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    Need advice: catch-up in math

    My 13yo is quite behind grade level in math. I want to catch her up to speed this year to be ready for pre-algebra next year. The farthest she's ever made it is up to long division and then she craters. On the advice of a dear friend I have purchased R&S 4 and 5. What do we need to do to reach our goal? I hope not both entire books!
    Phoebe, mother of 10
    Faith 2000
    Abby 2001
    Bede 2003
    Gilbert 2004 (MP8)
    Trixie 2006 (MP7)
    Gloria 2008 (MP5)
    Dorothy 2012 (some MP1)
    Clementine 2014
    Peregrine 2016
    Malcolm 2018

    #2
    I’m not sure how to best catch her up, but my first thought is about math facts. Does she she know them well? If she is slow to answer when shown flashcards, I would stop
    and drill, drill, drill! It feels tedious now, especially when staring down two books to conquer. I promise though it will be a blessing to you both when she does enter pre-algebra and can focus on learning the new material instead of trying to remember basic facts.
    Joyfully, Courtney
    DS13, DS12, DS10, DD8

    Comment


      #3
      I think you need to meet her where she's at and work at her pace.its nice to have a goal, I get that, but you also want to make it achievable.

      Obviously math is a struggle for her. She's maybe at a fourth grade level. Thinking that she can make it to 8th grade math in a year seems a bit steep.

      I would gently remind you that the Lord gave you this precious child. He knows what her future holds. He has this all figured out. Trying to pinch / rush her into a specific grade level because that's what this world thinks she needs, may not necessarily align with His plans.

      I agree with RunnerJoy, make sure she has those basic math facts down. Lay a solid foundation.

      On the special needs forum we like to say that all our kids are on an amazing journey, it just looks different for different kids. The view at the end of their journey may not be as high as other kids, but it will still be an epic view for them.
      Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

      DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
      DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
      DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

      Comment


        #4
        Phoebe,
        What the others have shared is spot on. In this case, I think it would be wise to set a different kind of goal. That rather than set a time limit for when she will be ready, instead set a goal that she will devote a solid hour to math every single day. Work on that consistency and discipline first, and then see how much progress she makes. For that hour, make sure that at least 10-15 minutes of it is math fact practice. Mix it up, do different kinds of drills (there are many in the Rod and Staff TM's, plus flash cards, online math games, etc) but make sure to work on that to build her speed and confidence.

        How are you handling her math lessons now? Are you able to help her the entire time? Would 45 minutes be something you would be able to give to her each day? I think at this point, it's going to be necessary in order to help her overcome any stumbling blocks she has and to help her believe that she can do this. If not you, is there someone else who could take on math as a priority with her this year?

        I see that this child is not your first, but rather, your fifth, so you may know this already - but the transition to pre-algebra is tough. I am on my fourth child in it right now, and she is having the exact same reaction my older three kids all had. The concept of math they have had since they were tiny children has suddenly altered and they are being asked to do things that just don't seem to jive with how they have always understood math. That's because to our kids, arithmetic is concrete. It's dependable and reliable. They come to trust this sort of "solidness" to it. And when they become good at it, they have a great deal of confidence that they know how it "works." Then in pre-Algebra, they are hit with the possibility that there is more to it than that. They are presented with the challenge to think more abstractly about math and it's startling to them. A lot of programs try to ease this transition by introducing algebraic concepts and activities much earlier. But there is no side-stepping maturity. Children need a certain level of maturity to battle through the transition to a pre-algebra course and come out on the other side, which usually takes a few weeks.

        I include this because this transition rocks even students who are confident in math. I think it would be asking a lot for your daughter to overcome whatever challenges she has had with math and then head right into a whole new way of looking at math at a more mature level. I just don't think that's going to go well.

        Instead, I agree with what the others have said. Accept where your daughter is right now, and allow her to work at her pace to move forward. Many of us cut down on how many problems our children do in each lesson, but I would be careful with that with her. A large amount of practice is what she will need to gain confidence and have these procedures down cold. I would not cut down too much unless it really is easy for her, which it doesn't sound like it has been. So I would be really careful to begin with, take each lesson as it comes, seek mastery above all else, and then let her grow in her confidence with math. And she should complete grades 4, 5, and 6 before moving on to a pre-algebra book.

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
        DS, 16
        DD, 14
        DD, 12
        DD, 10
        DD, 7.5
        DD, 5.5
        +DS+
        DS, 18 months

        Comment


          #5
          Phoebe,

          can you give a quick quick feel for what you have used for math up to this point?
          Dorinda

          For 2019-2020
          DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
          DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
          DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
          DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

          Comment


            #6
            13 is not too old to do a thorough catch up. Relax a little and do this well. Most kids can walk into any community college and place into Algebra and have it be the sole math requirement in a Liberal Arts degree. No matter what her path, go back and do the basics well so that pre-algebra makes sense to her. Needing remediation in math isn't a nail in the coffin of a science path, either. My uncle got his Ph.D. from MIT and is an engineer for GE Locomotives Division. He famously tells of needing tutoring in math all throughout. For some, it comes easily, and for others, they need an extra push.

            Press on toward the goal and work toward mastery as she progresses through the books.
            Mama to 2, Married 17 years

            SY 19/20
            DD 8-3A
            DS 5-SC C

            Comment


              #7
              We’re in the same place. My just-turned-13yo (entering 7th grade) had to go to R&S 3 (actually, I took him all the way back to the triplets in grade 2 but we used the blacklines and worked through them more quickly). It’s really making a difference. We’re also drilling addition/subtraction facts as he works through the multiplication and division in Math 3. He’s feeling much more confident and we’ll probably go to two lessons per day this year as long as he continues mastery. After Math 3, we’ll skip the first 40 or so lessons in Math 4 (review) and then continue that book. We’ll then skip the review in Math 5 and complete that. Going through Math 5 will ensure that his arithmetic is solid so I received a strong recommendation to then start VideoText Algebra (from MP) with him. It covers pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II and the student can complete it in 1-3 years depending on age and mastery. So he could complete Algebra I and II in one year (and get a full credit for each) as long as there is mastery. If he needs to slow down, he can do that as well. But it allows him to get the solid foundation he needs now and still leaves open the possibility of advanced math at the end of high school (he wants to go into sciences). Again, this is all dependent on mastery as we go, but I’m happy with the general plan.
              Jennifer
              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

              DS16
              MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
              MPOA: High School Comp. II
              HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

              DS15
              MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
              MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
              HSC: Modern European History

              DS12
              7M with:
              Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

              DS11
              SC Level 4

              DD9
              3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

              DD7/8
              Still in SC Level 2

              DD 4/5
              SC Level C

              Comment


                #8

                feebeeglee Phoebe, I hope you don't mind, I'm jumping on your thread to ask a question for myself regarding my 12.5 year-old.

                Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                We’re in the same place. My just-turned-13yo (entering 7th grade) had to go to R&S 3 (actually, I took him all the way back to the triplets in grade 2 but we used the blacklines and worked through them more quickly). It’s really making a difference. We’re also drilling addition/subtraction facts as he works through the multiplication and division in Math 3.
                jen1134 Jennifer, when you went back to the triplets, how long did your son need to spend on them? Was that your math lesson for the day and did the backlines cover what you needed for the day's lesson? And did you do any lessons or black lines for the addition and subtraction facts or just flashcard drills?
                Monica

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the well-thought-out responses. This forum is a gem :-D

                  A little background: We are what I call "recovering unschoolers." This is our second year with structured school and our first with MP. Last year we used Bookshark and settled into mother-led education, with good results. I moved to MP because I liked the depth over breadth approach. So, she started math with Teaching Textbooks 3 last year and moved through it quickly. She began TT4 and fell apart around long division. I put her in Saxon 5/4 and the same thing happened: fine until division. That's where we stand now. I think if we get that firm foundation she can then move forward. I am glad to be reminded that really, what she needs is to be able to enter college without remedial math, not to be doing calculus at 17.

                  My 14 year old did well with a spiral approach, and we had the curriculum, so I went ahead and used it with her. I don't think it suits her. I hope the mastery approach is what she needs.

                  My thinking is we can drill facts for about half our math time and move through the book the rest of the time. My 11yo can use the mastery practice too so we'll put her in as well.
                  Phoebe, mother of 10
                  Faith 2000
                  Abby 2001
                  Bede 2003
                  Gilbert 2004 (MP8)
                  Trixie 2006 (MP7)
                  Gloria 2008 (MP5)
                  Dorothy 2012 (some MP1)
                  Clementine 2014
                  Peregrine 2016
                  Malcolm 2018

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My oldest just turned 13 and is in 7th grade. She is really advanced in everything except math, where she is behind. She is doing Classical Conversations Challenge A now where they are supposed to be in Saxon Math 8/7. When I gave her the placement test she placed into Math 7/6 despite the fact that she has only had a cursory introduction to fractions and decimals. I am really interested in this thread since I am trying to decide if I should keep her in Math-U-See and do 2 years of it at once or I should switch to Saxon because she can do just Saxon 7/6 this year, just Saxon 8/7 next year, and then skip Algebra 1/2 and go straight to Algebra 1 (which Saxon says you can do if you get at least 80% of the work in Saxon 8/7 correct). She really understands math from using Math U See, but it is tempting to move to a curriculum where she is only a year behind and can skip a year entirely so that she can be caught up for high school. You might want to look at Saxon, also. Oh, or Math U See, which is really an incredible program, but just has taken us too long. I have looked at Rod and Staff math, and have in fact purchased levels 1 through 4, but have never used them because it does not seem to be the strongest math program. I would encourage you to look at things other than R&S to find a curriculum where your daughter has a chance of not feeling like she is in 4th grade. I know that my daughter was really proud of placing into Saxon 7/6 because with the book having a 7 at the start of the numbers she thinks it is a 7th grade math book.
                    JeJe Greer
                    Mom to:
                    Stella (7A with Henle Latin Units 1-5)
                    Clara (SC4 in fall 2019, starting SC 5/6 in spring 2020)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by feebeeglee View Post
                      Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the well-thought-out responses. This forum is a gem :-D

                      A little background: We are what I call "recovering unschoolers." This is our second year with structured school and our first with MP. Last year we used Bookshark and settled into mother-led education, with good results. I moved to MP because I liked the depth over breadth approach. So, she started math with Teaching Textbooks 3 last year and moved through it quickly. She began TT4 and fell apart around long division. I put her in Saxon 5/4 and the same thing happened: fine until division. That's where we stand now. I think if we get that firm foundation she can then move forward. I am glad to be reminded that really, what she needs is to be able to enter college without remedial math, not to be doing calculus at 17.

                      My 14 year old did well with a spiral approach, and we had the curriculum, so I went ahead and used it with her. I don't think it suits her. I hope the mastery approach is what she needs.

                      My thinking is we can drill facts for about half our math time and move through the book the rest of the time. My 11yo can use the mastery practice too so we'll put her in as well.
                      If she is having trouble with long division I highly recommend Math-U-See. My daughter can do long division and explain why you do things like drop the number down. I find most kids just do that because the teacher told them to.
                      JeJe Greer
                      Mom to:
                      Stella (7A with Henle Latin Units 1-5)
                      Clara (SC4 in fall 2019, starting SC 5/6 in spring 2020)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        feebeeglee jejegreer

                        We come from a turbulent pre-MP background as well. All three of my older boys ran into trouble when they reached long division and I later found out (on this forum actually!) that trouble with long division is usually due to them not having their math facts down cold. They spend so much time and mental energy trying to remember math facts while working through the problem, that they forget the steps they’re supposed to follow. It really isn’t a curriculum issue — it’s a math-fact-mastery issue. I’m really working to get my younger guys solid on their facts so we don’t have this problem again. When they were complaining about it, my oldest son told them that they needed to do it because it would make math much easier for them than it was for him!

                        Originally posted by KikaMarie View Post
                        feebeeglee Phoebe, I hope you don't mind, I'm jumping on your thread to ask a question for myself regarding my 12.5 year-old.

                        jen1134 Jennifer, when you went back to the triplets, how long did your son need to spend on them? Was that your math lesson for the day and did the backlines cover what you needed for the day's lesson? And did you do any lessons or black lines for the addition and subtraction facts or just flashcard drills?
                        Monica
                        He was 12 and I was swamped so I just explained the triplet concept to him and then had him do specific blacklines each day. At various points I would use the Fact Form blacklines as a test to monitor progress. For math facts we used XtraMath (free, online drills) but we dropped that over the summer. I might have him switch to regular flashcards as computers are in high-demand here with online classes and our family business! When I’m on my laptop instead of the phone, I’ll post the lesson plans I put together for his triplet work.
                        Jennifer
                        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                        DS16
                        MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                        MPOA: High School Comp. II
                        HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                        DS15
                        MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                        MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                        HSC: Modern European History

                        DS12
                        7M with:
                        Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                        DS11
                        SC Level 4

                        DD9
                        3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                        DD7/8
                        Still in SC Level 2

                        DD 4/5
                        SC Level C

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Here are the lesson plans I made up...I inserted a line to write-in your preferred fact drill method (Quizlet, XtraMath, flashcards, etc). Where it gives a page range, i.e., "Subtraction: Triplets, p. 1-2" it refers to a packet I put together using the blacklines from MP2. I didn't save my son's packet, but I believe I used a combination of the fact hives, the missing fact, and mixed computation pages for each triplet. I copied/hole-punched them in order so he knew which page to do when. I hope this helps somewhat!

                          Triplets Review.pdf
                          Jennifer
                          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                          DS16
                          MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                          MPOA: High School Comp. II
                          HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                          DS15
                          MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                          MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                          HSC: Modern European History

                          DS12
                          7M with:
                          Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                          DS11
                          SC Level 4

                          DD9
                          3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                          DD7/8
                          Still in SC Level 2

                          DD 4/5
                          SC Level C

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Colomama View Post

                            I would gently remind you that the Lord gave you this precious child. He knows what her future holds. He has this all figured out. Trying to pinch / rush her into a specific grade level because that's what this world thinks she needs, may not necessarily align with His plans.

                            I agree with RunnerJoy, make sure she has those basic math facts down. Lay a solid foundation.

                            On the special needs forum we like to say that all our kids are on an amazing journey, it just looks different for different kids. The view at the end of their journey may not be as high as other kids, but it will still be an epic view for them.
                            This should have come with a tissue/tear-jerker warning.

                            Seriously, thank you for this beautiful reminder.
                            Plans for 2019-20

                            DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                            DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                            DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS6 - 5 - MP K

                            [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                              Here are the lesson plans I made up...I inserted a line to write-in your preferred fact drill method (Quizlet, XtraMath, flashcards, etc). Where it gives a page range, i.e., "Subtraction: Triplets, p. 1-2" it refers to a packet I put together using the blacklines from MP2. I didn't save my son's packet, but I believe I used a combination of the fact hives, the missing fact, and mixed computation pages for each triplet. I copied/hole-punched them in order so he knew which page to do when. I hope this helps somewhat!

                              [ATTACH]n116257[/ATTACH]
                              Jennifer,
                              Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my specific questions and share your resources. I find you have a creative way of addressing challenges, and seeing what you have done to help your children really helps me think outside the box and see more possibilities for my own situation.
                              Monica

                              Comment

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