# Have you ever felt that the year did not progress enough to move on?

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If so what did you do? Did you hold back and do the year over again? Did you push forward anyways and try to pick up the slack?

I am at this point with only months left of the school year I just don't see that we made enough progress. Yet I don't know how doing the year over again will make him feel. If it will make him feel as if he failed or something.

Maybe I am just jumping the gun since our year is not over yet, but unless there is a huge jump in progress in the next few months I don't see him being ready.

In our math we are 3/4 of the way through the book, yet he has not really retained as much as I would have liked to have seen. I don't feel as if he is strong enough in his math facts to continue adding in more new concepts. I drill him with facts in many ways. Through games, flash cards, time tests, practice sheets. Yet it really is not sinking in. I really don't know what else to do. By now I feel he should know a good portion of his basic facts with out having to count over and over again. For example 5+3 he will still count 1,2,3,4,5, 6,7,8 then put down the answer. Instead of starting with 5 and adding 3 (which we go over daily and have for a year and a half now). The only facts he knows for sure are anything plus 1 or 0. No more. Even if I work off him already knowing those saying for 5+2, well if you know 5+1=6, wouldn't adding one more to that be 7? He will answer with no, and start counting all over again. Or even having 5+2 then 2+5 he will do them by counting, and not realize it is the same problem just numbers switched.

So, is this typical kid stuff? Or do you think he really might not be ready to move on?

I know the higher in grades you go the more independent you need to be, but he is not independent at much of anything at this point. If i don't hand hold the whole time nothing will get done. Not even handwriting. Makes for a very long day. I don't expect him to be super fast and know everything, but to see some progress and keep progressing would really be nice. Or to have him be able to do a math sheet on his own after instructions have been given.

For a soon to be second grader would you expect him to be able to do somethings independently after instructions are given?

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I'm sure you'll get some great answers, but I wanted to give you a :grouphug:.

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My oldest is a later reader. He's in the middle of McGuffey's 1st reader right now (end of 2nd grade),and feeling confident and doing well....but last year at this time I was pulling my hair out b/c I taught him thorough and intensive phonics and he wasn't reading yet! I didn't tell him that I was going to go back through 1st grade level LA with him again...I just did it with different materials...and really, I don't look much at grade level as much as I look at where he has holes in his understanding/skills. He still became a "2nd grader" in August with his age-mates. In the long run, it won't matter if his reading took off at age 6 or age 8. Same for math, I think.

For math facts, Cuisenaire rods. Give him a 7 rod and 1cm graph paper and have him color the 5 rod and 2 rod next to the 7 rod...and then then the 2 rod and 7 rod...then write the addition and subtraction sentences to match the pictures. Do this instead of drill sheets or flashcards. Hands-on, visual, and the big picture.

ETA: No, I don't expect a 1st or 2nd grader to do much independently. Better to nip bad habits in the bud before they take root.

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I don't think you need to hold him back a grade or anything like that, but it may be that he needs a different presentation of math or just to play at this level for a bit longer before moving to the next grade level in math. I would still call him the next grade level up, and just keep working him whereever he is in math. If you feel he needs to start over, I'd use a different math program so he isn't doing the same thing over again.

Have you tried using an abacus? The one used by RightStart (which is only \$10 at Rainbow Resource) has different colored beads so you can very easily see the 5s - ie, there are 5 blue beads and 5 yellow beads on the same string. Maybe giving him that to use for addition would be helpful in getting him to see?

Hopefully others will have more ideas for you to try. Some of it may be just a developmental readiness stage too. I know a lot of programs expect facts to be memorized in 2nd grade, not 1st. And with more practice, they eventually get better at it. But since you've been doing the games and such, I'm just wondering if some type of different presentation (like the abacus) might be useful. I don't know what manipulatives you've tried. I would let him use the manipulatives until his brain clicks over to just knowing that 5 + 3 = 8.

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We use a lot of manipulatives, from blocks, rods, legos, counting bears and animals, tally marks or sheets, everything except the abacus. Maybe that will do the trick. I will try that.

Now my example was just for math, but is seems as if all subjects are going in the same direction. I tried to talk to dh about it, but in his eyes little man is a genius and sees no problem with his progress. Maybe I am too close to the whole picture to actually see the whole picture.

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Was he maybe just not ready for first grade material yet? Is he a young 6? Perhaps next year will be better when he's more mature. I wouldn't freak out yet. Even if he seems behind now, he'll probably catch up at some point in the future.

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My 6.5yr. old son, Lance, is in K this year. It took forever for him to learn to count to 10. He still can't count to 20 :blushing:. He is just now learning to blend words.

If it makes you feel any better, your ds is waaaay ahead compared to my little guy :001_smile:.

I admit, the first few months I wasn't consistent but now I'm trying to get at least Phonics & Math done on a regular bases. Also, at the beginning of the year he just wasn't that interested.

Lance, is so different from his older sibling. After teaching Joshua my oldest, all the rest just learned to count to 100 on their own. Some even learned most of their math facts on their own too. All could at least sound out cvc words by the time they were 5.

I plan to move on with Lance. He'll be in 1st grade next year. Hopefully he'll speed up a bit, but at the same time, I'm really enjoying his littleness.

Edited by Homeschooling6
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I would say to relax and see how he does next year. My dd2nd was still working on her 1st grade math at the first part of this year but has caught up and will have no problems starting the next level next year.

DD didn't really start making the connections your talking about until this year. (5+2=2+5 and just saying the largest number and adding on) When you think about it, you spent a huge amount of time getting him to count everything over and over and over. It's hard to break old habits.:tongue_smilie:

As for other subjects...again, give him time. Dd's reading just really took off in the last couple of months. Most dc will do things in their own time and they are fine with it...it's we who get impatient.

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Even if I'd felt the need to do some backing up and doing over, I would not have made it seem as if dc were repeating a whole grade. We'd just have worked on stuff that needed working on.

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For a soon to be second grader would you expect him to be able to do somethings independently after instructions are given?

I recently bought and listened to SWB's download on children working independently. Honestly, it was the best \$3 I have ever spent on homeschool 'material.'

Before listening to her lecture, I thought my young 9-year-old was hopelessly 'behind' because he can not work independently.

But SW(ise!)B lists the stages that children go through as they transition from dependent, to 'needs mom hovering nearby,' to working independently. It was so reassuring to me!

So - I would say - No, most 2nd graders cannot work independently. Just because others are does not mean that your son is ready - or that he is 'behind' because he isn't.

Aside from that - I would work more on the areas that he struggles but move on ahead in the areas that interest him - science? history? art?

In my case, my son adores science and art. Those are the subjects that keep school exciting for him. But we are going slower with penmanship, spelling and writing. I don't say we are 'behind' in those subjects - we are just working at his pace. That is the joy of homeschooling - going at the child's pace. It isn't "all or nothing" like in public school. You can slow down in one subject while flying ahead in another!

Math - Do you both like the program you are using? Have you thought about trying a different curriculum? Or adding in some 'living' math books?

http://livingmath.net/

Use some M&Ms as manipulatives and let him eat the answer, if he is correct. ;)

Show him 7 M&Ms and have him work through all the ways to have 7 as the sum.

:grouphug:

It's hard. It stinks to feel so responsible for their education when they are struggling. I recently went through something similar with spelling. I finally decided to switch programs - for the tenth time in three year :tongue_smilie: - but it made all the difference in the world!

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It could be a simple matter of maturing, clicking, and catching up. The question is how do you approach it.

My 5 yod was not able to remember any of her letters or numbers at the beginning of this yr. I made the decision after feeling like I was teaching Dory (seemed to have learned them and then 5 minutes later being clueless) to not call this K. I have seen enough "mental leaps" in my kids to recognize that this was a brain maturity issue.

Now.....with NO teaching, she recognizes all of her numbers 1-10 easily and 11-13 pretty consistently. The same thing is starting to happen with her letters.

The question is how to proceed. I am going to call next yr K. She obviously needed the extra time to mature. She was a young 5 for K (late July b-day) and knowing what I have learned with my other late b-day, I would rather have her on the overly mature side as work gets harder than on the pushing forward younger side.

I would assess where you see his abilities and his person as a whole vs. the micro-image of his math abilities. But no matter what you decide, I wouldn't stress about it or ever let your child know that it concerns you. Focus on the child.....not the grade. :)

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I had this problem a few weeks ago when I thought that the school year was almost over. It feels like it is. However, we have only just passed the half way point of a traditional year. Feb, Mar, Apr, May, beginning of June, That is over 4 months left. Plus as homeschoolers we can do little parts throughout the summer. You have lots of time to review and play with Math. Just go at your child's skill level. If you really work on the basics and make sure they understand that, the other things will come.

Nicole

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Sounds like my 1st grader!:D My dd understands how to do addition and subtraction. I have tried drilling and drilling to no avail! Some dc don't memorize things easily. It sounds like your dc understands how to do the math and that is the most important thing. I am not using Right Start math, but my dc uses the abacus and I incorporate RS elements into the Singapore workbook. The author of RS math says that dc will stop using manipulatives when they are ready. That some dc will stop in 1st and some will stop around 4th grade. And to let dc use manipulative until they decide to drop them. That is very irritating isn't it!:tongue_smilie: It makes school work take longer, but....I would rather have my dc UNDERSTAND what they are doing rather that have it memorized! I have read many posts on this board where parents memorized math facts and did well in math, but had no idea why what they were doing worked.

I would call you dc the next grade level up for the coming school year. I you feel like you need to do 1st grade work again, I would find a different 1st grade curriculum to use and probably start in the middle of the text.

I have had to stop my dd's reading progress this year too. We were doing HOD Emerging Readers. My dd got to the middle of the year and stalled. I bought more of the level she stalled at to help her gain fluency and stamina in reading. We will proceed with the second half of the Emerging Readers beginning in 2nd grade.

Sometimes you have to think in more of "stages" than "grade levels". There are certain skills a dc need to be able to do and understand after completing the 3rd grade. That is why so many curriculum "extras" are for grades 1-3. Your dc may struggle this year and fly the next. Many of the thing you are worried about are developmental.

If it make you feel any better, my dd is older for 1st grade (she turned 7 in October). Today she had 12 math problems like this: 24-6= 18. I was sitting in front of her and constantly kept telling her to do her work (she will start counting how many problems she has or doodle or daydream) I had to HOLD the abacus for her to be able to keep focus. Once I held her abacus, she did the problem very quickly!!!!!!!

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I 2nd (or is it 3rd?) the above suggestions that you NOT hold him back per se. I would test his skills to get a specific idea of exactly where he's having trouble. Then I would switch programs to one that covers those areas in particular (Math Mammoth for example),and work on it over the summer. If he's ready to move on this next the fall geat, if not, just keep at the remedial stuff, adding in new info, to stave off boredom, as you go. I don't believe in "holding'" kids back. That's something PS's came up with, to save themselves the time and energy needed to help a struggling child. He doesn't even need to know that he's doing remedial work. My DD strugles with math also, she understands that math is hard for her, and that she needs to work at it. I will not be telling her that she is at least 1/2 a grade behind. Because sooner or later she will catch up.

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It's 1st grade! :D I don't think it's possible to be behind at that point. And, he's a Dude. I have one of those, too. :)

Can you read the section on 1st grade again in TWTM? Also, when my expectations start weirding out on me, I google grade-level expectations and that usually brings me back to reality. If I can see where public school kids are at that grade, I have a good feel for my homeschool expectations. If I'm expecting creative fiction novels in 3rd grade and the ps kids are learning to underline topic sentences, I know my expectations are probably too high.

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My dd6 in 1st still counts a lot of math on her fingers and in the other ways you have described. I have never thought her behind. I know you cannot list everything that makes you worry in one little post, and there are probably other things. But I just wanted to say that what you did describe is going on here, and I am just fine with our progress. Mine sounds similar. Yes, we keep going in the program. We do the flashcards and the speed drills. We just keep it up. She makes mistakes in some areas, but gets the concept of addition and subtraction. She has not memorized her facts completely. But that is why we continue to drill. She is not as fast as her older sis was, but she is progressing steadily for her. But she is WAY above where she was a year ago and ahead of where she was when we started the year. I see progresses in areas, even if they are not perfected. I do not think she is behind at all. HTH

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My 6yr old 1st grade DDs do math like your DS with lots of counting. We are nowhere near halfway through their math curriculum. My plan is to just keep on plugging away at their pace until we finish the 1st grade book and then we'll move onto the 2nd grade book whenever we get there. There's no need to repeat what we've done but we don't move forward until they have mastered or have come close to mastering the chapter they are on. I like our curriculum and don't want to switch but when they get stuck I will put it up for a day or two so we can work on the concepts differently. I don't think you should start over or say he's being held back but I wouldn't add anything new until you thought he was competent either. In public schools there's lots of kids who may be behind grade level for a couple subjects and getting extra help on the side as well.

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