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Some math advice, please before my head blows off


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My daughter has inherited my math brain, or lack thereof. So, you can imagine the disaster that ensues when I attempt to teach her math. She is 11 now and trying to finish Math U See Delta. We are hung up on times tables, so of course division is like pulling teeth to get through. She does not get the whole concept of division and multiplication having an inverse relationship.


So what it comes to is this: I cannot, will not teach this child math. It isn't working. So either my husband teaches her in the evenings or we find a different curriculum where I don't have to re-teach the same stuff because she doesn't get it with the videos from Mr. Steve. He goes too fast. I need a tutor in a box.


For those who didn't do well with Math U See, is Teaching Textbooks a good option?

Are there any other programs out there that thoroughly teach via computer so that I don't have to get involved?

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A friend of mine (also my wonderful mentor) had a son who had trouble with the times tables 'clicking'. She simply did not proceed any further until he had them down. She said that it was more important that he get the concept than finish the math book. So they concentrated on that one concept for quite some time until it clicked. Now he's doing great in math and it "caught back up" so to speak. I say that for lack of better words I think that each child if taught to their strengths is not necessarily behind. Not every child will be a math wiz and not every child will be a literature nut. Your idea about getting dad involved is a good one! I would just make sure he is on board completely or that will fall through. I'm not familiar with Math-U-See so I can't comment specifically on the curriculum you're using.

Hope this helps!! Hang in there!!


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My concern is that we have been drilling the facts in a variety of ways for two years now, but she still stares at me with a blank look with several of the math facts. If I wait until she knows them by heart, at this rate she'll be trying to finish 4th grade math in high school.

I guess when it really comes down to it, the only scheduling concern would be much later, in high school and getting ready for SAT's. I'm just concerned that our pace is so slow that we may never get in enough math to ever think about college.

OR, the other scenario would be that if for some reason circumstances changed and I couldn't continue homeschooling, she would be failing math in public school.



So...I'm back to thinking about trying Teaching Textbooks or wondering about some other math curriculum for a non-math, more word-oriented, artistic kind of gal.

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would be Professor B Math. Unfortunately, I am unable to link it for you, but there is a link in my signature line.


Professor B uses in genius stories to teach math; upon hearing them both ds 9 and ds 6 have immediately grasped relatively difficult concepts such as regrouping (borrowing and carrying) as early as 1st grade. Ds 9 is doing multiple digit multiplication (365x137) this year, and long division.


It's not that I ma goods at teaching math, or that he is a math "whiz" - Professor B Math simply makes the concepts required to learn complex functions very clear and puts them in a context (stories) that makes a step by step process easy to remember.


I recall a conversation with Professor B in which he said that no one needs to tell children to memorize what comes next in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, they remember it because we naturally remember stories.


Look at the sample CDs for examples - I have been very impressed with this program. The CDs are very easy to use, and they are scripted, which makes it very easy to teach using this approach. They are designed for parent and child to use together at the computer; no preparation is required to teach the lessons. The accompanying workbook provides more than enough pr active problems.

Edited by ELaurie
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Is there someone who will let you borrow their Math program over the Summer to give various ones a look and maybe even a try before switching her completely? I'm with you about concerns for the future as far as will they be ready for the SAT :tongue_smilie: I have to stop myself a lot and realize that if I rush things it could be an even worse result. Overall though since you've been drilling for a while and are getting very little results...I say shop around. You could even supplement with an online program that makes math a little more fun.

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I realised that we were going to get hung up for a very long time if I waited for my son to learn his times tables. Memorization out of context does not work for me--nor does it for him. I can tell you I gave him the times tables as copywork, we drilled with flash cards, we used Timzattack (though the orge scared him when he was younger. Timed things make him very anxious as well.)


The most effective thing was to let him use his times tables chart (which he made himself) over and over again. I think time and maturity have helped, too.


Division, unfortunately, is a whole other ball of wax!


Hang in there. I was totally math phobic and completely untaught (I didn't evn know MY times tables, and adding two digit numbers in my head was embarassing--never mind a series!) I chose Singapore--and the HIG's saved my life. My son is extremely good at math--and faster than I am now--and I'm faster than some adults, now, too.


Pick a math program for YOU! You can't teach what you don't know.

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I would buy a Singapore Math 2A textbook and a Flashmaster.


The 2A textbook explains multiplication and division very clearly with cute pictures. Since she's artistic, you could have her draw some of her own for different numbers as well. If she needs to, she could also use counters. My daughter actually learns better from their pictures than from hands on manipulatives.


Since it's all explained in pictures and is at a very basic level, I'm thinking you could both understand it without help, but you could buy the HIG for additional support if you think you need it.


The Flashmaster has really been helpful for drill for us. It makes it a lot less painful, and it goes very quickly. It has multiplication and division as well as addition and subtraction. We are at the point where we only need to do it once or twice a month now, at first we did it daily, then 3 times a week, then 2 times a week, then once a week. (We're still on addition and subtraction here.)


Edit: Allowing her to move on and write out her own multiplication matrix also might get her to start seeing the pattern of it: http://www.donpotter.net/PDF/Multiplication%20Matrix.pdf

Edited by ElizabethB
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