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kristi26

How important is math really?

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So...DD is 8 and starting third grade this year.  She stinks at math. She hates math.  The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred.  And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all.  Not even addition.   :( I, too, stink at math and have a strong dislike for it.  So how important is it really?  Any ideas to help her get on track?  We're trying out Khan Academy this year and I'm hoping it makes a difference but I just don't know.  

 

I know she CAN add.  She still struggles with adding double digits.  She sort of gets subtraction but can only do it with manipulatives. Thoughts?

 

ETA: She has done Math-U-See through the first half of Beta.  She loathes it.

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well... it will affect her ability to take science classes in high school and college.  High school level chem really needs PreAlgebra as a pre-requirement.  Plus knowing basic math is handy in life when shopping, dealing with discounts, cooking, paying bills, picking insurance packages, etc.  So yes, I think math is really important.  My kids fell 'behind' in math and I didn't think too much about till it affected their ability to take upper level science classes... oops!  Not getting their facts down really showed when their upper math took even longer then most because they were thinking about 8x7 in addition to the entire algebra or calculas problem at hand.

 

I don't think she is too young to pause and work on this... maybe even consider a tutor.  My oldest and I clashed over math for awhile before I finally got her a tutor.  It wasn't an overnight explosion of knowledge, but it was helpful! BUT I do think that you are doing GREAT thinking this through for her while she is so young!  You have already tried a few different options and you are still looking... she probably doesn't know to say this yet so I'll say it .. way to go Mom! (she'll get there though..)

 

hmm, she likes math if it is story ... does she like games?  maybe RightStart would help?

 

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How about dropping math, but playing games? Sum Swamp, Yahtzee, card games, and I'm blanking, but some folks delay formal math. Perhaps she needs hands on math in the form of games to get her over this hump. 

 

 

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IMHO it is critical for every child to master math up to at the very least Algebra 1. It is also critical to master the math facts, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percents, and proportions. I would pick a good math and stick with it such as CLE math or Saxon math. Use Khan as a supplement. Also, accept the fact that even whiz kids at math may hate math but it still has to be done. It is a good skill to be able to persevere. You can try breaking up the math by doing part of it in morning and part of of in the afternoon. It also helps to point out how math is used in everyday life.

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Keep working with manipulatives. Do lots of games.

 

The ability to jump from manipulative work to math-on-paper is a developmental one. You can't rush it, but she can learn plenty at this manipulative stage. 

 

The Strayer-Upton books are excellent for the math-phobic child (or just the child who needs a ton of repetition, varied, but within a small frame). Do them orally or on a big board with her, and with manipulatives on the table.  Short lessons.  Using that combined with LOF is not a bad combo.

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I really struggled with math in high school and college. Teaching math has been a chance for me to relearn beside my student.  I also believe that everyone should have through algebra I and geometry.

 

Spend 3 15 minute sessions on math a day rather than 45 min. Let one 15 minute session be on working on math facts. Let another be on a math concept that doesn't require computation. (Beast Academy books are great for this!) Let the final 15 minute session be on practical application.....so for a kid who doesn't know math facts, I'd be counting minimarshmallows, barbies, whatever. Some kids just needs a LOT of repetition and attacking the problem from a lot of different angles.  I'm preaching from the choir here.....my 8 yo JUST mastered his addition and subtraction facts. We made what felt like no progress for a LONG time and then one day they started to fall into place. The key was getting the foundation there.

 

If a math tutor isn't an option, look at some of the Ronit Bird dyscalculia stuff. I'm not saying your child is dyscalcic, but I think Ms. Bird does a great job in laying a foundation for kids who are struggling to get one, and she has some fun games to play. :)

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I think it is important to many kids' self-esteem (as well as being practical and, like history or science, a lens on the world).  When it makes sense, she will like it better.

 

Now, by "she has no math facts memorized," do you mean she has to think about 4+1? 2+2? I'd be worried about that. Or is it more like 7+6 causing her trouble? In that case, I'd try something like Xtramath.org (free) and also make sure she understood fact families and making tens.

 

Is your DH into math? Could you outsource some of it to him?

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There are some apps for ipad, kindles and computer use to help facilitate math facts for free.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/maths/

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/maths/number/

 

http://www.mathplayground.com/ASB_Index.html

 

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/math.htm

 

http://www.mathsisfun.com/index.htm

 

Skip counting songs are also useful tools and a fun way to help master math facts:

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=CC+skip+counting

 

Don't forget about using a whiteboard or chalkboard with colorful markers/chalk for math facts as well.

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So...DD is 8 and starting third grade this year.  She stinks at math. She hates math.  The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred.  And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all.  Not even addition.   :( I, too, stink at math and have a strong dislike for it.  So how important is it really?  Any ideas to help her get on track?  We're trying out Khan Academy this year and I'm hoping it makes a difference but I just don't know.  

 

I know she CAN add.  She still struggles with adding double digits.  She sort of gets subtraction but can only do it with manipulatives. Thoughts?

 

ETA: She has done Math-U-See through the first half of Beta.  She loathes it.

 

 

I don't know how to put this gently, but I think the bolded may be your problem. Not that it is genetic, but that teachers who don't like a subject pass on that dislike (just like a mom who doesn't like orange juice will unwittingly teach her child to dislike orange juice).

 

I think something like RightStart, which teaches how to teach math, or a tutor, may be helpful.

 

This is what I tell my kids about math:

 

"There are a lot of people out there who are scared of math. You will find many doors open to good paying jobs if you can do math and aren't scared of it."

 

Even traditionally "non-mathy" jobs like art history will pay better if you can do math. My husband's colleague taught his art history wife to write simple computer codes (computer science is considered a field of applied math). He spent two days teaching her. She found a job during the economic downturn at an art museum because of those skills. Her colleagues thought she was magic because she could do, with a computer, a job that they were still doing by hand.

 

Emily

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Even traditionally "non-mathy" jobs like art history will pay better if you can do math. My husband's colleague taught his art history wife to write simple computer codes (computer science is considered a field of applied math). He spent two days teaching her. She found a job during the economic downturn at an art museum because of those skills. Her colleagues thought she was magic because she could do, with a computer, a job that they were still doing by hand.

 

This is so true. I gpt so many extra credits and side jobs in college programming the light boards for my drama department because none of the other actors/directors could do it well without the tech people around.

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 The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred.  And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all.  

 

Where are you in LoF?  In Honey, they have to do the honey cards (flash cards).  That got my son motivated to learn multiplication facts.  After that he became much more interested in doing our regular math program.  Even his addition facts became cemented after the multiplication facts.

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I agree with EmilyGF. Have you heard of this free course from Stanford?

 

https://class.stanford.edu/courses/Education/EDUC115-S/Spring2014/about

 

It is for learners of math of all ages. It discusses attitudes and ways for everyone to become confident at math.

A few salient points that I remember from the course

- everyone can do math if you practice

- speed is not important but understanding concepts is

- students that work in groups perform better than students who work alone

- having a growth mindset (hard work , not intelligence leads to success with math) is key

- we learn more from failures than from success

 

If you think your own misgivings about math are impeding DD in any way, I would outsource.

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So...DD is 8 and starting third grade this year. She stinks at math. She hates math. The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred. And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all. Not even addition. :( I, too, stink at math and have a strong dislike for it. So how important is it really? Any ideas to help her get on track? We're trying out Khan Academy this year and I'm hoping it makes a difference but I just don't know.

 

I know she CAN add. She still struggles with adding double digits. She sort of gets subtraction but can only do it with manipulatives. Thoughts?

 

ETA: She has done Math-U-See through the first half of Beta. She loathes it.

Since I just read through Ray's Primary I'm a bit of a Ray's firebrand now... He really emphasizes how kids need to see the operation and understand it before they can move on to the abstract of numbers instead of quantities. I second the idea of playing games but ones with quantities. Heigh Ho Cherry-o (sp?) comes to mind. Maybe earning magic beans throughout the day (you have two beans and you've earned 3 more) that can be traded in at the end of the week (you have 12 beans and this costs 5 beans how many will you have left?)? However Ray's builds in order: first combinations of 3, then four...etc.

Also what about setting a timer. That way she knows there's an end coming soon. So drill combinations 1-10 for 5 minutes a day to build mastery. Hth

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It's absolutely important. Even if she goes to college for something completely unrelated, she still has to pass basic core college level math classes - so, without math, her adult life will be very limited in terms of providing for herself or a family. Even with no college, she isn't going to go far in the most basic of jobs without SOME math.

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hmm, since she likes LOF maybe some other stories that highlight math ...

 

check your library for:

Cyberchase videos or the Magic School Bus videos/books

There are plenty of literature books that could be used ... a simple internet search for "math literature" yields several sites.

try: http://www.livingmath.net/Home/tabid/250/Default.aspx

 

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Math is vital. I would highly recommend outsourcing.

 

This is my answer too.

 

And if you hate math she might sense that. 

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Math is like yeast. You need enough of it to leaven the rest of the curriculum.

 

Most people who hate math, have been forced to do math at a level above their developmental level. I'd hate running too, of I was forced to run farther and faster than my muscles were developed, and limbs were long enough. I'd hate ice cream if I were forced to eat more than I was hungry for. I could go on and on.

 

Back up. Get developmentally appropriate. Plan a WHOLE curriculum that doesn't CENTER on math, but does INCLUDE what is NECESSARY.

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Math is like yeast. You need enough of it to leaven the rest of the curriculum.

 

Most people who hate math, have been forced to do math at a level above their developmental level. I'd hate running too, of I was forced to run farther and faster than my muscles were developed, and limbs were long enough. I'd hate ice cream if I were forced to eat more than I was hungry for. I could go on and on.

 

Back up. Get developmentally appropriate. Plan a WHOLE curriculum that doesn't CENTER on math, but does INCLUDE what is NECESSARY.

 

I do agree with this.  You don't have to do the grade level that matches her age if she isn't ready for it. 

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Wow. You all are awesome. Thank you for all of the ideas! Let me see if I can cover some of the questions/thoughts posed here:

 

- When I say "none" I am exaggerating. She DOES know the lower numbers like 2+2, 1+3, and even 2+7. It's the higher numbers that she doesn't have memorized and has to pause to think about. We haven't done much in the way of subtraction yet because she is still trying to master addition.

 

- At the end of last year we started doing something like several of you suggested in that I would give her a sheet of problems to work on "drill style" for one minute.  She could handle that and even said she liked it. We would then read a chapter of Fred together, which she loves.

 

- In LOF, we just finished Dogs.  She is moving on to Edgewood when we get back to it.

 

- She actually seems to be doing better with math since we've spent the summer playing math games like Yahtzee, Dinosaur Math, etc.  So maybe continuing with that through the school year will help?

 

- Love the Cyber Chase suggestion! I'd forgotten about that show! :)

 

- She absolutely knows that I hate math! She is super sensitive already and I am not good at hiding my frustration over this subject, though we are happier with LOF.

 

So my plan for this school year then, using your ideas above:

 

1. Continue with LOF

2. Practice math facts at least 5 minutes daily to help cement them

3. Practice math using Khan Academy as I originally planned.

4. Lots of games for math (I may need to get some more now!)

 

Does this sound like a good plan of attack?

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Yes, I highly recommend games.  I have one kid who pretty much seems to hate school in general, but he loves math games.  They really do help. 

 

 

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hmm, since she likes LOF maybe some other stories that highlight math ...

 

check your library for:

Cyberchase videos or the Magic School Bus videos/books

There are plenty of literature books that could be used ... a simple internet search for "math literature" yields several sites.

try: http://www.livingmath.net/Home/tabid/250/Default.aspx

 

LOVE this! Thank you! My library has a bunch of the books on this site available so I'm going through and reserving them to check them out. I think she'll love them! :)

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We even do some extremely basic games that aren't really games, but my son thinks they are.  We roll 2 dice (we have numbered dice) and you create a math problem based on whatever you want to practice.  So you roll a 2 and a 3 and we are practicing addition so it's five.  Then I go and I get 3 and 5 so mine is 8 and I win that round.  I keep a running tally on one sheet of paper and whoever won the most times wins. 

 

I have math facts bingo and war.

I have a cute game called Totally Tut.  Another one called Math Noodlers.

You might get her attention with math fact computer games.  The Timez Attack people now have one with addition and subtraction.  There are tons of other ones out there too.  If you have any sort of tablet or smart phone there are zillions of apps that practice basic facts. 

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We even do some extremely basic games that aren't really games, but my son thinks they are.  We roll 2 dice (we have numbered dice) and you create a math problem based on whatever you want to practice.  So you roll a 2 and a 3 and we are practicing addition so it's five.  Then I go and I get 3 and 5 so mine is 8 and I win that round.  I keep a running tally on one sheet of paper and whoever won the most times wins. 

 

I have math facts bingo and war.

I have a cute game called Totally Tut.  Another one called Math Noodlers.

You might get her attention with math fact computer games.  The Timez Attack people now have one with addition and subtraction.  There are tons of other ones out there too.  If you have any sort of tablet or smart phone there are zillions of apps that practice basic facts. 

 

There were some math apps and sites listed above by someone...was it you?  I want to go through and look at all of those too.  We DO have a tablet she uses.  So those would be good.  I will have to look at some of the other games you listed.  It looks like that one, Swamp Sums or whatever, is just like the Dinosaur Math game we have. I like the idea of rolling dice and making facts too.  Thanks!

 

Something I didn't mention: her oldest brother is dyscalculic so that is always in the back of my mind with her too...plus DH is dyslexic and she already struggles with that, so she could easily have similar issues with math.  :closedeyes:

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I just know that for me and mine, trying to make something fun, isn't always the most fun in the long run. Sometimes, the most fun is to just do something easy and efficient and get it done and move onto something that is fun.

 

Also, success is fun. Failure isn't fun.

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So...DD is 8 and starting third grade this year.  She stinks at math. She hates math.  The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred.  And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all.  Not even addition.   :( I, too, stink at math and have a strong dislike for it.  So how important is it really?  Any ideas to help her get on track?  We're trying out Khan Academy this year and I'm hoping it makes a difference but I just don't know.  

 

I know she CAN add.  She still struggles with adding double digits.  She sort of gets subtraction but can only do it with manipulatives. Thoughts?

 

ETA: She has done Math-U-See through the first half of Beta.  She loathes it.

First, to answer your question about how important math is: Very.

 

Second, I can't help but think that part of the trouble is an attitude about math (see bolded above).  I don't mean to be as simple as to say "have a good attitude and math will be easy," but I do think that if you want to give her every chance she deserves you will need to put on a happy face about math, and emphasize its importance in the world.  

 

Some kids get math quickly, and others get it later or continue to struggle.  But it is still important for basic daily living (personal finance, employment, transactions with people, etc), let alone academic pursuits beyond that.  You can try some different things to see if they help.  A really inexpensive option would be to get a tub of cuisennaire rods and watch and play along with EducationUnboxed.com.  If she is having trouble wit double digit addition it could be a conceptual issue with place value.  RightStart level B is excellent at establishing the concepts of base 10 math.

 

Does she struggle at all in reading or spelling? Struggles there may indicate issues with visual tracking, dyslexia/dyscalcula, or other LDs.  There may not be any magic bullet to help her (and you) with math, but it IS important.

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Wow. You all are awesome. Thank you for all of the ideas! Let me see if I can cover some of the questions/thoughts posed here:

 

- When I say "none" I am exaggerating. She DOES know the lower numbers like 2+2, 1+3, and even 2+7. It's the higher numbers that she doesn't have memorized and has to pause to think about. We haven't done much in the way of subtraction yet because she is still trying to master addition.

 

- At the end of last year we started doing something like several of you suggested in that I would give her a sheet of problems to work on "drill style" for one minute.  She could handle that and even said she liked it. We would then read a chapter of Fred together, which she loves.

 

- In LOF, we just finished Dogs.  She is moving on to Edgewood when we get back to it.

 

- She actually seems to be doing better with math since we've spent the summer playing math games like Yahtzee, Dinosaur Math, etc.  So maybe continuing with that through the school year will help?

 

- Love the Cyber Chase suggestion! I'd forgotten about that show! :)

 

- She absolutely knows that I hate math! She is super sensitive already and I am not good at hiding my frustration over this subject, though we are happier with LOF.

 

So my plan for this school year then, using your ideas above:

 

1. Continue with LOF

2. Practice math facts at least 5 minutes daily to help cement them

3. Practice math using Khan Academy as I originally planned.

4. Lots of games for math (I may need to get some more now!)

 

Does this sound like a good plan of attack?

 

 

Yes.  Muggins makes awesome math games.  We love the Muggins/Knockout combo board.

 

 

 

Also, YOU and your dd, together, need to pop some popcorn and watch ViHart. Her mathemusical quirkiness is contagious. vihart.com      (I didn't know most of what she talks about before watching her videos...and I passed Calc and Statistics at one point in my life...)

 

 

Her old videos can be found on youtube.  I love those the best.  

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I recommend treating addition facts and subtraction facts as the same thing. For example, do not have her memorize that 8+3=11 and that 3+8=11 and that 11-8=3 and that 11-3=8. Instead, treat them all as one: an 11 can be constructed of 8 and 3, just as it can a 10 and a 1, a 9 and a 2, etc.

 

This way, you memorize only 1/4 as many facts. Cuisenaire rods are handy for this, and then there are triangular flash cards (and/or the game TriFactA) to reinforce it.

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So...DD is 8 and starting third grade this year.  She stinks at math. She hates math.  The only math that she does without whining is Life of Fred.  And I know that LOF isn't really enough for her. She has no math facts memorized at all.  Not even addition.   :( I, too, stink at math and have a strong dislike for it.  So how important is it really?  Any ideas to help her get on track?  We're trying out Khan Academy this year and I'm hoping it makes a difference but I just don't know.  

 

I know she CAN add.  She still struggles with adding double digits.  She sort of gets subtraction but can only do it with manipulatives. Thoughts?

 

ETA: She has done Math-U-See through the first half of Beta.  She loathes it.

Hi, Kristi! I'm going to put another plug in for RightStart, though it does look intimidating at first :) I've used it from the start with the 4th, soon to be 5th grader. Next year will be my third round with RS B. I did not understand math until I started using RS. I mean, I got high grades in math in school, but it's only because I could find the formula needed and plug in the numbers. But math is a way of seeing things, a way of thinking. It's not 2-dimensional: just chicken-scratch-like numbers written on a page, but it's 3-dimensional: numbers represent something and can be manipulated to solve problems. 

 

I think math is important because it develops problem-solving skills using logical, step-by-step thinking. To add double digits, a child needs to see that each digit has a different value based on place value. So the digit 4 in the number 42 does not represent 4 objects, but 40 objects. The 2 in 42 represents 2 objects. If you're adding 42 and 31, then it makes sense to group the ones together (2+1=3), then the tens (40+30=70). The final step is to put the two groups together: 70+3=73.

 

You can apply that process to any life problem, like paperwork (which slays me!) First you identify similar papers and group them together: bills over here, account statements over here, personal letters over there. Then you need to figure out how to keep them all in order: a file cabinet, maybe, with all banking documents in this drawer and all personal documents in the second drawer. It doesn't sound like math, but it is using the same skills learned in math!

 

If nothing else, consider getting the abacus from Right Start! I think you can order a book to use with it? It's great for teaching multiple strategies for adding 8 and 9 to other single digit numbers (the higher math facts). That's another real-life application: learning to see a problem and choosing from among several strategies a way of attack. 

 

You know that feeling you get when your child learns something under your tutelage? It feels doubly awesome when you learn the same thing at the same time! After our math lessons, sometimes I wish I had a tattoo on my forehead or a bright orange neon shirt that says "I know how to add numbers in my head" or "We love abaci" or "I'm just as smart as my elementary student." 

 

:lol:

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I think it's important to know enough math to do well on the SAT and/or ACT. If she blows those exam scores. it will limit her options to do non-math studies as well. 

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Okay, I'm going to repeat what I basically suggested in another thread on math:  consider not requiring her to memorize the math facts.

 

My DD13 has ALWAYS had trouble memorizing math facts.  So did DH.  DH double-majored in engineering and math in college, and has tutored (in college and in life since) peers and kids in math, despite not having memorized math facts when he was a kid.  Like DD, he counted on his fingers.  He has the math facts memorized now (including some higher-level numbers and functions introduced in college), but that came gradually, sneakily, in the background as he focused on more advanced math.

 

Some people's brains just don't seem to work that way, won't store rote memorization.  They need a purpose for the information before their brains will store it and build the connections for later retrieval.  Exposure -- over time (years) -- to real-life uses of such information will give the brain enough examples of need for it to decide to retain and be able to retrieve math facts.  And that will lead to a gradual memorization, occurring sub- or un-consciously, as the student focuses on further math topics and real-life applications.

 

In the meantime kids who have this difficulty are often held back in math, even though they quickly grasp concepts that are much more advanced.  This happened with DD in brick&mortar school, much to her aggravation and frustration.  The only thing that mitigated her hurt over being held back and yet bored was one of her close friends was in the same boat with her.

 

As long as your DD is forced to continue to try to do something she can't do she is going to hate math.  Math is vital to everyday life, and to further studies in college.  But in college and real life most people use calculators for the base calculations, since even a math fact wiz can make mistakes, in arithmetic. 

 

My advice:  switch gears, and don't make a big deal about memorizing math facts.  Instead give her games and other ways of using manipulatives and real-life examples to practice arithmetic.  Continue on with math past the facts she's not getting memorized -- she might surprise you how quickly she picks up concepts that boggle others.  Let her use math fact charts for a reference while working on more advanced math concepts.  Separate math fact work entirely from the rest of math class.

 

Do this and she just might start enjoying math.  She will at least feel a lot less stress, once the impossible (as it likely seems to her) is no longer such a big deal.

 

 

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IMO, Math is essential.  She may not see it now, but it is used in every day life.  Perhaps she likes LOF because she sees its every day application.  What if you use LOF and then just focus on learning the math facts this year.  She is learning the concepts in LOF.  LOF's drawback is the lack of practice and getting down those facts.  Even the LOF author says they need to learn their math facts outside of LOF.  Committing those facts to memory make life a lot easier, and it needs to get done despite the whining.  I am struggling with my 8yo son in learning his math facts too, and he also likes LOF but sees regular math as drudgery.  I just checked out some books at the library for fun math game ideas.  Focus on those every day to help her learn her facts and let her read LOF.  It's sort of hard to advance much further without having those facts down.  I used to be really resistant to doing math in 4th grade bc it was too much drill for me, and I would whine and ask "When am I going to learn this?"  LOF should help you with that argument.  But I eventually became a Finance Director.  Even my history and english loving husband who does writing, communications work and special projects has to know math.  He has to put together project budgets, manage those budgets, manage our checkbook, etc.  It's important and will open up a lot more doors for your DD and help her in life if she knows math.

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As far as memorizing facts, my kids learned best when moving. So, we learned addition and subtractions through 12 as well as skip counting while they were swinging on the swing, climbing the monkey bars,walking in circles  and things like that. And we did a lot of math on the driveway with sidewalk chalk instead of on paper at the table. Worked like a charm every time.

 

Finding how she learned and what makes her remember may be the best option as well as doing it often.

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I do agree with this.  You don't have to do the grade level that matches her age if she isn't ready for it. 

 

 

:iagree:

I'm not. My dd is nearly 7.5 and still isn't developmentally ready for the basic operations. She's making the most progress with CSMP, which we both enjoy. And we're still using the K level, even though she's grade one.

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Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but has she watched YouTube videos on math facts? Schoolhouse rock has a few.

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It sounds like maybe mastery math isn't for her (it wasn't for my son) I would suggest trying a spiral program and putting her back in grade 1 or 2, this is what we did with my son. It was the best move for us, my 9 year old now enjoys math and feels like he's great at it. Math is so important and used all the time, even if you don't think it is. If nothing else I would even drop another subject to make up that time to get them up on level. I tell my children that some things we don't like doing, but they must be done.

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- She absolutely knows that I hate math! She is super sensitive already and I am not good at hiding my frustration over this subject, though we are happier with LOF.

 

Actually I think it is okay that she knows your frustration with math.  I struggle over word problems and this mental math stuff is all new to me... I'll tell my kids this directly, but then I tell them that hopefully we can prevent them from struggling in the same areas as me... we can work on it together ... funny but once they start to get it they are easily quicker then I am! lol

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You know, I stink (stank?) at math, too. I truly flunked my high school Saxon Algebra II final (as in F). Fortunately, I always, always did my homework and did pretty well on it, so pulled a C in the class and escaped to Statistics the next year. But, I am still weak in math.

 

But, since homeschooling, I do like it. I can see where there is a fascination with it, a science and beauty to it. It is like Bach in music, only different. ;-) Right Start has helped me so much, but . . . . I may be handicapped to a certain degree for life. Which is why I'd say, as others have, now is the time to help your daughter figure out what it will take for HER to understand math and be able to do calculations and GET the theories and strategies. She needs to truly understand the math concepts, not just do the problems right as I did in my homework to get by.

 

While I ended up practicing law, and am a humanities rock star (okay, not really :lol:, I'm just really comfortable in language land), numbers make me very nervous. They are still stressful for me, as I deal with our family finances, family-owned business finances, and anything with numbers. I see my husband's, and even my 9yo's adeptness with numbers and realize what I lack. It requires me to be very, very careful and constantly double-check myself, but I have no confidence in my math self, only in that calculator. :glare:

 

Do what you can to fix this now, and keep at it until whatever it is in her brain that needs to click does click. She'll thank you later. I was sharing my sad math story with my "educational mentor" and she said that what should have been done with me was to go back to where I "got lost," no matter how far back that was and start from there.

 

And, if your daughter ever does veer into sciences, I had a chemist PhD tell me that the science you do isn't near so important as the fact that you can't suck at math and go into the sciences.

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I didn't read all the responses, so maybe it's already been mentioned, but the best loved game here is math war. You pay just like regular war, except use a deck of cards with the 10s and face cards removed, and you can do all sorts of variations: draw two cards and add, subtract, multiply or divide - whatever operation you want to work with. Sometimes we draw several cards each and practice column addition, other times we draw 4 cards and practice 2 digit + or -.  It's something we do every day, and sometimes it's the only thing we do. :)

 

ETA: I think that math is not only important, for many of the reasons mentioned above, but is also very beautiful. I would not have ever been able to say that if I hadn't needed to teach it to my kids. You've gotten lots of great responses here already. I'm sure you'll be able to find a way to bring the subject alive for your dd. 

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Well...I, too have an 8 yr old DD with significant math weaknesses.  Actually, our families sound pretty familiar.  My husband is dyslexic and when he was assessed as an adult, dyscalculia was added as a "rule-out" meaning he's probably dyscalculic, as well.  (We differ in that it appears that none of my three boys have inherited their father's LDs...in fact, our oldest son, age 7, is gifted in math...go figure).  

 

I had DD formally assessed a couple of years ago.  She did not qualify for the dyslexia diagnosis, but was easily diagnosed as dyscalculic.  Her math disability is so severe, that she STILL struggles with counting forwards (in high numbers) and backwards (all numbers, but especially when counting down requires her to cross a "tens threshold" if you will...meaning she'll count 32, 31, and then get stuck...she might get 30, but then she almost always goes to 20, or 39).

 

She can not add or subtract mentally, at all.  Occasionally, she can do +1 or +2 mentally, but not generally.  This is because of her weaknesses with counting and number sense.  

 

Money?  Forget it.  Give her four quarters and she'll tell you she has 4 cents.  Or 115 cents (I am not sure where that comes from, but she does consistently give that as an answer).  Give her two quarters and she might tell you she has 35 cents.  

 

I am afraid for her.  I'm trying not to be, but I am.  I see her financial future and, right now, it's ugly.  How is she going to manage money?  How is she going to balance a checkbook?  I see her being easily taken advantage of financially.  Her financial future is, by far, my biggest concern for her.  

 

So yes, I think math is important.  How can an adult function in society, if they cannot add or subtract mentally?  You can't ALWAYS have a calculator on hand.  Think of all of the times you have to mentally figure a calculation in every day life, never mind a career of any sort.  As much as I want to just drop math for her...and let her learn it when she's older (and presumably, more ready), the reality is that she has to pass standardized testing in 5th grade.  I can't just drop math.  Plus, I'm not really sure that waiting would benefit her and it might even make things worse.  

 

DD has made considerable progress with MUS.  Like you, we are working through Beta level.  Yes, there are tears (both of us, lol).  But she is at least able to perform the computations with the blocks.  Its a start.  She still has no conceptual grasp, but for now, getting the computations down is key for her.  

 

For each lesson, I take two weeks.  I don't wait for her to master the lesson.  If I did...she'd never move forward.  Seriously, we'd still be working on counting.  The first week, we watch the video and do the MUS worksheets.  The second week, I play math games with her that reinforce the new material.  I give her mixed review worksheets twice a week, which focus on all math concepts she's learned so far.  I give her another worksheet twice a week with a skill she really struggles with (like putting numbers in ascending or descending order).  During the school year, I give her word problems to practice every day.  Two or three times a week, I give her a drill page with addition or subtraction (or mixed) problems to work on, to help her eventually memorize those math facts.  She IS actually memorizing some of them!  

 

Two or three times a week, I give her some kind of logic or critical thinking or visual integration activity.  This is to help increase brain flexibility (if that makes sense).  It might be a maze, or a hidden pictures, or a sudoku, or something from one of our logic workbooks.  

 

I also had her assessed by a developmental optometrist to confirm some developmental vision issues.  She had some vision therapy and that helped a bit.  So that's something to think about as well.  (Not a regular eye doc...they don't do the same assessments a developmental optometrist will).

 

Anyways...just saying I understand your frustrations completely.  I wish I could wave a magic wand over my daughter and help her to understand math.  I wish I could take away that struggle and those feelings of inadequacy she feels (especially with her younger brother being so far ahead of her).  But she is who she is and so we do what she needs.  

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Singapore Math sounds similar to Right Start in that there is a tremendous emphasis on place value and the base ten system. You use math bonds to "make" and "break" numbers (7 is made up of a 5 part and a 2 part , 6 and 1, 7 and 0, etc.) and operations are seen as the reverse (inverse) of each other. Multi-digit addition and subtraction is done by grouping tens and ones. Lots of problem solving using bar models to visualize quantities and relationships. I use the FAN problem solving books to supplement for this.

 

But Singapore is a mastery program and I pull other supplements for spiral review. You may just need a spiral program like Horizons.

 

I second the idea to play lots of math games and read "mathy" books. There are TONS of picture books you can use as a jumping off point for math "projects." For example, Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy  is a cute picture book about a little girl and her dog. She measures things related to her dog. You can do something similar if you have a pet (or even a baby-toddler will do in a pinch : P ) and integrate lots of math. I can list many, many more book ideas but is almost midnight here, LOL.

 

Also consider computer games like Dreambox,  Math seeds and Flashmath (free). Homeschool Buyers Coop has deals available on the paid subscriptions and there are free trials. My DD, age 6, is not a math fan but she LOVES playing games on these programs and earning her "tokens." It really keeps her motivated.

 

Yes, math is MUCHO IMPORTANTE ( another language just to interject something new to the conversation lol). I say this as a former "math-phobe" and math "flunkie" in upper grades (beyond geometry 1) who now LOVES math and has spent many years and higher education dollars reteaching myself math and learning and studying how to teach math well. You can get over your "hate" and not transmit it to your children but it will take some rethinking and work on your part. ((((((HUGS)))))) It can get much better—I promise!!!!!

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I agree with EmilyGF. Have you heard of this free course from Stanford?

 

https://class.stanford.edu/courses/Education/EDUC115-S/Spring2014/about

 

It is for learners of math of all ages. It discusses attitudes and ways for everyone to become confident at math.

A few salient points that I remember from the course

- everyone can do math if you practice

- speed is not important but understanding concepts is

- students that work in groups perform better than students who work alone

- having a growth mindset (hard work , not intelligence leads to success with math) is key

- we learn more from failures than from success

 

If you think your own misgivings about math are impeding DD in any way, I would outsource.

 

This is a neat course!  Thank you! 

 

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Ronit Bird is supposed to be similar to Right Start (which I love) but designed specifically for kids with LD's and cheaper. I may buy the books for my SN child if she needs something gentler than Right Start B.

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My DD who is 8 has very similar issues. I have been through many math programs trying to find something that would help. We are now using CLE and I dropped her down a Grade...so she is doing 1st grade math again. Her confidence is soaring and she actually does her math instead of sitting like a statue and not even looking at the page. Yesterday she was so thrilled because she scored 100% on her math test ( which she darn well should have considering it was stuff like 5+0 ). but I did not say anything to her to take away from her accomplishment. Sometimes it is a lot more about the confidence then the ability.

 

My DD is getting it...but just a grade level behind where she is " supposed" to be. Just keep going with what works so long as you are making progress.

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Sounds like you've made a plan! ( I haven't read all of the posts in your thread, btw )

 

If Khan Academy doesn't work for her maybe Education Unboxed will......http://www.educationunboxed.com

 

I agree with the math facts suggestions using games over & over......rinsing.repeat.rinsing.repeat.....that is what it takes!

We are always playing math games and just picked up a new one called Sumology! It really helps with practicing + - / x

We like it here! http://www.simplyfun.com/pws/homeoffice/tabs/homeschooling.aspx

 

BTW: my rising 3rd grader just finished MM 2nd grade with Saxon 2...... He likes the combo pretty well. Lots of review with Saxon plus it's gentleness. Then we pick which problems to work with in MM....and play MM's internet game suggestions along with our hands on games. We usually make a math game night instead of doing it everyday.

 

IXL is a really great way to practice math skills if she seems to enjoy math on the computer. I would back her up a grade level or two.....they organize the skills in grade levels and specify each skill to be mastered. I would just look through them starting in First grade to see where she will do best, then just let her keep going!

I know you can use their free version, but I like to pay the membership b/c there are less glitches and it tracks everything your child has mastered or needs to master. http://www.ixl.com

Check Homeschool Buyers Co-Op for sales.

 

Good Luck to you!😉

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Well...I, too have an 8 yr old DD with significant math weaknesses.  Actually, our families sound pretty familiar.  My husband is dyslexic and when he was assessed as an adult, dyscalculia was added as a "rule-out" meaning he's probably dyscalculic, as well.  (We differ in that it appears that none of my three boys have inherited their father's LDs...in fact, our oldest son, age 7, is gifted in math...go figure).  

 

I had DD formally assessed a couple of years ago.  She did not qualify for the dyslexia diagnosis, but was easily diagnosed as dyscalculic.  Her math disability is so severe, that she STILL struggles with counting forwards (in high numbers) and backwards (all numbers, but especially when counting down requires her to cross a "tens threshold" if you will...meaning she'll count 32, 31, and then get stuck...she might get 30, but then she almost always goes to 20, or 39).

 

She can not add or subtract mentally, at all.  Occasionally, she can do +1 or +2 mentally, but not generally.  This is because of her weaknesses with counting and number sense.  

 

Money?  Forget it.  Give her four quarters and she'll tell you she has 4 cents.  Or 115 cents (I am not sure where that comes from, but she does consistently give that as an answer).  Give her two quarters and she might tell you she has 35 cents.  

 

I am afraid for her.  I'm trying not to be, but I am.  I see her financial future and, right now, it's ugly.  How is she going to manage money?  How is she going to balance a checkbook?  I see her being easily taken advantage of financially.  Her financial future is, by far, my biggest concern for her.  

 

So yes, I think math is important.  How can an adult function in society, if they cannot add or subtract mentally?  You can't ALWAYS have a calculator on hand.  Think of all of the times you have to mentally figure a calculation in every day life, never mind a career of any sort.  As much as I want to just drop math for her...and let her learn it when she's older (and presumably, more ready), the reality is that she has to pass standardized testing in 5th grade.  I can't just drop math.  Plus, I'm not really sure that waiting would benefit her and it might even make things worse.  

 

DD has made considerable progress with MUS.  Like you, we are working through Beta level.  Yes, there are tears (both of us, lol).  But she is at least able to perform the computations with the blocks.  Its a start.  She still has no conceptual grasp, but for now, getting the computations down is key for her.  

 

For each lesson, I take two weeks.  I don't wait for her to master the lesson.  If I did...she'd never move forward.  Seriously, we'd still be working on counting.  The first week, we watch the video and do the MUS worksheets.  The second week, I play math games with her that reinforce the new material.  I give her mixed review worksheets twice a week, which focus on all math concepts she's learned so far.  I give her another worksheet twice a week with a skill she really struggles with (like putting numbers in ascending or descending order).  During the school year, I give her word problems to practice every day.  Two or three times a week, I give her a drill page with addition or subtraction (or mixed) problems to work on, to help her eventually memorize those math facts.  She IS actually memorizing some of them!  

 

Two or three times a week, I give her some kind of logic or critical thinking or visual integration activity.  This is to help increase brain flexibility (if that makes sense).  It might be a maze, or a hidden pictures, or a sudoku, or something from one of our logic workbooks.  

 

I also had her assessed by a developmental optometrist to confirm some developmental vision issues.  She had some vision therapy and that helped a bit.  So that's something to think about as well.  (Not a regular eye doc...they don't do the same assessments a developmental optometrist will).

 

Anyways...just saying I understand your frustrations completely.  I wish I could wave a magic wand over my daughter and help her to understand math.  I wish I could take away that struggle and those feelings of inadequacy she feels (especially with her younger brother being so far ahead of her).  But she is who she is and so we do what she needs.  

 

Oh my goodness, to the bolded: DD doesn't get money either.  She is STILL struggling to remember which coin is which.  She can memorize that information long enough to play games with it for awhile but then if we don't work on it for a little bit, she forgets.  And adding the different coins? Tears. Seriously.  I just keep praying that she gets it enough to understand how money works and that she marries a man who will do the finances for her. Because unless she gets money, she is going to be in trouble as an adult. :(

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I'm going to look into all of these curricula ideas and game ideas! Thank you everyone! I think she'll enjoy the videos as well. :) 

 

I was looking through the placement exam for Saxon, she'd need to start at math 2 for that.  I'll have to look at Rightstart as well and see what we think of that one too.

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I recommend treating addition facts and subtraction facts as the same thing. For example, do not have her memorize that 8+3=11 and that 3+8=11 and that 11-8=3 and that 11-3=8. Instead, treat them all as one: an 11 can be constructed of 8 and 3, just as it can a 10 and a 1, a 9 and a 2, etc.

 

This way, you memorize only 1/4 as many facts. Cuisenaire rods are handy for this, and then there are triangular flash cards (and/or the game TriFactA) to reinforce it.

 

:iagree:   A great way to show this relationship is Triangle Fact Cards - you can download some for free from donnayoung.org - I printed them on cardstock then put clear contact paper over them to laminate, and cut out.  They have them for multiplication/division too (same relationship - 2 x 3 = 6, 3 x 2 = 6, 6/2=3, 6/3=2)  Why teach four things when you can teach one?

 

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