# Graph paper for math?

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Does anyone use this? Does it help? My son is struggling with math. He totally understands the concepts and knows how to do the work, but his mind wanders. He'll get halfway through a problem like 3251 + 1789, and he'll forget to carry a number. Or he'll have a perimeter problem and forget to add one of the sides. It's frustrating me because I want to continue to the next lesson, as does he, but I don't feel like I can let him until he can focus enough to do a lesson and "pass" with 80%. Like I said, he knows the stuff, has his addition and subtraction facts down pat, and if I make him redo the problems he often gets them right even without me making suggestions or letting him know what he did wrong, so I know this isn't a lack of knowledge or inability to do the work. It's simply a lack of focus.

Anyway, I'm thinking about transferring the problems to graph paper and having him use that instead of the regular worksheet to use, but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone else did this and if it had helped or if anyone had any other suggestions.

He does have ADHD, and I am not currently using medication. I have a nagging feeling that putting him back on meds might help, but he's resistant at this point after being off of them for a year, and I don't want to force the issue.

Oh, guess I should say we're using MUS for math. He's about halfway through Beta :)

Edited by elise1mds
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Yes! Graph paper. BIG HELP!!! I ended up making my own so that it had bigger squares to allow him to write numbers (I made a couple of sizes). If you PM me your email, I can send it to you.

Another thing that worked really well was to highlight each of the columns with a different color (super helpful for 3 and 4 digit multiplication). Color each column, all the way down through where he would write the answer).

Here is another tip from neuropsych....give \$ for each problem checked and done correctly. So I did scheme with ds for a week-- 10 problems-- complete and then check. I had him make a check at each step (check mark to show he double checked that her re-wrote problem correctly), check for each step (actual check mark), and check answer (check mark there). If checks, and answer is correct \$0.10. This was very successful-- ds discovered HE could find the mistakes and fix them on his own. He would get all the problems correct. An excellent lesson.

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Up until a few years ago, my dd had been doing all her work right in the book, and let's just say that it was less than neat. A lot of wrong answers were wrong because things weren't lined up neatly and all. We switched to graph paper, and the results were amazing! I also highly recommend using it for just about all grades. WalMart had some spiral bound graph paper notebooks on sale for \$.75 and I think they're still on sale. I think they're 1/4" squares and are larger than the spiral bound we use from Staples. We like Staples, but the larger size might work better for younger grades.

Let us know if it helps!!! :)

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I'm so glad to hear it's worked for other people!

Ramona, I went to the store today and "happened" to wander down the school supply aisle and came to the same conclusion about having to make my own! I would love some! There is no way he's going to be able to get a single number in one 1/4" square. He might have to use four lol. OK, not quite, but geez. He hates writing as it is.

Also love the cash incentive. I'd already been wondering how to do that so he would actually double-check his work, so that's perfect. He'll be able to earn his way up to getting a treat the store because he's a foodie like his mama.

*does the happy dance*

I'll PM you here in a minute, so let me know if you don't get it. Thanks so much!

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donnayoung.org used to have graph paper you could print that had larger squares.

ETA: Here is a link: http://donnayoung.org/math/papers.htm

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Donna Young's site is great, but I've also found printable graph papers just by googling for what I'm looking for. RightStart uses 1cm blocks, and has them right on their workbook pages, with smaller sizes for the upper grade levels.

..

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Yes, we use it here.

Heather

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I printed off one of the sheets from Donna Young and used that today, and a MIRACLE occurred! He aced his worksheet. He was soooo happy, he was dancing around singing. He said it was *much* easier to do the math when there were squares to show him where to put everything. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. Thank you all!

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When I went to school myself, graph paper was ALL we ever used in math. It makes it much easier to properly align digits, do geometry etc.

(I never understood why in this country this is not standard as well)

Walmart has lose sheets of filler paper as well as spiral notebooks very cheap right now.

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We use regular spiral notebooks turned sideways. I draw lines under each problem to create boxes.

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Does anyone use this? Does it help? My son is struggling with math. He totally understands the concepts and knows how to do the work, but his mind wanders. He'll get halfway through a problem like 3251 + 1789, and he'll forget to carry a number. Or he'll have a perimeter problem and forget to add one of the sides. It's frustrating me because I want to continue to the next lesson, as does he, but I don't feel like I can let him until he can focus enough to do a lesson and "pass" with 80%. Like I said, he knows the stuff, has his addition and subtraction facts down pat, and if I make him redo the problems he often gets them right even without me making suggestions or letting him know what he did wrong, so I know this isn't a lack of knowledge or inability to do the work. It's simply a lack of focus.

Anyway, I'm thinking about transferring the problems to graph paper and having him use that instead of the regular worksheet to use, but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone else did this and if it had helped or if anyone had any other suggestions.

He does have ADHD, and I am not currently using medication. I have a nagging feeling that putting him back on meds might help, but he's resistant at this point after being off of them for a year, and I don't want to force the issue.

Oh, guess I should say we're using MUS for math. He's about halfway through Beta :)

Hi Sarah, I skimmed your post. Yes, I have tons of graph paper for various activities, one of which is for aligning place values. I first learned about this idea just recently.....can't remember where....and I thought it was a bright idea. You know, I look at it this way, if it helps then do it. Soon he'll get the hang of it.

If you're interested there are websites from which you can download cm or inch grid paper, and more. If you're interested and can't find it, let me know and I may be able to locate it for you. Then print off and go!

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We use graph paper all the time. It really them to line up the numbers. I even enlarged some graph paper so that it's easier to write the numbers (for those who like to write bigger).

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Graph paper has made a world of difference for my dysgraphic son. Especially now that he is older, and learning "bigger" problems in multiplication/division (8643 X 427) and needing to keep all the rows lined up neatly. Shifting over a bit, as you know, changes the whole answer and makes the problem "wrong", even if he did the math right! :)

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Yes, this has been a tremendous help for us!!!!

You can pick up graph paper fairly cheap right now in the back-to-school stuff--stock up! One of the best moves we've made in our homeschool.

I'm even considering pasting blocks of it inside our CLE workbooks--I know it will take forever, but the results have been that good.

Good luck!

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• 2 weeks later...

I started using graph paper last year with my 13 yr old aspie and it really makes a big difference for math. I made my own with larger squares and just print up a supply.

Originally, I used regular notebook paper turned sideways like another poster said, but graph paper works better for us.

The idea to use different colors for the columns is a great idea! I'm going to try that and see if he likes it better.

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