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Solong
07-02-2014, 01:12 AM
We are into our third year of hsing, and dd is headed into G5(ish). I don't know if it's growing confidence, or laziness, or that I just need a cheap thrill... but, I'm thinking of dropping our math work for a year.

Math doesn't come easily for dd, and it is her least favourite hschool topic. It is also my least favourite, because she is so friggin' resistant to it. I have no more backflips left in me. We have seriously tried it ALL. ALL. Yet, it still ends up being a fairly school-ish experience, with workbooks and 'lessons'. I'm thinking it is the schooly approach that she ultimately dislikes, maybe not math itself.

My justifications: She will be a youngish G5 (for here, where redshirting is common). She tested in the 99th percentile on provincial math exams for this past year. A few of her projects are math-heavy.

I'm thinking we'll just create a little math space on the old bookshelf, and if she feels the urge - it is there, with all her other projects. If not, she might fall behind by a year... and we'd have to scramble to catch up.

Has anyone walked away from math for a year? What was the experience like?

Disclaimer added 11/15: I was unknowingly working off of higher grade level outcomes with my dd (for three consecutive years, yikes). This likely caused most of the math frustration and resistance we experienced. There are still lots of great math ideas contributed by other members in this thread!!!! Just take my posts with a bit of salt.

CatInTheSun
07-02-2014, 01:54 AM
I think it would be fine to "tread water" WRT math, but to completely drop it -- I think that is a bad idea. Math is a use it or lose it proposition that takes a lot of years to really ingrain. You don't have to "push forward" or do a whole curriculum, but maybe do some review 3-4 days a week. Maybe something like a small amount of Kahn Academy each day would suit her. I've used that for filling gaps with my DD, and it's pretty painless. Even if she worked some days in the earlier grade levels, at least that is something!

You could even just tell her to do one new topic and one master challenge a day, and she can pick whatever topic she likes.

When my dd was 7yo I let her to a little too little -- she needed a light touch with math during ghee sulky phase, but it did create more of a setback than necessary which she had to deal with this past year, which is not pleasant with emotional kids. But at least at 8yo she could understand the consequences.

summer94
07-02-2014, 02:24 AM
I was having a lot of pushback with my daughter when I brought her home to hs her. She was so frustrated with math at school. We started on teaching textbooks, which she did like, but I felt like she needed a little more time working on things. So I got the Learn Math Fast books. It's been amazing. The book teaches in a way like it's speaking directly to the student. It's like you can envision a teacher right there. She REALLY likes it. I just started her with one lesson a day and you don't move forward until you totally understand it.

I agree, I wouldn't stop all math, kids lose an estimated 20% of math learning just over the summer break. I can imagine what a whole year could do.

I would just go slow and steady and don't try to push forward. See where she's missing things and start a re-learning a lesson before what she doesn't understand. Hopefully that made sense, I'm a little loopy on vicodin right now from some oral surgery today! lol

murphs_mom
07-02-2014, 03:51 AM
I am a little leery of totally moving away from math. I know how my DD gets when we've shelved the workbooks for a few weeks to work on other stuff. She forgets some stuff and she loves math. Instead of totally shelving it, can you go more of a stealth route: cooking, science experiments, grocery shopping, etc.? Something where the math is a tool that's just a facet?

For example, we play a 'game' with DD where (when shopping) she has to estimate the total cost of goods, calculate the tax, and then take the items to the check out. At the checkout, she listens to see how close her estimate is. When the cashier tells her the exact amount, she has to figure out what the change will be before the cashier hands it to her (yes, I block her view of the register display). IF she gets it right, she gets to keep the coins. Her piggy bank has been filling quickly. She's to the point that she really looks forward to this game AND she LOVES the attention she gets from the cashiers. They're usually very verbal with their praise and she gobbles up that attention.

We do lots of things with math that aren't the dry pencil-and-paper things. Maybe use computer games that have a math component? IDK. Math is a tough one to totally ignore. We had this issue with music and history. DD just wasn't that into them in the beginning, so I shelved them for the most part. I did occasionally test waters (maybe every 3mo or so) to see if there was any interest yet. But there was no formal curriculum or lesson plan I was following; it was quite piecemeal. I guess I was just too chicken to totally shelve it? :p

justabout
07-02-2014, 03:57 AM
I had a maths phobic son when he came out of school. I did everything I could to make him feel that maths with me was fun. We did maths-themed computer games, worked on problems together - did interesting stuff that he enjoyed, let him choose his own subjects and projects - and he is now much more tolerant of maths. But the flip side is that he DID lose some skills in those six months.
I am not too concerned because I am pretty sure he will be in a better position to retain what he learns now, even if it means going over some stuff again. I really needed to break the anxiety cycle which we have mostly done, he still has days...but if it is just general resistance I would say, take a year to consolidate and practice and if she gets bored, introduce new stuff. You don't have to do it every day.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
07-02-2014, 08:00 AM
Your DD's schooling is project based, right? Could you make it a condition of dropping formal math (for a while) that she build a math component into all her projects? Data analysis, fractions/percentages, measurement, and basic arithmetic would be pretty easy to incorporate, especially into science projects.

freerangedad
07-02-2014, 08:01 AM
It sounds like you have a good handle on the situation. We dropped math recently (with great reluctance on my part). It had become a struggle, in large part, because of my insistence on story problems. This is the first time I have truly unschooled a major subject, and I'm glad to say it didn't take long before DD started asking about math. When she asked if we were going to study math anymore, I told her that it was up to her. She said she didn't want to fall behind the other kids. OK, her reason was not from the desire to learn that we long for, but it's good enough for me.

I know you and your DD worked hard for her to develop her math skills, but there is no way she is scoring in the 99th percentile unless she has a brain that is suited to math. I doubt she will ever have great difficulties with any math she needs to learn. It sounds like she will continue math with her projects, so you wont be dropping it completely. Your dropping math might not last a year. An obvious restarting point might just arise.

Dropping math worked well for us. It gave us a chance to have a fresh start and created more investment on DD's part. We are going to use Kahn academy when we restart so she can have the reward of "mastering" concepts, something that has been lacking in our math curriculum.

dbmamaz
07-02-2014, 09:23 AM
You could just use a bunch of math readers, so she's still THINKING about math without having to do any worksheets. We often take a month of just reading murderous maths, as a break. there are no problems in murderous maths (except the geometry one which is all about drawing shapes and he hated it) check out livingmath.net. I would definitely feel fine about a long break from worksheets and problems, but I would still want SOMETHING . . . some dice games maybe.

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 11:11 AM
I absolutely wouldn't be willing to drop all math for a year. No way.

I would be willing to do one of these ideas above - read the Murderous Maths books together and nothing else, or have a math game day where you're playing something math meaty like Muggins or 24 a few times a week, or doing a really easy practice book that just keeps up review concepts.

I mean, if you do it, she may recover just fine. But kids lose their math knowledge over time if they don't practice. Studies have shown that. I would be willing to not move forward and that might be a great idea for just letting things sink in, no new concepts, or no new concepts that you have to do through practice work at least, might be great.

But you can obviously disagree...

ejsmom
07-02-2014, 12:33 PM
When we spent a year doing vision therapy with my son he could NOT move forward in math, as he could not visually put 2 digit (or more) numbers into columns. They just didn't line up for him. We spent a year treading water, but that was fine. We backed off math, and only did it 3 days a week, and didn't really push new concepts, and only did 5 problems per lesson, one at a time, written really large on a big white board. Sometimes ds would ask how to figure something from real life projects, and then I'd teach him the concept and help him figure it out, one step at a time on the big white board.

It was the best thing to do at that time for us, in our situation. But I would not be comfortable dropping math entirely. I'm in the position now of playing catch up, and ds doesn't seem worried about it, but I'm stressed about it. We spent last year re-learning all that we spent the year just reviewing - because it all looked different now that his vision has been corrected. So this year is our "catch up" year. My state requires a standardized test this year - for his claimed grade level, so we kind of do have to catch him up to some degree. I know he'll be able to catch up without too much struggle even though he "absolutely hates math!" because he is more confident now. The year of just review and not moving forward bored him and made him see that with enough practice, math can become second nature. Also, in PA I legally have to teach math in some way - and show that he is doing something, so I wouldn't really have that option anyway.

Fairielover
07-02-2014, 12:54 PM
I also would have a problem with completely dropping math. Maybe you could do something like Life of Fred once a week just to make sure the concepts were still there. Life of Fred is fun.

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 01:20 PM
This is sort of fascinating. All of us are willing to back way off on math, but not drop it completely.

CatInTheSun
07-02-2014, 02:05 PM
The year I treaded lightly with my then 7yo (didn't press math facts too much, we did fun frothy math why she matured emotionally), I do feel some guilt because I regret that I went TOO light with her math -- ultimately because it was easy to do with an older sister who was hitting on all cylinders and a younger brother that was learning to read and starting to require "formal" learning time. She's naturally gifted in general and particularly in math, but that one light year (not even fully off)...well we're one year into what will likely be a two year process of recovery. If I had been more intentional and on top of HOW we lightened that year, I think she'd be up to 100% by now.

Just because they are wired for math doesn't mean they are emotionally ready for it or will automatically like it. Just because they are good at it now, doesn't mean they can handle a year off.

I guess I wouldn't let my child stop reading books or writing, either. I might forego formal writing interaction and have them journal, but I want them writing. To me math is the same way.

You need some sort of constant flow in ALL of the math disciplines (arithmetic, probability, geometry, algebraic thinking, fractions/decimals, etc) to build retention. I think that's the concern with just doing "projects that are heavy in math" -- what KIND of math? You would need to be sure you are hitting all the branches of the tree throughout the year, ideally several times a year.

pdpele
07-02-2014, 02:12 PM
Ok - I do think most of us wouldn't want to 'drop' math (talk about anxiety!). But just to play devil's advocate for a second. (AnonyMS - sorry - hope this is not an abuse of your question/thread).

What if "math" could be done without a set schedule/curriculum/etc.? Like what if AnonyMS makes a list of concepts/skills that she doesn't want her DD to lose or that she wants her to learn in, say, the next 12 mos. And then just finds opportunities to hit on them when they arise. And maybe does some story based living math books like those suggested.

I"m thinking about this, b/c my resistant learner has actually learned a lot of math this year without us doing regular practice with a curriculum. It's sort of "worked" (I'm not saying it's great or recommending it). We've read books. Played card/dice games with adding/subtracting points needed. Played "math games" over and over where he gives me big problems to try to stump me and I've talked him through how I solve it in my head or shown him with the abacus / rods / manipulatives. The deal is I get to give him some problems whenever he gives me some. And he has to participate in my problem solving (if I get to a point of mentally adding/subtracting/multiplying smaller numbers, say). Most of this is on his initiative - on car rides / at lunch etc.

I read up on 1st grade math / looked at Singapore's method/curriculum to learn more about sequence / methods to teach it. And somehow he is on grade level for the normal scope and actually above it in other ways (simple fractions / simple multiplication / adding easy big numbers (10+ / 100+ / 1,000+, etc.)

Even more interesting, he's starting to put together stuff on his own. DS and DH were having some sort of plants vs zombie swimming battle. DH, like a good HS parent, was having him do some mental math with the score keeping - DS doubled 5,000 right and they kept it going - DH was shocked when he doubled 20,000 correct. So just out of curiosity DH asked him, what's 45,000 times two, then? DH didn't know exactly how he did it, but DS turned his back, took a little bit of time, turned around and said, "that's 90,000."

Now - AnonyMS - your DD is older - the math is more complicated - but don't you think what she needed to learn would come up in her projects? Could y'all talk about the goals for moving her forward in her math ability and would she agree to do the work / learn from you and your DH when she needs a new concept to solve a problem? Given what you've posted before about your DD and her work, I think I might just say take the leap, trust her initiative and give it some time - see what happens.

Now, the pros and cons of this method versus getting cooperation with a more traditional math approach. IDK. I'm always second-guessing myself on that stuff....

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 02:30 PM
I think that's similar to what a lot of is are saying, pdpele. That's not dropping math, it's just approaching it very differently. I think dropping a math curricula is fine for awhile, possibly a long time, it's more dropping all math except for those few times when you need to do it in everyday life (a lot less in the lives of kids) that I can't imagine.

aspiecat
07-02-2014, 02:53 PM
When kids are young (say, under 13), it can be difficult for them to see goals that are "far off". And goals are often necessary for motivational reasons where homeschooled kids are concerned. Heck, where regular-schooled kids are concerned, too. They just don't see the point.

I don't blame them.

When it comes to subjects that are high on a kid's "OMG do I haaaave tooooo?" list, really HIGH motivation is required. But how do you convince a kid of 10 the reason he has to do Math now is because he won't be able to do the next year's Math, and the reason he has to do Math at all is to achieve a certain level of mathematical ability in order to not only possibly go to college, but to do almost any job they might get, even if it doesn't warrant a degree. Mathematical ability is a necessary life skill, and he will need it for when he is out on his own, and having to do anything with money, finances and taxes.

However, a 5th-grader is not going to see any of this. He is simply going to find Math "too hard" and not agree that he can learn it, nor that there is any use for it.

A thing you might do with him in the meantime, and probably fits with your DS's age, is when you go to the supermarket, is give him a calculator and get him to compare unit prices when comparing brands and pack-sizes. I would do that with DS when he was much younger (he's 15 now) and he found it fun - and not much like Math at all. This would not only give him practice in calculations in a variety of mathematical areas (percentages, multiplication, division, ratios, fractions just to name a few), it would give him a view of how Math is used in the real world. You wouldn't tell him this is going to happen - you'd simply ask him for his help and hand him a calculator.

That's one way of perhaps laying off the more "schoolroom" Math, yet keeping things going in a necessary skillset.

Aspie

pdpele
07-02-2014, 03:03 PM
Oh, Farrar, I get what you are saying, I think. I think you mean that what I / others have described isn't really "dropping" math - just fostering the learning in a non-curriculum / school-work kind of way. OK. I guess I, too, can't even imagine not trying to foster some progression in math!

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 03:31 PM
Maybe what AnonyMs needs is permission to drop *formal* math. We give it to you. Not that you need our blessing or anything. ;)

Solong
07-02-2014, 03:46 PM
Dh is so mellow - just drop it, he says, and we'll see how it goes. I'm more like most of you. Walking away from math gives me butterflies.

What we are doing is technically working. Her skills are strong, her confidence is much, much improved. There are glimmers of genuine curiosity and enjoyment with applied math skills for her projects. If asked, though, she'll tell you that she hates math So, our methods are technically working, but ultimately failing (in my opinion).

At the end of spring, we renegotiated and decided to go year-round, three days a week (30-45m). This felt reasonable to me. She sighs, moans and the :rolleyes: stage is upon us. I could take the easy approach, and just say "Get it done." Emphasis on the period. That just doesn't feel like the best approach for the long-term. She may never love math (I don't). However, I want her to respect how fundamentally important it is, and to at minimum appreciate what math can DO for us (the part of math that I love). Right now, she is in an avoidance default mode.

We'd continue with existing math via projects, but not add any extra math. She'd be doing mostly calculations with whole numbers. Decimals would be limited to accounting. Fractions and percentages would show up just a bit for things like fledging rates of chicks and other citizen sci. Single variable equations when deciding what to charge for her apiary products, or via 'farm math' (as fastweedpuller suggested on the FarmSchool thread).

Maybe I'm underestimating the amount of math we do, or I'm overestimating the amount of repetition she needs. I'm just not sure it would be enough math. On the other hand, next year we are flying totally solo, and this is our chance to really do whatever we want. We'll have a farm to play on, in addition to the research forest. We are year-to-year on this hschool journey. If we need to take more conventional jobs... it could come to an end.

Part of me wants to do a running, flying cannonball. WAHOOOOO! The other part of me is arguing, "If she has to reintegrate back into pschool, you might regret this. She's doing well. There is no need to complicate things or take risks."

Starkspack
07-02-2014, 03:53 PM
Devil's advocate here (because I, too, would have a panic attack to think of eliminating math altogether) - I was reminded of this study (or whatever) that was done, about how long it really takes to learn all of K-12 math. Here is one story about it:

Just Do the Math, by David Albert - BestHomeschooling.org (http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/math_david_albert.html)

So with that as a framework, getting behind or stalling on math shouldn't have a long term impact. Other than the impact of making us poor HS parents start smoking and drinking to stave off the anxiety produced by not teaching formal math each year. ;)

Solong
07-02-2014, 03:58 PM
It sounds like you have a good handle on the situation. We dropped math recently (with great reluctance on my part). It had become a struggle, in large part, because of my insistence on story problems. This is the first time I have truly unschooled a major subject, and I'm glad to say it didn't take long before DD started asking about math. When she asked if we were going to study math anymore, I told her that it was up to her. She said she didn't want to fall behind the other kids. OK, her reason was not from the desire to learn that we long for, but it's good enough for me.

I know you and your DD worked hard for her to develop her math skills, but there is no way she is scoring in the 99th percentile unless she has a brain that is suited to math. I doubt she will ever have great difficulties with any math she needs to learn. It sounds like she will continue math with her projects, so you wont be dropping it completely. Your dropping math might not last a year. An obvious restarting point might just arise.

Dropping math worked well for us. It gave us a chance to have a fresh start and created more investment on DD's part. We are going to use Kahn academy when we restart so she can have the reward of "mastering" concepts, something that has been lacking in our math curriculum.

I am clinging to this response, lol!! She'll totally start asking for math, right? Right? She'll miss math, and have a math-renaissance.

We have busted our butts with math big-time. More than all other subjects combined. Which makes the idea of letting it go very scary. What if it backfires, and all that hard work is lost? Is it a risk I can take? Dh and dd say, YES. I am leaning towards 'yes' as well.

freerangedad
07-02-2014, 04:04 PM
I think dropping a math curricula is fine for awhile, possibly a long time, it's more dropping all math except for those few times when you need to do it in everyday life (a lot less in the lives of kids) that I can't imagine.

Yeah, I have found the opposition to Amonomys' idea interesting. I assume it is because she said for one year. I told DD we would drop math until she decided it was time to start studying it again. I had no idea how long that would be, nor do I know how long I could have held out. I just thought I'd try it. We will both have fresh starts when we resume math at "the beginning of next school year." Even when we dropped math, DD still had tell me, on a regular bases, what 70% of her egg revenues were and how much was spending money and how much would go to a college fund. I still, occasionally, ask her questions to remind her of fractions and proportions. I'm imagine Anonomys would do the same.

I have said this before and will say it again. Anonomys, your instincts have clearly served you well in homeschooling your DD. I would stick to your instincts. I would only recommend to not put an amount of time on your hiatus. It might not last that long.

Solong
07-02-2014, 04:04 PM
Devil's advocate here (because I, too, would have a panic attack to think of eliminating math altogether) - I was reminded of this study (or whatever) that was done, about how long it really takes to learn all of K-12 math. Here is one story about it:

Just Do the Math, by David Albert - BestHomeschooling.org (http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/math_david_albert.html)

So with that as a framework, getting behind or stalling on math shouldn't have a long term impact. Other than the impact of making us poor HS parents start smoking and drinking to stave off the anxiety produced by not teaching formal math each year. ;)

Well. I love this right now. I'm all out of Moscato right now, though...

freerangedad
07-02-2014, 04:13 PM
We have busted our butts with math big-time. More than all other subjects combined. Which makes the idea of letting it go very scary. What if it backfires, and all that hard work is lost? Is it a risk I can take? Dh and dd say, YES. I am leaning towards 'yes' as well.

This was the case with us as well. We were spending an absurd amount of time on math. I had the same fears. The beauty is you can always fold if it's not working out. :)

Solong
07-02-2014, 04:14 PM
The year I treaded lightly with my then 7yo (didn't press math facts too much, we did fun frothy math why she matured emotionally), I do feel some guilt because I regret that I went TOO light with her math -- ultimately because it was easy to do with an older sister who was hitting on all cylinders and a younger brother that was learning to read and starting to require "formal" learning time. She's naturally gifted in general and particularly in math, but that one light year (not even fully off)...well we're one year into what will likely be a two year process of recovery. If I had been more intentional and on top of HOW we lightened that year, I think she'd be up to 100% by now.

Just because they are wired for math doesn't mean they are emotionally ready for it or will automatically like it. Just because they are good at it now, doesn't mean they can handle a year off.

I guess I wouldn't let my child stop reading books or writing, either. I might forego formal writing interaction and have them journal, but I want them writing. To me math is the same way.

You need some sort of constant flow in ALL of the math disciplines (arithmetic, probability, geometry, algebraic thinking, fractions/decimals, etc) to build retention. I think that's the concern with just doing "projects that are heavy in math" -- what KIND of math? You would need to be sure you are hitting all the branches of the tree throughout the year, ideally several times a year.

It would be far, far, FAR less math all around. We wouldn't hit all the branches - maybe not even once. There is also the very real possibility that she will start to shy away from the math portions of her projects... that her confidence would effectively DIMINISH. YIKES!!!!!

I totally hear this side of the argument too.

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 04:28 PM
Because it's never been really verified or studied, I always call bs on the Sudbury supposed miracle. As well as that famous 1920's article. That teacher specifically did a huge amount of conceptual math with those kids before introducing "real math" and then trying to claim they learned it all in a year. Well, yeah, but after you spent years playing games with them that stealthily taught math.

There are a lot more studies that show that kids, when they don't practice reading, writing, and math, lose those skills and don't fare as well against the kids who do. Even when you're talking about just over a single summer.

mamaraby
07-02-2014, 04:51 PM
Because it's never been really verified or studied, I always call bs on the Sudbury supposed miracle. As well as that famous 1920's article. That teacher specifically did a huge amount of conceptual math with those kids before introducing "real math" and then trying to claim they learned it all in a year. Well, yeah, but after you spent years playing games with them that stealthily taught math.

There are a lot more studies that show that kids, when they don't practice reading, writing, and math, lose those skills and don't fare as well against the kids who do. Even when you're talking about just over a single summer.

Yeah, the math miracle part is sketchy! But again, I think it all comes down to what has been recommended in this thread...conceptual math, math books, etc. Skip the workbook/curriculum and come at it around the corner and on the diagonal. That's actually the point the author of the linked article got to. Not dropping it completely, but finding other ways of approaching it.

Would I drop it all the way? No. I do think there could be some value in doing that for a month or two. But...we're talking 5th grade here? I think you could definitely skip the formal curriculum for a year and coast a bit as outlined above. Then pick up again next year with formal curriculum.

Kimberlapoderosa
07-02-2014, 06:02 PM
What about doing a lot of games? We have the games set from Right Start Math and my boys get so much out of it. My older DS 13 actually offers to play the games with DS 8!

farrarwilliams
07-02-2014, 07:30 PM
I feel like if you played 24 or Muggins once a day for the year, you could call that math practice.

RachelC
07-02-2014, 07:45 PM
I'm not saying the evidence of the Sudbury, etc. study is sound, but the concept is. Have you heard of Jaime Escalante, that math teacher from LA (the movie Stand and Deliver was about him)? That is a real-life example of students, when motivated, being able to learn, understand, and truly comprehend a seemingly large amount of math concepts in a relatively short amount of time. It happens often with immigrants to the US as well. If a person is motivated and wants to learn the math, they can, in a much shorter, and less painful, time.

So, I don't think you really need to worry about your daughter 'losing' her current math knowledge. I agree with the others in the thread who suggested other mathy activities, like games and projects, mostly cuz they're fun and it's great to stretch your thinking processes in different directions.

bibiche
07-02-2014, 08:57 PM
We took almost a year off from math a couple years ago, but DS played lots and lots of logic games and lots of mathy card games and was responsible for making purchases and keeping track of his change, so it wasn't completely math free, just drudgery math free.

Could you do fun stuff? Or interesting stuff? I always hated math and am fairly math phobic, but a couple weeks ago when looking for fun stuff for DS I came across Crewton Ramone House of Math and had a bit of an epiphany. Terribly organized site, but its emphasis on visualization was truly a revelation. I have been semi obsessed with doing math (albeit on a fourth grade level) since finding it. Maybe your daughter just needs to find a different approach that will excite and motivate her...? I rreally wish that someone had helped me find what it was that helped me "get" math rather than just writing me off because wow! Math is fun!!

Oh, and FWIW, DS now loves math - he just needed a break and a different approach.

Andi
07-02-2014, 08:58 PM
I feel like if you played 24 or Muggins once a day for the year, you could call that math practice.

24 Game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Game)

Is this the 24 game you're referring to? Looking to add to our math game collection. TIA!

justabout
07-02-2014, 09:07 PM
I wanted to come back and say that this morning I retested my eldest, and it turns out he hasn't lost as many maths skills as I thought, (am feeling less guilty now).

Hollyberry
07-03-2014, 06:08 PM
Here is a link to a math 24 game solver for those playing with a deck of cards: Make 24 (http://www.boergens.de/make24/solve/)

farrarwilliams
07-04-2014, 10:22 AM
24 Game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Game)

Is this the 24 game you're referring to? Looking to add to our math game collection. TIA!

Yes, though I've only ever played the commercial version. I didn't know you could do it with cards, though it makes sense. The nice thing about doing it with the commercial deck is that each card has one, two, or three dots in order to indicate the difficulty level. Cards with one dot are pretty easy. A good way to play with a new kid is to face off against them yourself - you doing the three dot and them doing the one. Sometimes I get stuck on a three dot for a really, really long time. :_p:

This is the classic deck (http://www.amazon.com/24-Game-Single-Digit-cards/dp/B002AODZFQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1404483581&sr=1-1&keywords=24+game), but if you look on Amazon, you'll see they have a million other kinds of decks now, including a primer version where you can do them all with addition and subtraction, a double digit version where you have numbers like 30 and 10 and 12 and so forth. And a fractions version and a variables version. Lots of versions.

Solong
07-04-2014, 12:04 PM
We did it. All math books are on the shelf.

I'm not going to compensate with any added math requirements in projects. Projects are a meddle-free zone. We'll continue with applied math skills as they come up and try to sneak in more mathy games.

I don't know if this will be a flying cannonball... or a belly-flop. I'll come back to this thread in a few months and let you know.

darkelf
07-04-2014, 01:09 PM
Thank you! I got the 24 game and a POP game for the kids. They are sitting like bumps on a log. I know these will help.

rxte1
07-04-2014, 09:21 PM
I can't resist throwing out two mathy card games that we've been playing this past month:

Modular Skirmish
Math Hombre: Gaussian Skirmish (http://mathhombre.blogspot.com/2014/03/gaussian-skirmish.html)

Eleusis Express
Eleusis Express (http://www.logicmazes.com/games/eleusis/express.html)

These are about at the 8th grade level and above, I think, so probably a stretch for your daughter at this time. Also, they require a lot of particpation by the teacher, so good for me, because I take every opportunity I can to drone on endlessly about math, but bad for everyone else.

farrarwilliams
07-04-2014, 11:38 PM
By the way, Muggins:
Muggins! Math Games By Old Fashioned Products - Board Game with marbles (http://www.mugginsmath.com/)

crunchynerd
07-05-2014, 11:37 PM
We're actually in a similar situation: we're walking away from traditional American pedagogy entirely when it comes to math, and just letting it ride, til I get done reading and digesting "Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Fractions, Decimals, and Percents" and also the other volumes of that series, on constructing number sense and arithmetic, multiplication and division, and algebra.

I recently discovered that the approach I was grasping for blindly, has already been fleshed out well based on Dutch (or was it Danish? now I forget) methods for helping kids "mathematize" the world around them, at will and with confidence and competence, and it's nothing like how we were taught math, nothing like the algorithmic steps we were told to memorize and execute. In fact, teaching a kid the shortcut, the algorithm she can use to spit out a right answer at the end with no real understanding of what just actually happened, works against real number sense and mathematical thinking, according to the book, and should be avoided.

It will likely take me a good while to read and digest these books, and other sources on methods of mathematical constructivism, but I'm determined to get an understanding of it, both theoretically and practically, before going further, because all the material on fractions, in worksheets and online tutorials, just confuses her further, shuts her down.

Your "math space" idea sounds superb. I'm starting one of those myself, with books on domino activities, card games, dice games, plus all the cards, dice, and dominoes, plus assorted other fun stuff like tetrahedral models, etc. while we're busy NOT doing traditional math methods that seem to shut her down.

Wooden Books (http://www.woodenbooks.com/) has a goldmine of truly fascinating hobby math reads, to intrigue, inspire, and amaze. I have a few I got at a local bookstore, and they are these small square books, each like a densely satisfying tiny-sized fancy dessert at a fine restaurant.

I am not sure how long at a time I have walked away from various formal curriculum materials, but I can tell you that in every case, it seemed to do more good than harm. Each time, they seemed to grow by leaps and bounds in their real thinking ability, and things that were very hard 6 months before, were suddenly intuitive.

The only thing I know so far, is that continuing to plug away at what didn't work and brought learning and interest to a halt, is a fool's errand. Backtracking, departing from the subject for a while, and figuring out a better way to approach it, has always paid off. :)

kadylaha
07-25-2014, 05:16 PM
First things first. Your daughter is your daughter. No one knows her needs better. What other people think ultimately has little to do with the actual work you do with your child each day. We are simply not there. We don't live in your house. If you believe dropping math entirely for a while is the way to go, that is what you ought to do.

That being said; if it were my own child we were talking about, the answer would be, not a chance. My own kid's brain is like a sieve when it comes to arithmetic; it only stays in there so long as I keep pouring it in. If I ever stop, his head is empty in no time. As a matter of fact, our family schools year round for this very reason. In first grade he got a 3 month summer vacation, and when he came back, he could no longer add and subtract at all. We lost three-quarters of our first grade arithmetic in 3 months. Subsequently, we have had to shorten his breaks to one month, and during vacations he still has to do a 2 page review of his math and grammar skills every Friday. (He gets 3 vacations per year, though, so it balances out). This is not cool or liberal, I know. But my kid is now almost done with 3rd grade math at the age of seven, and his average this year so far is 90.

I am right there with you about the resistance. I get that a lot. I totally get how frustrating it is, especially with math because math is 1. a huge pain in the ass, 2. required daily, and 3. definitely mandatory for life. Kids want to run and play, not do long division. Here are some things that help my son stay at it:

I bribe him with gummy bears. Or M& Ms. Bribery is wonderful.
I let him do math outside.
I let him do a fun math game first (like Multiplication War).
We do math either right after breakfast, or right after lunch (protein is great for burnout).
I let him check it himself with my calculator.
I gave him The Number Devil to read. He adored it; carried it around for weeks. It's a hilarious book that actually teaches tons of math.
When he is super frustrated I give him a break, a snack, a walk outside, ten minutes with a good book, or a hug.
One thing that works very well for us is, whenever he misses a problem, he has to re-do it. If he misses more than three on one page, he gets an extra page of identical problems to do.
Also we have found that even one second of tv, videogames, or grandma wipes his brain for math for the entire day. SO he gets these things after school.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck. :)

CrazyCatWoman
07-26-2014, 06:50 PM
First, not reading all of the comments, so forgive me please if I repeat what others may have said, though it isn't likely.

My daughter hated books. If we had to do more practice than what was in the book, she thought she was bad at math. (Fact was, she was doing k12 which is advanced.) So, we dropped K12, and I got Math on the Level. Math on the Level has no book for the student.

It works like this. Mom gets the books with the concepts. Mom tests child over a period of time to see what concepts the child knows. Mom then starts teaching new concepts with the hands on suggestions in the book. Mom gives review of concepts based on spread sheet in program. More or less time is spent depending on needs of the child. Mom makes up the practice problems which can be related to the child. I did things like word problems from Calvin and Hobbes, and having the child do area of room, later figuring out how much carpet cost with tax, etc.

This worked great for my daughter. After she finished the concepts, we moved into doing Khan Academy, which can either start at the beginning, or go by grade level. I think that perhaps rather than canning all math, I would have my kid start at the beginning and work from there, just so there is practice, and she can see how much she really knows. Work for a half hour a day at first, move into a little longer as it gets harder. There are "badges" for completion, that are motivating and she can see how hard she has worked.

Your child's issues may be different than my child's issues. I personally would not stop doing ALL math, just take some big steps backwards without it being linked to grade level. 5th grade is a grade when things start to click with math. It was when I got good at subtraction....and long division.

Best of luck this year!

Solong
07-27-2014, 02:15 AM
It's only been three weeks, but the maths books are gathering dust. Math persists in other ways: invoicing honey sticks and lip balms to the historic park (decimals, percentages, tax rates); building hive models with various types of polygons to determine strength and space/energy efficiency; feed fractions (eight pigs each get 3/4 of a coffee can of grain...); budgeting for projects.

Things ARE more peaceful. I'd guess that 95% of her math time has been replaced with swimming in the lake or reading.

crunchynerd
07-31-2014, 10:02 AM
It's only been three weeks, but the maths books are gathering dust. Math persists in other ways: invoicing honey sticks and lip balms to the historic park (decimals, percentages, tax rates); building hive models with various types of polygons to determine strength and space/energy efficiency; feed fractions (eight pigs each get 3/4 of a coffee can of grain...); budgeting for projects.

Things ARE more peaceful. I'd guess that 95% of her math time has been replaced with swimming in the lake or reading.

If it's any consolation, I've been there too, over and over. The Houghton-mifflin math text I thought so much of, was okay for a while, but has been quietly, harmlessly, composting in the bookshelf for many months now, when I realized that having the algorithm explained, for how to multiply and add fractions, was interfering with, instead of helping, her conceptualization of what the algorithms were actually doing and why. And without the deep conceptualization, memorizing and using algorithms are so much momentary display of surface-level psuedo-learning, forgotten as soon as repetition and practice ceases.

Feeding pigs and figuring out proportions of ingredients, is far more real learning, than memorizing a method to get the right answer on a worksheet.

Solong
08-03-2014, 01:44 PM
I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about this approach one month in. Math comes up more than I thought it would.

She is now drawing a floor plan for her 'dream room' and picked out this bed (http://ana-white.com/2012/04/plans/fillman-storage-bed-drawers) to build together in September. I also found PUMAS (http://pumas.jpl.nasa.gov/examples/index.php?order_by=grade), which has a few great projects that we'll do this fall ('Preventing Hypothermia', perfect).

Traditional math was the last thing tethering us to a 'schooly' experience. It's been a bit nerve-wracking letting it go - due to it's familiarity AND due to my general lack of creativity. I'm still unclear how this type of learning will work at higher levels of math... but, my palpitations have stopped.

Stella M
08-03-2014, 08:27 PM
I did that with dd15 for a year, and honestly, it was a mistake.

You know you situation best though )

Solong
08-04-2014, 11:14 AM
I did that with dd15 for a year, and honestly, it was a mistake.

You know you situation best though )

Can you tell me more, Stella? How old was your dd? Did you cover any math at all, or just take a full break for the year? What made it a mistake?

It wasn't a decision taken lightly by dh and I. We both use higher maths daily at work, and don't want it to be a subject that intimidates or limits her choices. The workbook approach was technically working, in that she could perform calculations and solve problems. We're being a bit idealistic (possibly unrealistic?) in hoping for more than a technical understanding. I'm thinking it will be at least a year before we know if dropping formal math was a good idea or a mistake. My hope is, even if her skill level doesn't advance, we'll be able to build her confidence and appreciation through life math/applied math.

It worries met that it didn't work out for you - I'd like to hear about your experience.

Avalon
08-04-2014, 01:53 PM
In your case, AnonyMs, your daughter is still fairly young, so it's not like she's studying higher math yet anyway, right? Many of her projects and interests require her to use math, so she's going to have to use it somewhat. On top of that, both her parents use math daily, so you are great role models. I would bet that she will eventually get to a place where she really needs to know more, and she will be more willing to because it hasn't been a ball & chain around her neck for 5 years.

I have taken breaks from math here, too, although not for a whole year. I'm not a particularly mathy person, and don't really need to know more than regular consumer math. Mortgages and interest rates and reading the newspaper are as complicated as it gets here. My daughter's interests are mainly art & history. The only math she has to do regularly is to calculate 20% of her babysitting income to set aside for her education fund.

Math is a big pain in the neck issue around here. I am confident that I can get her to a place where she can function reasonably well as a citizen, but she is going to have to take the usual high-school math courses because almost all the post-secondary programs around here require Grade 12 math, even though math is really not relevant to the program. It's going to be horrible. Kind of like spending an hour at the dentist's every day for the next 4 years. Ugh.

Solong
08-06-2014, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Avalon! We actually use a fairly narrow range of math skills, which is true for most mathy people. Neither of us LOVE math, we just love the fun stuff we do with it (population dynamics, occupancy modeling).

I know that many parents are prepping for the long haul through two years of algebra, a year of geometry, and on into calculus. We aren't. Algebra I, geometry, probability and statistics, maybe a bit of trig. No algebra II, no calculus. I've taken every last one of them myself, including two years of calc. I use less than 5% of my university math. Ever. Why did I waste so much money and time on math? My advisor said it was important. Guess what? It really isn't.

Ultimately, my fear is that her math-avoidance default mode will impact her abilities to carefully budget, detect information that is manipulated to take advantage of her, understand loans and mortgages, select investments... the basics. The basics are so, so important. I'm in the same boat as you, Avalon. NOT willing to sacrifice the basics just to take a tour through the universe of Maths You'll Never Use. It would be easier if she loved (or even liked) math - but, she doesn't. She loves birds and books and yoga and a hundred more non-mathy things.

Stella M
08-06-2014, 04:26 AM
Can you tell me more, Stella? How old was your dd? Did you cover any math at all, or just take a full break for the year? What made it a mistake?

It wasn't a decision taken lightly by dh and I. We both use higher maths daily at work, and don't want it to be a subject that intimidates or limits her choices. The workbook approach was technically working, in that she could perform calculations and solve problems. We're being a bit idealistic (possibly unrealistic?) in hoping for more than a technical understanding. I'm thinking it will be at least a year before we know if dropping formal math was a good idea or a mistake. My hope is, even if her skill level doesn't advance, we'll be able to build her confidence and appreciation through life math/applied math.

It worries met that it didn't work out for you - I'd like to hear about your experience.

She was in 5th grade. We took the year off from formal maths. She unschooled most everything else anyway and was really disliking the maths I made her do. We did plenty of informal math over the year.

She just lost ground over that year, and has never really caught up. I feel like we missed some kind of window, kwim ?

I'd be more inclined to take a year off with a really strong math loving student.

It could simply be a lack of skill on my part, the way it turned out. Your dd is in a much richer environment as well.

I'm not a fan of curriculum hopping, but if I could go back I'd just switch up the maths and keep ploughing through.


Just my experience, don't put too much weight on it!

Stella M
08-06-2014, 04:29 AM
Forgot to say: dd at that age needed a lot more concrete maths. We should have been using materials like rods and blocks that entire year.

pdpele
08-06-2014, 11:24 AM
AnonyMS - your post about the higher math you think is important - even to a working biologist - is really interesting. I liked math and got thru Calc I in college. Crashed and burned in Calc II. But in my life and research life, what I really wish to be stronger in is statistics, not Calculus.

If I were Mistress of the Universe - I'd want a series of courses like you suggest - Math with a super-majority focus on real world applications. And maybe totally optional Calculus/ Linear Algebra / Goodness knows what else (!) courses for the lovably freaky mathematicians / engineers / rocket scientists.

I teach too many students who come to college as Freshman - having gotten thru and passed math at least thru Algebra and Geometry, and maybe more - who seriously do not understand what a 'rate' is. "Maybe Sweden has a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. b/c they have less babies being born each year." These students are not stupid. Math the way it is taught has failed them and their potential.

So while I look forward to hearing more about y'alls non-formal math adventure - I think I am going to gel on your comment and figure out how to "do math" with my DS (who is just at the basic add/subtract stage) that is as real life applied / concrete as possible.

CrazyCatWoman - the Math on the Level books look more like what I'm thinking about here - but they seemed pretty pricey to me?

Avalon
08-06-2014, 03:10 PM
AnonyMS - your post about the higher math you think is important - even to a working biologist - is really interesting. I liked math and got thru Calc I in college. Crashed and burned in Calc II. But in my life and research life, what I really wish to be stronger in is statistics, not Calculus.

If I were Mistress of the Universe - I'd want a series of courses like you suggest - Math with a super-majority focus on real world applications. And maybe totally optional Calculus/ Linear Algebra / Goodness knows what else (!) courses for the lovably freaky mathematicians / engineers / rocket scientists.


I saw a short TED talk once from a guy who suggested that the focus of math education should be Statistics, not Calculus. It was fantastic, and made a LOT of sense to me. Not sure if I could find it again.

Okay, I found it: Arthur Benjamin: Teach statistics before calculus! | Talk Video | TED.com (http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_s_formula_for_changing_math_educat ion)

Stella M
08-06-2014, 07:26 PM
I have to say, stats rocks :) I'm newly in love this year...

Solong
08-06-2014, 09:28 PM
Well, it looks like I'm following in your footsteps, Stella. Dd is headed into G5ish too. Our outcome remains to be seen.

Yeah, I am very biased towards statistics. I'm going to try downloading that TED video after all the students have tucked in for the night. If it loads uninterrupted, it will be a miracle (it's pretty short, so fingers crossed).

We have no idea what her interests will be at the post-secondary level. I have no framework for doing real-life math. I'm (gulp) just going to wing it. I'll look for more PUMAS-type materials in her areas of interest. Try to pose questions that will catch her imagination (I wonder how much weight you could carry, if you could carry as much as a bee). She just opened a small business account with the bank. She's getting into drawing out floor plans on graph paper and scaling furniture cutouts to fit.

That's where we are. I'll be the first to admit if it's a Dismal Failure. It may be quite some time before I know, though...

CrazyCatWoman
08-06-2014, 11:44 PM
pdpele, yes, Math on the Level is a bit pricey if you will just be using it for one grade. But it is supposed to be pre-k to pre-Algebra, all in one package. So it just depends on how many students will be using it, I guess.

Though, as I write that, I am using RightStart Math for my youngest. Kinder level starter kit is $125. Add on for the following years can cost $100 to $155 per year. Which I am fine with doing as long as my son is still happy doing math....but, I wish that I could have used the Math on the Level for him as it was already paid for. But he needs a very scripted, hands on, visual that the RightStart gives him. (Starter kits for higher grades range from $214 to $275, for math that is basically one year. But works well for the right students.)

Solong
10-03-2014, 05:50 PM
Update. It is going really, really well. So far.

G5 is a good year to try this experiment. She has a solid base of math skills, and is now having to apply them to real life situations. It both reinforces her strengths and highlights areas where we need to review/re-learn. She could figure the area of her garden, but not the volume, for example. Confusion. I am also observing that her computation skills are slowing... idk what this means yet. She was doing a five-minute speed sheet each day, and her recall of facts was FAST. She still gets it right, but it is taking longer than it used to. I'll be watching this trend.

aspiecat
10-03-2014, 06:28 PM
FYI - 2D is easier for people to conceptualise than 3D, believe it or not. I learned this when DS was being tested for Aspeger's - the fact both he AND I found 3D easier to conceptualise than 2D meant we were in the minority; not only that, but on the Autism Spectrum LOL.

pdpele
10-03-2014, 08:55 PM
AnonyMs I'm enjoying this thread - you are giving us all lots to think about when it comes to teaching goals/methods, etc.

Hope you don't become weary of updating - it's really fun to root for you and your DD from afar!

Aroura
10-05-2014, 04:48 PM
AnonyMs I'm enjoying this thread - you are giving us all lots to think about when it comes to teaching goals/methods, etc.

Hope you don't become weary of updating - it's really fun to root for you and your DD from afar!

I second this. I found this thread really enlightening. Lots of great information, kept me reading up on these ideas for a while! It's great to have such an honest conversation and so many viewpoints. It is really helping me keep an open mind of teaching and about learning.

crunchynerd
10-10-2014, 09:08 PM
I'm another really interested in hearing more of what other people experienced in stepping back from formal math studies, and the good or bad of it. It is frustrating that so much of what we do won't demonstrate its effectiveness or abject failure until it's nearly too late to change tactics.
My DD just turned 10, and whereas her spatial conceptualization and affinity for logic is solid (no surprise) she and I were surprised and dismayed to see how poor her ability to do basic elementary arithmetic was, and if the test is timed, she absolutely falls to pieces and cannot think.

She's really apt at geometry, spatial reasoning, and logic, but is working now on conceptualizing arithmetic better. I'm hoping she can get to a point of being able to wield arithmetic deftly so that it doesn't hamper her in geometry and other more fun areas.

pdpele
10-14-2014, 07:32 PM
Crunchynerd - I think you've posted about checking out readings/research on constructivist (sp?) approach in math education - just the kind of thing I could geek out on - would you mind posting links or authors/titles of any of the sources you've found interesting?

Norm Deplume
10-15-2014, 10:34 AM
My DD just turned 10, and whereas her spatial conceptualization and affinity for logic is solid (no surprise) she and I were surprised and dismayed to see how poor her ability to do basic elementary arithmetic was, and if the test is timed, she absolutely falls to pieces and cannot think.

In some testing done last fall, I found out that my son's processing speed is not optimal. So even when he does know the answers (like in addition or multiplication facts), he absolutely cannot perform well under time pressure tests. His brain just doesn't respond well to a timer. Your dd may have that same issue. I'm guessing it's more common than many of us know, because processing speed is not considered a learning disability in the formal schooling world.

CrazyMom
10-19-2014, 11:15 PM
This is an interesting conversation...and makes me feel like a complete freak.

You guys worry a lot. LOL. Maybe I did, too, and can't remember that I did?

But seriously...I feel like I'm from a completely different planet.

My kid graduated last year, and is off to college this year.

I was one of those wacky unschoolers who all the old aunts gossip about at family gatherings. "Did you SEE what she'd doing to that child? She doesn't teach her ANYTHING!"

I honestly never worried about Math. Or English. Or Science. Or History. Or anything else really in elementary. Many, many, many people will disagree with me on this....but I honestly think people take elementary education WAY too seriously. In my experience, the stress and rigor and formality that most people put their kids and themselves through is a largely pointless headache.

K-6 Here's my idea of what kids actually need to learn: I call them the Elementary Big Five.

1. To read really well. MOST IMPORTANT skill.
2. To organize and write down their own ideas. (Doesn't have to be perfect, just a basic ability to come up with a concept, introduce it, do some exposition, and tie up a conclusion. Spelling and punctuation doesn't have to be perfect either.)
3. Knows arithmetic facts. Can add, subtract, do long division, multi-digit multiplication, decimals, time, money, and has a good understanding of measurements and fractions.
4. Has a basic understanding of the Scientific Method, and can apply it to a real life question.
5. Knows how to use references, the internet, and the public library effectively.

That's pretty much it. K-6. Seven whole years for just those five things. Anything extra is gravy.

I do think that kids who read well earlier have an advantage. Kids who can read well can teach themselves anything. I encouraged reading. I read to my kid a LOT. Her dad read to her every day. We had her read to us. I put the sub-titles on her favorite Disney movie, and had her use the pause button on the remote and read each line of dialog out loud. She could watch all she wanted to....if she'd read the dialog out loud. Sometimes I'd sit with her and I'd read one character and she'd read another....we'd do stupid voices and laugh a lot. I modeled being a reader. That's something I think busy parents drop the ball on.....if you want kids to enjoy reading....they have to see you reading and enjoying yourself. Car trips? Get rid of the video games/TV. Read books to each other all the way to the other side of the country. I remember one summer reading all of the Fudge and Ramona books in the car. Read. Read. Read.

But back to the 5 things...

Don't worry about what order your kids master them. Don't worry if some years are more productive, and other years are blah. By sixth grade....unless you're in a coma, or your kid has run off with gypsies....they'll be doing all five things with pretty good mastery. Either because of your efforts to teach them, (or in some cases...in spite of your efforts to teach them. LOL)

Seventh grade and eighth grade are big years. They're the years you decide if your kid wants to go to school, or be homeschooled for high school. It's the major fork in the road. Unless you want massive headaches....I suggest that you pick one path. Trying to mix them can result in a huge mess. (easier to leave public school in high school and finish up homeschooling....than to start homeschooling and end up trying to get the schools to honor your credits for a school graduation)

If you decide to homeschool through high school, consider dual enrollment in community college, AP classes or IB classes to give your homeschool transcript more authenticity in the eyes of colleges....IF college is what your kid wants to do.

There are so many ways to do elementary ed. It's not a big deal. It should be a joyful wonderful time of life. All the important stuff DOES IN FACT fall into place pretty much on it's own. Breathe. Let go. It'll be ok.

I couldn't do mini-institutional school. We used to call regular school "jail-school". LOL.

My kid completed her five big objectives without ever being graded, without every having tests or formal assignments, without ever doing a worksheet, and without me ever pushing her to work. She did the big five without me ever purchasing a curriculum. (I made mine up...and it consisted entirely of the five objectives I just posted)

I read a lot of posts (at different home school sites) about folks who are pulling their hair out trying to get their kids to focus and achieve in elementary school, parents who talk about battles of wills, kids crying over doing their work, parents feeling overwhelmed, punishments, etc........and it just sort of baffles me. Why? Why on Earth would anyone do that to themselves or their kids? Not a criticism....I just want to understand.

Is it a control thing? Are you scared that if Shelly can't write a clean research paper in fourth grade, she'll be doomed to a life of burger flipping? Are you scared that Tommy's lack of interest in math reflects badly on your ability to home school? What, exactly is the thought process? I'm honestly curious....would love some feedback. Not addressing the OP, by the way....would just like some general feedback on this compulsion to adhere to achievement time tables in elementary ed, and take it so incredibly seriously.

ejsmom
10-20-2014, 12:28 AM
Crazy, I would love to say our elementary years have been like you describe. Mine is 11, and I miss the wonder of the little kid times. However, in some states we have to have evaluators, teachers, and the school district approve our curriculum/planned studies before and/or after the year, standardized tests, and submit work portfolios showing progress - by subject. I wish we had lived in another state for homeschooling our elementary years. I would have had so much more freedom.

Solong
10-20-2014, 01:47 AM
My focus was always on G4. Middle of the bell or better by G4 in all areas. Why? Because I didn't know if we could afford to hschool past that point. Now, I would prefer to move the target to G8, but in truth, we are year to year. Maybe we can afford to continue next year... maybe not. Maybe she will need to transition to pschool... maybe she'll WANT to transition to pschool. I can't bet on hschooling through high school. So, I'm basically covering my butt. I like knowing she can transition back into pschool with minimal stress.

We're totally having a blast in primary, even in the years we 'did math'. We dropped math to make time for chasing owls and filming lynx and calling to the wolves. We quit math to take advantage of life's opportunities. However. My kid is neurotypical, socially mature, motivated and will probably be able to catch up relatively painlessly if needed. I don't think everyone has the luxuries we have, which is why I'm not recommending dropping math. I'm just going to update on how it goes.

So far, all is good. Less stress/tension, more time to focus on her passions. Her math skills are getting rusty, though, no doubt about it.

CrazyMom
10-20-2014, 02:14 AM
Poop. Yeah...I know certain states are restrictive. That stinks, and I'm sorry. I'm in Michigan. It's an extremely home school friendly state. We don't even have to tell anyone we're home schooling. We just simply don't enroll them. No evaluations. No tests. No records required.

And the public schools are very homeschool friendly here, too.

When my daughter was in seventh grade, she told me she wanted to be a geneticist. I told her...wow, good luck with that. That's a ton of math and chem and bio, and a lot of college, graduate school...etc. You might want to research it.

She said....I have. And I want to try public school.
And I was like....Seriously? Jail School?
And she said....Mom, I love you, but I'm lonely and I need a life. And a REAL math teacher. I'm sorry.
And I shook my head, hugged her, kissed her and told her I'd call the school the next day.

Public School here was awesome. They've had several other kids transfer in from home school, and asked a couple of ex-home school girls to be her buddies, show her around, have lunch with her. I thought that was really nice of them. I honestly expected clashes with our school....but we had a really positive experience.

To my horror....my daughter LOVED public school. LOL.

She started in eighth grade. We figured she'd need a year to get up to speed....and wanted her to take her worst stumbles before it counted on her high school grade point average (since the whole point of this exercise was my daughter's ambition to go to college...for genetics)

They placed her in high school algebra in eighth grade. She brought home all A's on her first report card.

She took a motherload of AP classes for college credit in high school, including AP Chem, AP Biology, AP English (both sections), AP Econ (macro and micro), and AP Calculus. She got all 4's and 5's on the tests (which most colleges recognize for college credit) I think her final GPA was 3.96. She broke 30 on the ACT.

And I'm kinda watching this whole thing.....STUNNED. With absolutely zero background of "study habits" or tests or structure....she was a perfectly self disciplined academic MACHINE. I can honestly say I have never once asked my kid if her homework was done, or if she was fulfilling her obligations. Well, I guess I might have in the sense that sometimes I wanted to do something recreational and she'd say...Sorry, Mom, Have to work on stuff, Maybe tomorrow?

She wrote one of her college common app essays about her "Unschooled" childhood, and was accepted to every college she applied for. (her scores and activities helped) She wanted University of Michigan because of their cancer research and human genome involvement (and high national ranking). Not an easy school to get into. She got scholarships and grants for about 80% of the costs. She got a job the first week of school this fall as a lab assistant, and works ten hours a week with PhD students and visiting authorities from other colleges....she already has a summer job lined up in research. She wants to graduate with her BS with no debt, and then either find funding for grad school, or work in research for two years to save up and get out from under our income on her FAFSA. She's got it all planned out. Currently, she's studying Cellular and Molecular Biology and plans to go to grad school for both Human Genetics and Biomedical Engineering.

Crazy, huh? Blows mine and my husband's mind....daily. We just saw her for parent's weekend a couple weekends ago...and she couldn't have looked happier.

Who knew? You know?

I asked her if my experiment in unschooling helped her or hurt her in the long run. Would she have been happier if I'd put her into school in kindergarten?

She said that she thinks her love of learning is what carries her through the tough spots, and that if she'd gone to regular school, she fears her love of learning would have been crushed by the tedium that formal education can be. She said she wrote about her theory in her admissions essay about her favorite teacher....me. Which kind of floored me and still makes me cry. lol.

Anyway...I digress...

Yep, there's more than one way to do this whole education thing. I wish your state had fewer regulations. Have you considered moving northwest?

CrazyMom
10-20-2014, 02:17 AM
My focus was always on G4. Middle of the bell or better by G4 in all areas. Why? Because I didn't know if we could afford to hschool past that point. Now, I would prefer to move the target to G8, but in truth, we are year to year. Maybe we can afford to continue next year... maybe not. Maybe she will need to transition to pschool... maybe she'll WANT to transition to pschool. I can't bet on hschooling through high school. So, I'm basically covering my butt. I like knowing she can transition back into pschool with minimal stress.

We're totally having a blast in primary, even in the years we 'did math'. We dropped math to make time for chasing owls and filming lynx and calling to the wolves. We quit math to take advantage of life's opportunities. However. My kid is neurotypical, socially mature, motivated and will probably be able to catch up relatively painlessly if needed. I don't think everyone has the luxuries we have, which is why I'm not recommending dropping math. I'm just going to update on how it goes.

So far, all is good. Less stress/tension, more time to focus on her passions. Her math skills are getting rusty, though, no doubt about it.


Some really good reasons, AnonyMs. The idea of finances figuring in year to year hadn't occurred to me.....can definitely see why you'd want a safety net for a smooth transition.

CatInTheSun
10-20-2014, 09:56 AM
Crazy, you asked if you were from another planet and I think yes -- that planet is the one where what you did worked for YOUR kid. That's great. But you homeschooled ONE kid through 6th grade. So don't presume to know what would work for all kids or even that what you were doing would have worked if you'd have continued. That's not a road you travelled. You were just lucky.

I have THREE kids, the oldest is in 6th grade. Each is different.

My eldest had mastered all of your 5 criteria by the age of 6. She would have excelled in any educational environment. Unschool? No Problem. Military School? No problem. She's extremely gifted and extremely even tempered. She doesn't have tremendous natural curiosity -- she does best when plopped down into a topic and set free.

My youngest is just 6, but just as bright as his eldest sister and wants to know everything about everything -- seeks knowledge. He's more passionate, but an intense perfectionist. Left to his own he would learn far and wide, but I'm afraid he would avoid anything he initially struggled with because he internalizes that. He wants to be a scientist and would excel at that, but if he was unschooled I doubt he ever would, but he might master that list of 5.

My middle child is in 4th grade and would fail completely. She is bright, wants to be an obstetrician, but she needs a lot of support and structure to scaffold her math and GUM education if she is EVER going to reach those 5 goals you see as so easy to do in 7 years. She is just an emotionally intense kid and I have to meet her needs.

So NO, this isn't "a control thing". This isn't about ME at all. This isn't about my educational philosophy or how I envisioned home schooling to be. This is about knowing my children and giving them whatever tools they need to learn and meet their goals.

Each of the parents here are just trying to do the best for their children and find their path. I don't presume my way is the best for everyone else. Neither should you.

alexsmom
10-20-2014, 10:32 AM
Dear Crazy, I know you werent attacking those of us who buy curriculums and endure tears from our kids over schoolwork. :)
My experience is - as I go through homeschooling my boy, Im learning that less formal and book work seems to get nearly the same results - and with a happier child. So in a couple years, DS2 will probably have a much more relaxed homeschool experience.
We all want our kids to be happy, to know what they need to know, to have their time spent on worthwhile activities.
Ive looked for years to find a good *science book* for my boy - and just last week Ive come to the conclusion that none of the curriculums I find are going to please me because none of them are *meaty* enough.... we learned more from watching documentaries and fun-reading books on what interests him. I honestly thought though that I needed to teach him *elementary level* biology - and what is that? Apparently not much more than *look at the pretty plants growing*, *dont pollute*, and *humans and other animals have bodies that work pretty similarly*.

As far as the tears go, I think that as homeschoolers, we spend so much of our time with our kids doing *learning* activities, that when they are going through challenging phases, a lot of it comes out in schoolwork. Sometimes it may be because we are trying to get him to do something *for his own good* that really isnt compatible with his inclinations, but when hes just as willing to fight with you over which cup he gets his milk in at dinnertime, maybe its just the age.

As far as reporting goes, Im sure it varies a lot. Our charter school has mandatory monthly meetings where we turn in an *attendance log*, and every other month we provide a worksample for each of the subjects we are working on. This usually consists of a page of writing, a copy of a page from his mathbook, a science write-up, and some little *social studies* activity. When DS was in K, I submitted pictures of him at local nature center as his science.

I dont think its a control issue either. We go through programs or curriculum to help us make sure we are getting our bases covered, even for those 5 subject areas you mentioned. Theyre our tools to help us have a literate kid, who has critical thinking skills, who can do arithmetic and understands why it works, who has some understanding that the universe didnt spawn into existance for his benefit.
Some people can manage that on their own, others dont feel the need to reinvent the wheel. And for those of us trying not to reinvent the wheel, theres so much discussion about curriculum because we are trying to find the happiest solutions for our kids. And trying to raise them.

I hope that helps about understanding people who dont *unschool* through the elementary years. Its my perspective on it, at least.

CrazyMom
10-20-2014, 12:53 PM
Awesome feedback. Thanks:)

Solong
11-05-2014, 02:35 PM
New development. She got to take a peek at several other homeschoolers' math workbooks. We were at a group gathering, and the kids not actively involved in the event were set up to 'do math'. They were stretched out on the bleachers, looking pathetic and tortured.

We came home, and she pulled out the Jamie York and Kyoiku Dojinsha books. Holy crap, yes, but -it gets better. She complimented me on selecting 'fun' math books. I immediately turned the compliment around, and reminded her that SHE had selected them, through an extended process-of-elimination.

She tried out a JY speedsheet, and quickly realized that she was a bit rusty. She wants to practice until she can finish a full page in three minutes again. Then. She sat down with KD all. damn. day. Skipped around all over two grade levels, needed lots of help, reached a saturation point...

Today, she did her speed sheet and completely ignored KD. Still! She initiated math and enjoyed it! That is huge for us. Maybe it was a fluke?

CrazyMom
11-05-2014, 04:43 PM
Good for her:) No one believes me when I say so....but honestly, sometimes the best course of action is to leave them alone and let them decide when they want to tackle something.

Think of things you were *forced* to learn. Do you remember them?
Think of things you chose to learn. Do you have better or worse retention than the things you were forced to learn?

For me...if I was forced to learn anything, I could wait until the last minute, cram like a mad woman, and ace the test. Two days later I had no retention. Zero retention. I hated US History in school. Really hated it. I got all A's on my report cards, but absolutely no retention of it. Learning is very different from the ability to cram and regurgitate on cue.

It just seemed like such a pointless waste to me when I was in school, I didn't want to do the same thing to my kid.

Sometimes she was WAY behind "grade level". Sometimes she was leaps ahead of "grade level". In the end, it all worked out.

Eventually, when a tenacious kid develops a goal....they tackle it. But the goal really does need to be their idea. Trying to teach an unwilling unhappy student is like trying to herd cats. It's utterly futile. That's been my experience, anyway.

crunchynerd
11-05-2014, 04:43 PM
And here I just chalked it up to performance anxiety, because there is nothing wrong with my processing speed normally, but put someone behind my back expecting me to perform a task quickly, and I too fall to pieces and get a classic case of "turtle nervosa" and become a blithering idiot. Is it processing speed that is the issue, if the person does fine when not under pressure, but falls apart under timed pressure? I always assumed it was performance anxiety, plain and simple.

CrazyMom
11-05-2014, 05:02 PM
Who knows why people balk at new concepts? Could be anxiety, processing speed, profound disinterest....or any combination of other factors. It's certainly interesting.

Solong
11-24-2014, 10:37 AM
It was kind of a fluke. She hasn't touched KD since. She is picking up Drawing Stars and Polyhedra on occasion, is doing Can You Count In Greek again (fifth go-round), set up a fake atm for play, and laminated graph paper furniture at two different scales for her graph paper houses.

She likes the speed sheets, which I thought was weird. She's a nervous perfectionist, so it makes sense that she would freeze under pressure. Nope - she likes that it's just three or five minutes, and she can compare them to her older sheets.

Feederwatch is back (line graphs)... that's it. She wants to make one of those polygon light shades, but the cutting of the plastic is going very. very. slow. That's math this fall, I guess.

crunchynerd
12-26-2014, 06:36 PM
Speaking of math games, we actually found one that the kids and I love, that is a REAL game, actually fun, not just an excuse to practice multiplication tables. It's called Number Quest, and has play money, kind of like monopoly. It's competitive and strategic, with enough luck thrown in to matter also, and people can play at different levels: my son got to use the "cheat sheet" since he hasn't memorized multiplication tables, but my DD didn't need it. But it got my son interested as heck in learning those multiplication facts, because they weren't facts, they were SECRETS that conferred advantage.

The play money aspect really brings out the competitive excitement for my kids, and it's not a tediously slow game like monopoly.
With a stack of something like 4 other math board games that are mostly boring, this one was a winner, because it's actually fun enough to want to play for its own sake, and who cares about the educational aspect?

Solong
02-21-2015, 09:42 AM
Dd10 took an online, end of G5 test this week. Some friends had to do it for the province, so she wanted to try it too. It doesn't 'score', just gives feedback on areas they've mastered, initiated, and not started.

All good: four processes, probability, four processes of fractions, perimeter and area, addition and subtraction of decimals.

Needs work: volume, geometry, converting fractions to decimals.

Observed math learning: acting as treasurer for 4-H, personal banking and lip balm business, Mystery Class, science fair project (measuring camera sites, pie charts, figuring percentages), skipped around in "Math Doesn't Suck" by McKellar.

That's term 2 math. She still likes the speed sheets, but we're running low and I'm not going to print more unless she asks. I've also noticed that she's ok with metric measurements, but clueless on the whole inch-foot-yard-etc thing. It isn't covered in ps here, but is used regularly enough in resources that I want her to learn it at some point.

Elly
02-21-2015, 12:12 PM
What was the test? I'd quite like to see where DS is in terms of maths.
Elly

Solong
02-21-2015, 04:48 PM
What was the test? I'd quite like to see where DS is in terms of maths.
Elly

It was a test available through our province. You have to be registered as a homeschooler/enrolled as a distance learner with a BC school and input your child's ID#. Maybe someone can recommend a good math exam that is available for free in the US??

Elly
02-22-2015, 11:18 AM
Thanks :)

Elly

Solong
04-30-2015, 01:34 PM
We are reaching the end of G5 term 3. I had her take Math Mammoth's end of year exams for both G4 and G5. They are free pdfs, available on their site. We've never used MM, I just figured I'd go with an assessment that is easy to find. She passed both, but her weak areas are measurement and geometry - even when I modify questions to the metric system.

What did we learn from a year free of formal maths? Nothing earth-shattering.

We used to get up and prolong breakfast while giving the maths books the stink eye. Then, it was, 'let's get this over with as quickly as possible'. Looking back, it was a crap way to begin our days. Being free of that morning routine was a huge relief for both of us.

She's going to be ok math-wise. Her basic math skills are really solid. She can't draw a congruent triangle to match an exmple, but when she needs to figure out how to do it... she can figure out how to do it.

Her spatial reasoning skills don't come easily (she has a visual spatial processing deficit). She requires extra motivation, time and support in this area. We need to plan for this, and expect extra frustrations. Avoidance won't help. In contrast, her financial management skills are way above grade level.

We looked at G6 examples from Dojinsha, Jamie York, MM, AoPS, and Jousting Armadillos. Jamie York is still the program that floats to the top for her. She loves the Prufrock books; not all of them, obviously, but we found a few gems. She also tried out Khan and Mathletics. Live Mathletics was 'super fun'. The rest of the Mathletics program was just 'meh', and you can't do Live Mathletics on a tablet anyway. She loves Khan - especially the ability to move around according to her interest, and working out problems directly on the screen.

Maths will never be a favourite, and she'll probably do the absolute minimum required to meet her goals. However, since she wants to attend uni, we will return to a reduced-level of formal maths in G6. She'll use Khan, with supplements from JY and Prufrock, three(ish) days a week. The other two days, we'll continue with real-life math (livestock management, small business, cooking, citizen sci data, yadayada). She doesn't need the 'maths first' routine anymore. I can trust her to get to it at some point during the day, and she'll get to it. I continue to learn flexibility :)

Mariam
06-13-2015, 01:59 PM
This thread is just what I needed right now. DS is struggling with math. Not because of competency, but just that he views this as school and he doesn't like school right now. Phonics is also an issue, but not as much. (Science, history, reading is not school, because I don't require it every day, I have never called it school, and it is fun.)

He is willing to watch math videos, but not do the worksheets. He has learned quite a bit from videos (as I mentioned in another post). Online games or apps are too school-like to be fun. Someone suggested Prodigy Math which is a role-playing game. He loves RPG, not the math.

One of the problems he he says he want to do it all in his head and not use a number line or his fingers to figure out the answer. (He's 7, I still use my fingers. :D ) He says that it is too "babyish". He thinks he should be doing all math in his head by now.

He is a perfectionist, if the answer doesn't come right away, he thinks he is a failure. *Sigh*

I am considering dropping math too. Or should I say dropping formal math. I am concerned, because he loves science and he will need math, but then part of me wonders if I let it go, then maybe he will start to like it again. He will see what he needs to move forward in science. I am also thinking about Math on the Level. I wanted to avoid it (selfishly) because it would take a lot of prep on my end to do it, but maybe this is what he needs, non-schoolly math. I wonder if there are other books like Math on the Level.

This scares me because I am not strong in math so it is hard for me to think of alternatives for learning. I need it all laid out for me.

I just might let it go for the summer and see where we are at. We can focus on science, history and reading, phonics.

pdpele
06-15-2015, 01:00 PM
Hi Mariam - sending courage your way. Your DS sounds a bit like mine (mine is a bit special / ADHD with some perfectionism/anxiety stuff that makes learning traditional ways...hard on us both).

Go for it. Drop the formal math practice. And I'm betting you don't *need* Math on the Level. I've used Singapore PM textbooks for helping me to see a typical math progression/concepts/ways to teach them. But not the workbooks...'cause DS 1. doesn't like to sit at a table; 2. won't write and 3. hasn't needed it to learn - he's 7/almost 8 and is smack in the middle of about grade 2 or 3 math (well, subtraction he's still probably grade 1-ish).

Here's what we do, very informally, in case any concrete ideas help you...though all kids are different, and I bet you'll have ideas to add to mine here!

DS likes to play "stumpin' math questions" - he gives me hard questions to try to stump me. I talk through how I do them. Then he has to take a turn. Of course, I give him easier ones about where he's at.

We play a lot of games - mathy games like "Sum Swamp" and Zingo, but also just regular board and card games with strategy and adding up points and dice, etc. Monopoly!

We do the math as it comes up in real life together. I keep a small whiteboard handy to show him how to work problems/draw something.

In the past, we have done a bit of more formal work with arithmetic concepts - for example, I used a math-u-see base 10 set to show the pattern for +9 (9+4..9 wants to be a 10, takes 1 from the other number...10+3=13). We'll probably keep doing this very occasionally as I think he needs a bit more instruction. But mostly I've been surprised at how easily he's progressed without formal math practice, curriculum, worksheets.

Ok - you probably didn't need any of that! But sometimes it has helped me to read about how others go about doing things!

And I totally get the anxiety over whether our kids will learn without formal curriculum/tablework. Just the thought of reading and writing makes me start to breathe harder (where's my paper bag...surely he'll write a sentence before I turn him loose on the world, right?!).

One thing I'd say - my DS also does the failure thing and makes up rules for himself, like no counting on his fingers, etc. (where do they get these ideas?!) - the longer we've gone wihtout formal practices (which usually involved head hitting, tears, feelings of failure, even though he was doing well for god's sake!) the calmer he's been when facing something he doesn't do right immediately. I think even though I tried not to, I still set it up as something he *should* be able to do when we did formal work. So we're going to keep it all informal/unschooly for now. And I'll just try not to panic about reading/handwriting. Pinkie swear.

LaurieC
06-15-2015, 04:40 PM
I love this site just for all the ideas that people have used. I never heard of Murderous math. Their website is terrible so I could not figure out what was in the books, but I can find some titles to request interlibrary. Math is so engrained in everything we do daily. Do you cook with your DD? There is math there as she would have to figure out fractions, etc. Have her help you shop with a set budget. Plan a meal together. Is she wanting to buy anything? does she have some of the money but needs the rest? these are just various ideas and you may have incorporated them all. So as this thread is a year old I am throwing ideas out there for the group in general becuase I know how much all these ideas have helped me.

Mariam
06-15-2015, 11:04 PM
Ok - you probably didn't need any of that! But sometimes it has helped me to read about how others go about doing things!

And I totally get the anxiety over whether our kids will learn without formal curriculum/tablework. Just the thought of reading and writing makes me start to breathe harder (where's my paper bag...surely he'll write a sentence before I turn him loose on the world, right?!).

One thing I'd say - my DS also does the failure thing and makes up rules for himself, like no counting on his fingers, etc. (where do they get these ideas?!) - the longer we've gone wihtout formal practices (which usually involved head hitting, tears, feelings of failure, even though he was doing well for god's sake!) the calmer he's been when facing something he doesn't do right immediately. I think even though I tried not to, I still set it up as something he *should* be able to do when we did formal work. So we're going to keep it all informal/unschooly for now. And I'll just try not to panic about reading/handwriting. Pinkie swear.

Oh, I totally needed this pdpele, so thanks. :D

I just purchased Sum Swamp and a few other games along with digging out some other games that require math, which is most of them. DS is also doing lots of science experiments this summer and I am hoping that will help.

These are all great ideas. And it is nice to hear what others are doing. (And that we are not the only ones with these struggles.)

dbsam
06-17-2015, 11:11 AM
One of the problems he he says he want to do it all in his head and not use a number line or his fingers to figure out the answer. (He's 7, I still use my fingers. :D ) He says that it is too "babyish". He thinks he should be doing all math in his head by now.

He is a perfectionist, if the answer doesn't come right away, he thinks he is a failure. *Sigh*



He sounds like my children.
My daughter has been using Prodigy math the past few days. She is doing the 6th grade level. I explained to her that she is allowed to have a paper and pencil on the side to compute. She said that is cheating. So she is doing long division, multi-number multiplication with decimals, etc. in her head! After much crying (her) and convincing (me), she's agreed to work out some of the problems on paper.

dbsam
06-17-2015, 11:23 AM
I just purchased Sum Swamp and a few other games along with digging out some other games that require math, which is most of them.

My children liked Sum Swamp at your son's age. They also liked Money Bags, Sequence Numbers, Sumoku and Check Math. Check Math might be best at age 8 or 9. Totally Tut was not a hit in our house; but we only tried it once or twice. Maybe we didn't give it enough of a chance.

They still like it when I roll dice and make up problems off the cuff. Each answer builds into the next problem so they have to remember the answer. (e.g. if the previous answer is 15, and I roll a 3 and a 6. I can say "divided by 3, times 6". The new answer is 30 and we go on from there.) They like to figure it out in their heads. As they got older, I made the problems more difficult.

Elly
06-17-2015, 11:39 AM
Hi Mariam,
We've been struggling with math here for the past few years, too. I have realised that a regular curriculum just doesn't work. What works best is lots of games, puzzles, videos, living math books and TV shows like Odd Squad and CyberChase. I'm not sure what I'm going to do in a few years! I actually wonder if DS has some dyscalculia going on. He has a grasp of many concepts, but seems to have no number sense at all. I borrowed my friend's copy of Math on the Level and toyed with buying it. The only thing I ended up keeping is the '5 a day' concept, but I bought an Evan Moor Daily Math to use for that, because it got so tiring putting together 5 problems each evening. Oh, we also have the Right Start math games, which I haven't used enough, but I think we're going to focus on those when we start up again after our break.

Elly

Solong
11-03-2015, 11:47 AM
Update. We are well into term 1 of G6, one month of which was spent traveling.

Her basic computation skills made it through unscathed. She retained percents, decimals and measurements (used frequently in her projects). She lost fractions, angles and cartesian coordinates. She is using Khan (travels well) to review fractions, percents, decimals and intro ratios. Khan is great! Unfortunately, like all math things, it has a shelf-life with my learner and we are reaching its expiry. Rotating programs is her MO.

Looking at the provincial learning outcomes, she is actually ahead of the game. How did this happen? Forgive me homeschoolers, for I have erred: When I sat down to formulate a plan for the year, I noticed an error that the province (and I) have been making for the last three years. They have been sending me outcomes for one year AHEAD of her grade level. I NEVER NOTICED. This year, I finally noticed. The province apologised and blamed a 'copy and paste' error.

Oh, the guilt. The guilt. The shame.

She really did need the break... poor math-tortured kid. Our plan is to wrap up term 1 reviews, focus on geometry in term 2 (the only math she likes), and intro pre-a with Jousting Armadillos in term 3.

Moral of the story? Listen to my kid, not the province. Do not trust ministry of education employees - go directly to the ministry's guidelines. Remember that they are merely that: guidelines. Oh, the guilt.

alexsmom
11-03-2015, 12:02 PM
Thank you for the update! Its good to know that even if a year is taken off of a core subject like math, that its not catastrophic!
And wow! Going off the higher grades standards! Not much to do about it now. :-/

Have you played the dragonbox algebra and geometry games (apps)? Theyre engaging, and teach a lot of the prealgebra concepts (rules for solving equations) and geometry properties (different triangles, transversals, plus properties of quadrilateral shapes... all done by using proofs (sort of)). The 2nd dragonbox algebra app contains everything thats in the first one, plus has extra practices. My DS hasnt figured out that its math and not just a fun puzzle game yet.

Solong
11-03-2015, 12:28 PM
Yes, she loved the dragonbox apps :). I think they got deleted off the ipad at some point... I should reload them.

No, I suppose the year off wasn't catastrophic - good point. Mostly, I feel like working off the higher grade outcomes may be what caused all of our math problems to begin with. What a cluster! I was going to just delete this entire thread, but then I realised that the higher outcomes for Canada are actually grade-level for the US (Canada's G6=US' G5). Plus, there are so many excellent resources and ideas included throughout the thread... I will just add a disclaimer in the opening post. Doh.

fastweedpuller
11-03-2015, 12:41 PM
Sorry to hear about the agita, AnonyMS but so glad you're updating this.

Gr6 (US) math is really catch-up anyway. I think the only "new" concepts tackled are integers and the relationship between ratios, percents, and fractions (as dd said "duh, it's all division").

I would say the only thing that's blown her socks off is exponents. Really big (or really small) numbers! whee!

pdpele
11-03-2015, 08:54 PM
AnonyMS you can't delete this thread! It helped me too much to have the courage to back away from our regular (boring) math routine! Sorry to hear you found out your DD was ahead all that time...better than finding out she was behind, tho, right?

Solong
11-03-2015, 09:39 PM
Lol! No, I won't delete it. It was just a bit humiliating to admit my mistake. The thread will stay.

Working off of those higher PLOs had to have been a major contributor to her overwhelming frustration and math resistance. I can't really say she is 'ahead'. Her skills are all over the place, because (to complicate things) our core materials have been Japanese grade leveled... I'm not going to try to puzzle it out anymore. Moving forward, ever forward!!

This is a year for regaining math and homeschool-mum confidence. The ps kids don't start pre-a until G8, so we still have almost two full years to play with.