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PeacefulChaos

This just shouldn't be difficult

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So what is so hard about math?

 

Disclaimer: Read this in a slightly annoyed mindset, you know, the one where you don't really worry about what comes out of your mouth and you say things that make you sound like more of a jerk than you are.  When you've done that, you're right about where I am right now.  :lol:

 

 

Okay.

 

 

So we use MUS.  I like MUS.  I think it's good, and it works well in our experience (Primer through Zeta, with 3 kids somewhere in there).  

 

A bit of backstory: We used Saxon the first year we homeschooled and I hated it.  I will NOT return to Saxon, unless there is absolutely nothing better for high school math (we plan to switch from MUS after pre-algebra.  Link was in second grade and Astro was in K/1st.  Link did fine with it, Astro did awful, hence moving to MUS to re-do 1st grade math, which was fine because if he went to public school that's where he'd be anyway.  That second year, I ended up moving Link to MUS as well (from Singapore) because buying whole sets of different curricula just seemed stupid to me, especially in the grammar stage.  So he moved to MUS and does fine with it.

 

As it turns out, I am inclined to believe that Astro has a bit better of a 'math' brain, as the first few years he flew through math and did awesome.  Last year was meh - good but not as good as 1st/2nd.  This year was annoying.  

 

So the way MUS works, it's mastery based, right... but they revisit topics all. the. time.  So there is really NO excuse to 'forget' things in between.  :rolleyes:  There just isn't.

 

So what we've always done, ALL THREE KIDS, for the last FOUR YEARS, is they do the DVD lesson the first day as well as the first page of the lesson - if they need help, I help them.  I continue to help them until they don't need it anymore (the first day it may be the whole lesson, the second it may be a couple problems, whatever).  They keep doing lesson pages until they've got it down and are getting 0-1 (only if it's a really dumb mistake) wrong on their page for the day.  This usually takes, on average, maybe 3-4 days.  Something like that.  Then they take the test the next day.

 

So for some random, stupid reason, they pull lower scores on tests, and all I can figure is because they can't remember STUPID STUFF LIKE AREA AND PERIMETER CRAP.  Or how many pints are in a gallon.  Or some other sh!t.  There are about 20 questions on each lesson quiz, so get more than 1 wrong and you've already knocked yourself down to a B.  (we don't keep grades in grammar stage, but theoretically - and don't give me crap about grades not mattering in grammar stage, I obviously know that, BUT I DO NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE STUFF.)  On the quizzes, usually about half the questions are on what the lesson was about/new material, a few are the area/perimeter/quarts/gallons/miles/feet/etc stuff (Astro just finished Delta, so thats where we are, but so far this has been the case up through Zeta - the content may change a bit, but the format is the same), and then the last 2-4 are word problems, mostly about the new concept with maybe 1-2 old.  

 

I'm annoyed with the kid, honestly, because I know he's capable of doing better, but this is my 'look off into space and daydream, therefore taking TWO FREAKING HOURS to take a 38 question math final' kid.  He makes things that aren't difficult take forEVER.  It drives me insane.  And it's standardized test time, and he has freaking TIME LIMITS, and I'm like great.  Can we not daydream please?  

 

I'm so annoyed and pissed off.  Idk what exactly I'm mad AT, though.  The circumstances, I guess.  I may take screens away for a week for better focus or something.  Idk.  I don't see any problems with the math curriculum, since they seem to all learn fine up until they get something on the test that they've decided to forget :rolleyes: - it doesn't make sense for them to do perfect or almost so on all the worksheets and then pull the equivalent of 70s-80s on tests.  It just doesn't.  

 

So what is this?  Is it an annoying kid problem?  Is it a curriculum problem?  Because whatever it is, it pisses me off and it needs to stop.

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I don't know, but I feel your pain. DD is the same way. Stuff too easy? Takes forever. Stuff too hard? Takes forever. Stuff just right? Blazes through in no time, but this happens about as often as the Olympics. Sometimes it helps to give a deadline, like we won't leave for gymnastics until her math is done. She LOVES gymnastics, so this is a good motivator, but her classes are late in the day, so she could still take ALL day to do it if we started with math, and I hate to do it last thing because by then her brain is mush from focusing on everything else. I wish I had the magic fix-it. 

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I'm so frustrated with math too, in fact I was having nightmares last night about trying to teach it to my kids, ugh! It is not going so well for us either! I think it could be a an annoying kid problem, but I don't know, I'm in the same mood as you so I don't know that I'll be of much help.

 

So is it all your kids that do bad on the tests or just one?

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I hear ya.  I was there with one of my kiddos for a period of about 2 years.  Here's what I did, it may or may not be appropriate or acceptable to all.

 

I would assign the evens for an assignment and sometimes I had to set a timer to an hour.  If a certain score on the assignment was not met, they had to go back and do the odds.  

 

For my kid that liked to daydream, procrastinate, or complain, that incentive worked well.  She would actually focus (for the most part) and be more careful.  

 

Disclaimer:  On those assignments where she fell below the needed score, it wouldn't be pretty, but not any worse than our days were before we implemented this.  

 

On the bright side:  She is now a college math major.  Go figure....

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There could be many reasons that the material is not yet sticking long term for tests but for a great many students it can take literally YEARS for the material to stick.  If they were using the info in a practical application way on a weekly basis that might help (like measurement in cooking).  

 

FWIW, CLE reviews that type of info over and over and over and over and over.  Why?  Because kids forget.  They aren't trying to forget.  It just takes a long time for many to build up the physical connections in the brain that get them immediate recall.

 

I know this is frustrating.  Hugs.  You might look at CLE.  Honestly, the additional review might make this a less frustrating process for you.

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I have an 8 year old who does that...

Just yesterday he was doing a job - mowing the lawn (that he asked to do because he's trying to save up money). Dh gave him very explicit instructions, twice, because after the first time he immediately went off to do it incorrectly.

So he does about half the job very well, then starts to daydream, and completely ruins the last half of the job. Instead of paying him, dh fined him for wasting the petrol.

No advice, just venting and commiserating...

Though I do use a timer for math now. A year or two ago the timer freaked him out, now it really helps.

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Buy them each a CLE Math reference chart. CLE has 3 total- for 2nd-6th, 5th-8th, and 7th-8th. They cost $3 each. Your life and your kids' will be so much easier.

 

As an aside, CLE also has Lang Arts reference charts, too.

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