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How do I help math sink in? Options? 5th gr dd Help!


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DD does well with language-oriented subjects (literature, writing, etc.) and creative subjects (music, art, etc.). She is pretty average with science, grammar, spelling, etc. Overall, I'd say she's a pretty average student, fairly free-spirited, and EASILY distracted. She seems to have ADHD (like much of my husband's family), but I would rather not medicate her if there are other feasible options. She does ok with everything except math. She has a VERY hard time with math. We have tried MUS (finally quit during Delta--over 3 years of MUS), CLE (did that for about a month or two), and now Math Mammoth (now in the second half of 4B).

 

Even when I sit right next to her and walk her through every step of solving a problem she seems unable to recall the necessary information. She took a chapter test today in Math Mammoth and got a score in the 60s. This has happened before. When I helped her correct it and fix the problems, she finally (with a lot of coaching from me) was able to figure out the correct answers. I don't know if she has some kind of learning disability with math or if it's her ADHD getting in the way or what. I am getting more and more concerned the older she gets because the problem only seems to be getting worse. :crying:

 

I've been looking at Teaching Textbooks today because of the way she would be able to see a solution worked through for every problem. Another pro is the low writing component (her handwriting is terrible except when she's focusing on handwriting--she hates the act of physically writing). I've read a few threads about how TT may not be complete, isn't conceptual, etc. At this point I'd be happy for ANYTHING that works to help her learn and retain math skills. Looking at the placement tests, I think she could do Grade 6 of TT. Some of it would be review, but I think she might actually benefit from that.

 

She's an auditory learner that does best if she can be moving while she learns (but she doesn't necessarily like manipulatives--she only rarely agreed to use the blocks in MUS). So, for a computer program I think she would do best with one that reads to her while she can watch the screen and bounce on an exercise ball or play with something in her hands. Professor B doesn't appear to have a voice reading/teaching. I don't know if a video/DVD program would work for her. MUS was really a flop for her, so I think we'd have to view another program's samples to see if she liked them any better.

 

Aside from Teaching Textbooks (shows solutions to every missed problem, reads/lectures to the student) and Professor B (won't work because it doesn't voice the instructions--she has a STRONG preference for voiced instructions/teaching), what are my options for a computer-based program?

 

Aside from MUS, what are my options for a video-based program that engages the student?

 

Would she do better with something like Saxon since it moves slowly? Argh. I don't know if the problem with MUS and MM are that those are more mastery or what. DD didn't like CLE math because she said it was hard and didn't explain things very well.

 

I feel like crying over this. I honestly don't know what to do. Math was easy for me, so this is very foreign and rather scary. I desperately want to find a solution for my dd! :confused1:

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I have a 5th grade child who has had math struggles for a long time. She's doing TT now and it's very good for her. She does it without complaint and is certainly learning things she didn't/couldn't before. I have also started using Math It with her. Another thing that worked wonders was a skip counting CD. IMO some kids are just not ready to get the conceptual part of math when we think they should. Give her time and it can only get better. I would give TT a try for her but honestly I would buy the fifth grade level since she's in fifth. Yes, it can be considered behind, but so what? Perhaps it is better if you let her gain confidence? If TT doesn't work, you can resell for almost what you paid.

 

As for the conceptual aspect, well, I would not worry about it right now. I'm not worrying about it right now, either. I want my girl to be able to do what she can manage. And I figure as she matures it will get better. You can always add in some math games from something like Family Math, too. The other option is to toss all programs and just do math games for now. She will not fall behind IMO. She'll mature some and it will get easier for her. I really really really would not worry about her struggling with formal math at this point. It's hard to meet the child where they are sometimes but I think it can be really stressful for a child to have to do things they aren't ready for yet. I think it can be perfectly normal for a child this age to still not be ready for formal math. The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook (I'm sure I sound like a broken record on this one because I mention it all the time) helped me realize that sometimes it's better to just wait on things.

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Professor B Math It has been fabulous for our dc. The CD's provide scripted lessons that a parent and child read through together at the computer. Mathematical concepts are explained in a clear, step by step fashion, with opportunities for practicing each step throughout the lesson.

They are interactive in nature, and basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts can be mastered using online drills that don't require the student to do a lot of writing. DS 8 regularly reviews multiplication and division facts while bouncing on an exercise ball.

 

One of the unique aspects of Professor B Math is his use of stories to contextualize math concepts in ways that learners readily understand and retain.

 

Here's an example of what I mean. When introducing the upper level subtraction facts (subtraction problems that involve regrouping or "borrowing") the Professor B icon suggests the following dialogue:

 

Imagine that you have $14, a $10 bill and four $1 bills. Now imagine that you place the four $1 bills in your right hand pocket, and the $10 in your left hand pocket.

 

See this hot delicious pizza? (picture of a pizza appears on the screen)

 

This hot delicious pizza costs $9.

 

Will you pay for this pizza with the four $1 bills in your right hand pocket?

Student: No

 

Will you pay for this hot delicious pizza with the $10 bill in your left hand pocket?

Student: Yes

 

How much change will you receive?

Student: $1

 

Professor B: Now combine the $1 with the $4 you have left in your right hand pocket. How much money will you have altogether?

 

This type of "teaching story" has been very effective for my dc. They immediately grasped the simple sequence of steps required to solve this type of problem. If ds 10 ever became confused about it, all I had to do was say "See this hot delicious pizza?" and he immediately recalled the storyline, which informed him about what to do.

 

Professor B capitalizes upon a child's innate ability to remember stories, while providing solid instruction in mathematics.

 

It is a mastery approach, and each operation builds on the next.

 

FWIW, ds 7 can easily add and subtract numbers int the trillions, with an understanding of place value, as the testimonials on the website claim. Ds 10 can multiply and divide numbers in the ten thousands, and is currently working with fractions and mixed numbers.

 

With ds 10, I've found that it has taken 1 1/2 years to cover the material on each CD.

 

If you decide to try it, you will need the CD and a workbook. I find the CD's easier to use than the text.

 

Professor B also offers an online subscription, but I'm not entirely sure how it works. I think it provides the same lessons contained in the CD, and that you would also need a work book in addition to the online lessons.

 

I do know that you can try the online subscription on a month to month basis, with no obligation to continue if it doesn't work for you.

 

From an economic standpoint, I think the CD's are a better deal, especially id you have more than one dc. Each CD and workbook cover three years of math instruction.

 

Professor B Math doesn't cover concepts such as weights and measurement, reading charts and graphs, or geometry. For those areas, I supplement Professor B Math suing the Key to . . . series. I also use LoF with ds 10 because it provides a really fun way for him to review.

 

HTH a bit; let me know if you have additional questions.

__________________

ELaurie

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Thanks, Violet. I think TT could be really helpful for dd. The reworking of the problems she missed is a feature that I especially like.

 

ELaurie, the idea of teaching through a story might be a good fit for her. Is Professor B all you use for math? Or is it just a supplement? It seems to go through 6th grade. What will you use next?

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When she is ready for pre-algebra you can look at Kinetic Books. I am going to have my oldest use it for much the same reasons. Audio learner that needs to fidget or bounce, easily distracted, the program starts prompting you with instructions if you get a problem wrong so there is no doing a whole page wrong and then having it stuck wrong to deal with repeatedly later.

 

She actually won't start till around Christmas, but I have talked to other peopl who have used their programs, and done well. It also doesn't seem to have the reputation for being on the light side like TT does.

 

Heather

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ELaurie, the idea of teaching through a story might be a good fit for her. Is Professor B all you use for math? Or is it just a supplement? It seems to go through 6th grade. What will you use next?

 

Laura,

 

Professor B is our primary math program. I use the Key to series to provide additional practice with measurement and for geometry, and and Life of Fred math as a fun way to review.

 

Professor B also offers a series for algebra, and I plan to continue with that.

 

You can try the online program for $20 per month to see how you and your dd like it, with no obligation to continue if it's not a fit for you. You will also find Mrs. B to be very helpful on the phone :001_smile:

 

Once you have access to the online program, I assume you would be able to scan through all of the lessons to review the entire program.

 

Professor B was a mathematics professor - unfortunately he died just a couple of years ago - but he used this program as a remedial program in a number of different school districts in the US with impressive results. You can read about the research on his website. You'll find a number of helpful articles here (just click on the orange links).

 

Here's a link to a placement test you can use with your dd.

 

I love the way he teaches the connections between what might otherwise appear to be isolated concepts in mathematics. The post above is actually one I cut and pasted from an earlier post I wrote last year, because I was short on time last evening.

 

However, right now, ds 11 is working on understanding the connections between multiplication, division, and fractions. When he learns that 4 is the factor connecting 24 and 6, for example, he then writes 4x6=24, 6x4=24, 24 divided by 6=4 (written in two different ways, with the division symbol, and with the quotient on top of division symbol, if that makes sense) , 24 divided by 4=6 (both ways) , 24/6=4, 24/4=6, 1/6 x 24 = 4 and 1/4 x 24 =6.

 

Doing so allows him to see the connections in a meaningful way when working with fractions, and gives him a variety of ways to approach story problems and problems involving measurement.

 

HTH. I will check back later to see if you have other questions after exploring the links to the Professor B site :)

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Ok, I think I have a plan. I had dd take the TT placement test and ordered grade 5. I think I'll have her do that four days a week and then do Professor B with me on Fridays. I really like the samples I went through for Professor B. I don't think it will work as our main program because I have four other kids that need my help, too. I'm leaning toward buying all three Professor

B discs to do turns with all of my kids at least once a week. My 4yo enjoyed the level 1 samples last night. Is there ever a sale, especially on the set?

 

I like the look of Kinetic Books for later. :)

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Ok, I think I have a plan. I had dd take the TT placement test and ordered grade 5. I think I'll have her do that four days a week and then do Professor B with me on Fridays. I really like the samples I went through for Professor B. I don't think it will work as our main program because I have four other kids that need my help, too. I'm leaning toward buying all three Professor

B discs to do turns with all of my kids at least once a week. My 4yo enjoyed the level 1 samples last night. Is there ever a sale, especially on the set?

 

I like the look of Kinetic Books for later. :)

 

Hmmm . . . based upon my experience with Professor B, I'm not sure how well this would work. Since you've ordered TT, I think you might just want to stick with that for now.

 

Professor B has a slightly different way of teaching certain concepts than other programs I have seen.

 

For example, when a child is dividing 4627 by 6, he would have the child multiply 6 by 700 and subtract 4200 for the first step. This is because he emphasizes the importance of place value and what he calls "telling the truth" when solving problems. When I learned to divide, I was taught to subtract 42 from the 46 and solve the problem from there. For my dc, a relatively minor difference such as this could cause confusion.

 

There are also slight differences in the ways my dc have learned to do multiplication when compared to the method I learned. It took me awhile to get used to Professor B's approach, even thought I understood why he did it that way.

 

I'm not sure how TT approaches these kinds of things, but I think sometimes "less is more" and you might be better off choosing one program and doing it well, rather than risk mixing things up for your dc.

 

Hope you like TT and find a good fit for your dd :001_smile:

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Wanted to put in another suggestion. This tends to help us around here -

Put together a mini office (or "cheat sheet") with little reminders about how to solve certain problems.

Example:

You might put one short reminder about how to subtract with regrouping/borrowing.

Another short reminder about how to multiply a small number by a big number.

And another reminder about how to multiply a big number by a big number, etc.

Make it a simple cheat sheet that she can refer to when she forgets how to do something. This can be used in addition to any math program you use. You can also include a multiplication chart, number line, etc (any tools she might use regularly to help her solve problems).

If she needs an auditory reminder, maybe find some good youtube videos that she can watch whenever she needs to, to help her remember the steps. I think the key is for her to know - it's OK to forget how to do something, but let's give you the tools to work through it and help you remember.

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Hmmm . . . based upon my experience with Professor B, I'm not sure how well this would work. Since you've ordered TT, I think you might just want to stick with that for now.

 

Professor B has a slightly different way of teaching certain concepts than other programs I have seen.

 

For example, when a child is dividing 4627 by 6, he would have the child multiply 6 by 700 and subtract 4200 for the first step. This is because he emphasizes the importance of place value and what he calls "telling the truth" when solving problems. When I learned to divide, I was taught to subtract 42 from the 46 and solve the problem from there. For my dc, a relatively minor difference such as this could cause confusion.

 

There are also slight differences in the ways my dc have learned to do multiplication when compared to the method I learned. It took me awhile to get used to Professor B's approach, even thought I understood why he did it that way.

 

I'm not sure how TT approaches these kinds of things, but I think sometimes "less is more" and you might be better off choosing one program and doing it well, rather than risk mixing things up for your dc.

 

Hope you like TT and find a good fit for your dd :001_smile:

 

Good to know. Maybe we'll do Professor B over the summer.... I'll give TT a shot. I think she needs some remediation.

 

The "cheat sheet" idea is a good one, too. :)

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I had asked a similar question about my 5th grade son but my post fell off the radar,lol. I got CLE 5OO for him and it was alittle advance since he's coming right out of public school. He usually loved math but there wasn't much in instruction in CLE. he's an auditory learner so TT seemed like something he would enjoy.

I went ahead and ordered TT6 and he LOVES LOVES it. He has done 5 lessons so far and it seems very easy for him......but I think I need to supplememt it. I might go with CLE just 4th grade since it runs one year ahead of public school.

Pam

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