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Discovery-based high school math program?


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Hi there! I haven't been here since our homeschooling days, but am hoping you all will have some leads for me :-)


My oldest (2E with high perceptual reasoning scores, with some dyscalculia) is headed into high school. She's struggling now with Algebra 1, as it's taught in her jr high (verbal-based). She's so much better at math when application ("why/how do I use this in real-life") is taught before the algorithms. Without "why," she gets lost, and can't remember the steps. Memorizing algorithms is impossible for her brain.


I'm hoping to find her a homeschool curriculum that I can go into school and teach her myself daily (instead of traditional math class). Or, if possible, an online program that I can augment. 


Any thoughts on what might be a good fit for a child with such issues? She is super creative and super logical. She also has some dyslexia that makes long/dense texts a real challenge.


Thank you in advance!


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There is discovery-based methodology, like Discovering Algebra, and there are some hands-on approaches like Hands-On Equations that might bridge the gap. Really though, DA is still gonna be a lot of words/text. Sounds like maybe MUS would fit.


We also has a thread ages ago (try a google site search) on hands-on methods for teaching algebra. Also, the upper level Family Math book might hit some algebra concepts, dunno.


There's trouble with sequencing and trouble with sequencing. Like my ds has trouble with sequencing, and he has autism. It's pretty vicious, because he literally can't figure out the steps. Then there's trouble with sequencing that my dd had, and for her it was a working memory issue, an EF thing, like can you hold all that in your brain. Working memory is the scratch memory of the brain that helps everything move into long-term memory. So obviously you can compensate (make a written list of the steps, etc.), but also just working on working memory might help her. Once she gets through algebra 1, she's got geometry, which is a HUGE working memory drain. For geometric proofs, you're holding everything in your head and putting them in order and holding the thoughts and trying to get it out logically. Huge mess for kids with EF (executive function) issues. 


So working on working memory would be very, very wise. It *might* improve how functional she is with her math and won't hurt.


I hear you on saying it's learning style, fine, definitely roll with that. Foerster has a lot of word problems. You might end up juggling things, like introducing concepts with one program and practicing them more with another. Or introduce with word problems, do a lesson, do more problems. So a combination of resources.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Does a really consistent, gradual spiral work for her? My dd wasn't worksheety at all,but my ds is really good with them. Having the small bits and gradual build really works for him. You can try all your major publishers and see if anything strikes you. It would give you a bookish but concise spine to connect a more discovery or word problem driven approach to.  


Teacher Created

Evan Moor

Carson Dellosa



Those are the kind of places I haunt. Takes a while, but you might find something that is just right or that would be a fun way to work on it for her. They have brain teaser books, word problem books, warm-up books. For my ds with that mix, it works out really well. He likes to be efficient, and they're very fast.

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Pre-Algebra Brain Teasers - TCR2039 | Teacher Created Resources  I own this, and it's something that would make a fun enrichment page during your sessions. It's the kind of thing my ds likes at least. TCR seems to be maxing out at pre-algebra.


High School / Ages 14–18 | Math  Carson Dellosa has 41 items for math at the high school level. Jumpstarters for Algebra Resource Book Grade 7-12 | Carson-Dellosa Publishing  This is one of the books on that list. Spiral with small, daily increments. They also have books for word problems, math projects Math Projects Resource Book Grade 5-12 | Carson-Dellosa Publishing, etc. My ds has enough issues with generalizing, that I tend to explore the same concept lots of ways, with different publishers. 


Discovering Algebra, Third Edition | Prek 12 - Kendall Hunt


Family Math : The Middle School Years, Algebraic Reasoning and Number Sense [Paperback] [1998] (Author) Virginia Thompson, Karen Mayfield-Ingram, Ann Humphrey Williams


You could see if TOPS has anything for algebra.

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