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    Math is not working

    My girls are not successful with Rod & Staff Arithmetic. I love the simplicity, the no colors, the Bible worked in, the repetition, and routine. But it isn't sticking and they are not successful. I'm one of those try again until you master it teachers. My oldest is about 50 lessons into Gaining Skill 5 and my middle daughter just now finished Working 2. They're working to finish 5th and SC4 respectively. Every time I grade an assignment it is riddled with seemly easy errors. I think we need to try something else. "Computation" via testing is where they are both failing.

    I need inspiration and suggestions. My sister's daughter (4m older than mine) will be doing Saxon 6/5, so that was suggested. We're also looking at the Good and the Beautiful Math 3 for my aspie daughter for an option. Other options for me so far are really throwing it in with CTCMath, or IXL, or maybe TT4.0.

    My shelf holds: Arithmetic 1-5, MLLE 1-5, Saxon 5/4, Saxon 6/5, TGTB Math K-3, LOF Apples, MUS Gamma, MUS AIM, No-Nonsense Pre-Algebra and No-Nonsense Adult Review. We have all the flashcards +-×÷. I'm currently paying for IXL and have CTCMath access for supplement.
    Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

    2019-2020/-2021 · Homeschooling since 2011.
    Trekking along at a student self-pace...
    DD Summer 2009 · 5th/6th + BS3&4
    DD Summer 2011 · SC4/SC5*6 + BS3&4
    DS Summer 2014 · K/SC2 + SL P + K
    DD Summer 2017 · Pre + SL T
    DS Autumn 2019 • Baby

    Memoria Scholé Academy
    Blog: Creative Madness Mama
    @ CherryBlossomMJ

    #2
    Margaret,
    I am so sad to hear that this is and has been an ongoing struggle. I am wondering two things from what you shared...

    How long have you been using R&S? What did they complete before you switched?

    What is your routine for their math studies right now?

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 8
    DD, 6
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Have either of your kids been diagnosed with any executive functioning impairment? Math can be very hard for the child with ADD/ADHD, particularly when she gets to multi-step operations like long division, converting fractions, etc. And it sounds like classwork is going well, while tests are a disaster. There are many ways to address those simple operational errors, but it's not usually fixed by switching to a spiraling math curriculum. I know I seem to bear the torch for R&S, but you can try moving to any of those options you already mentioned. We tried many (Saxon, MUS, Shiller, Horizons), and we experienced a lot of success once we started implementing MP's recommendations with R&S.

      I don't know if you saw the Sodalitas math talks for each grade, but they all seem to be switching to Morning Math (over the speed drills). Just for grade 4, they are starting with 200 mixed facts each day as a warm-up. Then, they immediately move into the R&S lesson. They do not do countdown timers (which cause anxiety--and increase mistakes), they do count-up timers and the same sheets all week, the final 2 on Friday for a grade. Just in the 2 short weeks we've been doing this, I have noticed dramatic increases in accuracy and speed. I put post-it notes of misremembered facts at my child's desk to see and drill all week.

      It is well within your purview to take a quiz grade from classwork to boost an average, as from your reporting the quizzes are where the mistakes are made.

      I also don't know if you saw, but the 4th grade teachers go through the test together as they hand it out to refresh the memories of the students as to what is expected in each section. They give instructions like, "Make sure your second partial product has a happy zero in the ones place!" These timely reminders are good for students who struggle with executive functioning or low working memory. You can even have your student write instructions at the headings of sections. You can have your student write formulas, mnemonics for procedures, etc at the top of the page or at the start of a new test section.

      Finally, I loved watching the VideoText guy give his talk on math and the struggling math student. He lets students justify their answers all throughout. Have your child come over and explain a few problems to you. Sometimes they *see* their simple computational error as they are explaining it, and they MAY go back and make corrections. Allow your child to earn back points by seeing and correcting missed problems on quizzes and tests so that she doesn't develop a hatred of testing and math. I loved this advice, and it really hit home with me.



      Mama to 2

      Summer:
      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
      SY 20/21
      4A

      Comment


        #4
        I have had a complete revamp of how I will do Math after watching the Sodalitas conference for the math grades I'm teaching. They do things that I never did, and spent time on things it wouldn't have occurred to me were so important. We were doing pretty good, but this was next level guidance. Those videos are still available.
        Melissa

        DS (MP3) - 9
        DS (MP2) - 7/8
        DS (K) - 6
        DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by CherryBlossomMJ View Post
          My girls are not successful with Rod & Staff Arithmetic. I love the simplicity, the no colors, the Bible worked in, the repetition, and routine. But it isn't sticking and they are not successful. I'm one of those try again until you master it teachers. My oldest is about 50 lessons into Gaining Skill 5 and my middle daughter just now finished Working 2. They're working to finish 5th and SC4 respectively. Every time I grade an assignment it is riddled with seemly easy errors. I think we need to try something else. "Computation" via testing is where they are both failing.

          I need inspiration and suggestions. My sister's daughter (4m older than mine) will be doing Saxon 6/5, so that was suggested. We're also looking at the Good and the Beautiful Math 3 for my aspie daughter for an option. Other options for me so far are really throwing it in with CTCMath, or IXL, or maybe TT4.0.

          My shelf holds: Arithmetic 1-5, MLLE 1-5, Saxon 5/4, Saxon 6/5, TGTB Math K-3, LOF Apples, MUS Gamma, MUS AIM, No-Nonsense Pre-Algebra and No-Nonsense Adult Review. We have all the flashcards +-×÷. I'm currently paying for IXL and have CTCMath access for supplement.

          I have one kid who was totally stuck with math. He'd cry over a math page for hours (literally). We had already dropped him back 2 grades in R&S to try to give him some confidence and a strong foundation. Problem was, after several hours of crying or staring at it, and mom totally losing my cool, he COULD do the work. It was beyond frustrating and it was killing our relationship.

          We were looking at Kumon, Mathnasium, a private tutor, etc, because I just couldn't take it. I stumbled across STMath (an online math program written for dyslexic kids), and figured what the hey, it's cheaper than a month of Kumon. I am VERY reluctant to do anything on a screen, esp with this kid, but he LOVED it. He jumped 3.5 grade levels on ITBS in 6 months. Asked to do more math in the evenings. We still drill facts bigtime with XtraMath and Reflex, but something was finally working!

          In the end, this was one of many scenarios that led us to further evals with this kiddo - def an aspie. I'm grateful it pushed us to get him help. If we had a better understanding of his special needs, could we have stuck with R&S and made some adjustments? Maybe. Who knows.

          I'm a strong stay-the-course type, but this was an exception and it paid off. Especially with your SN kiddo, listen to your gut! Prayers for you, Mama!
          Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys (7A, 6M, 2), classics major

          "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

          Comment


            #6
            I think it's always a good idea to figure out exactly what the trouble is, before being tempted to change a curriculum, which is a disruption and brings its own problems. I think a good reason to abandon a math program is when a child is clearly not understanding how concepts are explained, so that it's difficult to apply them to the homework done independently. But that's a difficulty that shows up all over the place, not just tests. So I agree with Sarah that you should take a good look at your math routines, and see what they may reveal.

            As for easy mistakes... well, that may depend on the kind of child you have in front of you. My daughter, The Artist, has always had a hard time keeping up the kind of concentration that makes one able to avoid easy math mistakes: she grasps the concepts very well, but she can drop unbelievable mistakes in her homework - I kid you not, she did 2x4=20 just a couple of weeks ago, and she had no idea where that came from. But that has nothing to do with the algebra book she's learning from, and everything to do with who she is, so we laugh and pull our hair at the same time
            This is not to diagnose your daughter, of course, but to encourage you to understand the full picture in front of you, and see where problems are coming from before introducing changes that may muddle the waters for you even further.
            DS (14)
            DD (13)
            DS (6)

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MBentley View Post
              I have had a complete revamp of how I will do Math after watching the Sodalitas conference for the math grades I'm teaching. They do things that I never did, and spent time on things it wouldn't have occurred to me were so important. We were doing pretty good, but this was next level guidance. Those videos are still available.
              I NEED these math lectures. I hope MP releases them for purchase soon, because...I am already dreading it and we haven't even started!
              Ora et Labora!
              Emily

              Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
              DD (age 9): 4NU
              DD (age 7): MP 1
              DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
              "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

              Comment


                #8
                tanya Do we have a release date for Morning Math? (because I just sent an order over and forgot those!)
                Plans for 2020-21

                Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

                DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
                DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
                DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
                DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
                DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
                DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                  tanya Do we have a release date for Morning Math? (because I just sent an order over and forgot those!)
                  oh darn it! I KNEW there was something else I needed.......
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    TWO HUNDRED mixed facts?! Before even starting the lesson?!. Am I really underestimating my kids or is that just...a lot?
                    Jennifer
                    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                    DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
                    DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
                    DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
                    DS11: SC 4
                    DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
                    DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
                    DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                      TWO HUNDRED mixed facts?! Before even starting the lesson?!. Am I really underestimating my kids or is that just...a lot?
                      I think that starts in 4th? 3rd has the 100. The 100 was painful to start, but it has REALLY helped with math her. It makes those multi-step problems move more quickly when they only have to worry about the steps and not that actual math. I haven't done the MIXED facts...but addition, subtractions, multiplication, division. 4 days a week. We rotate through each operation. I do throw in a mixed one now and again though.

                      Believe it or not, they can start whipping through 100 facts in 3-4 minutes!
                      Christine

                      (2019/2020)
                      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                        TWO HUNDRED mixed facts?! Before even starting the lesson?!. Am I really underestimating my kids or is that just...a lot?
                        Yes, that is too many in my opinion.
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                          I think that starts in 4th? 3rd has the 100. The 100 was painful to start, but it has REALLY helped with math her. It makes those multi-step problems move more quickly when they only have to worry about the steps and not that actual math. I haven't done the MIXED facts...but addition, subtractions, multiplication, division. 4 days a week. We rotate through each operation. I do throw in a mixed one now and again though.

                          Believe it or not, they can start whipping through 100 facts in 3-4 minutes!
                          I am all for fact mastery, but 200 per day just seems like overkill even if not mixed. Mixed is crazy. We don’t use rod and staff any longer because I don’t think more is day default better. I go for quality over quantity. The student that can do as many problems as the book expects (not just facts) in a reasonable length of time probably didn’t need to do that many problems in the first place and handing off a huge assignment to most students is just demoralizing and takes forever. I think one needs to ask why you care if they can do 100 in 3 or 4 minutes. You don’t want facts to slow the child down, but I really don’t want a breakneck speed to be the goal that I am emphasizing. That most certainly not the skill that is going to help them in multi digit multiplication, long division, or algebra. I want careful work and attention to detail. Good handwriting in my opinion is at least as important as speed. It really doesn’t matter if they can whip through the facts if they can’t read their own handwriting. 50 at a time as a warm up is the most I ever do as a warmup - I don’t want them worn out before the lesson starts. We get lots of fact practice from games.

                          To the original poster - even though I don’t really like Rod and Staff I would stick with it before switching to Saxon. A few things I noticed on the R & S tests was that there was not very much room to write. If it is just homework you are grading for the 5th grader that has problems then try giving fewer problems. Pick a selection from each section and watch her do them. Maybe have her explain her steps to you are she goes along. You should be able to ascertain if she understands the material. Sometimes the reward that you only have to half if you are careful is an incentive for some kids.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mrs Bee View Post
                            I think it's always a good idea to figure out exactly what the trouble is, before being tempted to change a curriculum, which is a disruption and brings its own problems. I think a good reason to abandon a math program is when a child is clearly not understanding how concepts are explained, so that it's difficult to apply them to the homework done independently. But that's a difficulty that shows up all over the place, not just tests. So I agree with Sarah that you should take a good look at your math routines, and see what they may reveal.

                            As for easy mistakes... well, that may depend on the kind of child you have in front of you. My daughter, The Artist, has always had a hard time keeping up the kind of concentration that makes one able to avoid easy math mistakes: she grasps the concepts very well, but she can drop unbelievable mistakes in her homework - I kid you not, she did 2x4=20 just a couple of weeks ago, and she had no idea where that came from. But that has nothing to do with the algebra book she's learning from, and everything to do with who she is, so we laugh and pull our hair at the same time
                            This is not to diagnose your daughter, of course, but to encourage you to understand the full picture in front of you, and see where problems are coming from before introducing changes that may muddle the waters for you even further.
                            You just described my friend’s daughter. Very intelligent, can do math, has no special needs, but is very artistic in temperament. She would take hours to do an assignment, get as many wrong if assigned half a lesson as she would when assigned two lessons. It was much more a personality issue than a curriculum issue.

                            For my typical kids I like Rod and Staff for K-3 and then Saxon until the end of high school. I would only switch if there is a learning disability involved. My autistic son was taught using TouchMath.

                            Blessings,
                            Jude

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post

                              You just described my friend’s daughter. Very intelligent, can do math, has no special needs, but is very artistic in temperament. She would take hours to do an assignment, get as many wrong if assigned half a lesson as she would when assigned two lessons. It was much more a personality issue than a curriculum issue.

                              For my typical kids I like Rod and Staff for K-3 and then Saxon until the end of high school. I would only switch if there is a learning disability involved. My autistic son was taught using TouchMath.

                              Blessings,
                              Jude
                              Oh, Jude, my girl RUSHES! She's like that in everything she does, speeding through things at breakneck speed... that's why she can make appalling mistakes. And, having decided she's an Artist, she couldn't be bothered with the precision required by math, she almost takes it as a personal insult: I find that a deliciously childish attitude, but we're working on it
                              DS (14)
                              DD (13)
                              DS (6)

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