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tell me what you would do in this math situation


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I have a almost 10 year old son who is struggling with learning his multiplication facts.  we have also struggled with finding the perfect (or even near perfect) math program...then we found R&S.  We love it.  I put my son in the 4th grade book.  When we hit the multiplication facts...he completely lost it...so I thought I needed to go back to 3rd grade.

 

then I posted a thread here asking about how to teach my son his facts...and I was told by many of you that I should let him use his chart until he becomes more comfortable and continue to work...but not push his facts. 

 

So, then would you continue through the 3rd grade book...even though I feel like he isn't learning much using his math chart...or should I just move him back into the 4th grade book where they are teaching other concepts like measuring, geometry, etc. and let him use his chart when he needs to??

 

 I don't know what would be the best thing....thoughts??  what would you do?? (I feel sort of bad that my 10 year old who is ending his 4th grade year, is still half way though the 3rd grade book...but maybe I need to get over it....)

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I would continue on with the 3rd grade book, and try to overlook that fact it says "3rd grade" on it. In the areas where he is strong, it will build his confidence. As far as multiplication facts, he will eventually get them, even with using the chart. It seemed like it took my daughter forever to master those facts, and I tried everything to help her get it done in 3rd grade, but she just needed a little longer to commit them to memory. She's 14 and has no problems with her x's tables. I'm glad we just kept plugging along at it, moving forward, practicing what needed additional work. Your son will get them down eventually, his assignments just might take a little longer as he works through those multiplication problems.

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Personally, if he's got all the math in the 3rd grade book except for the facts, I'd move him back to the 4th grade so that he's learning new concepts and isn't bored to tears. If you think there are concepts other than multiplication facts that he needs to work on in the 3rd grade book, can you test through to find them and just work on those sections? Then I'd have him work on xtramath.org separately to drill facts. It's free, only takes a few minutes at a time and really helped my daughter get her facts more automatic so that math went more smoothly. For homework, once he's gotten into the multiplication section of xtramath (it goes through addition and subtraction first, which will build confidence), encourage him to try the problem without the chart, then refer to it if needed. If it helps, my daughter didn't solidify her facts until she was 10 or 11. 

 

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I have a almost 10 year old son who is struggling with learning his multiplication facts.  we have also struggled with finding the perfect (or even near perfect) math program...then we found R&S.  We love it.  I put my son in the 4th grade book.  When we hit the multiplication facts...he completely lost it...so I thought I needed to go back to 3rd grade.

 

then I posted a thread here asking about how to teach my son his facts...and I was told by many of you that I should let him use his chart until he becomes more comfortable and continue to work...but not push his facts. 

 

So, then would you continue through the 3rd grade book...even though I feel like he isn't learning much using his math chart...or should I just move him back into the 4th grade book where they are teaching other concepts like measuring, geometry, etc. and let him use his chart when he needs to??

 

 I don't know what would be the best thing....thoughts??  what would you do?? (I feel sort of bad that my 10 year old who is ending his 4th grade year, is still half way though the 3rd grade book...but maybe I need to get over it....)

 

I'd continue with the third grade book.  I didn't know you were using it. :-)

 

And remember that he does not need to write out all those drills. He can fold his notebook paper on a line, and hold it on the page right under a row of problems and just write the answers. He'll have to write out the word problems, of course.

 

It doesn't matter whether he's doing geometry and whatnot this year. It does matter that he becomes comfortable with basic arithmetic, which is what this book will do.

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I just feel like we are so far behind.  He grumps about doing all of those problems on the frist page of the lesson (for those who are familiar with R&S math) but I know that doesn't mean we change because he is grumping....

 

all of my kids are behind because of my Math nightmare in finding a program that works...and all 3 of them do not like math.  That is not what I would like.

 

thanks for all of your responses.

 

 

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I just feel like we are so far behind.

 

I think it's better to feel a bit "behind" right now, than to move forward without building that strong foundation and confidence. Even though my daughter tested at one level when changed math curriculum after 6th grade, I chose the next level down to start with because 6th grade math had been so challenging that she felt defeated and like she couldn't do math at all. I wanted to build her confidence back up before moving forward, and I am really glad that's what we did.

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ok...so next year when he is supposed to be a 5th grader and he is still in the 3rd grade book that won't be nuts?? I would like to think we could do math during the summer....but that never seems to happen...no matter how hard I try.

I would most definitely NOT take the summer off math. Even if it is the only academic thing you do, keep working in mastering those facts this summer. Not only will he not progress (if you take a break all summer), he will likely lose ground. One of my older girls had a similar struggle, so I speak from experience. Hang in there!

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Beast Academy 3A is teaching multiplication, measuring, and geometry but it's playing with it instead of memorizing it. Today it had a grid of random numbers that made a sort of maze you solved by skip counting. None of it is straight forward, but it's fun and seems like at least it wouldn't be "more of the same" over the summer. I hate to recommend a new book when you already bought new books.

 

Khan academy and sumdog also have multiplication lessons and practice. There's a lot of skip-counting songs on YouTube, like schoolhouse rock's "counting by fives". There's a video on YouTube called "turtlehead multiplication" that helps with multidigit multiplication. At first, with smaller numbers, I rephrased everything like: 3x4=?, three plates of four cookies, how many do you have? Three bags with four pieces of candy in it, how many do you have? For a while we used a lot of Bedtime math word problems. I would look at the daily problem and if it was beyond my kid I would just make up a similar problem. Everything but the Beast Academy in this post is free.

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Yes, I would do math through the summer. Math doesn't have to take forever - just drill a few math facts everyday - write them out with the answers and stick them on the bathroom door or his bedroom door (a different one in a different place will also help him somewhat to remember them since he will remember that 3x8=24 was the one on the fridge door (or whatever) and make sure every time he opens that door that he reads the fact 3 times before moving on.

 

You can also decide on only one fact to learn per day and then test him on it at least 5 times in the day. The next day check again he knows it now and then move to the next fact - on the next day check both facts and move to the next one. This works best for auditory learners and does not involve paper at all.

 

Also you had the chart and were marking which ones he knew I think - has he learnt anymore since then? Concentrate only on a few at a time.

 

Personally I would move on - but maybe working with sections like geometry or the word problems that do not involve multiplication. With the facts he does know can he convert to division easily or is that also a battle? 

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ok...so next year when he is supposed to be a 5th grader and he is still in the 3rd grade book that won't be nuts??  I would like to think we could do math during the summer....but that never seems to happen...no matter how hard I try. 

As PP said, don't take the summer off.  You will regret it and so will he.  So much is lost in math especially if it isn't used, and definitely if it is not a strong subject.

 

I have a daughter in 7th grade.  She is JUST NOW getting really good at addition, subtraction and multiplication.  We will be going back to division in a couple of weeks.  We will be working through all of the key elements during the summer to get them down well before moving forward again.  I made the mistake when she was first homeschooling (6th grade) (and I knew she had gaps) of not going back far enough and not giving her different approaches.  We used a lot of drill and kill and not enough stepping back and systematic instruction/practice.  I didn't really start taking her back far enough until the beginning of 7th grade.  Am I nervous at the time wasted?  Yes.  But in going back, DD is finally grasping everything and enthusiastic about math.  In fact, this morning she was filling in a multiplication grid for fun.  She was creating her own multiplication math problems to solve by rolling colored 10 sided die and writing down the numbers on the dry erase.  She was truly enjoying multiplication, something I didn't think would happen even 6 months ago.

 

My suggestion is this:

1.  Make an effort to do FUN things with math. Commit to it for the summer.  Schedule 2 days a week that you and your child will play math games and MAKE IT HAPPEN.  Check out Soror's Relaxed Math thread for TONS of ways to approach math that will help reinforce what he is learning.  that are a lot more fun than just worksheets and are great for reinforcement and getting kids enthusiastic about math again.  

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/499692-looking-to-do-some-relaxed-math-here-want-to-share-ideas/page-2?hl=%2Brelaxed+%2Bmath&do=findComment&comment=5591699

 

2.  Continue doing a bit of math from his 3rd grade book every weekday.  Keep it short and let him know it will be short.  Set a timer so he knows he won't be doing math all day.  Kids tend to drag feet more if they have no idea when something they don't like will be over.  And don't pile on more if he gets it.   If it seems like it is something he already knows, cut the number of problems.  If it is something he has some difficulty with, get on Khan Academy or Education Unboxed or another resource and let him see videos of someone else working through similar material.  Do things in small chunks.  

 

3.  Find ways to incorporate math into your daily lives, not in a teacher/lecture way, but just in fun ways so math doesn't seem so chore-like.  Check out Bon Crowder's website for some ideas:

http://mathfour.com/

 

4.  Get a blank 12X12 multiplication grid and have him fill out a couple of rows each day.  Keep it in a clear plastic sleeve and pull it out every day for him to fill in the info until it is complete.  Let him take his time.  Once it is done he can use it to do multiplication with when necessary.  Maybe have him fill out one a week once the fall starts and ask him to study the patterns of the numbers, analyze them and discuss the patterns with you.  

 

5.  Also work on skip counting.  Don't move on to a new skip counting set until he really has the one he is working on down.  Perhaps record him saying the skip count numbers once he has mastered a particular set and play it back for him upon occasion.   Have him record each one after he masters a set.  

 

I know you are worried.  I have BTDT and so have many others.  The grade designation on the book isn't nearly as important as finding ways to help him truly understand and function in math.  He doesn't have to be a math genius but if you can help him see that math can be fun and is actually quite useful and nothing to dread or feel bad about, you and he both will be in much better shape.  And math builds on itself.  Leaping ahead when a child isn't ready can cause a lot of issues later.

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Do math in the summer! If you don't, they'll fall behind even farther. BTDT.

 

Just keep the lessons short. Set a timer. You don't have to complete a whole lesson in the day. Just do SOMETHING every day with math.

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Check the thread I linked above and the website...those should help.  Also, get a set of various types of die (10 sided, 20 sided, etc.).  Die are small and can be used for lots of different types of math games.  They are good for solidifying subitization skills too.  Same with cards.   A couple of decks of cards and different sizes and colors of dice can give you lots of ways to do math that are very portable.  Check on-line for ideas....there are youtube videos, too, IIRC...

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ok you guys convinced me...it actually won't be bad to have all 3 kids do math in the summer. What do you do when you are camping....or on vacation...do you take it with you...or do they get a vacation from that?

We do it every day during the summer- sometimes I feel like we get more done when we're on the road!
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ok...so next year when he is supposed to be a 5th grader and he is still in the 3rd grade book that won't be nuts??  I would like to think we could do math during the summer....but that never seems to happen...no matter how hard I try. 

 

Even if you don't open the book during the summer, I'll bet that he can zoom through the third grade book in no time at all and move on to the next level(s).

 

And you and he can both grasp the concept of being "in" a specific grade but doing individual subjects at the level he is capable of. It is better to work below for awhile to really get those things he's struggling with than to keep struggling.

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If he is OK with other math concepts and it's just math facts, I would put him in the fourth grade book and work simultaneously on learning math facts.  My DD was very shaky on multiplication facts when she entered 4th grade, so we had to work on them at the same time.  Drills every day, 2X/day, at least.

I have a almost 10 year old son who is struggling with learning his multiplication facts.  we have also struggled with finding the perfect (or even near perfect) math program...then we found R&S.  We love it.  I put my son in the 4th grade book.  When we hit the multiplication facts...he completely lost it...so I thought I needed to go back to 3rd grade.

 

then I posted a thread here asking about how to teach my son his facts...and I was told by many of you that I should let him use his chart until he becomes more comfortable and continue to work...but not push his facts. 

 

So, then would you continue through the 3rd grade book...even though I feel like he isn't learning much using his math chart...or should I just move him back into the 4th grade book where they are teaching other concepts like measuring, geometry, etc. and let him use his chart when he needs to??

 

 I don't know what would be the best thing....thoughts??  what would you do?? (I feel sort of bad that my 10 year old who is ending his 4th grade year, is still half way though the 3rd grade book...but maybe I need to get over it....)

 

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BTDT!

 

:grouphug:  Advice has been great. Don't discount it.

- Math games twice per week

- Timer (suggest:  15 min on game day, 25-30 min on other days for the older one. Youngers might be less.)

- Every (week) Day. 

 

If you decide to have him do Xtramath, you'll want to set his program to multiplication 6 seconds. You can do that in the teacher's account. The regular multiplication program only gives them 3 seconds. You want to start him with 6 seconds so he doesn't get (as) frustrated. Take 5 minutes off his 'regular' math time if he does Xtramath. You can see the facts he's missed / had trouble with in the teacher account by clicking on the date on the little calendar for that student.

 

I don't know how old your other kids are, so I'm not sure if it'll work, but if you have regular dice - they can roll two of them and the youngest can add them, the second youngest can subtract them, and the oldest can multiply them. (We have 8 & 12 sided dice for higher numbers. If the kids like the game, you can look into that.) 

 

We've also been known to do "math war" with playing cards. You remove the cards that have numbers higher than what you want to work with, shuffle what's left, and deal equally between two of you. You both put down two cards and multiply them. Announce your product outloud. Whomever has the greater product wins both sets of cards. Continue playing until timer goes off or until one person has all the cards - whichever they prefer.

 

Hang in there. Better to get a good foundation than have to redo it all because they don't get it (because you zoomed through when you should have hovered) & they are 14! We spent almost two years on 3rd grade math with dd#2. It'll take us just over a (calendar) year for 4th grade math  - including two summers - because we've had to stop on some fraction concepts for awhile.)

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My dtr has low working memory so when she was in 4th grade we used this program:

Memorize in Minutes: The Times Tables by Alan Winkler

 

It is story based way of learning the times tables. While we worked through this I always kept a multiplication tables by her side.

Now she tests higher on her multiplication/division facts than add/sub facts.

 

I also recommend schooling year round with math. So much can get accomplished in 30 minutes a day 4-5X a week.

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