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Math and Spelling Retention

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    Math and Spelling Retention

    My Daughter (8) is currently in MP2 and has completed MPK-MP1. This fall she was officially diagnosed with ADHD. Our personal modifications have been helpful and we are working with a therapist that is very positive about our homeschool environment and believes she is operating at grade level.

    However, (it was coming right?), she can not seem to retain her math facts. In the past I have freaked out, stopped progress in math and gone back to math facts specifically 5-10 addition and subtraction. After several weeks of daily practice she has it. We move on and the daily practice decreases and we’re back to counting on fingers, staring at her number line, etc. She understands the concepts of addiction and subtraction and can quickly knock out the double digit addition and subtraction, with borrowing and carrying, but she is counting the whole time. (An odd side note, she accels at finding patterns so I have tried to help her see the “patterns” in addition/subtraction but she said she can only see it when the problems are written horizontally????$

    With spelling it is similar. Easily discernible sounds she is able to sound out but if it requires memorizing vowel teams she will remember it the week we work on it but then she forgets. We started the year with SW B but last week we moved to the new Traditional Spelling 1 because of the emphasis on vowel teams and isolating the sounds in the dictation section of the workbook.

    So I’m struggling to decide what to do. Is the goal conceptual understanding, because if so she has that. If it’s memorization then I have to say I’m stumped. I have added basic addition/subtraction speed drills to our math to help her keep fresh on the facts, but she’s still counting.

    I would appreciate any ideas, thoughts, cautions you may have....

    Re: Math and Spelling Retention

    Good morning! It will not surprise you that the goal is "both." We want both conceptual understanding and automaticity, whether in math or in spelling/reading.

    Sometimes specific learning disabilities can follow early presentations of ADHD, so it might be worth investigating this. She may learn differently and then also require a more intentional approach to help her retain what she learns. When she received her diagnosis, was this through a center specializing in learning and behavior? If yes, you might want to return now that you are seeing signs of learning difficulties. If not, find someone in your area who can assess such things and tell them that you see these:

    -knows something one day but not the next
    -has difficulties memorizing
    -is bright but describes unusual patterns of her learning
    -is trying hard to learn but something seems to be getting in the way
    -was dx'd with ADHD at age ___, but this seems to be more of a learning issue than merely ADHD
    -has good conceptual understanding but does not seem to retain some information despite repeated practice

    These will all be "red flags" to the intake people that both you and she are trying hard, yet something more than ADHD could be impacting her learning.

    You will want both an intellectual assessment (e.g. WISC-V) AND an academic assessment.

    I would start there. See what your insurance covers. (If needed, you might obtain testing through the schools, although your efforts will make her look quite good for age 8, so in my opinion you would want to be sure the school testers are exceptionally capable if you choose this route.)

    As for day-to-day instruction, ..
    Math -
    You might want to teach R&S 2 from the SC 3 lesson plans.
    Spelling -
    See how she does with TS for spelling, but be prepared to take this two weeks per one lesson to really solidify everything involved.
    Both -
    Play games in both arithmetic and spelling for extra, engaging, non-writing review, and review more often for "overteaching." Through the built-in games in the SC plans, you will learn to teach differently. You can then use this approach in any subject. You will work with Dominoes, dice, and other pattern-based items that she might appreciate.

    Bridge Year?
    If needed, you might even consider a Bridge Year between MP 1 and MP 2 by inserting SC 2 in between. In SC 2, we review MPK and MP1. We have had students successfully move from SC 2 to MP 2. This could be preferable to feeling as though you pushed too far or too fast. You would keep MP 2 but just wait on teaching it until after you have given her more focused support.

    Last edited by cherylswope; 01-22-2018, 09:59 AM.


      Re: Math and Spelling Retention

      Cheryl, Thank you for the prompt reply. I took a look at the sample lesson plan on the web page for SC3/ R&S 2 and I may be interested in using that plan. Can I purchase only the SC3 Arithmetic plan or would I need to purchase the entire SC3 lesson plan? I noticed that, in the sample on the web page, it referenced a couple of book titles and games that I'm not sure are included if I only order the Arithmetic lesson plan.


        Re: Math and Spelling Retention

        Yes, we include a few other items. 1.) Check the module for the items you need, 2.) call the office (1-877-862-1097) or email, and 3.) ask for the Individual SC Arithmetic Plans for the level you want along with the remaining module items you need.