Announcement

Collapse

Disclaimer - Read This First

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about medical and educational conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

The educational and medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Cheryl Swope, M.Ed. and Memoria Press make no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or individualized advice from any other professional healthcare or educational provider. If you think you or your child may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention.

You should never delay seeking medical or educational advice, disregard medical or educational advice, or discontinue medical or educational treatment because of any information on this website.
See more
See less

math struggles

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    math struggles

    I have an amazing 11 year old daughter. She has epilepsy and with that has come many learning disabilities. She has been diagnosed formally with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and a major math learning disability that no one seems to be able to pinpoint. We pulled her out of school two years ago after touring the special ed facility they wanted to enroll her in. We started using Memoria Press this year, and so far love it. She does so well at the recitations and even latin. While she is not quite on grade level with her reading, she does ok, and has loved the stories. We are currently using MP2 and will switch to MP3 in January.

    I have seen progress in every area except math. We are still struggling with basic addition and subtraction. Her 7 year old sister, who is also doing MP2, has surpassed her in math. I am not sure where to go from here or even a new way of teaching it. We have tried Saxon, Math -u see, and Right Start. Lately I have been using flashcards and drilling her. One day she seems to remember her facts, and the next day it is gone. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Christa

    #2
    It sounds like maybe she will not be able to retain mastery due to her learning disabilities. I have heard (or read) Steve Demme talk about memorizing addition/subtraction and multiplication/division not always being possible for children who have serious learning disabilities. If this is the case, I would focus on ways for her to compensate and move on instead of remaining stuck there. Was the school able to give you any idea what she would/wouldn't be capable of in regards to math?
    Cheryl, mom to:

    ds 24, graduated
    ds 23, graduated
    dd 15, 9th Grade
    dd 12, 6th Grade
    ds 10, 4nd Grade

    Comment


      #3
      The school systems she was enrolled in all showed a low recognition of math concepts, but everything was always inconclusive. Every psychiatrist (three in two different states) that has tested her has said tests do not accurately show her ability and her testing was difficult for them to measure and unlike anything they have ever seen. None of the three had a good recommendation as to how to guide her. Sometimes we go back and work on patterns and place value, and I end up reteaching those again after we have moved on. We skip count by 2s and 5s every day, but the numbers just do not stick. When you say move on to other concepts, should I move on to multiplication and division?

      I will also say in practical matters she "does" math. If i say pass out two cookies to each of your sisters, she gets out the correct number. If I say how much more of something do you need, she always answers correctly. there seems to be a huge disconnect between the written academic portion of math and the daily living of math.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Christa View Post
        I will also say in practical matters she "does" math. If i say pass out two cookies to each of your sisters, she gets out the correct number. If I say how much more of something do you need, she always answers correctly. there seems to be a huge disconnect between the written academic portion of math and the daily living of math.
        This sounds like a language processing issue rather than one strictly related to "math". Dyspraxia is already in her DX (sweet lamb) and with her history of epilepsy, she mave have "acquired apraxia" as well (there is a fine distinction which I do not have time to look up now -- sorry! ). Acquired apraxia is usually the result of injury or loss of oxygen to the brain. It is seen in stroke patients, for example, who know the word they want to say but cannot remember it or remember how to form it orally. Our son was thought to have true developmental apraxia of speech (since he did not speak until he was five), a much more severe type of apraxia, that results from an unknown cause in utero.

        One of the hallmarks of both conditions is a correct reflexive action but a poor or even non-existent intentional action. For example, if a fly is buzzing around and lands on an apraxic child's nose, they will brush it off their nose without even thinking about it. But if you ask them to touch or brush the end of their nose intentionally, they cannot do it. The good news is, acquired apraxia is generally temporary. With therapy patients have good outcomes, and girls respond better to treatment than boys (since we women use more of our brains for language processing -- men only have one spot in their brain that does this).

        That said, I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR AN SLP. Check with your team and see what they think.

        Hope this helps! All my best to you and your family. Right there in the trenches with you!
        Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
        Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
        Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
        Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

        “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
        ~Pope St John Paul II

        Comment


          #5
          Oh! And if it helps you, CS Lewis was ABYSMAL at "maths". He said he was so awful he "couldn't even make change when going to the shops."

          And he turned out okay
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Christa View Post
            I have an amazing 11 year old daughter. She has epilepsy and with that has come many learning disabilities. She has been diagnosed formally with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and a major math learning disability that no one seems to be able to pinpoint. We pulled her out of school two years ago after touring the special ed facility they wanted to enroll her in. We started using Memoria Press this year, and so far love it. She does so well at the recitations and even latin. While she is not quite on grade level with her reading, she does ok, and has loved the stories. We are currently using MP2 and will switch to MP3 in January.

            I have seen progress in every area except math. We are still struggling with basic addition and subtraction. Her 7 year old sister, who is also doing MP2, has surpassed her in math. I am not sure where to go from here or even a new way of teaching it. We have tried Saxon, Math -u see, and Right Start. Lately I have been using flashcards and drilling her. One day she seems to remember her facts, and the next day it is gone. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

            Christa
            Hi, Christa.

            First, I love how you introduce this post! "I have an amazing 11 year old daughter." Because you see her this way, she is more likely to see herself this way -- if not now, then over time. This is excellent.

            Second, you and your daughter have earned an "A" for effort here: Three math curricula and three psychiatrists by age 11! Clearly you have been trying to unearth both the reasons and the remedies for your daughter's difficulties. This is not easy. When neurological conditions converge, some answers can become elusive, if not impossible to find.

            With my own daughter, many times I heard "multi-faceted" in my requests for answers amidst the complexities. This might be similar for your daughter with mathematics. Her dysgraphia, for example, clearly impacts the written portions of arithmetic. Difficulties with memory adversely affect retention of math facts. And so on.

            It seems you now have three primary issues:

            1. What to teach.
            2. How to teach it.
            3. When to accommodate.


            With each of these, you have more than one option. For the sake of time, I'll try to combine all of these into one response:

            If you think that her concept knowledge is strong, but she lacks only (1) math facts and (2) the ability to write answers correctly, you could provide her some accommodations and move forward. How far did she progress, for example, in Saxon?

            If, however, you notice that both concepts and calculations remain weak, you might want to begin from the beginning with something altogether new. Then persevere by providing strategies and accommodations, such as teaching in smaller portions twice daily, providing a visual reference (facts chart, abacus, or number line) for continual daily use, and requiring only oral answers at times.

            Fwiw, my daughter sounds very much like yours, and this latter approach worked well for her. I taught her from one math curriculum for several years, but my daughter's skills and understanding remained weak. She needed far more help in math than in any other area. (Latin, recitations, and literature were relative strengths for her.) Dysgraphia and other issues plagued her in every area, but most dramatically in math. We began "from the beginning" in another math curriculum with many accommodations, new teaching strategies, and a slower pace. She progressed much more quickly this way than if we had continued plowing through the first program.

            By now, at age 11, your daughter knows that math is not her personal area of strength. Typical approaches, such as flash cards and skip counting, may not be sufficient to address all of her needs in this area. For this reason, you could explain that you want to avoid gaps, solidify skills, and give her a stronger foundation by "beginning at the beginning" and moving forward. You can assure her that this will help her over time. You are not expecting perfection; rather, you are seeking to strengthen her existing skills and teach her new ones with better understanding.

            For a slower-paced, mastery-based, visually-assisted program, you might consider SC Level 1 Arithmetic. Now that the SC levels are customizable, you could pull only the SC Level 1 Arithmetic with Individualized Lesson Plans. Add this to your existing educational plan for your daughter.

            We designed this math program especially for such children. Even so, you could feel free to add the accommodations such as those mentioned above: teaching in smaller portions twice daily, visual reference (facts chart, abacus, or number line) for continual daily use, and requiring only oral answers at times. The SC lesson plans will add many visual and multi-sensory activities to help both with learning and with retaining the material. Furthermore, throughout the year she would be writing numerals with a very large font. This large font would instantly accommodate her dysgraphia while assisting her visual memory. She will likely find some of the material "too easy," but this might be refreshing for her! The "over-learning" might even assist her. She would review all foundational arithmetic concepts such as number value, one-to-one correspondence, addition and subtraction, place value, and more.


            If you feel that this suggestion is too drastic, you might consider exploring general tips for dyscalculia, even though she never received a formal diagnosis of dyscalculia. Then you can apply these suggestions to any math program at any level you think best for her. You can find these at dyscalculia.org and other locations.


            I hope some of this is helpful. For more tips, you might appreciate some of the FAS discussions regarding HeatherB's children.


            You can do this! Your daughter's successes with Latin and with recitations offer great hope and encouragement. Congratulations on all that you and your daughter have accomplished so far.

            Thanks-
            Cheryl


            Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

            Simply Classical Curriculum

            Comment

            Working...
            X