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need math help for a friend whose child is struggling in public school math


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I have a friend who has an 8 year old son in 3rd grade. She is looking for some way to supplement his learning because in her words "he has trouble with the math program at school where they have to do memorization of formulas, shape names, etc."


Can anyone make a suggestion based on that?


My sons used Horizons for K-5 and we added in cuisinaire rods, Right start games, etc. Tons of manipulatives. I read some Miquon books, the Liping Ma book, etc. so I felt they were getting a concrete start to math. But it came so easy to them that it is hard for me to know what to suggest for a child is struggling and already losing confidence in himself at the ripe old age of 8. I am thinking of offering to tutor this young man to help him catch up and build a stronger foundation but what to use? Just start over with the basics and see where the holes are?


I was thinking something like Mastering Mathematics with lots of RightStart and Cuisinaire for fun? MM is a bit pricey though... ???

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What formula is he learning? Are we talking basic math facts, or abstract algebraic formulas? If it's the latter, he's probably just not read for that. Grammar student's minds aren't wired to think abstractly yet.


If it's basic math facts, I know for my kids, I had to find another way to teach them. I'd tried rote drill, and I'd tried practicing a lot, thinking they'd eventually memorize them. They didn't. For us, it was putting it to music. Math U See has a skip counting CD that has addition facts on it, and we also got the Rockin' Standards Math CD, along with the Addition Songs CD by Kathy Troxel.


She could also get him games. I hear Math Blaster is really good, although I've never used that one, and we're using Math Rider at the moment, which my kids seem to really enjoy, along with Timez Attack, which is a free download for the basic edition.

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