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2e 16yo dd and math....(long)

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WTMers- these are posts I wrote elsewhere and on my blog.




---->About 6 weeks ago, regarding her needs....

After my dd's recent Geometry/math crisis, I decided to do something I haven't done before. I contacted a local hsing mom who teaches math and science at >*leaving this detail out*<. Her kids are in college, and she hsed them K-12.


I wanted to run dd's math struggles by this mom and ask her if she knew of someone who could test dd for a LD.


And I'm SO glad I made that call! She listened and listened to me go on and on about dd's various issues. Anxiety,ADD, and her long ago dxes of SPD and how the PS labeled her gifted...


She talked >* deleted for privacy...she was sharing info which conveyed she "gets" anxiety*<


Then, she encouraged me to do what I've avoided (stupidly) for so long, and that is to have dd tested at our PS and take her to the dr for her anxiety and (recent) depression. She said I've done everything she's ever heard of anyone doing to help their dc, addressing issues with various approaches ( diet, exercise, sleep, cognitive behavioral therapy, spiritual counsel, and supplements galore) and that it can only help to take everything to the next step.


It felt so good to hear this mom say that what we've been dealing with is very, very difficult!


I am ALWAYS minimizing dd's issues to friends and family. Always thinking I can somehow fix this, that if I just did a,b,c differently, things would improve. It's gotten to the point where I feel so isolated trying, trying, trying, while dd is getting closer & closer to adulthood. If I don't help her now, she may never get the help she needs. Her many issues could effect her post-high school life, whether its college or whatever in the most negative way! I just couldn't live with myself if my stubborn approach prevented dd from being the best she can be in every area of her life that really matters to her. Or, if I didn't stand up to her and say, "Look, we've been at this for years, trying to cope, trying to make lifestyle changes, curriculum changes, etc.. and it's clearly not working. We must act now, so please let us both put our pride aside!"




.......when dd was 10-11 when she underwent (kicking & screaming) 15 mos of CBT. It was good, and I am sure she was better off for having it. However, she *hated* going, so that probably prevented her from getting the most out of it. It took three different psychs before we finally found a good "match." If I had it to do over, I would have kept looking for someone with a tad bit more experience as a therapist and parent (this dr's dc were all under age 7).


After 15 mos of it, the psych said she could stop going, but she would need "tune-ups" while going through puberty and post-puberty. And that's right when we lost our mental health coverage.




My update this past week....


Dd had her dr appt and everything went well, and labs came back normal (they were quite extensive).


She's in week 4 of her CBT at the university and so far that is also going well.


Unfortunately, the news back from my friend about having testing done through the PS is not what I expected at all. The contact gave the advice that at this point ( given dd is 16 ) there is not much advantage to getting dd tested for a LD and she said she never heard of anyone getting extra time on SAT/ACT for test/performance anxiety.


However, the university said *they* could test dd, but it would cost quite a lot. Her therapist also said she was unsure how the process goes for extra time with SAT/ACT.


So, I think we will pursue whatever testing we can afford through the university as it can only help.



Written about six weeks ago, regarding math.....


I do suspect that there may be either some LD or ADD at play here, but I wanted to share what I wrote last night on my blog....


"I'm breaking the rules on two of the big no-no's. High school math halfway through the year.


Such a painstaking decision, but at this point in our homeschooling journey, I know when enough is enough; I know when I can't push Camille, when time is not on our side, when maturity and academic issues are part of the obstacle to progress.


So, even though I'd read glowing reviews for Math U See Geometry, either this curriculum or the timing just isn't going to work at this moment. Time to move away, time to go with my back up plan(which is mighty important to have!) and make a speedy transition. Camille put 11 weeks into MUS Geometry, then redid weeks 5-7 and struggled, which added another 2 weeks. This is too much time invested, with little progress made. My original plan was for her to do this sequence...


10th-MUS Geometry-finishing by May, then heading right into-

11th-Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 OR Math Relief Algebra 2

12th-Teaching Textbooks Trigonometry.


After calling Teaching Textbooks and speaking with an advisor about placement, it was recommended that I have Camille take a test to be sure she is ready for Algebra 2.


Glad I took their advise, because, to my great surprise(and, Camille's!) my struggling daughter placed between PRE-Algebra and Algebra 1! Now, this is incredibly discouraging to both of us, as well as extremely frustrating. How could she have successfully completed a different Algebra 1 program and retain next to nothing?


I suspect there are a few reasons. One, is that I did way too much curriculum hopping after Camille spent her 7th grade year in public school. Math was incredibly easy for her there. When she returned to homeschooling, I mistakenly assumed she was ready for Algebra, because that is what her teacher suggested! I wish I would have had her take a placement test, because this meant she had an epic failure at her first introduction to Algebra. What I should have done, is place her into Pre-Algebra and had her take her time, building that strong foundation. But, I didn't. Secondly, with her confidence taking a nose dive, I then tried this, then that program, trying to get her back on her feet. In hindsight, my pride was getting in the way, as I was told how gifted she was, not just by friends and family, but teachers and child psychologists also. What I didn't know until recently, is that people who are gifted often have learning disabilities. Now, I've not had either of my kids tested in this area, but I do suspect that some learning challenge is present in both to varying degrees. Lastly, I believe Camille would do best with a math curriculum which has built in review. Not just rote review, but concept review. That is something which has been missing from her recent math programs. Thus our decision to finish out her high school year with Teaching Textbooks."



Also six weeks ago..."Even though she successfully completed Algebra 1-with an A. She remembers very little. Dd needs review in huge doses. Why didn't I see this before? UGH.


I had her take placement tests for Teaching Textbooks, and she placed right between **Pre-algebra and Algebra 1**! Wow. I expected her to place into Algebra 2, so this was quite the shocker for both of us!


So, at 16, in the middle of her sophomore year, she will be retaking Algebra 1.


She isn't destined for a STEM field, but she will likely major in Business, so math is still quite important.





Dd has finished lesson 38 of TT Algebra 1. Her daily grades are between 75 and 100%, a few in the 70's, many in the 80's & 90's, a few 100's. She is redoing every problem. Her tests have been A's.


Something interesting is that she's never taken more than 30 minutes to finish a lesson, and that includes the lecture. I think that is key-like her brain works so fast that she must lose comprehension & retention. ((??))


I'm just not sure we are going about this right. Maybe instead of working a lesson per day, I should have her work for 1 hour? Dh had another thought and that is to have her do 10-5 more similar problems. Not sure where I'd find those?



ETA-Dd has been dxed with GAD & Panic Disorder, with "possible" ADD......


ETA-Having a neuro-psych eval is out of the question due to both availability and finances.

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Given that she has already been through algebra 1 once, it's not shocking that the lessons in TT alg. 1 are only taking 30 min. They take my dd 40 min, and this is her first time through. So that's reasonable, don't get freaky.


Given that you want accommodations and it has been a long time since her last eval, it's time to get a new eval. If she has low processing speed, she'll get the time accommodation. Go through the ps (free) or find a service (through a university, whatever) you can afford. Sounds like at this point a good eval would answer a lot of questions for you.


As far as how to proceed with math, yes the spiral should help. Yes, she can double lessons. More precisely, she should work to tolerance. It's ok to do 1 1/2 lessons a day. ;) I would sit with her during the lessons and see if she's losing focus. Is she using a notebook to work the problems out? Figure out why she's not getting these problems correct. Those scores are low for a person who has already been through it once. She may be clicking and guessing.

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I think you are very much on the right track. A solid foundation in algebra is what will help most on the SAT's and in higher math.


I would push for the eval whatever way you can get it. It's in your dd's best interest that you start figuring out if there is ADD at play or other learning issues. Anxiety can look a lot like ADD and can affect retention because it interferes with focusing. It's really important for SAT's and college accommodations to know what you're dealing with. If you can manage to get the evals now, through the ps or the university, they should still be good for the time you need them.


Also, contact the college board about accommodations for anxiety. My understanding is that you can get accommodations for anxiety for the tests and for college, but you need to make sure you're getting the proper documentation. While you're at it, confirm the tests you'll need for ADD and other LD's, for example.

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Thanks for reading this and offering advice. When I posted this to these boards, I was so upset at the moment and not really sure what I was asking/expecting. (Maybe someone to say we needed *this* or *that* math curriculum? ;))


Tiramisu, you are correct that anxiety can look a lot like ADD. We were told this by the previous psych and it is also something that is noticeable to others.


I'm going to make several calls this week and I appreciate the affirmations!


Thanks again!

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I have a friend who teaches Algebra and has worked with many homeschooled children. She strongly recommends 2 years of Algebra I for kids who struggle.


Not long ago, an adjunct professor commented on one of the college accommodations threads. The prof has students in her classroom that receive extra test taking time accommodations due to anxiety. A NP report may not benefit your child for the ACT/SAT, but colleges will require the report to legally provide their accommodations.

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