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Æthelthryth the Texan

Need help with math and high schooler

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This has been a very, very bad last few days, and I'm not even sure where to start, so I'll just start here. I am posting this with my dd's permission fwiw. I'll give the info I can- if you need more, just ask and  I'll answer what I can. I apologize if this is disjointed. I'm not having the greatest of days. 😞

I am wondering if maybe my oldest dd has dyscalculia?  No one in public school ever mentioned anything like it, but she did require tutoring every year in b&m school, beginning in 1st grade to keep up, although she always made A's and B's on report cards and always was average or above average on standardized tests. But every year we paid for a tutor and her teachers also tutored her before or after class leading up until the standardized test of the year, then they'd stop and repeat again the following winter. She was diagnosed with test anxiety by her PS counselor in 4th grade (the year after the "must pass" state test here in TX). 

We did the IOWA as homeschoolers to try and work on the anxiety once we begin homeschooling and she did well. The last time was 9th and she did very, very well. Surprising well to me to be honest. But in general, she has always struggled with retaining formulas, and once we got past basic arithmetic everything has been, to my observations, unnaturally hard for her to grasp. 

I know she has trouble with memory- memorizing things for her is HARD- and as mentioned, math has been a struggle since 1st grade.  And with math, she is not retaining. I mean, flat out is not retaining. She can't retain the formulas. Word problems going back to older, easier math imo, cause tears and frustration. I have scores of Zaccarro books and others with word problems. It just never, ever clicks. And then other things she had down cold, are just, seemingly gone. Review it though, and it comes back and she's okay for a while, but at some point it seems like some things should become concrete?? 

This all blew up in the last few days as she already has test anxiety, but made to take a math test (to prep for college entrance) and she flat out melted down like nothing I've ever seen. If she has the book, or the formulas, she can manage. Take away the book and the formulas, and boom. It's like we're back to pre-algebra level. I do not know what to do. She's into Algebra II. We did two years of Algebra I to make sure she was solid. She was. Made A's on every single test that year. Geometry last year wasn't as big of a problem. Algebra II is causing just complete chaos though, and it's like she melts down over that and then even the rudimentary stuff flies out of her head. I am at my whit's end and am feeling like a huge failure, as is she. 

 We have used MUS for the last three years. In public school they used Saxon, which did not do well for her, but that's still what I started her with at home and she cried every day. So the we tried TT which was bad. Switched to CLE which helped a LOT, and also remediated after PS with MUS Epsilon as she really struggled with fractions and decimals. After reading here enough I knew she needed an extra year of Algebra- I could tell she knew the motions, but it hadn't "clicked", so we did another  year of Algebra, this time MUS Algebra. She seemed solid as a rock. Rarely made a mistake or missed a problem. So we moved onto MUS Geometry which was okay, and now Algebra II with MUS. I *thought* all was well, but nope. Papers and chapter tests seemed fine, but then she started struggling with the unit tests and it's just gone downhill since coming back from Christmas break. And I don't even know where to start remediating. I tried to give her an ALEKS placement today and she teared up and froze on questions like "28.3+ (-238.5)?" or something similar. I mean, totally, totally froze and went into tears. I can't figure out how in the heck to navigate the new Khan academy website- we haven't used it in years and it still has her on the 7th grade thing. I don't know how to restart it to reevaluate. 

Mathnasium wants over $300 a month to tutor which is hard to swallow, and. I was warned by a friend as well whose husband worked there, that as far high school levels, he would not recommend them. We do have a Kumon locally. I have not called them yet. 

I don't know what to do. She is 16,  a high school junior. She is amazing at writing and reading, but her two biggest struggles have been math and foreign language. I don't know where to go next. She is not going to go to a 4 year college so I'm not worried about SAT scores and what not. But I am worried that she won't be able to even get into the CC without massive remediation and I know that the CC instructors are NOT going to help in this case. I need to help her and I don't know how. 

Questions? 

1) Is is worth having her evaluated at 16? What will it gain us? 

2) If it is worth having her evaluated, where do I start with a 16 year old? She has't seen a pediatrician since she was 12 and our pedi at the time went nuts over us homeschooling. I switched her to a GP/Internist who was wonderful, but who left the field of medicine 6 months ago and we haven't replaced her yet. So I don't have anyone to call for a referral.

I do know that drugs, alcohol, boys, or anything else aren't a factor in this. We live rurally, she doesn't drive, and she hasn't gone to an extra curricular in a long time. The person or drug would have to be teleported into our house at this point. She had her physical last fall and all was well- it's not like some new physical illness has cropped up. She's eating fine, sleeping fine- there's nothing physical/mental that is showing a flag at the moment in case that's a consideration. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any words of wisdom. . 

 

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I hear the struggle in your words & I understand.

my dd does have dyscalculia and at 16 has not made it past 4th grade math.

since your dd is in algebra 2 let out a sigh of relief! Truly, that’s awesome. Many people don’t go past that in math. I’m pretty sure she will be ok taking classes at the CC with her level so far. As long as she’s not a math major 🙂

Id do an eval. You’re looking for an ed psych eval or a neuro psych eval. Your school district could do the Ed psych for a basic eval. The plusses of an eval or learning disability in math diagnosis is accommodations- including things like extra time on tests or having the formula sheet available. Oh and my dd is exempt from a foreign language based on a learning disability.

I’d look for a private tutor.

good luck!

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Oh your poor dd.  She sounds distraught. 😞 I tutor math, and have seen so much, and the biggest factor by far is self-confidence, and she has lost hers. My guess is that a year of geometry caused the algebra to slide out of her head, this is very very normal. Algebra 2 is hard! Really it is. Is there a reason she wants to do it? If so, she needs to go back and review Algebra 1 for at least 3 months before moving forward.  If not, she could definitely do an awesome couple of years in statistics. But whatever you and she choose to study, at this point you need to back her up to something she *can* do with no fear and no trouble. Go back to 7th grade math if you have to for a week, but back up to stop the anxiety. Kids cannot learn math if they are in tears. Just. not. possible.  

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7 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Oh your poor dd.  She sounds distraught. 😞 I tutor math, and have seen so much, and the biggest factor by far is self-confidence, and she has lost hers. My guess is that a year of geometry caused the algebra to slide out of her head, this is very very normal. Algebra 2 is hard! Really it is. Is there a reason she wants to do it? If so, she needs to go back and review Algebra 1 for at least 3 months before moving forward.  If not, she could definitely do an awesome couple of years in statistics. But whatever you and she choose to study, at this point you need to back her up to something she *can* do with no fear and no trouble. Go back to 7th grade math if you have to for a week, but back up to stop the anxiety. Kids cannot learn math if they are in tears. Just. not. possible.  

She definitely doesn’t want to do it, but we thought she had to. She wants to go to college and I thought that Algebra II was a requirement to be able to pass the entrance to CC. The plan is two years at CC and then 2 years at local state U (it’s already paid for), although we have discussed online options lately as well as a dear young friend of mine is doing Penn State online and highly recommends it. Should I call an entrance counselor? 

I took Algebra 2 as a high school sophomore and hated it. I’m no help to her decades later. However I had stats all the way through grad school and used SAS and SPSS in my professional work so I would be of more help there for her if stats is a viable alternative? 

Also- if we did remediate her on Algebra again, would you use one of the programs we have or another program for this time/review? Is there a paper test I can give her to find the weak points or do we just need to go through it all again? 

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I have no idea if it is required to get into an American university.  You definitely need to talk to someone. Algebra 2 from the point of career options is not going to be directly needed except for things like Engineering, science, and economics.  And only tangentially needed for things like medicine and the social sciences.  But in America, just because your job does not need these skills does not mean that university does not require it. If she has to do Algebra 2, then she has to do it. I would go back to MUS algebra that she knows and loves, and just warm her up with *really* easy stuff. Then I would reteach/review each lesson, have her do 5 problems or however many are needed to get it back in her head, and then do the chapter tests.  Do NOT just give her the chapter tests for placement, because she will have forgotten it all and it will scare her.  2 days prep, then test.  NOT test, then go back and clean up.  Tell her that it is totally NORMAL to forget after a year, and it will take her way less time to learn it the second time, and she will be stronger at math for the relearning process. Only then do you approach algebra 2.  And if Algebra 2 is all she has to do, then take 2 years to do it.

At this point, you need to be very careful to build back up her skill and with it will come her self confidence.

As for Dyscalculia, one of students I have worked with who had dyscalculia could not subtract 9-2 at the age of 16.  And when I asked this kid to do it for me, it took her 2 minutes with a tally chart to get 6. I have had another student I suspected of Dyscalculia, who at 15 I put back in a 1st grade math book because if you asked her "you have 8 apples and some one gave you 6 more, how many do you have now?"  She could not tell me, and had no idea what to do. BUT, both of these kids succeeded in math by 18.  The 9-2 kid, got all the way through 12th grade statistics with a clear understanding how to use her graphing calculator.  And the apples kid was a very late bloomer, and at 17 has now finished algebra 1 and is interested in being a data scientist.  Point being, anything is possible, but only by approaching the work from the point of view of strength and not weakness, fear, and dread.  Clearly, your dd has drawn the short straw in innate mathematical talent. She needs to own it, know it will take her longer than others, but at the same time know that she can do it.

Edited by lewelma
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You may be able to get information about the math requirements for the community college on their website. Or you can call and ask. They should use a placement test, and someone should be able to tell you about what level of high school math is required in order to pass it.

It's a question I have for DD17, too. She is taking Algebra 2 this year as a junior and has always had to work extremely hard at math. She gets B's in math at school, but those grades are lifted up by her dedication to doing homework -- her homework grades are consistently higher than her test grades in math and in all subjects. This prompted one of her teachers to suggest test anxiety, though DD does not report feeling anxious.

When she was younger and homeschooling, I suspected a math LD, but I have two other kids with dyscalculia, and I suspect DD17 would not qualify officially. She has been able to pass our state's end of course math exams in algebra and geometry. However, she took the PSAT and her math score was poor. Too low to qualify her for taking dual enrollment classes at the community college. We're not sure of her college plans yet (community college is a possibility), but I'm concerned about her being able to test into non-remedial college classes. She's been taking an online ACT prep course before the ACT next month, and we shall see how she does. If she does not do well enough, we will have to consider some more intensive tutoring or test prep classes.

It sounds to me like dyscalculia may be a possibility in your daughter's case, and it may be worthwhile to do some testing. Your school district can do it for free, though you are likely to get better answers from private testing. Having the issues documented may allow her to receive some accommodations in college classes.

For most colleges in the US, a high school transcript showing math through algebra 2 is required or at least preferred. Since your daughter is a junior (right?), you could take this spring semester to back up and review algebra 1, then proceed with algebra 2 through the summer and next school year. Her transcript could have the four years of math be algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2A, algebra 2B.

I kind of suspect that going to one of those franchised tutoring places is not the best choice. For tutoring, it sounds like she needs something very individualized, so if you will invest the money, I would look for a private tutor.

I'm sorry she has had a hard couple of days recently. It's hard to feel so discouraged, but there is hope!! Even if she has to take remedial math at the CC before taking math for credit, it's not the end of the world. Does she know what she would like to study and what the math requirement will be? Right now, DD17 is considering a two year degree, which only requires college statistics, so she might be able to do one math class in college and be done (unless she changes her mind or has to take a remedial course first).

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By the way, my younger daughter has dyslexia and dsycalculia and goes to a school for those with learning disabilities. This school is all about having the students use their tools. So math charts, calculators, sheets with formulas written on them, so that they don't have to remember everything -- it's standard and encouraged.

So I would let your daughter write her formulas on index cards or in a notebook or on a sheet, and use them at all times.

Would she be able to use them when taking the placement test at the community college? No. Or I would highly guess No. So there are still hurdles when it comes to standardized testing.

However, it would relieve some of the current stress over daily math, and less stress means the brain is more equipped to learn and process. So in the long run, using tools and "cheat sheets" can result in greater learning.

CLE sells one for algebra, pre-made and laminated. I've also seen them at office supply stores and Target when school shopping.

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Ideas about anxiety... one, get in front of it.  If she is panicking as soon as she sees it, it’s too late, she is panicking.  It is true, anxiety shuts down what kids know and leaves them thinking they really can’t do it.  

Some ways to get in front of it....  back up to where she can look at a problem, or be with her if that would help.  If you can sit with her and get in front of the anxiety (prevent it from ratcheting up so high) then it may be an option.  

One of my kids is very prone to building up associations.  You can’t just think “it’s this kind of problem.”  The place, the format, they all matter.  She might have that association with the computer or a certain desk, but have it less strongly with a different location or a different format.  

Changing a setting to be very pleasant can help.  

Something else that can help is a calm, cool, neutral person.  This can help a lot if you think about tutoring.  Just being a new person without any negative associations, and being able to really pull off being neutral, can really go a long way.  

Something really helpful is to build up positive associations of success.

I don’t have any more specific math suggestions.  But 16 is not too old to look into things.  

Does it seem that the anxiety is only around math and tests?  Is she really shutting down?  

Okay, first do no harm, try to make things as stress-free and as different as possible (to start).  

For example, if it was my son, I would not have him do the subject at the computer for a while, because he would remember the last time.  That memory has to recede into the past, and be replaced by new, better memories.  

Another thing is you might work some problems in front of her, with no pressure for her to do anything.  When she is more comfortable you might see if she wants to offer an answer or if she is open to saying something together with you.  These are pretty gentle ways to get back into something that a child is shutting down over.  

This is kind-of like exposure therapy, and the goal is *not to provoke the anxiety reaction.*  That can set someone back to having the negative association.  

These are just some ideas.  There are people out there who are good at getting kids through this!  It’s really hard to know right now.  This could be mostly the anxiety.  On the other hand, maybe the anxiety started because she was having a difficult time.  That’s very possible.  But it’s also possible she has a lot of knowledge in her head and just needs to get to where she can get it out!  

My older son worked with a teacher who was good at things like this, and there are strategies for it.  

 

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As it happens!  My husband is an online college student and he was going through Central Texas College.  There it seemed like he had to have College Algebra (edited)for a 4-year degree, but not for a 2-year degree.  

But then he transferred to a different online college, and they have 4-year degrees that require Statistics instead of College Algebra.  

I think some things are going to be specific to public colleges in Texas.  This is years ago but my cousin was going to have a course limit until he passed an Algebra class, but it wasn’t the same with a Christian school.  So I think there are ins and outs just for Texas.  

There is a specific Texas Government class my husband took from CTC that the absolutely required because of a state law, and it transferred and was fine, but that is not at all something that is going on in other states.  

Edited by Lecka
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Yes- let her use a formula sheet. Since you said you were in Texas, here the one allowed for the STAAR testing for Algebra II (there are others for algebra I and geometry). https://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=25769822711

When I lived and worked in Texas, most public schools allowed these to be used for all classroom math testing.

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Ways it might not be dyscalculia.... she got off to a slower start when she was going, and has always had anxiety since then.  Some kids are known for that happening with timed math facts, and then if they can get over that, they can make good progress.  It’s still possible!  It’s just chance though, because it could be either way, I think.  It’s possible.  

I don’t know her goals but as far as CTC — they did not need College Algebra for a lot of AAS, I know because my husband has friends who didn’t take College Algebra and got an AA from them.  But check their website, don’t take my word for it, lol.  

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Another thing about anxiety is that it can be scary for something to “look” different, and then there is the anxiety.... where if there can be that pause, the kid can look at it and realize “oh, it’s this, it just looks different.”  This really could be something with that subtraction problem.  If you think this could be a factor, I think self-talk can help and using worksheets that show things looking different can help.

When you are used to a curriculum that looks one way, a different format can really “look” different and that can just be scary when there is maybe not a lot of confidence.  

I have had this kind of thing with my son.  

Confidence and time passing from the last time he sat and felt like a miserable failure are two things that helped a lot.  

And then there were changes to make things work better for him, but he had to step out in faith to try, and that is hard when there are bad memories and a negative association that are easy to have come on.  

Time and positive experiences have helped him so much.  

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Also I think it is helpful to frame a goal in some ways as — she can be more confident wrt to math, maybe it can help her be more confident in general, maybe some coping skills can help with other areas of her life.

That is motivating to me, because it’s easier for me to feel like “we’re doing something good here” thinking this way, rather than thinking “it’s so slow, why is it so slow, will it ever get faster, really something else is forgotten,” types of things.  

I agree that a lot of things may not really be forgotten.  They also may be.  But they may come back with a little review or reminder!  It is hard to know!  

Personally I think some of the word problems from Zaccaro may be more advanced than needed for her to be showing mastery?  It’s possible, that she could be considered showing mastery even if those word problems are hard for her.  

Homeschoolers use a lot of advanced materials and act like they are so easy.  So — it’s hard to know how much to read into the Zaccaro’s thing.  

Its just hard to know.  

 

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What formulas is she needing? I see a lot of kids who need formulas and it's not a great sign of understanding. 

Remind me what's covered in Algebra 2? What's she struggling with? 

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Thank you all. Y’all have made us both feel loads better. There have been tears and angst today,  but I think tonight we both feel well armed to move forward and she no longer feels like a freak and as if she is the only 16 year old in the world not getting it, thanks to your replies. That’s probably one of the downsides to homeschool- she has no one to commiserate with on the assignments/subjects because we’ve done everything so differently. 

I will update and answer more questions tomorrow. But in the meantime, seriously, thank you all. I think we will both be able to sleep tonight instead of staying up dreading or fearing the weeks to come. 

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1 minute ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Thank you all. Y’all have made us both feel loads better. There have been tears and angst today,  but I think tonight we both feel well armed to move forward and she no longer feels like a freak and as if she is the only 16 year old in the world not getting it, thanks to your replies. That’s probably one of the downsides to homeschool- she has no one to commiserate with on the assignments/subjects because we’ve done everything so differently. 

I will update and answer more questions tomorrow. But in the meantime, seriously, thank you all. I think we will both be able to sleep tonight instead of staying up dreading or fearing the weeks to come. 

 

From my sample of college calculus kids, she's nowhere near the only such student :-). And she'll have a chance to go over anything she's forgotten, unlike students at school! 

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5 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

She wants to go to college

You have multiple questions there. One, the entrance requirements. In our state, DE just needs a minimum on the ACT/SAT. Some states require a different test. Remember, CC are often serving adult learners and returning students, people who may have been out of school quite a while and forgotten things. They will sometimes allow students to enter with deficiencies, and they will sometimes have non-credit course to make up those deficiencies.

The other question is whether she should pursue something requiring math, and obviously that will be a pick your poison. If the program doesn't require math, it will require a foreign language (BA vs. BS). 

Her ACT scores may still be fine. Age, maturity, etc. will help too. 

Yes to evals, but no I don't think they'll show SLDs. Sure see, but she sounds more like an ADHD profile, someone who's brain might need more exposures to get there. She may qualify for accommodations like extended time, which might up her scores on the standardized testing.

5 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

although we have discussed online options lately as well as a dear young friend of mine is doing Penn State online and highly recommends it. Should I call an entrance counselor

You might want to get her evals first. Online courses are sometimes not structured well (depending on the student) and she may struggle, depending on what's going on. She might be better with in-person, some herd effect.

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Thank you all. Y’all have made us both feel loads better. There have been tears and angst today,  but I think tonight we both feel well armed to move forward and she no longer feels like a freak and as if she is the only 16 year old in the world not getting it, thanks to your replies. That’s probably one of the downsides to homeschool- she has no one to commiserate with on the assignments/subjects because we’ve done everything so differently. 

I will update and answer more questions tomorrow. But in the meantime, seriously, thank you all. I think we will both be able to sleep tonight instead of staying up dreading or fearing the weeks to come. 

She can do this!  What she is experiencing is normal for many many kids.  Reviewing is your friend. 

I'm a math tutor, and I have to relearn calculus Every.Single.Year. haha.  I forget everything over the summer.  You just know its going to happen, and get on it. It is easier every time. 

I didn't read until I was 12 and earned my PhD by 27. There is no 'normal' in this world.  We each fight our own battles in our own way. 

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So today we went back to the beginning of the Algebra 2 book since it’s got a lot of review the first bit. I’m hoping it’ll give me a better bead on where the issue is. No tears today. 

I’ve been giving a lot of thought as well to the format issue Lecka mentions. She’s basically used nothing but MUS for multiple levels now as her day to day, so i can see where a format variation would throw her. I’m going to try and run to Mardel tomorrow and see if they have Key to Algebra and Alg 2 to see if varying format might help her with the anxiety. I’m also going to call into a couple of the local CCs and see about testing/entry math level need and remedial courses offered if necessary. 

ETA- I am not switching to Key to, just using it to vary with the MUS for extra practice. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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It is quite possible, that 'math anxiety' is her whole problem?
What happens with 'math anxiety', is that people constantly 'doubt the answers that arrive at'.
So that they will often do a question over and over, but still doubt themselves.

The only solution, is for them to come to trust the answers that they arrive at
Also as they work through a calculation. Not to recheck each step.

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15 minutes ago, geodob said:

It is quite possible, that 'math anxiety' is her whole problem?
What happens with 'math anxiety', is that people constantly 'doubt the answers that arrive at'.
So that they will often do a question over and over, but still doubt themselves.

The only solution, is for them to come to trust the answers that they arrive at
Also as they work through a calculation. Not to recheck each step.

It could be a lot of it. I think she has just had the cards stacked against her through from the beginning. When I see the curricula for math I’ve used with my younger kids for 1st grade compared to what she had to do, I want to go back in time and pull her out of that school then. But I had no idea. It was highly abstract for children so young. Some of the word problems I struggled to even figure what they were asking at the time, and we pulled her from that private school at the end of her 1st grade year.......I had no idea the other parents were complaining too until after the fact. But by then she very quickly got the idea that she was bad at math and it’s never improved. Having to be tutored I think made her feel dumb as none of her friends were. Then at PS, they added in the high stakes testing saying these tests could hold you back, and that’s when the true test and math anxiety kicked in. They also did this pilot program on not learning math facts in early elementary when we switched her to public school, so it did not help that by the time I realized this was a really, really bad idea she was in 5th grade suddenly needing to memorize all the facts. And she definitely does struggle with memorization.

She is the textbook example of the guinea pig kid- both for me as my oldest not knowing what really mattered and taking the school’s word for it, and for the schools she attended who ran one odd pilot after another and then completely revamped the math sequence, which is when we switched to homeschooling. 

I’ve tried to get her in with adolescent psychologists to help deal with the academic esteem issue- with two of them  I got blown off that her issue didn’t necessitate counseling, and the others that bothered to call me back had no client openings. So the best I’ve been able to do there are some self help books on confidence. She’s read them and says she gets something from them, but I haven’t seen that they’ve helped much in real world math issues. 

At this point, I think we will go back, build up on the Algebra as y’all are suggesting, and then do a ton of practice tests or whatever she needs to get to pass the math test to get  into the CC. She already has zero plans to select a major that would have a high math requirement- so if we can just get her in and through college algebra, best case that would be the end of this. She doesn’t know what she wants to major in, but she is a heavy humanities kids so I’ve been looking at majors and I think she had plenty to select from that would only require college algebra and then statistics. 

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It has been a little while since he took College Algebra (iirc) at Central Texas College, but I can ask my husband if he remembers.... I know a lot of the class was doing homework sets through (?) some kind of Pearson online math thing.  A code came with the book to access it (?).  Something like this.  

The homework would take a long time.

But then I think the tests would have questions very, very similar to the homework.  

Anyway — for my husband’s situation, he needed a D for credit, but he needed a C for tuition reimbursement from his job.  

Anyway — it is a different kind of performance needed to need a D and then never take another class in the subject, than to need to go on in the subject.  

I think also.... there was a high learning curve for him to figure out how to use a graphing calculator,  because he never used one before.  But then there would be questions that only required knowing how to use the graphing calculator.  So that is something, too.  

I think your ideas sound really good.  

I wonder if it would help any to share your concerns about her math background with your daughter?  Maybe it would help her to have an explanation like that, that it isn’t just her, but she got bounced around and didn’t always have things taught to her in tried-and-true ways.  And then it would be really hard to do 4th and 5th grade math without knowing multiplication facts!  That would be really frustrating and hard to keep up with, because it comes up a lot, and kids don’t realize that it why they are struggling.  

Another thing to keep in mind.... tutoring can be remediation or it can be just keeping up in class.  It is possible to be helped to keep up in class, without spending time to really get to the bottom of things.  

The thing is — if you are doing that, then the child may be falling behind in the current class, which is not good either.  

Ideally a tutor can spend part of the time on the current class, and part of the time remediating weaknesses.  But this is hard to do!

But you don’t have to enroll her in a class where she has to keep up with the class, and I think that is a huge advantage.  

And, there is a little freedom that comes with being off of grade level.  You really don’t have to go at a certain speed or move on to the next lesson.  If you are doing a problem and realize some other skill is rusty, there is time to make time.  

 

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Thanks Lecka. She definitely knows of the short shrift she got on background. And I’ve apologized to her for not being a more assertive, vigilant Mom and advocating for her. We cracked on her pretty hard for a bit thinking it was effort related because we kept hearing the “if she would apply herself” from her 1st and 3rd grade teachers. It was her 4th grade teacher who was like wait, something is wrong here- and saw the test anxiety. She told me if she sat with dd and verbally went over the problems dd would ace it. But if she handed her the test, she’d freeze. And the teacher knew dd knew it. It sounds stupid but it wasn’t until that year that I started to get skeptical on a lot of school practices as we dig into the whole testing thing. But anyway, she knows she got a raw deal. I just wish her knowing would help the disconnect more. 

Also I found the CC entry assessment requirements this morning and am hunting up practice tests. I’ll use those to make a list of things we need to reinforce. We at least have plenty of time to get there since she doesn’t have to take it until next Spring if she wants to start summer of 2020 after she graduates Hs. 

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I think that sounds great!

I have some regrets from early elementary school, too, for my oldest son.  I would have known a lot more if he were not my guinea pig child!

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3 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

it wasn’t until that year that I started to get skeptical on a lot of school practices as we dig into the whole testing thing. But anyway, she knows she got a raw deal. I just wish her knowing would help the disconnect more. 

I know, wouldn't it be nice if we were as awesome at the beginning as we are 20 years later? LOL :biggrin:  There's nothing we can do about it. We did the best we could and we're always learning. 

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Talking more with dd yesterday- she wishes she could get a delayed recording class she could do at her pace, but have access to instructor to help her when she needs it. This had Derek Owens pop into my head. Would that be a way to approach this, and if so would I have her take Algebra I again, or is this a bad plan and we need to go with a tutor to back her up and figure it out? I sat with her for hours yesterday and she has more down than she thinks, but the confidence is very lacking, and she gets flustered so easily. I was thinking about upthread talking about making it easy for her to build her confidence. I actually think she knows a lot more Algebra I than she thinks she does.

Would this be an effective way- to go through with DO? She could do Algebra 1 now through summer and then if we need it try Algebra 2 again in the fall with DO or else move on to statistics and probability with a new program. I have looked for live homeschool in person math classes here in our area and the only ones both use Saxon, and they run on the school year calendar so wouldn't be a help now anyway. The tutor list I have so far are all public school teachers who do this on the side- I haven't called anyone yet. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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She's looked at MUS? Even if she hated the lower levels, she might find algebra up golden. It's what we switched my dd to when my life got so crazy with ds and I absolutely could not do math with her anymore. It's not as horrible as some people say, and it would fit the parameters.

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39 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

She's looked at MUS? Even if she hated the lower levels, she might find algebra up golden. It's what we switched my dd to when my life got so crazy with ds and I absolutely could not do math with her anymore. It's not as horrible as some people say, and it would fit the parameters.

That’s what we’ve been using. She did MUS Epsilon to remediate along with CLE in 7/8th grade. We used CLE through Algebra 1, then did another year of Algebra 1 with MUS and then MUS Geometry for 10th grade and ran into this school year, and now MUS Algebra 2. We are big MUS fans, but she needs someone or something with availability to help her at this point. 

Today while doing research on things at lunch, I saw Jann in TX had a boot camp on Algebra review after Geometry, to help review for students starting Algebra 2. I’m thinking of having her take that, while we decide what to do afterward in the meantime. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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2 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Talking more with dd yesterday- she wishes she could get a delayed recording class she could do at her pace, but have access to instructor to help her when she needs it. This had Derek Owens pop into my head. Would that be a way to approach this, and if so would I have her take Algebra I again, or is this a bad plan and we need to go with a tutor to back her up and figure it out? I sat with her for hours yesterday and she has more down than she thinks, but the confidence is very lacking, and she gets flustered so easily. I was thinking about upthread talking about making it easy for her to build her confidence. I actually think she knows a lot more Algebra I than she thinks she does.

Would this be an effective way- to go through with DO? She could do Algebra 1 now through summer and then if we need it try Algebra 2 again in the fall with DO or else move on to statistics and probability with a new program. I have looked for live homeschool in person math classes here in our area and the only ones both use Saxon, and they run on the school year calendar so wouldn't be a help now anyway. The tutor list I have so far are all public school teachers who do this on the side- I haven't called anyone yet. 

Honestly, I wouldn't jump to DO in your case.  While I have used Foerster's and think it is a great text, it would not be *my* first choice for what you have described. I think that Jann in TX's classes may be more of what you are looking for.  Yes, the classes are online, but can be played back as needed and tutoring is available. 

 

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I totally think an online tutorial is fine, and I agree Jann's classes are probably (not having used them but just from the feel and what you read) the right vein. The DO is probably not ideal for a struggler.

And fwiw going through the process of monitoring comprehension, rewinding the video, watching again, etc. was actually really good for dd. I don't think it matters if it's MUS or Jann or whatever. Just saying it's the side benefit, realizing that they have to monitor their comprehension and building that skill. It was probably the MOST VALUABLE part of the whole high school math gig for dd. So if it feels ugghy, remember that's part of the good she's accomplishing.

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I think something that appeals to her and you are *confident* she will be successful with is the best thing.  

It's better to start with something easier, than risk her not being successful.  

It saves a lot of time in the long run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

You might look at some samples, and let a little time pass while you are working with her, and then it might seem more clear if she needs a tutor or if she can slot into a curriculum that would be a good fit for her.  

I also think that you might look for, or adapt, so that if there is any "week 1, week 2" type of schedule, you minimize her seeing that if you can, because feeling time pressure can be something about anxiety, and it might just be easier for her not to have a feeling of "taking too long" if she ever spent *even an extra day* on something.  Spending *one extra day,* which should seem like "no big deal," could be something she takes to heart.  You might have an idea if she would respond this way.  

Also -- there is a rule "end on success."  End a session on success.  Ideally -- have a stopping point while she is *not fatigued.*  Feeling fatigue at the end of a lesson will leave a poor impression for next time.  

So one way to end on success is to stop on the early side. 

Another way is to look at a lesson, and if you want to, break it into two parts, and then there is no need to do great with the first half but end feeling bad because the second half didn't go as well.  

Another way is to always end on review, and always end with some review questions you are confident she will do well with (and start them a little early, don't leave them until she is fading, if at all possible).  

When her confidence or her sense that "I am getting the hang of this math stuff" is higher, this is not as important.  When her confidence is lower, ending on frustration or fatigue is really unhelpful b/c the association can be weighted toward the very end, even if the beginning went so well.  

If you need to have her get comfortable with not-knowing, grappling, ending without a complete understanding, etc., then I think, 1, tell her that is a possibility so she is mentally prepared.  Two, you can consider cutting this part down and ending with review or just one part that she can do successfully.  Or you can try to just do one chunk if she might be able to understand one chunk.  But building "frustration tolerance" or "tolerance for not understanding" is important but may need to happen over time and maybe *after* some confidence is built up.  If she is more confident, then building her tolerances will be easier.  She sounds like she is mature and has a good rapport with you -- that will help so much.  

There are two opposing thoughts I think about..... one is the idea that kids can just do the minimum for mastery, and things can be very individualized, they don't have to waste time.  Okay, I totally agree with that.  But there is another idea, which is that review of easy material can help kids to build confidence.  That can be how they may get those "this is easy" moments they may not get when they are always being given an appropriate challenge.  

I also don't know if you have issues where she "needs" you by her.  

Okay, if you want to build her independent work skill and she is fragile, then there are a lot of strategies.  First, start easy and short, that you KNOW she can do.  You KNOW It.  

Two, you can think about your "proximity."  You can start right next to her or in the same room, and see how that is.  You don't have to go from sitting by her, to being off in another part of the house.  

Three, when will you leave her more alone?  It can be good to start together and then let her finish a little bit on her own, and then come back.  You can go slow.  If she is anxious when she first sees something, but feels better after she realizes she can do it ----- keep that in mind, build her confidence for independence starting leaving her after she is starting.  Don't start by wanting her to get started on her own, preview the material on her own, etc.  Supporting her while she previews material and gets started may be the last support you drop.  You also may want to consider altering material so that she only sees 3 problems on a page (or something).  This is GOOD to do.  It can keep things from looking overwhelming and starting that stress/anxiety response.  This can be adapted slowly over time, or until you see it's just not going to be a big deal.  Or it might be something that she adapts on her own if she has visual overwhelm, she may want to cover parts of papers, that is something people can do.  

It sounds like things are going very well for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honestly I think it is a good sign of her trust and relationship with you, she is surely picking up on your confidence in her and your notice of her progress.  

Your non-verbal signals can do a lot this way for some kids.  If you are thinking positively it will probably show, and it sounds like you are. 

Just keep doing that if she ever does take a little longer, it can be easy to start to think "oh, she is going to get off schedule," and while kids are more fragile they can be hypersensitive to things like that.    

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