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How long should it take for 12 yo boys to learn math??

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My twin 12 yo boys' ability to learn math is excruciatingly slow. How does one determine if they have a learning problem? I taught their older sister and all went well, but these two really struggle. We've spent hours last year going over long division and have been working at it again this year for weeks.


They are trying to do problems like 2,471 divided by 14 and can round numbers to make working with the problem easier, but then they forget to go back to the original numbers to work the problem. There are things I know they know automatically, like how many times 25 goes into 100, but then they get overwhelmed when they see a similar use of those numbers, like 23 and 105, and don't see their relationship. If a subtracted number is greater than the divisor, they forget that the divisor can go in the dividend at least once more.


They learn their math facts and then forget them. And it is HARD work to get them to retain any math facts.


What is going on and how do I best help these boys of mine?!?!

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I'm sure you'll get better answers from people who were not awoken by the cat in the middle of the night. Some it could be 12 year old boy fog. If they have started puberty, it's a possibility.


Ds went through this. There were some days math didn't get done, there were some days we could work for two hours without a meltdown.


A great DVD for mental math is this one from the teaching company. It goes on sale quite often. I got mine for 50.00. We haven't even watched the entire course, but it's been very helpful for ds (and me!). http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1406


We found ways to tie math to real life, like math puzzles, discussing the math in science, things like that.


I also have no verification, but I think the brain goes to some funky place while doing math. Ds will blurt out the most random comment during math. It's not to be distracting (we get those too) or stubborn, he seriously jumps to some odd places in his head. Most of them have nothing at all to do with math. I believe (without any scientific basis for this belief) that we will someday see that math jump starts or runs through a specific portion of the brain that has nothing to do with math. Like RAM in a computer, it just runs behind the scenes. When that part of the brain is overloaded they are unable to do math properly. In 12 year old boys, my belief is that part of that "RAM" is shut off occasionally, like when they're growing.


at 14 my ds can have the random thought and keep working. At 12, it would completely derail the subject.

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wow! im so happy im not the only one. this as been an incredibly stressful 6 weeks. my son previously did well with singapore in gr.6 and now in gr.7 when we moved into singaore's . discovering maths he is taking sooo long. he was great at math facts and now he has take few extra secs to remember them and he gets some wrong?not to mention all the careless mistakes he has been making. i dont have time for extra reinforcemnt as we would never at this rate be able to finish by the end of yr. i was considering switching to saxon.



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They've struggled with other math concepts as well, but they did eventually get them. Maybe I just have to be patient and wait out the 12 yo fog-that would explain a thing or two. :)


I checked to see if our state ILL system had the DVD you mentioned, elegantlion, and they did! So I ordered it. Sounds like a winner!


Thanks for your help, everyone!

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I wouldn't judge based on just this year. If they've always been like this and always struggled, then you might consider getting an eval. But if it is mainly this year, last year, and they've just sort of slipped into a slump, then yeah it may be the growth fog. My dd actually started the year saying she wanted things easy, that she could tell she was growing a lot and wasn't going to be that into academics. So it could be either way, you have to look at the longterm trend. In the meantime, take the steps to the problems and write them out on an index card to put beside their work.

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