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My hard, hard headed child is in her room pouting right now.

She is really behind in math; she's going into 4th and is unable to do 1st grade math worksheets. The main reason is that over the last 3 years everytime I have tried to work with her on math she has pitched one fit after another. She is not willing to put any effort into doing anything that requires she think. If she has to think about it it's not worth doing and I'm a big meanie for making her try.

I'm making her spend the summer doing 1st grade math, trying to get her caught up. She had a friend dropped off at our house unexpectedly this morning. I didn't feel like we could afford the interuption so I let everyone know my kids had things to do reguardless of company. I knew it was going to be hard to get them settled into it, I expected that. BUt dd has just flat out pitched a rebellion. She's refusing to do her work, says no one loves her, everyone thinks she's stupid, and she doesn't want to homeschool anyhow.

Part of the problem is her friend is a little jealous of my kids, because instead of going to school they get to go play sports, go on field trips, take sewing classes, do things they're interested in. They have a lot of freedom. So this friend tells my kids how lame homeschool is and how great and easy public school is. Now dd thinks if she got to go to school she wouldn't be stuck doing stupid math worksheets everyday.

So I asked this friend what happens in her math class, what the teacher would do if she didn't feel like doing her work, what happens when she fails, and if she talked back to her teacher. The girl said she had to do the assignments she was given, finish them during class, she'd get in big trouble with the teacher or sent to the principal's office if she acted ugly about it. Now dd is mad and not talking to me.

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(Gently)

 

You are being a push-over and doing a great dis-service to your child.

 

In the first place, "unexpected" children would have been met at the door with a firm, "sorry, we can't play right now" and a shutting door.

 

Secondly, if your child is that far behind in math solely because she refused to work and you permit that (as opposed to, say, a learning disorder or that you had deliberately chosen a more relaxed approach to schooling), then you have done her a great dis-service. You have taught her that if she complains enough, she can escape things that she doesn't like. You have taught her that you (the mom) have no authority. And, you haven't taught her any math.

 

I would sit down with her and apologize for not being a stronger parent. Then, I would tell her that you expect her to complete two math lessons each weekday until she is caught up in math. If she does not have them complete by noon, the world stops: no friends, no screens, no outings, no treats of any kind, no nothing.

 

If you cannot stick to this, I suggest putting your child in school.

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Well, if this has been going on for three years then you're nowhere mean enough imo. Until she changed her attitude (not talking to you????) there would be no life for her at my house.

 

I've got a real hard headed one, she's my child alright, but she knows that the quickest way to get along with me is to maintain a decent attitude and get the job done. Then we can bum around and have fun.

 

Maybe I'm too mean, but I wouldn't put up with that for an instant. No nothing until the math starts improving, and her crappy attitude along with it.

 

You never should have let this go so far.

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It sounds to me as if the larger problem here may be discipline and control, not mathematics. You said, "She is not willing to put any effort into doing anything that requires she think." That, and the fact that she's having a major meltdown instead of making a good effort makes me wonder how she is about other subjects and responsibilities. Is math the only problem area (which might mean she has a learning disability), or is she resistant to doing work in other areas of life and in generally following directions from you and obeying?

 

Regardless of the reasons, though, you seem to know that she's got to learn and do mathematics -- even if it's not her cup of tea. That's good!

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If "plain opposition" is the problem, I don't have much to suggest.

 

Since we here all post from our family experience, it makes sense that I will offer for consideration the question of math disabilities. Our dd entered 4th grade, still finishing up 1st grade math topics. During mid-school year, as part of our broad-scale evaluations, we secured in-depth educational testing. As we expected, dd has strong math disabilities. (Testing results received a 2-3 weeks ago.) We have reassessed our teaching strategies and program choices. Things are going much better now !

 

". . . everyone thinks she's stupid, and she doesn't want to homeschool anyhow." [end quote] These easily could be the frustrated remarks from a child who does not understand why she cannot do the work (and "cannot" remains a real possibility), feels ashamed of herself because she is behind her age peers, and also ashamed of herself because she sees herself as "letting down" you (her Mom). In children, who have not matured enough to demonstrate more "nuanced" (guessing for a good word) behaviours, many times "anger" is all they know to use as a response.

 

I was quoting the very same thought to the educational tester -- that my dd shuts down for work requiring her to think at a "dig deeper" level and requiring persistent struggle. . . . The testing results helped us understand this a bit better. We also are (as expected) dealing with ADD.

 

We did not have the personal attacks from dd as you are, uncomfortably, having to experience. (I was not "mean", in other words.) But similarities between our dd's do occur to me from your post. This may be mere coincidence, or perhaps there are other ways to think about your dd's situation.

 

Wishing you the best !

 

P.S. While I was drafting this post, you received some posts focused on the behavioural issues. Maybe both sets of thoughts apply? (behavioural AND learning issues).

Edited by Orthodox6
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(Gently)

 

You are being a push-over and doing a great dis-service to your child.

 

In the first place, "unexpected" children would have been met at the door with a firm, "sorry, we can't play right now" and a shutting door.

 

Secondly, if your child is that far behind in math solely because she refused to work and you permit that (as opposed to, say, a learning disorder or that you had deliberately chosen a more relaxed approach to schooling), then you have done her a great dis-service. You have taught her that if she complains enough, she can escape things that she doesn't like. You have taught her that you (the mom) have no authority. And, you haven't taught her any math.

 

I would sit down with her and apologize for not being a stronger parent. Then, I would tell her that you expect her to complete two math lessons each weekday until she is caught up in math. If she does not have them complete by noon, the world stops: no friends, no screens, no outings, no treats of any kind, no nothing.

 

If you cannot stick to this, I suggest putting your child in school.

 

 

Seeking...

 

I can SO appreciate you coming on here, probably mostly to vent. ANd I hope that you will take Julie's post (and mine) in the light it was intended.

 

I SO believe that if you DECIDE to, you CAN homeschool this child. However, children NEED discipline. It sounds like you have given her LOTS of great opportunities, but math is not something that can be or should be neglected. I think you realize this considering you're having her do summer school to work on it.

 

The good news is that K-3 math is really just about a year's worth of math, maybe a little more, if the child is ready. Based on her age, she can, if she has no disability, probably easily catch up within 6mo to 2yrs. So it's not that big of a deal.

 

The big deal is the discipline problem. She has learned that she can pitch a fit and get her way. It has gotten her out of YEARS worth of math. That is a going to be a pretty solidly formed habit you're going to have to break. And she is likely to pitch BIGGER fits figuring you'll give in if she just tries hard enough. Another part of that is that she probably feels incapable. A LOT of time, when we don't make our children live up to a reasonable standard, they get the message that we don't think they are capable. You'll need to be CLEAR that you know she can handle this.

 

The good thing is that just as you trained her to behave like this, you can also discipline (teach/guide) it out of her. But you're going to have to be FIRM and consistent. Some key phrases may be "do it now," "it's not up for discussion," "let me know when you're ready," "you may _____ (live, play, read, talk, etc) AFTER your work is done," etc. Set her up for success but leave the ball in her court. Don't engage in power plays, feeling sorry for her, discussion, etc. She is a bright capable young lady who can do this and do it as a 4th grader, not a toddler.

 

BTW, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with apologizing to her and explaining what lies ahead.

 

Please, know that we just want to support you in changing this, turning it around. I'm NOT beating you up for what you've done, but simply want to give you the "rah rah" towards fixing it.

 

If you decide not to push through, school may be a better situation for your daughter. If you decide to push through this, no doubt you will both end up better off for it.

 

Rah Rah :)

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(Gently)

 

You are being a push-over and doing a great dis-service to your child.

 

In the first place, "unexpected" children would have been met at the door with a firm, "sorry, we can't play right now" and a shutting door.

 

Secondly, if your child is that far behind in math solely because she refused to work and you permit that (as opposed to, say, a learning disorder or that you had deliberately chosen a more relaxed approach to schooling), then you have done her a great dis-service. You have taught her that if she complains enough, she can escape things that she doesn't like. You have taught her that you (the mom) have no authority. And, you haven't taught her any math.

 

I would sit down with her and apologize for not being a stronger parent. Then, I would tell her that you expect her to complete two math lessons each weekday until she is caught up in math. If she does not have them complete by noon, the world stops: no friends, no screens, no outings, no treats of any kind, no nothing.

 

If you cannot stick to this, I suggest putting your child in school.

 

:grouphug: and gently, :iagree: Regardless of a learning disability here, and I would really look into that just in case, there is No Way that would be okay in our house...no matter what. Second, have to reiterate...no friends while schools in, even my best student couldn't handle that temptation.

 

Sorry for the bad time and hope it works out well for you.

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NO it's only part of the problem. The first two years we homeschool, the math programs we chose were really bad picks for us. They were things I looked at and thought, oh that looks fun/interesting/different/whatever. Then we'd try them and it just didn't work for her. THey worked great for her younger sister, who is at grade level in math, it just didn't work for her style of learning I guess.

Now I have some very straight forward math worksheets without all the frilly stuff that might actually work for her. The addition part of it went very smoothly. BUt now we are at subtraction, which takes a little more work. Part of it is that she did have a bad experience with math, and part of it is that it is more work, and she doesn't want to put the extra effort into it. I can see that happening not only with math, but other some other things. It's (hopefully) a phase she's going thru. And we've talked about how if there's things she wants, goals that she hopes to achieve she will have to work for them, even when it seems hard.

I did a poor job of explaing things earlier. I was feeling very frustrated, especially with an extra child here.

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NO it's only part of the problem. The first two years we homeschool, the math programs we chose were really bad picks for us. They were things I looked at and thought, oh that looks fun/interesting/different/whatever. Then we'd try them and it just didn't work for her. THey worked great for her younger sister, who is at grade level in math, it just didn't work for her style of learning I guess.

Now I have some very straight forward math worksheets without all the frilly stuff that might actually work for her. The addition part of it went very smoothly. BUt now we are at subtraction, which takes a little more work. Part of it is that she did have a bad experience with math, and part of it is that it is more work, and she doesn't want to put the extra effort into it. I can see that happening not only with math, but other some other things. It's (hopefully) a phase she's going thru. And we've talked about how if there's things she wants, goals that she hopes to achieve she will have to work for them, even when it seems hard.

I did a poor job of explaing things earlier. I was feeling very frustrated, especially with an extra child here.

 

Then I would mention again, look into disability and the apology, but firm and loving...this is how it's gonna be seem to be in order. :grouphug: I know how frustrating it can be to be Momma and Teacher...tough job we have :) but one worth working through.

Best wishes.

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Is math the only problem area (which might mean she has a learning disability), or is she resistant to doing work in other areas of life and in generally following directions from you and obeying?

 

 

 

Yes, math is the only area she is behind in. I would say she's probably ahead in other areas. She reads long chapter books, comprehends them, loves history and science. It's jsut math.

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My job as a parent is not to make my child love me. If they say they hate me for having discipline and for pushing them into success, then so be it. First, however, saying they hate me or refusing to talk to me is very disrespectful. We just don't allow it. We stopped that before my son was 5. He can hate the assignment, he can hate that it is hard, but he isn't going to say ugly things to me just to retaliate. Second, when I took on homeschooling, I took it on a huge responsiblity. I am solely responsible for making sure my children have what he needs educationally to succeed. He just turned 9. Earlier this year we were struggling thru math (and other subjects) and not making progress so we have begun testing to see if there is a learning disability. And behold, we found out he really has some.

 

I also don't allow drop in friends if we are doing school. Not to mention that I have sent kids home (called parents if needed) after my child had a similar tantrum. It only took a time or 3 for him to realize that the tantrums brought about a loss in priviledge before he stopped.

 

When my son has had attitude like that, he is required to work it out physically. He isn't allowed to sit in his room and pout. My floors always need mopping or vacuuming, dishes can always be washed, toilets are ready to be cleaned...

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Second, have to reiterate...no friends while schools in, even my best student couldn't handle that temptation.

 

Usually we do have that rule. They have certain things they have to do everyday and there is no playing, or TV, or computer, or friends till those things are done. Today was a day a friend needed help, otherwise there wouldn't have been anyone over to play at this time of day.

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Back after reading more posts. . .

 

Math is cited as the sole problem. I can't help but wonder about a math disability, coupled with inappropriate child responses to that situation. (Thus I'm repeating myself that it sounds like a "combination package.")

 

Non-homeschooling families often fail to respect that what we all are doing is a REAL JOB, not some long-running "play party". I don't answer phone calls unless Caller ID shows it is DH or a doctor's office. I don't allow dc to call their friends until 3:00 P.M., out of respect for the other family's assumed school schedule.

 

I would not let a friend inside "to wait", because that is off-handed treatment of a guest. (It also places unbearable pressure on my child, who naturally would want only to "get school over with" and go play.)

 

Not sure, but original post sounds as perhaps yours is an "unschooling" family. Some of our replies, then, may rub the wrong way against your educational philosophy. Please don't take anything wrong.

Edited by Orthodox6
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Perhaps you can start fresh tomorrow, including with a "no friends coming over during school time" rule?

 

Since it sounds like unwillingness, rather than inability, I have to agree with the others that you've got to get it under control. When children "go through a phase" -- to be mid-century pop-psychology about it -- they need to be wisely guided out of it, not left to figure it out on their own, and if she doesn't learn to obey you soon, she never will and her teen and young adult years could be sheer misery. I don't know what your discipline philosophy is, but I know that at my house, there would be no rewarding of this kind of behavior. No privileges, desserts, favorite foods, TV, friends over, listening to music, recreational events, etc., would be coming that child's way until that child has done what is required -- no matter how much coaxing, crying, threatening, etc. takes place. Reassure her that you love her enough to discipline her because you want to help her be the best that she can possibly be. It will be miserably hard, and it will take lots of time if she's been getting away with this bad behavior for years, but it will be worth it. My dc know that irresponsibility, laziness, and hissy fits don't work with their parents, which has made homeschooling, and just plain living with them, much easier.

 

Like the other post-ers, I have to say -- if you can't get her behavior under control enough that she's learning what she needs to, you may need to enroll her in school. But, I think it will be better for both of you, in the long run, if she learns to obey and to be a good worker. Enrolling her in school may improve her academics, but it is unlikely to teach her the life lessons it sounds like she needs.

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Back after reading more posts. . .

 

Math is cited as the sole problem. I can't help but wonder about a math disability, coupled with inappropriate child responses to that situation. (Thus I'm repeating myself that it sounds like a "combination package.")

 

 

 

 

Her sister has a learning disability, but math is actually her strong point. But I have never considered that DD might have an LD. What would I look for here?

 

 

 

 

Not sure, but original post sounds as perhaps yours is an "unschooling" family. Some of our replies, then, may rub the wrong way against your educational philosophy. Please don't take anything wrong.

 

We're not unschoolers in the strictest sense of the word, but we are very loose. I expect the 3R's to be covered, and we coverall the other major subjects. But they're allowed to choose their own topics within each subject (beyond the 3R's), and how they want to go about learning it, then we do something more school like for math and writing.

This works great for the most part, especially with this dd. She's a self motivated learner, eats books up. It's just during math that we have a power struggle.

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No privileges, desserts, favorite foods, TV, friends over, listening to music, recreational events, etc., would be coming that child's way until that child has done what is required -- no matter how much coaxing, crying, threatening, etc. takes place.

 

Yes, we have that rule here. And anytime a child doens't want to do the school work given them, I assign chores for them to do. This works well for dd2, but for dd1 doing chores is a way out of doing school work. I told her she had to get her worksheet done before she came to lunch. She finally got hungry enough she came out and worked on it with some help.

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I'm sorry your dd is so uncooperative. Have you considered that part of the problem may be that your teaching style and her learning style just don't mesh when it comes to math?

 

My ds is excellent in math, so earlier this year, when he started complaining about how he hated math, I knew something was wrong. He was using 4th grade BJU DVDs, and I decided to try teaching him myself (from the same worktext,) and see what happened. It turned out that my ds had no trouble at all with the math -- it was the math teacher on his DVDs. She had a way of making the simplest thing seem complicated.

 

Once I started teaching ds myself, he blazed through the worktext, but if I'd continued with the DVD teacher (who may be wonderful for other kids, but not for mine,) I would have had a child who hated math and thought he wasn't "good at it." In the past, the video math teacher was excellent, but not this year!

 

Maybe you should consider asking your dh or someone else in the family to try teaching your dd a few lessons, or perhaps try a CD or DVD-based instructional program, just to see if it helps. You may be a great math teacher, but we all learn differently, so your explanations may work beautifully for one of your children, but not for this particular dd. We all have times when we get the "deer in the headlights" look when someone explains something to us, and then a second person can explain the same thing using different words, and everything clicks immediately.

 

Just a thought!

 

Cat

 

PS. I agree that you'll need to set specific rules about your dd doing her math, but I don't envy you the power struggle you'll have to deal with. (Don't ask me how I know... ;)

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I am going to reiterate what others have said. If math is the only area where this is happening, there is a strong possibility of a math disability. Sometimes people think that there can't be an LD because the child is too smart; but people can be geniuses and still have LDs. Many kids will misbehave when they have to do a subject they don't understand because they would rather be seen as bad than stupid. If this is what's going on, it doesn't matter how much you punish and restate the rules - she will still choose "bad" over "dumb." And even if she never says so, she may be scared to death that she is stupid because she's a 3rd grader who doesn't understand 1st grade math.

 

Math disabilities are called dyscalculia and I think there are some articles about it on http://www.mislabeledchild.com.

 

For a peek into the mind of a kid with LDs, the book The Secret Life of a Dyslexic Child by Robert Frank is enlightening.

 

Can your child look at dice and tell you the number without counting the dots? A person who looks at dice (or dots arranged in the pattern used on dice) and can't name the number without counting does not have a basic sense of numeracy. Without a sense of numeracy, the person will not succeed with any math curriculum. Some kids with dyscalculia do have number sense, but I mention it because it's the most basic level of math knowledge.

 

I understand your frustration - I've btdt, but it was spelling rather than math.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by LizzyBee
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I have only perused the posts so I don't have an in depth picture of your trial in math. Having an intelligent 10dd who hates math makes me feel lots of compassion for you. I have looked into many solutions but have no solid answers, only ideas. I looked into weather or not there were later curriculum for older first time learners of math so my dd wouldn't have such babyish material to learn from. In hind sight, I wish I'd waited to teach my dd and worked more on attitude, discipline and reading, with more of an understanding attitude myself.

 

Many of the other posters have good ideas and I'd like to add mine, mostly to help you not make your dd feel stupid and humilitated. There are lots of kids who are like her. Here is a website that talks about where to start your older kids on math. http://www.triviumpursuit.com/articles/the_grammar_level.php Scroll down towards the bottom for the math info.

 

I have requested a copy of Saxon 6/5 from the public school and they have given me a book. I am going to experiment this summer and see if I can pull this off. There is so much review of the first 5 years in this book that I think it could work, especially when she thinks she is pulling ahead with 6th grade when she just finished 3rd grade MUS. But I have thought a lot of stuff was easy that wasn't.

 

For some kids it just clicks later. It's their make up. Math had made me a mean mommy and that is not good either. As I seek to make her feel valuable and keep my own frustration in check, we are seeing some improvement. I have, as other posters mentioned, apologized to her for my failure to her. I've lowered my requirements, but progress must be made, and it is happening.

Edited by Robin Hood
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If they say they hate me for having discipline and for pushing them into success, then so be it.

 

If my child tells me he "hates me" for any reason, his life is miserable. I do not allow my kids to say those things to me, dh, or each other. They may think it, but they know better than to utter it in my house. "I hate you" is just not in the vocabulary. My older son is defiant and difficult, a struggle every.single.day, but a struggle that is well worth the reward in the end. :D

 

To the OP, have you ever tried Math U See? I don't use it myself, and do not plan to use it...but I have read good things about it really helping kids who struggle with math. There are DVDs for the "teaching" part and it comes at math in a different way - seeing WHY it works the way it does. Maybe the combo of the DVDs teaching instead of you, and the gentle approach will help your dd plod through math easier..??

Edited by Tree House Academy
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I'd like to add that I was reading workshop info for an upcoming convention and ran across a blurb that makes me want to attend a workshop by Andrew Pudewa:

 

Teaching Boys & Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day

Children like to do what they can do; they want to do what they think they can do, and they hate to do what they think they cannot do. If you want excited and enthusiastic children who learn well, you must understand these key laws of motivation, and focus on the essential requirement of relevancy. If it matters, children will learn it, and if it doesn’t, they won’t. This session will enlighten you with specific ways to find and create relevancy for children, even when they have no apparent interest.

 

This relevancy issue that he mentions is a smidgen of the problem in our home. When I put my dd in real life situations, she wants to learn, on the job, real life stuff. Even math. Out of a book, work pages, etc, is just too mundane and the youthful lack of maturity to understand the need for later is stronger than the pleasure of learning and being prepared. The strength of bullheadedness in a child toward an adult is an amazing feat to behold.

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Although I would not feel comfortable recommending "diagnosing without aid" ("aid" means, here, to consult an education specialist), you might start by reading what you can find about math disabilities. One "understandable" article is here: http://www.ldonline.org/article/5896

More info here:

http://www.dyscalculia.org/calc.html

 

Catwoman is soooo right about checking whether your teaching style is compatible with your dd's learning style. I figured this pitfall out years ago, and sometimes post concerning the point. In fact, I realized this during math instruction ! Friends would try to sell me on the math programs they liked to use with their children, and I would examine them, only to realize that there is nothing to be gained by me teaching something which does not make any sense ("work") for me. The homeschooling literature was overflowing with "learning styles", but dead silent about "teaching styles." Somehow, someway, teacher and student have to find a program that favors the child's learning style (the priority "winner"), but which also is usable (teachable) by the parent teacher.

 

LizzyBee expressed well some things which I also tried earlier to express-- about a child's internal feelings.

 

Grabbing at straws with this last thought: If the rest of her schoolwork is, for the most part, up to her to choose, then maybe she resists the "imposition" of a math course. Resists the concept of being told what to use for a school subject, and how to learn it. In that case, there is a degree of an "obedience issue". (One does not generally inform ones employer that one refuses to execute particular tasks which are part of the job description !) You also might include her in the task of examining various math programs which might suit her.

 

 

 

 

We're not unschoolers in the strictest sense of the word, but we are very loose. I expect the 3R's to be covered, and we coverall the other major subjects. But they're allowed to choose their own topics within each subject (beyond the 3R's), and how they want to go about learning it, then we do something more school like for math and writing.

This works great for the most part, especially with this dd. She's a self motivated learner, eats books up. It's just during math that we have a power struggle.

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I didn't see what kind of math you used.

 

We were going to go formal curriculum, but that bubble burst pretty quick. My ds sounds very much like your dd, he. hates. math. I found out that by getting the cheap, Walmart workbooks, he stays on level, it's WAY less work, and he still learns the concepts. IOW, we don't drill, we rarely do more than one or two pages of work a day, we learn concepts, practice and MOVE ON. So, every day is a little bit fresh, the constants always pop up for more practice, and I am not tossing hundreds of dollars out the window. The workbooks have bright pictures, they disguise the numbers of problems (for example, he did "5" addition problems today; each of those five had six problems, so he really did 30, but to him, it was only five), and they appear to be much easier. Dcs still learn all the sol concepts, still practice, but it doesn't seem that way to them. To them, they're practically coloring in a coloring book.

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Like the others I believe you have a discipline problem. I also think your dd may have a disability. I urge you have her evaluated for a learning disability and ADD (because ADD can make dealing with the disability harder). But I would also insist on working on math daily. No breaks.

 

You may want to consider using a learning center that specializes in math, like Kumon, for a while. Do this because it may help to get you out of the equation because your dd has such negative behavior and bad associations. If you could find a place that also can diagnose math learning disabilities great.

 

Regarding no breaks. I suggest you set up a discipline program that enforces math work. It could be a point chart. The main thing is that it will be a system you will commit to implementing without getting wishy washy. This means some consequences will interupt things the rest of the family wants to do. You need to stick to this until it is a habit. It will probably drive you crazy.

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Yes, we have that rule here. And anytime a child doens't want to do the school work given them, I assign chores for them to do. This works well for dd2, but for dd1 doing chores is a way out of doing school work. I told her she had to get her worksheet done before she came to lunch. She finally got hungry enough she came out and worked on it with some help.

 

Is this new or have you been doing it all along? Because if she's been doing her worksheets for the last 4 years in math and is still at a 1st grade level, I would probably consider having her evaluated to see if there is some kind of struggle going on inside her that is making math especially challenging. I don't know.

 

If you are honest, have you let this slide and only now started having this rule? Or do you think she might have a comprehension problem that you need professional help with?

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Like the others I believe you have a discipline problem. I also think your dd may have a disability. I urge you have her evaluated for a learning disability and ADD (because ADD can make dealing with the disability harder). But I would also insist on working on math daily. No breaks.

 

You may want to consider using a learning center that specializes in math, like Kumon, for a while. Do this because it may help to get you out of the equation because your dd has such negative behavior and bad associations. If you could find a place that also can diagnose math learning disabilities great.

 

Regarding no breaks. I suggest you set up a discipline program that enforces math work. It could be a point chart. The main thing is that it will be a system you will commit to implementing without getting wishy washy. This means some consequences will interrupt things the rest of the family wants to do. You need to stick to this until it is a habit. It will probably drive you crazy.

 

:iagree:

 

I think the suggestion of removing yourself from the equation while you work things out is a great idea. In that scenario she can clearly see that you're on "her" team, not the opposition.

 

I also agree that it sounds like a lot of manipulation. "Just because it's hard, doesn't mean we don't do it." My kids hear that about 100 times a day, LOL. You can do it!!! Hang in there, mom!!!

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I also agree that it sounds like a lot of manipulation. "Just because it's hard, doesn't mean we don't do it." My kids hear that about 100 times a day, LOL. You can do it!!! Hang in there, mom!!!

 

:iagree:

 

 

 

I will add that we always do the most difficult subject (for the child) first right after a protein filled breakfast. Today, math took 2 hours because of a bit of dilly-dallying and a bit of "it's too hard". :nopity:

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(Gently)

 

You are being a push-over and doing a great dis-service to your child.

 

In the first place, "unexpected" children would have been met at the door with a firm, "sorry, we can't play right now" and a shutting door.

 

Secondly, if your child is that far behind in math solely because she refused to work and you permit that (as opposed to, say, a learning disorder or that you had deliberately chosen a more relaxed approach to schooling), then you have done her a great dis-service. You have taught her that if she complains enough, she can escape things that she doesn't like. You have taught her that you (the mom) have no authority. And, you haven't taught her any math.

 

I would sit down with her and apologize for not being a stronger parent. Then, I would tell her that you expect her to complete two math lessons each weekday until she is caught up in math. If she does not have them complete by noon, the world stops: no friends, no screens, no outings, no treats of any kind, no nothing.

 

If you cannot stick to this, I suggest putting your child in school.

 

:iagree:

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I think you understand that we all think it's a discipline issue which needs to be addressed ;) so I'd just like to throw out another idea.

 

Until she has basic math REALLY down (addition, subtraction, then multiplication and division) why not make it fun? Have her do her regular math sheets but maybe after doing online math cd's or games? Or search for fun games you can do with her?

 

I am afraid that her lack if discipline is learned. You now have your work ahead of you to change the way school is done by her. BTW, when I still schooled my boys (I only school my girls now) they were not allowed to leave the table, eat, or ANYTHING until their math, english, critical thinking and spelling were done. Fun things (history/science) were saved for after lunch.

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Well, it sounds to me like she may just not "get" math yet, and there is a train of thought that encourages delayed formal math instruction--the Bluedorn's, for example. That doesn't mean kids are not naturally learning math skills without doing anything formal any earlier than ten years old. With your case, maybe part of it is your being lax but maybe she's resistant because she hasn't been ready for it. She's going into 4th grade. She's young. Very young in the scheme of things. My dd 9 has had major math struggles, but lately she is doing much better and things are clicking. We used to have meltdowns galore and I finally just gave up for while. Shocking, I know.;) Then, when we started up again, it seemed like it went way better and she was able to handle more. This year, I bought Developmental Math on a lark, thinking it might work. It has worked so well for her. And it's sticking, which is really what matters. I started her in Level 2, which probably is K or 1st grade I think. But she's done three levels so far this year and doesn't mind in the least. It sometimes seems whether I do lots of schoolish things with this dd or do not much of anything formal, she is learning and growing and her skills just keep on improving.

 

Well, anyway, that's just my two cents.

 

Anita

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If "plain opposition" is the problem, I don't have much to suggest.

 

Since we here all post from our family experience, it makes sense that I will offer for consideration the question of math disabilities. Our dd entered 4th grade, still finishing up 1st grade math topics. During mid-school year, as part of our broad-scale evaluations, we secured in-depth educational testing. As we expected, dd has strong math disabilities. (Testing results received a 2-3 weeks ago.) We have reassessed our teaching strategies and program choices. Things are going much better now !

 

". . . everyone thinks she's stupid, and she doesn't want to homeschool anyhow." [end quote] These easily could be the frustrated remarks from a child who does not understand why she cannot do the work (and "cannot" remains a real possibility), feels ashamed of herself because she is behind her age peers, and also ashamed of herself because she sees herself as "letting down" you (her Mom). In children, who have not matured enough to demonstrate more "nuanced" (guessing for a good word) behaviours, many times "anger" is all they know to use as a response.

 

I was quoting the very same thought to the educational tester -- that my dd shuts down for work requiring her to think at a "dig deeper" level and requiring persistent struggle. . . . The testing results helped us understand this a bit better. We also are (as expected) dealing with ADD.

 

We did not have the personal attacks from dd as you are, uncomfortably, having to experience. (I was not "mean", in other words.) But similarities between our dd's do occur to me from your post. This may be mere coincidence, or perhaps there are other ways to think about your dd's situation.

 

Wishing you the best !

 

........

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

Frustration and a refusal to try are often the signs of weak foundationnal problems or LD's. Sometimes they're obvious. We've always noted our ds has no math sense, so we've always backtracked and looked for alternative teaching methods.

 

But we had no idea that he had memory problems with reading until in a major fight and meltdown ds shouted, "Why read when I can't remember anything" A major lightbulb moment for mom. After working on memory (after years of VT and ST), ds is now reading more willingly.

 

BTW, my ds is very confrontational, bullheaded and obnoxious. It's common for kids with his problems. It needs to be dealt with, but what these kids usually need is explicit instructions and modeling how to deal with problems. Punishment without EXPLICIT instruction just makes things worse. Kids who have trouble thinking don't always make the connections most kids can. Or they make some really wierd connections. And the problem behavior is reduced as a child learns how to deal with problems.

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Yes, math is the only area she is behind in. I would say she's probably ahead in other areas. She reads long chapter books, comprehends them, loves history and science. It's jsut math.

 

IMHO, math is the first topic where logic and thinking skills come into play, especially if you're following the classical model. If this is a true weakness, problems will start to crop up in other areas as you leave the grammar stage for the logic stage.

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I just thought that I would share an idea that worked with my son.

 

I have a dyslexic son that had real problems with his math ( had, he still has big problems with reading)

what really helped him was doing some of his math orally. he would tell me the answer and I would write it down. I would do this with only 2-3 problems, just to reinforce that he CAN do it. then we would have " The Math Race Game". if I can make a bed before he does one problem, he gets a slobbery kiss. if he bets me I have to do 2 sit ups. it is amazing how fast he can get his math done then. I think one of the biggest helps to him was that he stopped thinking that he couldn't do it, and just did it. It really worked. it also stopped me being the supper grumpy mum, improved everyone's attitude , and I got the housework done at the same time.

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Yes, math is the only area she is behind in. I would say she's probably ahead in other areas. She reads long chapter books, comprehends them, loves history and science. It's jsut math.

 

I also would consider an evaluation. The chances a 4th grade aged child wouldn't have just figured out most early math by herself, through life and exposure in curriculum even if it wasn't a good mix, is VERY slim. Writing things out would be what she was learning, not the math itself, I would think.

 

Also, MOST kids don't get the opportunity of various math curriculum. And MOST get at least a basic grade level education with the "whatever" that is put in front of them consistently. So again, it seems she should have picked up the basics along the way, even if she didn't LIKE it.

 

I'd definitely do an evaluation and be firm and consistent. SHE isn't going to "just work hard to meet her goals" as she's a child. It is your job to make it happen for her. She'll pick up the skill and work ethic over time.

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I haven't read all of the posts so please forgive any repeats on my part. I agree with others who have suggested looking into a possible math disability. It honestly may be just her learning style though. Maybe using more manipulatives, dvds or math songs would be better for her. Ds11 despises worksheets. But in his case it's because he finds them boring. For my kids, we have 2 drawers full of manips, the flashmaster thing for practicing tables and songs for learning tables, too.

 

If it is just her willfulness, then you need to increase your discipline with her. Math is a necessary skill. It doesn't have to be her fave but she must do it. I tell my kids that I hate laundry-which I do. But I still must do it each day. It's a necessity of life-unless we join a nudist colony:tongue_smilie: It's the same with subjects that they don't enjoy. You don't have to love it-but it's a necessity. It's their job so to speak.

 

Maybe try doing math first or last each day. See if doing it first helps. Then try completing all other work and then do math. Some kids want to do their least fave subject first to get it out of the way. Some put it off til last. If she doesn't have a learning problem then give her a specific amt of time to complete it. Give her the consequences ahead of time if she doesn't do the work. Then you must stick to your guns. Find a currency that works for her-loss of TV time, playtime, etc.

 

Also, I would try to instill some positive feedback in her as well. When she does well in math-tell her. She may think she's not smart enough to do math. Make sure she knows how proud you are when she completes a difficult assignment in math. "I know how much you dislike math, but you did a great job today." "I'm proud of you for not giving up."

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Until she has basic math REALLY down (addition, subtraction, then multiplication and division) why not make it fun? Have her do her regular math sheets but maybe after doing online math cd's or games? Or search for fun games you can do with her?

 

I think that's an excellent idea! Actually, if you're planning to take the summer off from school, you could still do some math games each day without worrying about textbooks or worksheets.

 

Cat

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Just a thought.

Robinson's curriculum tells you that you should do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division before anything else math related....(so...no math books until you get this down) and then you jump into book 54.

You could work on math flashcards after the games.

When I was being homeschooled, starting in the 6th, my mom was dismayed that I didn't know my math facts. She started with a few multiplication cards and we did those over and over... The goal was that I could say them as fast as she could throw them down.

You can start with math flash cards that have the answer on them. There's really no way she can't say what the flashcard says...If it's 2X2=4.....and then after you really practice all the 2's...you do it without the answer...and move to 5's or whatever...

Set a prize at the end. :-)

Also, I have to tell you...that my 10 year old HATES to write all of the problem out...but it's part of math and how your brain works.....and she would have you think that she's going to DIE if she has to write them out....

 

Carrie:-)

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