Homeschooling Moms

KrissyKC
math & other "failures?" for lack of better word... ((super long)) **ETA: in green**
September 25, 2013 at 7:55 PM

My eldest is seriously smart.... at least she used to be.   I think she still is. However, as a muscle atrophes when you don't use it, I think the brain does, too.

We did k-12 when she was 5.   Wasn't serious about HSing then, but we lived in a bad school district.

Moved six months later (at 5 1/2) and put her in public school.   The school felt she needed to go to first grade (not kindy) because of how advanced she was.   Totally not my suggestion... all led by the school.

She liked it at first, but quickly turned sour.   She ended up with very little friends, picked on, etc... major social issues that had her talking about dying and going to heaven all the time.  As those early years moved on, she got worse and worse and started shutting down into books and ignoring pretty much everyone.  Refusing to do work, refusing to do anything.   

FFWD... we pulled her out after third grade started over with the same issues.  ((She was a grade ahead, remember... so should have been a second grader.))

We popped her on time4learning.com, which she liked for about a month and then it was like pulling teeth.  She kept scoring really low on everything that didn't involve stories and make believe.... (just skipping and not doing the work.)

 Ok, so following year, we tried Saxon.   This would have been her third grade year (by age cut off of the school districts).   She tested successfully into Saxon 6/5.    So we, thinking maybe her probs is partly due to boredom and being held back... let her do 6/5.

She did swimmingly well... for about a month....  then it became gruelling...   She'd do great in front of me, but if I left her to do a couple problems (not even a bunch, but just a couple)... she would pick at her lips or draw circles in the air.   Complete refusal to do the work.

So, the following year, we decided to do 6th grade Rod and Staff.   Even though the Saxon was actually more advanced, I thought Rod & Staff would lay a better foundation of setting up the problems and writing them out more consistantly.   Yeah... lasted about a month.   She got bored.

During that year, I lose a baby, relocate once, get pregnant and relocate again the next year.

So that next year, with new baby, I decided to go back to time 4 learning and supplement english and library books.   I put her on their 6th grade math and tell her that if it's too easy, we'll change it to 7th grade.   This is technically her third year in the 6th grade math, just different curriculums.

Yeah... they did the work this year... but my daughter kept hitting the arrows to skip without listening to stuff.  She didn't pay attention to it, and therefore retained pretty much nothing.

FINALLY, we come to this year.   I threw my hands up and decided to pay for a curriculum that might work.

We pick Math U See.   Terrific curriculum.   I love it and it's working for my second oldest.   Seems to be working for her during the easy first several lessons.   She is doing Zeta, which is about sixth grade level.   Ok, fine... so we've done something in the sixth grade level for four years.  However, she is now the age of a sixth grader, so I'm ok with that.  She's still not behind.

Ok, MUS lessons are getting where they are still very easy (comprehension wise)... but she actually has to write out some problems and do the work... woe is me... we are back to pulling teeth again.


Here's my issue.  I don't want her in the habit of taking 3-5 hours every day to get about 1 hours worth of work out of her.    BUT... that being said, she has a 97% average in the class so far.   And I don't let her fix it for a better grade.  She gets the grade she gets.   Out of all the errors she HAS made... none of them have been over not understanding... but of not paying attention.   She will not put in the decimal, not write the "word" part of the answer for a story problem, she will just up and forget to borrow from the other number, transpose numbers in her head, etc...   She just really doesn't care about her work.

So... what is your opinion ladies?  she obviously KNOWS the work.   However, I'm concerned about moving into algebra and higher maths if she cannot work it out on paper.    

I guess what I'm asking is, would you start having deadlines or giving her zeros?  Or is that too much?  Because she will honestly get a zero every day.    Or, let her just keep being slow and miss a lot of other things in her life?


***EDITED TO ADD***

Thank you ladies!!! I am feeling a LOT better about this and have a plan of action.   I think I'm going to let her do the following with MUS Zeta:

1.  Watch video.   

2.  Complete the Final application and enrichment page (neat page that usually has extra concepts and ways to apply math).

3.  THE NEXT DAY: (to show retention of stuff learned) take test.   If showing confusion on any portion of the test, or if score under a 90% on the test, then the child will go back and do the work they skipped.

I think the kids will be elated, and with not sitting at the table pouring over math (needlessly?) for those extra hours, we will have more time to LIVE and learn other stuff.



 






Replies

  • TJandKarasMom
    September 25, 2013 at 8:08 PM
    I don't know :/. I wish I had advice for you. My younger one takes a long time, I am constantly reminding her to keep moving. My older one will rush through everything to be done so he can do other things...I wish they would level out right in between each other, lol. I don't knew what to do to get one to slow down and pay attention, write neater, etc...and to get the other to focus and speed up and stop procrastinating on every.thing!!

    I'll be watching this post for replies, and hope someone has some good advice for you!
  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    September 25, 2013 at 9:15 PM

     Dose she like video games? There is an app that teaches algebra in a fun video game I don't remember what it is called but I know a lot of homeschoolers & unschoolers use it for their children.

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    September 25, 2013 at 9:16 PM
  • mem82
    by mem82
    September 25, 2013 at 9:33 PM
    Hmm, this is a hard one. She sounds like she has developed really bad habits and has hit a cruising spot. She has done this for several years so she knows the material and can get good grades.
    I suggest you set time limits every day. Anything she doesn't get done, she does after her official school time is over. No games, no breaks but dinner. If after she does it, she gets a low score, give her consequences to that. Make sure you spell it out before the rules come down. If this means she goofs off and backs up her work through the weekend, make her do it. You have to get a handle on this now or she is going to fail middle school.
    I
  • AutymsMommy
    September 25, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Have you assessed HOW she best learns math? All of the curricula you listed has an entirely different approach/method: Saxon is spiral, dry, and grueling (we hate it here), the others you listed are "mastery". Does she need consistent review, moving very incrementally, or does she learn best with mastery - mastering one skill area in math completely before moving on to the next topic, with little review of previously learned concepts/skills?

    Have you asked her what SHE wants out of a math program? Does she want color, small books or one big text, etc.

    Finally, I might suggest striking a deal with the kid. Allow her to test out of chapters/sections. If she can pass the end of chapter/section test, she doesn't have to do the chapter. The benefit is two-fold; it would make her feel in control of her education (VERY important as you reach these upper years - SHE needs to own this!)... and it would allow you to sincerely see where she is in math. Once she finally hits a roadblock, let her do her math at the whiteboard, or type it on the computer, or do it WITH you (do not sic a hormonal preteen on her own math work; not when she's already unmotivated about it, lol; that's asking for trouble).

    She DOES need to work things out on paper, but I wouldn't push writing out entire problems right now. She needs to enjoy math first. She sounds naturally advanced in the subject - she just lost her zest for it (joy for it) somewhere along the way. I do agree that before hitting algebra, she needs to write things out... but if she has ANY learning differences (i.e. dyslexia, working memory issues) she may not be able to without significant help. Sometimes *these* children see things in a different way than we do, or even automatically, without KNOWING how to work the problem or HOW they got that answer. My daughter was infamous for it <---- big picture thinker; she would look at a problem, spout off the answer... when I asked her to show me how, she would trip up, not know how to put it on paper, and then end up with the WRONG answer. Lol.

    Finally. Bake some brownies with the kid and let her get crumbs on her math work. Brownies fix EVERYTHING.

    ETA: Have you looked at Math Mammoth? She could pick her own "topics" since it's a mastery program. In other words, she can say "I want to do division today!" or "I'd like to learn about negative numbers today!" <---- the chapters do not build on each other really. It's very "topical".

  • AutymsMommy
    September 25, 2013 at 9:57 PM


    I think Krissy is saying that she isn't ready for algebra yet - that she's worried about her moving into algebra without having really retained the necessary foundation in arithmetic.

    Quoting usmom3:

     Dose she like video games? There is an app that teaches algebra in a fun video game I don't remember what it is called but I know a lot of homeschoolers & unschoolers use it for their children.



  • AutymsMommy
    September 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM


    Dragonbox is a FANTASTIC supplement. Love it here!

    Quoting usmom3:

     This is it http://www.dragonboxapp.com/



  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    September 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM

     I cut & pasted this from the OP "So... what is your opinion ladies?  she obviously KNOWS the work.   However, I'm concerned about moving into algebra and higher maths if she cannot work it out on paper."

      She says she knows the information but doesn't like to work things out on paper wouldn't something like Dragonbox be great for her if she likes video games?

    Quoting AutymsMommy:

     

    I think Krissy is saying that she isn't ready for algebra yet - that she's worried about her moving into algebra without having really retained the necessary foundation in arithmetic.

    Quoting usmom3:

     Dose she like video games? There is an app that teaches algebra in a fun video game I don't remember what it is called but I know a lot of homeschoolers & unschoolers use it for their children.

     

     

     

  • KrissyKC
    September 25, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Wow ladies, thank you very much for all of your suggestions and words of advice.   I'm taking them all in.

    I agree 100% that she has some serious bad habits built up.  It affects EVERY area of her life.  There isn't anything she has successfully finished without major involvement from me.   Even the clubs and things she wants to belong in, she does half heartedly.    She gets so frustrated that other kids' work turns out better than hers in sewing, art, etc...   I do wonder if she has ADHD (the inattentive kind).    

    I like the suggestions of the websites.  I will make a list of all of them.   I have heard of Dragonbox and MathMammoth, but haven't looked into them thoroughly.

  • KrissyKC
    September 25, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    We have followed that principle for a long time.  About not doing anything but sitting back down to work, and while it ends up getting done... I don't feel it accomplishes more than our butting heads and both of us not really enjoying.   The biggest thing is the lack of progress.

    I wonder if you didn't hit the nail on the head when you mentioned, "she knows the material and she can get good grades."     Maybe I made the mistake of making her go back over and over to try to fix the problem.  Maybe I should let her progress and fail at how she is doing things instead... now, before she hits high school and college.   Make it so she can't just turn on auto pilot.



    Quoting mem82:

    Hmm, this is a hard one. She sounds like she has developed really bad habits and has hit a cruising spot. She has done this for several years so she knows the material and can get good grades.
    I suggest you set time limits every day. Anything she doesn't get done, she does after her official school time is over. No games, no breaks but dinner. If after she does it, she gets a low score, give her consequences to that. Make sure you spell it out before the rules come down. If this means she goofs off and backs up her work through the weekend, make her do it. You have to get a handle on this now or she is going to fail middle school.
    I



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