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Rising 7th Grader - how to up his Math? (and left handed handwriting!)


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A little background, we homeschooled last year for the first time (5th Grade year) and used Singapore Math $A and B which worked well I think. At the end of that School year we moved to a different city and the kids are back in school.

 

My 6th grader is in public school, he was tested duing the summer with the MAP (?) test and did not qualify for the advance math class, which is what I expected. They are doing Common Core Math, he had a Pearson Textbook, I think it was this one.

He rarely has homework, they have math two days one week and three days the next, I feel like we would have plenty time improve his math after school.

 

He is an average math student, sometime's A's, mostly B's, sometimes C's. He is a bit lazy and doesn't really apply himself and although smart (he understands the concepts) he often forgets what to do if he doesn't practice, which he currently isn't doing. He's also not great at listening, a bit of a day dreamer and I suspect misses some of what is going on in the classroom.

 

I had thought about getting some singapore math books to supplement at home as I am somewhat familiar with them. I  am also wondering if we should try something more closely aligned with the math curriculum he will be using at school, though I don't really know where to start with finding something like that, any ideas?

 

Lastly, his handwriting is an appalling mess, it always has been. He is left handed and maybe there is not a lot I can do about it, but if you have any suggestions for a child of his age I would be grateful, thanks!

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Gil,

 

Thanks for your advice, the textbook sat on his shelf all year I don't think he referred to it at all, no practice in it as far as I could see.

With our move and a whole host of other factors this past year we rather dropped the ball with him (or at least I feel like we did) and so will try and implement some review over the summer and then some extra math practice.

 

The handwriting, I'm not sure he cares enough to do anything, might need to let that one slide :)

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He rarely has homework, they have math two days one week and three days the next,

.....

Lastly, his handwriting is an appalling mess, it always has been. He is left handed and maybe there is not a lot I can do about it, but if you have any suggestions for a child of his age I would be grateful, thanks!

 

A left-hander can have lovely handwriting.

The thing is his writing still have to be legible. Maybe work on note-taking over the summer as that would help for school.

 

Math in school for 6th grade would be every day of the week.  Two days a week sounds off. Rarely having homework sounds off too.  If you want math drill  similar to what public school use, below link is to Glencoe's 6th grade math study guide in PDF which has a decent amount of practice questions.

http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/workbooks/math/pdf_workbook/c1ssg.pdf

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My eldest is a lefty. Turning the paper 30 degrees clockwise helps a lot with legibility.  That way your kid won't have to drag his whole left arm across his body when writing. (Since the writing convention is left to right, right handers get to move their right arm away from their bodies, whereas lefties have to move it towards and across.)

 

With respect to math, I would suggest Keys to Math, which is excellent progressive drill.  I would actually start with the addition, and go through it at the rate of a book a week; I did that with my kids.  Aactually they did a book a day with me checking their answers at the end of each page, over the course of the summer before each of them did algebra I.  That way they had all of their facts down cold, and were solid on Algebra I before entering the class.  However, it takes about 2 hours of steady work to do a complete book, and you may wish to save your firepower for worthier causes. 

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I have signed up for a free trial of Reflex Math, nothing to lose and figured as it's a computer game based thing I'll have less push back initially. It's hard to make an accurate assessment of where the gaps are in his knowlege and then know how to plug them, I do know he has a hard time remembering the basic facts and that slows him down ( multiplication tables etc) but he has no trouble understanding the concepts.

 

Will look at various options once school stops next week, thanks for the input everyone.

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<<Key Curriculum was what I was thinking of, but you are right, it started with fractions and decimals.  It's been awhile - my youngest is 10th grade and precalculus, and I forgot. My bad. I think I went to Key Curriculum because the adaptive math software my kids liked stopped at that point.

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