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Michelle T

Dyscalculia?

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Anyone else here homeschooling a child with dyscalculia? My DS, 12, has quite severe dyscalculia, along with several other issues.

 

Questions:

1. How much do you expect them to be able to do on their own? Beyond the most simple, basic mathematics operations, my DS must be guided through every step of every math problem. Actually, in division, beyond single digit, he still must be guided through.

 

2. How much time do you spend on learning math facts? We spent years, DS still doesn't have them memorized. I was told by the educational psychologist who diagnosed him that many kids with dyscalculia are just NEVER going to really memorize those facts, and there comes a point where it's just torture to keep insisting they try. She recommended continuing to let him use math fact charts, as well as a calculator.

 

3. How many math problems per day/lesson do you have your child do? Mine gets very frustrated and tired of math, even though I'm sitting with him, guiding him through every problem, and doing the writing for him too.

 

Any other comments on homeschooling kids with dyscalculia? What has worked/not worked for you? What are your expectations for your child in math? Do you expect them to go into advanced math, such as algebra, trig, geometry?

Michelle T

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My dd is dyslexic but has many of the difficulties you mentioned. She is 16 now. When she was around 11 or 12 I gave up on the math facts and let her use the calculator. She now knows her facts although some days are better than others. I still sit with her when she does math and we still go step by step through some problems. We spend 20 minutes a day. I have found that it may seem like she is not getting something but eventually, out of the blue, I will notice that she got it and it sticks. Our goal is to go into advanced math. We just keep trying and plugging along hoping that more and more concepts will stick. A good example is fractions. She could not do fractions very well until this year. She would panic if she saw a fraction. This year we started Algebra I and we did a unit on fractions. She did it with ease.

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My daughter is ADD, I believe she might have dyscalculia too. At 13, she has not memorized her math facts and still makes many mistakes with MUS Epsilon. I no longer know what program to use with her. We just keep plugging along. I was wondering if you can share what Algebra program you are doing with your dd. Thanks

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We did Jacobs Elementary Algebra and will use Jacobs for Geometry this year. She is very creative and the explanations and they way he presents things seem to really make sense to her. There are not tons of explanations but a good amount of practice problems.

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This is very interesting. I have never heard of this.

 

My 14yo dd has struggled with math since 3rd grade. Basically because she can't remember multiplication tables and of course, a lot of concepts are based on that.

 

She also struggles terribly with simple, one-digit adding and subtracting.

 

Are there other "symptoms" of dyscalculia besides these things?

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a few things have worked for my DS13, who has struggled with math for years. He has come a long way with a lot of patience, encouragement and hard work. These kind of children are not stupid. They just learn differently. My son is definitely right brained and has needed a creative approach to math.

 

I don't know if you have already tried any of these products, but here goes my list:

 

The absolute - biggest godsend to us was Times Tales, an approach to memorizing multiplication & division facts through pictures and stories. It doesn't include all the facts - I believe it goes up to the 9's. But this product changed my son's life. The website: timestales.com

 

Another product that was helpful and similar to Times Tales is Multiplication Memorizer Method by Arthur Bornstein.

 

You can also check out diannecraft.com.

 

If it doesn't offend you, bigbrainz.com offers an online video game for free called Timezattack for learning or reviewing multiplication facts. They also offer a full version for $39.99.

 

My son had a hard time with long division. One thing that helped him was color-coating the numbers according to their function. I did each problem with him on my white board and my different colored markers. For example, I would draw the little division "house" in black then write the dividend (# to be divided) in blue, then I'd write the divisor in red.

 

As we did the subtracting, I would put the subtraction sign in. This seemed to help him for a while. And this work I wrote in black.

 

The answer, the quotient, I would make red as well, so he would remember that you multiply the divisor and the quotient to get the dividend.

 

I would do this with him until he could do it without the colors - just black. But I would still work the problems on the board as he wrote them down himself. When he seemed more comfortable, then I would have him do a section of just the odds by himself. I would leave the room for a couple of minutes, then come back and check on him. Then the next day I may have him do the evens and leave him for a longer period of time, but still check on him. Eventually, I could just leave him, and he was doing it on his own.

 

BTW, I hope this makes sense! :001_huh:

 

Be encouraged. There is hope! ;) Be creative (I struggle here!), and be consistent. Don't give up. Offer lots of praise and be patient. Sitting down and working on it even for 15 minutes/2x a day will help bring progress.

 

Oh yeah, another thing that has helped is doing math facts copywork. I purchased a download called Copying the FACTS - Mastering Math Facts Through Copywork from currclick.com. It's actually on sale now for $4.17. The division facts are not included, though.

 

I'm sure there are moms on this board who are much more wiser than I. Hopefully, you will get more responses. Be blessed!

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I like what the pp said about the colors, and gradually getting them to do it on their own. Great ideas!

 

My ds 11 is dyslexic. And after re-searching dyscalculia, I'm sure he has that, too.

For the most part, I have found that things that involve sequencing are very troublesome for him. Are any of your kids like that, too?

Also, dyslexic/calculia kids need constant review. (It's hard, I know.)

Long division was/is very difficult. We are just now beginning to think he will get this after all.

 

We also used Times Tales. We got the deluxe that had the division with it. This has worked well. If he forgets during regular math class, I'll give him a hint to the 'story.' We took our time, about two weeks to go through the whole thing. Also, (and he loved this!) we went through it w/ my dd's who needed a little review. I let him hold the chart and 'walked' the girls through the story. He was reviewing w/out knowing it. :)

 

We also used the Timez Attack from BigBrainz (which is free), but being timed made him nervous. So I replied to the "welcome, any suggestions?" email I got from the makers, and they told me to re-install it using the school version rather than home. Then I could increase the time allowed to type in the answer.

 

As far as the long division, we had to work on that for a long time. We used graph paper to keep our lines straight. (I had a CD my sister gave me to create it with large blocks. You could draw your own and make copies.) We did 1 digit into 1 digit. 2 into 8, 3 into 9, etc. Then 1 digit into 2 digits, but having a 1-digit answer. 3 into 18. But remember to put the 3 over the 8 because he used the whole number 18, not just the 1.

We gradually advanced, two steps forward, one step back. The key is to do a few of these every day. We did 6 a day for months. We use a mastery curr, so we are able to go to the next chapter if we hit a problem area, and take our time with the difficult chapter.

We had also done the same thing with long multiplication. But now he remembers it even if we haven't done it for a few weeks. Yes, he still needs reminders, but last year, I despaired ever teaching him long division, but he is finally getting it. But I am taking it slow, a few a day. We will prob do some long division every day for a few months.

 

I feel for anyone who has a child that needs extra help. They feel so inadequate. They feel they are dumb, but they're not. My ds is bright, smart, and witty. He fractured his finger last week, and the dr was impressed w/ how ds described it, the bruising, where/when/how, etc. Ds was so pleased w/ the dr's comments. We try to encourage him, but it's hard, ya know? He is slowly progressing, but he wants to be there NOW. I hope what I've written will help someone. I know this board has helped me, and this is my second day on here! Thanks.

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Memorize in Minutes: The Times Tables from multiplication.com was the best $20 I've spent as a homeschooling parent.

 

We'd been working on multiplication mastery for 1.5 years with nothing to show for it. dd9.5 (mod/sev dyslexia, dysgraphia, severe adhd, mild/mod dyscalculia) memorized her times tables in three days.

 

we still review every day, processing speed is still very slow but she gets the answer and it's always right. now we're working on the division aspect....seeing the answer and, one half of the fact, and thinking of division as nothing more than 8 times 'what' = 72 (or in the story/picture language skate times 'what' = 72 miles per hour.

 

Memorize in Minutes has all of the facts to 10. the other book I found only had the 'hard' ones (ie 6,7,8,9)

 

:)

K

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