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hitting a wall in math

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    hitting a wall in math

    Hi Cheryl,
    Just wanted to bounce this off of you. My son seems to have hit a wall in math. No matter how many times and ways I and special ed teachers tried to show him borrowing and carrying, he can't seem to do it on his own. If I am not there to remind him, he does it incorrectly. He also can not seem to get multiplication facts. Not through skip counting, not through drilling, not through visual demonstrations, not through computer games. He does not enjoy doing math at all. As a reminder, he is 14 and at the low end of mid-functioning, due to some good self-care skills (with supervision), but will never go to college, have a job, etc... He's like a sweet five year old in many ways. He loves to draw, and I can tell that a lot of his time is spent just trying to make sense of the world around him. I hear him have to repeat words or phrases hundreds of times to get them right. I see him working so hard to pronounce names and figure out language. His social skills and expressive speech are where I see the most improvement in the last two years.
    I'm not sure if I should worry about the math or just accept that it may be beyond his capabilities. We keep working on money math, because he does like to go to the store. His limited verbal skills make it difficult to come up with good ways to work math into everyday life as I do with my typical children.
    Have you ever had an education goal that you finally had to abandon?

    dd 17
    ds 14 (special needs)
    ds 11
    ds 9
    dd 7
    ds 4
    dd 2

    Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
    Hi Cheryl,
    Just wanted to bounce this off of you. My son seems to have hit a wall in math.... Have you ever had an education goal that you finally had to abandon?
    Hi, Jude.

    Not abandon, but certainly modify.

    My daughter reached a ceiling in math when she was about Finn's age. We could not seem to move higher, so we moved "horizontally."

    She now performs math lessons at her own independent level. (For a refresher, see the Independent, Instructional, and Frustration level descriptions in Simply Classical.)

    I believe in continuing the study of mathematics, music, science -- the arts of the quadrivium -- throughout their schooling. The practical value is visible, as in counting money, as you mentioned. Other noticeable benefits include preventing regression! We stopped math lessons for a time, and I witnessed regression in such practical areas as telling time, cooking, mental computation, estimating prices when shopping, and even playing board games.

    Possibly more than the visibly practical benefits, such studies provide order. Even lower-level arithmetic, music theory, geometry, and astronomy are orderly. I wanted Michelle to continue developing and "exercising" her mind in orderly ways.

    So after some private agonizing, I explained that she would now start a new math program, but that her mind would continue to grow stronger and more disciplined with her efforts. We switched from the other math program (in which she hit a ceiling) and started her in a lower level of Rod & Staff for independent study.

    She works in these books mostly independently, unless she needs instruction on a specific skill. With the R&S books, she steadily reviews calculations, number value, place value, and more. This is preferable to me than abandoning mathematics altogether.

    This might not be the solution for everyone. Maybe with more effort, I could have helped her climb a bit higher. Instead, we allow this regular review to be sufficient, and we focus more on her poetry.


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

    NEW Simply Classical Curriculum
    Memoria Press