. I'm moving in that direction. We are using Sonlight this year. We are doing the one year condensed American history for elementary. It's weird. She'll fight me so hard some days not wanting to do it, but she loves the books. And the approach to language arts is a good fit for her. It's a little below grade level, but it works because it's not a lot of handwriting. And the readers are not too hard for her. And I'm not worried about "grade level" anymore. I'm more looking at the big picture.

 

So using Sonlight is a LOT of "together", but she is still free to pursue her interests without my involvement--Sonlight only takes of a couple of hours to do each day. (the days we actually sit down and do it) So I'm moving in the direction of more "together" because I really want to get through this Sonlight core. And because math is only going to happen if we work together. 

 

Oh, and thanks for the reassurance that I'm not crazy! :)


Edited by stephensgirls, 03 November 2017 - 12:11 PM.

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#19 heartlikealion

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:19 PM

I believe myself to have dyscalculia. My struggles include mental math and sequences of numbers (like if someone tells me their phone number. Forget about it! Ugh I have to have pen/paper. I keep a memo pad in my purse so I have a pen/paper).

 

If I knew then what I know now I would have made myself do something like the Two Plus Two Does Not Equal Five book(s). Ds and I worked through one of those. He didn't always want to use the tricks. He is better at math than me. I never fully learned all my math facts. Some of them I still mix up at times. I second guess myself. In real life I whip out my phone/calculator in the store to add up things I'm putting in my shopping cart. I sometimes just round and estimate. In math classes I would use scratch paper or a a calculator. Yes, sometimes it slowed me down, but overall I did well in math. If you understand the concepts I think that's half the battle. 

 

I would say maybe check out that series of books if she struggles with math facts. I think that makes such a difference in mental math. Of course, every person and their challenges are different. 

 

We are currently doing Math Mammoth grade 4. I'm not as keen on this level as others, but I don't know if my son has dyscalculia or not. He does have memory issues, though. If she can get through the curriculum I don't see why not. Of course you can supplement with practice at a register and what not, but I would think it might be easier to just adjust the curriculum to your needs (see if she understands a concept. Skip some problems if they give too many. That type of thing). 


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#20 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

OP, you've had some great responses here.  I just wanted to mention something that is rarely mentioned as an option but might help.

 

Math on the Level actually might work as a spine for doing your own thing.  It has a very well organized checklist of pretty much all concepts/skills needed to get from Kinder level math to Algebra 1.  It is not broken up by grade level but by skill set and concept.  It works well for kids that are very asynchronous in math.   It shows what concepts are needed prior to tackling more advanced concepts.  It has a terrific review checklist that keeps track of prior concepts that may need review, and shows you how to track which things are needing a lot of review and which things may only need periodic review.  It is a system easily adaptable to nearly any child's specific needs.  It also has lessons you can use or not and a LOT of those lessons take standard math concepts and introduces the practice, life application side.  It is teacher intense since there are no workbooks but going it on your own would be teacher intense anyway.  Using this would help you keep track of where your child is currently, where your child needs to go to get to certain levels of learning, what concepts need review, etc.  And it helps you assess periodically where your child is within specific areas of math (not grade levels, which are not very accurate and not particularly useful, IMHO, especially for kids with dyscalculia).  You can roll in nearly any outside resource to assist with getting through specific lessons and keep track of those through this system (including Ronit Bird).  I am putting in the link below.  

 

https://www.mathonthelevel.com/

 

Thank you! I'll definitely check this out. It sounds like it might be a good fit for us. 


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#21 frogger

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:41 PM

Frogger, not to be dumb, but if you're doing 1/10 the problems, do you stay on the page 5-10 days and work through more of them? Just curious.


I'm just using it for a spine. This old fashioned textbook will have the same number of problems for every subject. It is for 7th grade but it still has a whole page of addition. So for that I will do a couple for review and move on.

When it touches a topic my that is new to my children I spend way more time explaining each step, using manipulatives, doing a problem on the white board and showing why it works (the textbook really doesn't), drawing diagrams, etc. We then work on it until the child gets it. One boy may spend one day on the same topic and another 4 days and of course then does way more of the problems. If they are not understanding though I usually don't make them just do all the problems I rather reteach from a different angle and try more problems until it clicks so even with the one who has LDs we don't usually do all the problems but he also might have done some RightStart sheets or practiced on an abacus or with cards or something like that. In other words the book is just a spine. Anything that is new to them we will review down the road for a warm up problem and there is usually plenty of problems for that. I attack each page with how to make this particular child actually understand the topic. My son with LDs doesn't have a specific math disability by struggles mightily to memorize. He is the one that uses Barton and the sight words are a bear. So things like memorizing the times tables is practically impossible but working with tricks he can be adept at with practice.

Only one of my boys has a learning disability. The other doesn't, well, not related to math at least. But the book is a 7th grade book and he is 10 so it works because they didn't require so much algebraic thinking back then. The 7th grader was supposed to already know most topics but they are the same topics that fifth graders have touched on already or are being introduced too.

I still throw things in though that the state has moved into lower levels. For example when teaching multi digit multiplication I did show them the distributive principle.

I also like to break the math lesson up. I find my boys start wearing down after 20 minutes. I find a warm-up problem followed by new stuff and then switching gears and ending with something easier or faster paced or just of a totally different nature for our last segment helps to keep them focused. It allows us to work longer without the boredom that encourages their brain to zone out.

So we might do a warm up long division problem for review, then learn why finding the greatest common factor helps us to simplify fractions with pictures or manipulatives and try a group of those problems from the book.

Depending on how long he worked and how tired he is we might fit in something easy that is review like writing fractions from decimal numbers. I keep potential practice things sticky noted so it's easy to flip back and decide what's easy for him to practice that we had finished a few weeks ago.

Clear as mud? :)
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#22 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:42 PM

Apologia Physics w/lab taught at the cover by an engineering friend of mine. I hate to say this because I genuinely dislike Apologia science, but the course has been good for him.

Eta: The only trig used has been vectors. When I saw the vector math, we spent about two weeks going over it as a crash course and he understands it perfectly. He understands the concepts sometimes better than I do, which is scary. He is smarter than me.

 

That is SO exciting! So why has apologia been so good for him?

 

And remind me, do you do the Apologia Gen Science? What did you do before that? Eclectic? 

 

Yeah, outsourcing makes everything better sometimes lol. And yes he's wicked smart. We always knew that. :D And you are too. :)



#23 frogger

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:45 PM

Wow, that math on the level looks like it would have been a great spine.
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#24 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:52 PM

Yes! It is much like working with a little adult! 

 

I am not altogether happy with what our unschooling days looked like. I keep reading how ASD kids need routine, but my dd does NOT want routine. I think she needs routine whether she wants it or not. That is why I felt the need to go back to a somewhat more traditional school day. Those months of unschooling...some days she spent way too much time watching Studio C on the iPad. Most days she was free to pursue her special interests to her hearts content. Slime making and Warrior Cats (the Erin Hunter series) and Harry Potter. So during that time we created an Etsy store to sell slime and slime supplies--which was a great learning experience for both of us. Lots of math and economics in doing that although I'm not sure how much of it stuck. She is writing her own Warriors book. I let her join an online Warrior Cats role playing game. Which is basically writing stories in collaboration with the other players. I let her do this because my older daughters all said that playing these role playing games really helped them hone their writing skills. (The players critique each other) She also makes videos about her various interests. I have been quite amazed at how she has taught herself to use all this cool software to edit her videos. She listened to the Harry Potter series on audio during those months. Played violin most days. The value in all of this is that she doesn't even realize that all this time she is learning how to learn. She thinks she's playing. But considering my lack of involvement, there really was an amazing amount of learning going on. I haven't listed everything she explored. There was some sciencey stuff going on, too. Bird watching, etc... She keeps notebooks for that stuff.  Now that I'm writing it all out, her interests are really pretty diverse. 

 

There was not much collaboration between me and her during those months except when she needed me to help set up the Etsy store. I edit her writing. We weren't setting goals or making lists or anything like that. I put no limits on screen time. I supervised, but didn't try to control anything. 

 

The one goal we both keep in mind is that she does want to go to college. That's why getting the math right is so important. 

 

OhElizabeth, you asked  "is your dd better TOGETHER or independently or a mix"? I would say a mix. I'm moving in that direction. We are using Sonlight this year. We are doing the one year condensed American history for elementary. It's weird. She'll fight me so hard some days not wanting to do it, but she loves the books. And the approach to language arts is a good fit for her. It's a little below grade level, but it works because it's not a lot of handwriting. And the readers are not too hard for her. And I'm not worried about "grade level" anymore. I'm more looking at the big picture.

 

So using Sonlight is a LOT of "together", but she is still free to pursue her interests without my involvement--Sonlight only takes of a couple of hours to do each day. (the days we actually sit down and do it) So I'm moving in the direction of more "together" because I really want to get through this Sonlight core. And because math is only going to happen if we work together. 

 

Oh, and thanks for the reassurance that I'm not crazy! :)

 

With as much as she's getting done, I think it would be heart breaking to undermine that. Have you ever talked with a behaviorist? I have one that comes to my home to work with ds. Her greatest value is actually to ME, because she can put things into words for me so I can figure them out. I've gone in circles about that stuff too, and here's the thing. Doing something with you brings structure to her. She's trying to build her own structure (rigidly, with perseverative interests) with those things she's exploring, and honestly they sound AMAZING!!! Really, really, really amazing. 

 

You seem to have areas of concern, where you're like I want to let her pursue her areas of interest, but I also know she needs to be able to choose to do something she doesn't want to do. Doesn't have to be everything, but some times, some things. Yes, my ds does that, saying he doesn't want to do it and then being really into it once we get there or start. Can be places, activities he likes, ANYTHING. Sometimes it means he's overwhelmed or having a hard time transitioning. It doesn't have to mean the thing itself is a problem. You could see if there's anything you could do to make that transition go more smoothly. Like maybe give her a watch with alarms or set alarms on her computer or ipad or whatever so she knows she has free study from 7-9, then study with Mom from 9-10, then free study from 11-1, then math with Mom at 1, etc. Alarms, predictability... And you could even have deals like warning alarms so she knows to get ready to transition or that she's allowed to send you a text and say hey I'm in the middle of this project, can I move our time slot 15 minutes...

SaveSave


Edited by OhElizabeth, 03 November 2017 - 12:53 PM.

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#25 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:54 PM

Wow, that math on the level looks like it would have been a great spine.

 

You would think I would get over there and look at it, and instead I'm savoring caramels again. :D



#26 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:58 PM

Frogger have you had his visual memory checked by a COVD? And have you checked for retained reflexes?

 

Thanks for explaining how you do things. I've been thinking for some time I could/should step things up a bit, but I've been cautious. For some reason I really do well on nailing the LA, but the math stepping it up is tricky for me. Maybe just not as many good resources? When I go through a publisher, I come out with TONS for LA and just a dab for math, sigh. 

 

Now I'll go look at the MotL. Who knows. Ds is himself. Yes, we do distributive, etc. Because he's all over the place, I always bring down ANY concept I see an opening for. I'm always planting seeds when there's a context and some dirt to shove around and try.


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#27 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:00 PM

I don't know if the op's dc is like this, but for my ds even really, really basic concepts were precarious, like same and different. Is or of. Words that they use in math just don't MEAN anything to some kids. So I know those words are coming and I try to use them throughout life to get them to MEAN something to him. So I can't just teach him a lesson, because the words won't mean anything. We have to do language work to make the words mean something THEN start applying the language slowly to real life and then to math. 


Edited by OhElizabeth, 03 November 2017 - 01:00 PM.

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#28 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:01 PM



That is SO exciting! So why has apologia been so good for him?

 

And remind me, do you do the Apologia Gen Science? What did you do before that? Eclectic? 

 

Yeah, outsourcing makes everything better sometimes lol. And yes he's wicked smart. We always knew that. :D And you are too. :)

7th grade- Holt Life Science with all kinds of stuff added and microscope work

8th grade- CIA Physical Science with all kinds of stuff added in.

9th grade- Apologia Biology at the cover with an awesome teacher, weekly labs, and a 2-day lab intensive

10th grade- Apologia Chemistry with lab; That class crippled us, but he earned an A.

11th grade- Earth Science with Tarbuck; 2nd semester AO because we needed a break supported with TC lectures

12th grade- Apologia Physics with lab at the cover...Talk to me about this Jan 1.  I'm keeping Conceptual Physics as an option if the wheels fall off.  Who can say really?

 

I don't recommend this to anyone.  I'm a pale shadow of my former self.. :zombie:

 

5th grade Cabbage Chem Lab follows:

 

5726474367_c1b0e75ea1_m.jpg


Edited by Heathermomster, 03 November 2017 - 01:09 PM.

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#29 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:04 PM

I don't know if the op's dc is like this, but for my ds even really, really basic concepts were precarious, like same and different. Is or of. Words that they use in math just don't MEAN anything to some kids. So I know those words are coming and I try to use them throughout life to get them to MEAN something to him. So I can't just teach him a lesson, because the words won't mean anything. We have to do language work to make the words mean something THEN start applying the language slowly to real life and then to math. 

Yes!  This was a big hurdle for DD.  The words meant nothing to her.  They were just random sounds coming out of my mouth.  We had to work hard to help the words mean something to her, and even once she understood the word, if we didn't review it a LOT, over a long period of time, the brain connection was so weak it would disappear again.  CLE actually helped with that but I had to take it even further.


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 03 November 2017 - 01:06 PM.

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#30 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:05 PM

Heather, today we played a Peggy Kaye game we had played before. You make cards with trades (regroupings) for addition/subtraction already done, draw them, and place your token on a bingo style board. So the cards will say something like "one ten, 11 ones" or "8 tens, 17 ones," etc. The idea is to get them really comfortable with the idea of bringing those tens over as ones. My ds has really struggled with this. He struggles with language of place value anyway. He likes the game, so he willingly plays. And the point is just this subtle little mindset, increasing comfort with a concept that he needs to make things work better. 

 

So we've tried and tried and tried math with trades using manipulatives. No click. He does it, but it's not really, really clicking for him, not really, really solid. We do this game, and he's like oh yeah, makes total sense. 

 

I have no clue. I use the games as lures into the session together, and they cost me next to nothing to prep and play. But for what he needs, they were disarming and got his brain going on a problem area. What I'm finding is that the PK games are all like that. Each one was written for a dc who was struggling for a specific thing. So it's not just what COULD you teach with games but what could the dc not learn, even with all the regular routes, that you could help make click in their brains very disarmingly with a game. That's the PK stuff. 


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#31 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:05 PM

You would think I would get over there and look at it, and instead I'm savoring caramels again. :D

I'm out.   :crying:

 

I shall enjoy your caramels vicariously.  LOL


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#32 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:07 PM

7th grade- Holt Life Science with all kinds of stuff added and microscope work

8th grade- CIA Physical Science with all kinds of stuff added in

9th grade- Apologia Biology at the cover with an awesome teacher, weekly labs, and a 2-day lab intensive

10th grade- Apologia Chemistry with lab; That class crippled us, but he earned an A.

11th grade- Earth Science with Tarbuck; 2nd semester AO because we needed a break supported with TC lectures

12th grade- Apologia Physics with lab at the cover...Talk to me about this Jan 1.  I'm keeping Conceptual Physics as an option if the wheels fall off.  Who can say really?

 

I don't recommend this to anyone.  I'm a pale shadow of my former self.. :zombie:

 

You've done well, girl!!

 

And yeah, I was showing ds some of my grey hair and told him it was from HIM.  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


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#33 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

Heather, today we played a Peggy Kaye game we had played before. You make cards with trades (regroupings) for addition/subtraction already done, draw them, and place your token on a bingo style board. So the cards will say something like "one ten, 11 ones" or "8 tens, 17 ones," etc. The idea is to get them really comfortable with the idea of bringing those tens over as ones. My ds has really struggled with this. He struggles with language of place value anyway. He likes the game, so he willingly plays. And the point is just this subtle little mindset, increasing comfort with a concept that he needs to make things work better. 

 

So we've tried and tried and tried math with trades using manipulatives. No click. He does it, but it's not really, really clicking for him, not really, really solid. We do this game, and he's like oh yeah, makes total sense. 

 

I have no clue. I use the games as lures into the session together, and they cost me next to nothing to prep and play. But for what he needs, they were disarming and got his brain going on a problem area. What I'm finding is that the PK games are all like that. Each one was written for a dc who was struggling for a specific thing. So it's not just what COULD you teach with games but what could the dc not learn, even with all the regular routes, that you could help make click in their brains very disarmingly with a game. That's the PK stuff. 

I said no games with DS, BUT I played them with DD out of fear she would have dyscalculia too.

 

Subitizing place value is huge, and the games made a tremendous difference with DD.


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#34 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

Heather, what were your best subitizing place value games? 


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#35 PeterPan

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:15 PM

Heather, that lab pic is so cute!!! It says 5th grade. What were you using then? 

 

My ds finally has enough behavior to step things up, and I have a boatload of lab stuff, mercy.


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#36 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:15 PM

Wow, that math on the level looks like it would have been a great spine.

 

Agree! Had no idea there was anything out there like this.

 

Heather, what were your best subitizing place value games? 

 

I'd like to know, too!


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#37 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:19 PM

I don't know if the op's dc is like this, but for my ds even really, really basic concepts were precarious, like same and different. Is or of. Words that they use in math just don't MEAN anything to some kids. So I know those words are coming and I try to use them throughout life to get them to MEAN something to him. So I can't just teach him a lesson, because the words won't mean anything. We have to do language work to make the words mean something THEN start applying the language slowly to real life and then to math. 

 

So far this has not been an issue for my daughter, but I'm glad you brought it up. I can see how words like "of" used in math could seem meaningless.


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#38 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:24 PM

Heather, what were your best subitizing place value games? 

 

 

Heather, that lab pic is so cute!!! It says 5th grade. What were you using then? 

 

My ds finally has enough behavior to step things up, and I have a boatload of lab stuff, mercy.

This is my first ever multi-quote...

 

The place value game was very simple, but DD loved it because she was very young.  She rolled dice and built numbers for the ones, tens, and hundreds place using the green, blue, and red MUS blocks.  If she wasn't rolling dice, she was flipping a number card or using a spinner.  We used the Asian number naming style, so eleven (11) was ten-one.  We did that a long time.  Almost immediately, I taught her mental math and the area model.

 

ETA:  I started with her subitizing dominoes.  She was maybe 3.5 years old.  We then shifted to counting on with the dominoes.  I then taught her complements to 10 and then 20.  There was a ton of 5 and 10 tray work.  DD was very eager to work with me.  We had a brief fling with Soroban abacus, but DD was quicker at just adding in her head.  DD is NT.  

 

For 5th-grade lab stuff, I used son's Christian School's Intnl Science Grade 5 book as a spine and then supported it with labs, trade, and Van Cleeve books.  We had the best science semester.  The book was an integrated science text.  For the cabbage chem lab, DD was in the middle of it wanting to test the pH of her chocolate milk.  


Edited by Heathermomster, 03 November 2017 - 03:31 PM.

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#39 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 03:35 PM

With as much as she's getting done, I think it would be heart breaking to undermine that. Have you ever talked with a behaviorist? I have one that comes to my home to work with ds. Her greatest value is actually to ME, because she can put things into words for me so I can figure them out. I've gone in circles about that stuff too, and here's the thing. Doing something with you brings structure to her. She's trying to build her own structure (rigidly, with perseverative interests) with those things she's exploring, and honestly they sound AMAZING!!! Really, really, really amazing. 

 

You seem to have areas of concern, where you're like I want to let her pursue her areas of interest, but I also know she needs to be able to choose to do something she doesn't want to do. Doesn't have to be everything, but some times, some things. Yes, my ds does that, saying he doesn't want to do it and then being really into it once we get there or start. Can be places, activities he likes, ANYTHING. Sometimes it means he's overwhelmed or having a hard time transitioning. It doesn't have to mean the thing itself is a problem. You could see if there's anything you could do to make that transition go more smoothly. Like maybe give her a watch with alarms or set alarms on her computer or ipad or whatever so she knows she has free study from 7-9, then study with Mom from 9-10, then free study from 11-1, then math with Mom at 1, etc. Alarms, predictability... And you could even have deals like warning alarms so she knows to get ready to transition or that she's allowed to send you a text and say hey I'm in the middle of this project, can I move our time slot 15 minutes...

SaveSave

 

Behaviorist is my next step. I would LOVE to get a behaviorist on board. I know nothing about this. This is why it takes me so long to make progress. Like I said before I can only focus on one thing at a time. (((cries))) So now that I've got the ball rolling on OT and speech, I can focus on this. I don't do anything without tons of research. lol Probably too much research. Our state just now passed the law that insurance must cover ABA. I'm not sure when that kicks in for us. And I've got to get some recommendations from my local community. 

 

ETA: I'm honestly scared of bringing in a behaviorist because of my own lack of discipline! I'm so laid back and my days are NOT structured enough and there's no schedule. Some days we start school at 10 am. Some days not till 3 in the afternoon. I feel like this is part of our problem--and it's on ME. 

 

Also I'll add... what you said about the schedule and time slots. Even though we lack a regular schedule, I sort of do this with her already. When we wake up in the morning, we discuss what we would like to get done that day. I can't say we HAVE TO GET THIS DONE TODAY or it's overload for her and automatic resistance. I let her plan the day to an extent. Then I give her a heads up when that structured time is coming up. And yes, I have to be flexible in case she's in the middle of something. ;) I know I need a more set schedule with more predictability for her. Right now it's something different everyday it seems.


Edited by stephensgirls, 03 November 2017 - 04:30 PM.


#40 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:01 PM

The more I think about it and read your responses, the more I'm leaning toward MOTL. I might not be the best person to teach math on my own without some sort of spine. 

 

I don't do mental math. My dsycalculic dd is better at mental math than I am. I was never taught mental math strategies in school. Not sure it would have mattered. Since I don't do mental math I tend to believe it's not important to teach mental math. Just put everything on paper. It really seems like a waste of time to me--mental math. Do kids with dyscalculia need to learn mental math?

 

I never understood regrouping until I had to teach it in public school in my twenties. We were playing games with manipulatives in different bases. Then we transferred the knowledge to base ten. I can't say it really hurt me that I didn't understand the concept of regrouping. I always knew how to get the right answer. I did fine with higher level maths. I had one of the highest grades in my college algebra class. Not something to brag about, but it was a big deal to me because I wasn't mathy.

 

I'll read criticisms on this forum of certain curricula like say Life of Fred being to much algorithm and not enough conceptual understanding, and I think, so what? As long as you get the right answer?  :mellow:


Edited by stephensgirls, 03 November 2017 - 05:04 PM.


#41 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:17 PM

The more I think about it and read your responses, the more I'm leaning toward MOTL. I might not be the best person to teach math on my own without some sort of spine. 

 

I don't do mental math. My dsycalculic dd is better at mental math than I am. I was never taught mental math strategies in school. Not sure it would have mattered. Since I don't do mental math I tend to believe it's not important to teach mental math. Just put everything on paper. It really seems like a waste of time to me--mental math. Do kids with dyscalculia need to learn mental math?

 

I never understood regrouping until I had to teach it in public school in my twenties. We were playing games with manipulatives in different bases. Then we transferred the knowledge to base ten. I can't say it really hurt me that I didn't understand the concept of regrouping. I always knew how to get the right answer. I did fine with higher level maths. I had one of the highest grades in my college algebra class. Not something to brag about, but it was a big deal to me because I wasn't mathy.

 

I'll read criticisms on this forum of certain curricula like say Life of Fred being to much algorithm and not enough conceptual understanding, and I think, so what? As long as you get the right answer?  :mellow:

Does a person have to have mental math mastered to succeed?  No.  Not at all.  Just like having all math facts mastered is not the be all and end all of existence or mandatory to succeed in life.  Do those types of skills help tremendously in certain areas/careers?  Sure.  And for some kids it really is a huge boon.  They may go from just surviving math to really enjoying it.

 

For me, TBH, mental math is a bit of a nightmare.  I have never been tested but I must have zero working memory for math numbers.  I have to write every single thing down.  I can't process those numbers in my head because they don't stay around long enough to do anything with them.  I also have never successfully mastered all of my math facts (although teaching the kids helped me solidify quite a few that I had never succeeded in mastering before).  This did not stop me from getting into college, graduating college, having a successful career or ending up running the finances for the family business when my grandmother and then my father passed away.

 

I will say this, though:  Sometimes approaching math from the conceptual side and incorporating mental math and continuing to work on math facts on the side can be a tremendous help in truly understanding math and functioning more quickly in math.  And for some kids, mental math can be FUN, can really stir brain connections they just don't get by plugging and chugging through standard algorithms.  

 

In other words, I wouldn't say YOU MUST DO THIS.  Not at all.   I am not even remotely in that camp.  But I also wouldn't just immediately assume there is no value in trying.  :)


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#42 Kinsa

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:28 PM

Here's an idea. Don't let the title fool you. There's also a Book 2.

Teaching Math to People With Down Syndrome and Other Hands-On Learners: Basic Survival Skills (Topics in Down Syndrome) Book 1 https://www.amazon.c...a_a1o.zb73GFG65

Edited by Kinsa, 03 November 2017 - 05:28 PM.

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#43 Mainer

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 05:40 PM

I hear you about getting off schedule. In my classroom, I decided that I just HAD to keep to a schedule, or I wouldn't be able to function and neither would the kids. I figured out a schedule that works, and we follow it RELIGIOUSLY. Everything happens at the same time every day. It really helps me to stay organized, because I don't have to be constantly thinking about timing. Even if you think you won't be able to stick to a schedule, I would urge you to try. You may surprise yourself.

 

The kids really like having a schedule. They are used to it now, and they don't ask how long things are going to take, or complain about any particular task, because they know how long everything lasts. Rather than a nebulous amount of math time (could be 10 minutes, could be 45 minutes for all they know), they can count on 10 minutes of a review warm-up, 15 minutes of a guided lesson, and then 20 minutes of a math game. The content and games vary, but the bones of the lesson never do. 

 

An alternative to a strict schedule would be to decide how much time you want to spend on each subject each day, and then every morning, map out the day. You could put each subject name on an index card, and then use a thumbtack to put them in a descending list on a bulletin board. Your days would still be flexible, but you would have a visual for your daughter. For me, it's hard to get going on things or STOP doing things if I don't have a general idea of what the day will hold.

 

Just some ideas!

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Mainer, 03 November 2017 - 05:43 PM.

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#44 kbutton

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:25 PM

It doesn't have to mean the thing itself is a problem. You could see if there's anything you could do to make that transition go more smoothly. Like maybe give her a watch with alarms or set alarms on her computer or ipad or whatever so she knows she has free study from 7-9, then study with Mom from 9-10, then free study from 11-1, then math with Mom at 1, etc. Alarms, predictability... And you could even have deals like warning alarms so she knows to get ready to transition or that she's allowed to send you a text and say hey I'm in the middle of this project, can I move our time slot 15 minutes...

 

Seconding the transition work and heads-up about plans.

 

Transitions are really a big area for growth for these kiddos.

 

Behaviorist is my next step. I would LOVE to get a behaviorist on board. I know nothing about this. This is why it takes me so long to make progress. Like I said before I can only focus on one thing at a time. (((cries))) So now that I've got the ball rolling on OT and speech, I can focus on this. I don't do anything without tons of research. lol Probably too much research. Our state just now passed the law that insurance must cover ABA. I'm not sure when that kicks in for us. And I've got to get some recommendations from my local community. 

 

ETA: I'm honestly scared of bringing in a behaviorist because of my own lack of discipline! I'm so laid back and my days are NOT structured enough and there's no schedule. Some days we start school at 10 am. Some days not till 3 in the afternoon. I feel like this is part of our problem--and it's on ME. 

 

Also I'll add... what you said about the schedule and time slots. Even though we lack a regular schedule, I sort of do this with her already. When we wake up in the morning, we discuss what we would like to get done that day. I can't say we HAVE TO GET THIS DONE TODAY or it's overload for her and automatic resistance. I let her plan the day to an extent. Then I give her a heads up when that structured time is coming up. And yes, I have to be flexible in case she's in the middle of something. ;) I know I need a more set schedule with more predictability for her. Right now it's something different everyday it seems.

 

It's okay to work on one new thing at a time. I am that way. It's also okay to ease into some structure. I am like you on both counts.

 

As for every day being different, it makes things more complicated, but it can't always be helped. In fact, if my son had the same sort of schedule every day, he would be more rigid. Anyway, this is too far out there for you now, but my son has a "funnel" he uses to organize himself. It took a while to get there. He has a list of what he needs to do in a week (usually x number of grammar lessons, x time spent on math, etc.). He has a visual of what the week looks like. Then he plugs his stuff in. You are not there yet, but it's another way to give your ASD kiddo control with expectations and to let them see the transitions. 

 

You could start with a template for the week that she helps you make--you could put the pieces on post-it notes, and then let her think through what the week is like and where those things go (I'm thinking appointments, lunch, etc.). You could color-code blocks of time, etc. Basically whatever you think you can stick to and that will help her see what's coming in a meaningful way. You don't have to make it complicated, and you can add things over time. 

 

You could also make routines for just some things--the leaving the house routine (or the leaving the house for appointment x routine). There are lots of ways to be general about structure and not be pinned down completely by it. 


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#45 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:26 PM

Does a person have to have mental math mastered to succeed?  No.  Not at all.  Just like having all math facts mastered is not the be all and end all of existence or mandatory to succeed in life.  Do those types of skills help tremendously in certain areas/careers?  Sure.  And for some kids it really is a huge boon.  They may go from just surviving math to really enjoying it.

 

For me, TBH, mental math is a bit of a nightmare.  I have never been tested but I must have zero working memory for math numbers.  I have to write every single thing down.  I can't process those numbers in my head because they don't stay around long enough to do anything with them.  I also have never successfully mastered all of my math facts (although teaching the kids helped me solidify quite a few that I had never succeeded in mastering before).  This did not stop me from getting into college, graduating college, having a successful career or ending up running the finances for the family business when my grandmother and then my father passed away.

 

I will say this, though:  Sometimes approaching math from the conceptual side and incorporating mental math and continuing to work on math facts on the side can be a tremendous help in truly understanding math and functioning more quickly in math.  And for some kids, mental math can be FUN, can really stir brain connections they just don't get by plugging and chugging through standard algorithms.  

 

In other words, I wouldn't say YOU MUST DO THIS.  Not at all.   I am not even remotely in that camp.  But I also wouldn't just immediately assume there is no value in trying.  :)

 

That's fair and reasonable. I appreciate your perspective. And I can relate to your struggles. I have to write everything down, too. 

 

Here's an idea. Don't let the title fool you. There's also a Book 2.

Teaching Math to People With Down Syndrome and Other Hands-On Learners: Basic Survival Skills (Topics in Down Syndrome) Book 1 https://www.amazon.c...a_a1o.zb73GFG65

 

Thanks! The used books are cheap, too. I'm getting this.

 

 

 

An alternative to a strict schedule would be to decide how much time you want to spend on each subject each day, and then every morning, map out the day. You could put each subject name on an index card, and then use a thumbtack to put them in a descending list on a bulletin board. Your days would still be flexible, but you would have a visual for your daughter. For me, it's hard to get going on things or STOP doing things if I don't have a general idea of what the day will hold.

 

Just some ideas!

 

I actually really love this idea. It wouldn't be a huge dramatic change, allow for flexibility, and I think the visual would be motivating to us. Thanks. I think if dd could see the amounts of time for each subject separately, it wouldn't seem so overwhelming--maybe. I can never be sure how she'll react. We don't spend a long time on any one subject. 


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#46 frogger

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

The more I think about it and read your responses, the more I'm leaning toward MOTL. I might not be the best person to teach math on my own without some sort of spine.

I don't do mental math. My dsycalculic dd is better at mental math than I am. I was never taught mental math strategies in school. Not sure it would have mattered. Since I don't do mental math I tend to believe it's not important to teach mental math. Just put everything on paper. It really seems like a waste of time to me--mental math. Do kids with dyscalculia need to learn mental math?

I never understood regrouping until I had to teach it in public school in my twenties. We were playing games with manipulatives in different bases. Then we transferred the knowledge to base ten. I can't say it really hurt me that I didn't understand the concept of regrouping. I always knew how to get the right answer. I did fine with higher level maths. I had one of the highest grades in my college algebra class. Not something to brag about, but it was a big deal to me because I wasn't mathy.

I'll read criticisms on this forum of certain curricula like say Life of Fred being to much algorithm and not enough conceptual understanding, and I think, so what? As long as you get the right answer? :mellow:



I'm a little confused with the dyscalculia diagnosis and hearing your daughter is good at mental math. I do not have a child with dyscalculia so I'm not even going to try to venture to say what is best. I obviously didn't understand what dyscalculia was I just have some general math comments.

Mental math is useful for children who can't memorize very well. Many people get stuck if they forget a fact. It is handy that most people walk around with a calculator in their pocket but it is handy to have tricks to easily figure things out without the calculator.

The same thing happens when people forget say, how to calculate a tip. If you forget and you don't have good conceptual understanding you can't even refigure it out.

If your child isn't good at memorizing facts or steps than it definitly is easier to learn tricks and concepts. I find concepts don't vaporize and disappear as quickly as memorizing steps.

Just general math thoughts. Like I said I have little understanding of your exact circumstances but asking what your child struggles with and how you can compensate is a great start. If your child understands visual representations then use them to foster actual understanding rather than memorization. If your child needs to do something, manipulate objects or use in real life use that to foster comprehension.

I will add it sounds like she is doing good if she is in MM 4 with dyscaculia but is having trouble with transferring it to real life. If you play a game or use real life questions directly after a section of MM and request she applies what she learned rather than use her fingers would she be able to do it. If you walked her through it once she may make the connection and start doing it in real life. If there is a total didconnect between the paper and real life she may not recognize that she has tools to make life easier that she just isn't applying.

I'm not advising that you should or shouldn't stick with MM but any math done on paper or in a book may end up with the same results if she isn't connecting them with daily life. Honestly, MM doesn't seem like a program targeting those with LDs. Any program may be adapted by a parent but that means you the parent must be comfortable and able to work with it.

Other programs that target LDs like the "Key to" program break things into tiny chunks review tons so you as a parent don't have to make sure your child gets lost in a leap of info. Sometimes they go too repetitive with too small of steps. It is easier to have them skip some problems than it is to know how to break things down yourself though if you are shaky on your own comprehension. Sometimes people just pick things up real easy and when it is time to go back and explain they realize they know how but but not why. You may not think "why" is important but it may be harder to break things apart and explain them if you don't have that.

I do think it would be very easy to teach yourself first though. I have learned so much about elementary mathematics as a homeschooling parent that I didn't even bother to think about before.
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#47 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:39 PM

 

 

You could start with a template for the week that she helps you make--you could put the pieces on post-it notes, and then let her think through what the week is like and where those things go (I'm thinking appointments, lunch, etc.). You could color-code blocks of time, etc. Basically whatever you think you can stick to and that will help her see what's coming in a meaningful way. You don't have to make it complicated, and you can add things over time. 

 

You could also make routines for just some things--the leaving the house routine (or the leaving the house for appointment x routine). There are lots of ways to be general about structure and not be pinned down completely by it. 

 

I'm loving all these ideas! Just knowing dd's personality-- If I had her do this with me, she would probably be the one pushing me to do school rather than the other way around! 

 

See, this is the downside to using Google calendar. DD never sees what's coming up. This could be huge for her--and me. A regular wall calendar wouldn't have enough room, but we can make something that shows the week. 


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#48 stephensgirls

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:46 PM

Frogger, I should clarify... I didn't say she was good at mental math. just that she's better than I am. That's really not saying much. ;)

 

Her diagnosis comes because she performed so poorly on the standardized achievement test in math that was administered by the psychologist. So she can get through a MM lesson with me, she seems to understand the concepts at the time, but nothing sticks. Not just transferring to real life math but also in a different academic setting. It's very strange to me. It's not something I have a good grasp on at all. 



#49 frogger

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:51 PM

Ok, that makes sense.

#50 kbutton

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 09:05 PM

I'm loving all these ideas! Just knowing dd's personality-- If I had her do this with me, she would probably be the one pushing me to do school rather than the other way around! My son can be like this--when he sees the possibilities for what he can do if he gets school done, he can be quite motivated. He's also become my right hand man. He sees what's up next and makes sure we're on target for doing it--gathering up his supplies, putting things by the door that need to leave the house with us, etc.

 

See, this is the downside to using Google calendar. DD never sees what's coming up. This could be huge for her--and me. A regular wall calendar wouldn't have enough room, but we can make something that shows the week. 

 

You can also have a template that resembles "most weeks" and use that to fill in each new week by comparison. 

 

There are some awesome fridge calendars these days--they are like white boards, but are really just big magnets with a dry erase front to them. They are not bulky or heavy like a white board can be.


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