# K Math

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Ok ladies, I am about to develop a mid-day drinking problem over math with my newly 6-year-old.

We are currently using Saxon 1. He is struggling with counting money, but only when it's mixed currency. He can count dimes and count pennies, but not a dime and penny together.

He is still having problems with time to the half hour.

He is having issues arranging numbers 45, 72, 18, 36 etc. He can arrange numbers through 10.

Addition and subtraction are still causing him issues.

We are on week 34 of our 36 week school year (we go year round). So, should I stop math and start Saxon 1 over again in the fall and let him mature some more? Should I stockpile my house with math games and hope that works? Should I switch to something more hands on and pretty than Saxon? What would you do for your struggling K?

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I would expect a newly 6yo to "still" have problems telling time to the half hour, to still struggle to count money...well, everything you mentioned just sounds normal to me; I wouldn't think of him as a "struggling" kindergartner. Really, it just sounds to me as if you were sort of pushing by doing  first-grade-level instruction with him.

The primary levels of Saxon are not my favorite, but if *you* love it, then do that. I like R&S's arithmetic, especially the first and second grade books. I also like letting children mess with real money instead of doing worksheets and using play money, learning to tell time by wearing a real watch and referring to real clocks in the home, learning how to use a calendar by having real calendars of their own, playing games because you enjoy them and not because they are Educational, and so on.

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Ok ladies, I am about to develop a mid-day drinking problem over math with my newly 6-year-old.

We are currently using Saxon 1. He is struggling with counting money, but only when it's mixed currency. He can count dimes and count pennies, but not a dime and penny together.

He is still having problems with time to the half hour.

He is having issues arranging numbers 45, 72, 18, 36 etc. He can arrange numbers through 10.

Addition and subtraction are still causing him issues.

We are on week 34 of our 36 week school year (we go year round). So, should I stop math and start Saxon 1 over again in the fall and let him mature some more? Should I stockpile my house with math games and hope that works? Should I switch to something more hands on and pretty than Saxon? What would you do for your struggling K?

I agree with Ellie. I don't think any of this singles issues with a new 6 year old. Regardless of what math program you use (I don't use Saxon at those ages) it's a good idea to have math games and manipulatives available.

Think about what you're asking him to do. He has trouble arranging and counting past ten and you're asking him to count money, which requires counting (multiplying) by tens or fives and adding 1 more. telling time requires multiplying and a basic understanding of fractions as well as using a model of fractions (the clock).

It does seem that you may have pushed skills too early. All of these are things a child would be learning (not necessarily mastering) in 1st grade, but in this case I would back up and slow down.

I prefer Miquon, MEP or Singapore math at these ages.

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Since you both brought up me pushing him into Saxon 1, I would just like to point out that this is the recommended course of study of VP and many others who use Saxon (using it one grade ahead). It's not me willy-nilly trying to push him ahead.

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There's nothing wrong with pushing kids ahead willy-nilly anyway ;) I do it all the time.

I would absolutely not repeat Saxon 1. I don't know if you've seen Saxon 2, but it's really, really spiraled. There's a ton of repetition. You guys are going to be bored to tears if you repeat Saxon 1, and then do Saxon 2.

I know that Saxon isn't the easiest program to customise, but I tend to think of math in two parts: the parts that are critical to arithmetic and must be grasped in a certain order (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, factors, multiples, etc.) and the parts that could really go in a bunch of different places (units of measurement, money, time). I'm perfectly happy to skip past items in the second category, or cover them briefly. Money, for example, may well come easier to your son when he's got some multiplication.

The arranging numbers/addition/subtraction is a bigger issue. Does he have those problems all the time, or do they show up when he's fatigued? It sounds like he has a weak grasp on place value. To some extent, that's normal -- he's new at this, after all. Is he reading the numbers in the right direction? Can he make them with base ten blocks?

My ideal would be to finish off Saxon 1, and then do Singapore Primary Mathematics 1 -- you might be able to go straight into 1B. The SM books proceed very fast if he has a handle on the material.

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Since you both brought up me pushing him into Saxon 1, I would just like to point out that this is the recommended course of study of VP and many others who use Saxon (using it one grade ahead). It's not me willy-nilly trying to push him ahead.

Yes, absolutely.  Many people do use Saxon a year ahead, and I think it's doable for some kids, and can be really good.  It does sound to me that it may be ahead of where your little guy is right now, though.  I also have a newly 6yo and he isn't ready for that.

I taught in a classical private school that used Saxon ahead, but they did the K book and part of the 1st grade book in 1st, and a mixture of the 1st and 2nd grade books in 1st.  They were fully a year ahead by 2nd grade, working in book 3, and we did 5/4 in 3rd grade (my class).  That seemed to be a gentler approach, if using Saxon ahead is important to you.

If you're committed to staying with Saxon, then backing up is probably your best bet.  If not, I might suggest another publisher's first grade book instead.  I'm planning to use Math Mammoth.  There are many options, though, as I'm sure you're aware.

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Since you both brought up me pushing him into Saxon 1, I would just like to point out that this is the recommended course of study of VP and many others who use Saxon (using it one grade ahead). It's not me willy-nilly trying to push him ahead.

Please don't be offended. That VP recommends it is their opinion; it does not mean that all children should do it, or that you are willy-nilly trying to push your ds. But it is apparent that he is not ready for it.

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I would just slow down on those parts and add in extra review.  I don't think you're pushing him ahead.  We started Saxon 1 in kindergarten when my son was just shy of 5.  We slowed down as needed and added in plenty of counting games and simple play with real money.

We're in our second week of Saxon 2 now.  It's starting out slowly, but there's definitely an assumption of material covered the prior year.  For instance, it jumps right into the doubles facts with a cursory review of the cards and then begins timed drills.

Get Sum Swamp and play it often.  My son's addition and subtraction skills sharpened considerably after playing it for a few weeks. :)

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Not being "ready" for the way a topic is being taught, or not understanding something of because the way it is taught, is not the same thing as not being ready to learn a topic.

My advice is to find a program (or combination of programs) that make the objectives really clear in his mind. A "turn on the lightbulbs" approach. There are many choices for more "developmental" learning than one finds in Saxon.

This is a better alternative than "delay" or trudging forth with approaches that are not working.

Bill

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It sounds very narrow to me to say "he's struggling with the material presented in Saxon; ergo, he isn't ready for numbers past ten." If it isn't particularly important to the OP that her son do more math right now (and I say that with no judgement; some people are comfortable waiting), then yes, he will probably find it easier if she delays. But there are absolutely ways to teach nearly all newly-six-year-olds to order numbers past ten and add two-digit numbers.

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The option of delaying, with the intention of using a method that was "developmentally inappropriate" a year prior (but is now something a student is "ready for" due to the passage of time) is a losing proposition in my mind on two fronts.

One, a child's mind is highly plastic. They are "learning machines" at the age of 5. So it is best to feed that mind using developmentally appropriate means. There are many ways to turn a young child's mind on to math. Ways that are fun, effective, and efficient. This sort of positive learning experience not only builds confidence, it builds a better brain (literally). Delay misses a window of dynamic learning potential.

Two, if the means of teaching miss the mark at 5 it is a dubious proposition that it will be much better at 6. It is far preferable to use means that really workâ€”means whose effectiveness is breathtakingly manifestâ€”from the outset of the math adventure. Use means that fit the child, don't wait for the child to (hopefully) grow into being able to use something that clearly does not suit him.

My 2 cents.

Bill

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I would recommend maybe using something like Reader Rabbit for math on the computer. We used it a lot my sons K year and he learned a lot and became a wiz with counting money. If you feel like he isn't ready to go to the next level for Saxon math then maybe take a semester off it and use another program to fill in a little time. We did Singapore math 1 for our K year and I wasn't ready for her to start 2 so we are filling in with Horizon 1 some and Miquon and Fred to give her a little time to mature. I pushed my first harder in the math department and it only caused me misery ;( This time around we are still doing well with math but I am not pushing as hard. I totally have an addiction to coffee though because of math stress ;)

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My 4th grade teacher made me stay in for recess because I needed extra help with telling time, which didn't help because I still struggle. Counting money is a difficult skill as well, some adults still struggle with it. I know there are many folks who never liked math as a kid, so with your son, make math fun. Games, hands-on, etc. Put M&M's (or other candy pieces) on the table and put price tags on each little pile and give him coins that he has to add up to get the candy. Math for a 6 year old should be educational, but gotta add the fun in. I want to add that I'm a nurse and graduated with honors from college even though I can't tell time. :)

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My younger dd struggled with time and money well into the end of 2nd grade. The Big Book of Time and Money helped, along with base 10 blocks for counting combinations of numbers and fake money for transferring that skill to symbols.

She still takes forever to read an analog clock. Honestly, I don't think that's terribly uncommon these days!

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I'd pick a different first grade program to do for first grade. That way, you're repeating the material not learned in Saxon 1 this year, but you're approaching it from a different angle. Sometimes, it's just developmental readiness. Sometimes it's the presentation. Sometimes it's a combination of both.

I would not at all be concerned about following VP's recommendations for math. Not all K'ers are ready for Saxon 1. It really is a first grade program, even if it does move a bit slow. :)

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Ok how does your son feel about Saxon? Does HE like it? Saxon 2 does more tight spiral review of Saxon 1 so you could start Saxon 2 slowly with more game days then school days till he gets it. Does HE get the concepts of addition, number order, etc or is that the problem? Switching to a mastery program for a year might help and then you can switch back to Saxon later if he prefers.

I used Saxon K-2 and my son was bored to tears but he got it. He's just turned 5. Now we are doing Math Mammoth 1 (Downloaded is so cheap with multiple boys) because Saxon is so far behind. Saxon 1 did not drill math facts for my son, Math Mummies on his tablet did that. Hours a day playing with grandma over the phone (making him have to say the facts he didn't know out loud so she could give him the answer. We switched because we hated Saxon but also because my son needs some mastery work to finish grasping the concepts. Saxon wasn't doing that. Lessons are sooo long. For money and time, Saxon didn't teach that to my son either, my husband showed me that I was doing that without knowing it with real money and real time in daily life. Same thing with the calendar. "How many days till we go to grandmas?" "I don't know son lets look at the calendar".

I was giving Saxon credit for things that I was actually teaching without knowing it because I had no confidence as a teacher (After all I'm not an expert, just a mom). Math Mammoth is fun, less time consuming, and a lot less jumpy so my son can focus on a topic long enough to master it instead of having 8 balls in the air at once.

My little rant :)

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Dorie in Finding Nemo:  "Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming."

Dd6 is doing Saxon 2.

Don't worry because:

1) Counting money and telling time are practiced heavily in Saxon 2.

2) These skills are important, but they are not necessary for continuing to learn continuing "number" concepts.  For example, not knowing how to tell time is NOT going to stop him from learning to multiply by 2, graph ice cream flavors, or calculate perimeter.

3) Dd6 struggled every day with money and telling time, but we "just kept swimming."  Then, one day, it clicked for both.

Of course, now it is July 11th, and I ask her what time it is, or a game of hers requires the time skill, and she goes blank.  And we put money in the parking meter, and I ask her what coin I am handing her and its value, and she guesses wrong. :banghead:

But I have every confidence that she can and will get it permanently.

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Reader Rabbit Math (age 6-9) has time and money components.

We also have a Disney Cars game to teach money (non-computer, from Scholastic) that we have played often.  I checked, and it is unavailable anywhere, but I would encourage you to look for silly little games to teach time and math to supplement your math curriculum.

Teaching Money website of ideas

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Of course, now it is July 11th, and I ask her what time it is, or a game of hers requires the time skill, and she goes blank. And we put money in the parking meter, and I ask her what coin I am handing her and its value, and she guesses wrong. :banghead:

My younger (7.5 yrs. old) had problems with time last year, much better this year without revision. The concept of time seems to be one of those maturity thing where you can choose to put in a lot of effort to get the child to catch on earlier or just wait awhile.

For real coins, my younger told his school teacher during verbal testing in kindergarten that the denomination is "embossed" on the coin. He even points out where the value of the coin is embossed :lol:

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A couple of things I did with my dd to teach time and money that worked like a charm:

Time: I let her pick out a new analogue kiddie watch and put her in charge of time, and asked her periodically...but I also randomly wrote 3-4 times spread throughout the day in digital format on the dry erase board first thing in the morning. If she could show me on her watch those times during the day she earned a small treat.

Money: I made it a point to use cash to pay for things for awhile, and let her pay during the transaction. When the coinage change was returned, if she could count it accurately she got to keep it! She saved it up for the end of the week, totaled it and got to spend it at the Dollar Store.

We also played store and played some great board games, but these activities worked most effectively and very quickly:)

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