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Jenkins

Struggling 6th grader

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I am really frustrated with our soon to be sixth grader. Not with her so much but with what she is having trouble with. She has struggled with spelling and math for a long time. She doesn’t know her math facts at all and still asks how to spell simple words like church or friend. I am having second thoughts about homeschooling her again this year. I don’t want to be making this situation worse by my lack of knowledge. I don’t know what curriculum to pick or really how to help her. 

We we did XtraMath math all year last year and she is still at about 50% correct. She just finished MUS gamma. That is the level she tested into. 

We did spelling you see and AAS. Not much improvement. 

Any suggestions? 

Editing to add - she is a smart girl and I don’t think there is a learning disability (at least nothing that we know of now). She is distracted easily but I am not sure it would be considered ADD. Last year was our first year homeschooling after a rocky year in private school. That was the only school our kids have ever been to. 

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Well, as a mom with kids who struggle, here are my thoughts:

1. If my kids struggle when receiving my undivided, one-on-one attention, surely they would do worse in the middle of a busy classroom.

2. That age can be hard; even knowledge/concepts that you knew to be solidly in their heads will FALL RIGHT OUT. 

FWIW, Apples & Pears is helping my DD. She also becomes a better speller the more she reads.   As far as math facts, the daily review/practice in Mastering Essential Math Skills finally helped shore it all up. Xtra Math was a huge bust here. 

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When kids struggle despite positive, sustained one on one attention, I usually think it's one of the following...

1. Your expectations are higher than you think - too high
2. There is a learning difference at play - lots of "smart" kids have learning disabilities - she may even be both gifted and have a learning disability - without testing, it's hard to know
3. There's an emotional or relationship issue at play - a kid who can't focus because of anxiety or depression, for example

I agree with the above that it's a hard age. Middle schoolers are just hard. It's also a time of big leaps and changes for most kids. I would not personally put any kid into middle school if it could be helped. Middle school tends to be a pretty rotten environment for kids - the height of bullying, the toxic social stuff, the increased homework pressure... I always said I'd never do it for my kids. Obviously everyone has to figure it out for themselves - I know it can be a tough decision. But for the things you're saying above, it doesn't sound like the solution.

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46 minutes ago, Jenkins said:

I am really frustrated with our soon to be sixth grader. Not with her so much but with what she is having trouble with. She has struggled with spelling and math for a long time. She doesn’t know her math facts at all and still asks how to spell simple words like church or friend. I am having second thoughts about homeschooling her again this year. I don’t want to be making this situation worse by my lack of knowledge. I don’t know what curriculum to pick or really how to help her. 

We we did XtraMath math all year last year and she is still at about 50% correct. She just finished MUS gamma. That is the level she tested into. 

We did spelling you see and AAS. Not much improvement. 

Any suggestions? 

Editing to add - she is a smart girl and I don’t think there is a learning disability (at least nothing that we know of now). She is distracted easily but I am not sure it would be considered ADD. Last year was our first year homeschooling after a rocky year in private school. That was the only school our kids have ever been to. 

Spalding. It's much more comprehensive than SSS and AAS, and it's important for you to follow the method as closely as possible to see results (I just added that because I have talked with people who were not happy with their Spalding results, and as we talked it turned out that they were not actually following the method. It's not a *hard* method, but it is a precise method).

What did you do for math before last year?

And ITA with Farrar that the chances that she'd do better in a classroom are pretty slim.

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Really, give her a cheat sheet for the math facts and MOVE ON. How is she doing otherwise in math? Does she understand MUS? Would a spiral method like Saxon or CLE serve her better? These 2 also include daily fact drills. Do not time them! Accuracy over speed is better.

Spalding is woderful but can be hard to implement without Ellie's Quick Start Guide. (I think it was she who made one.)

Apples and Pears was fab for my older struggling guy. Just start with Book 1.

https://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/product-category/apples-pears-en_us/

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