fastweedpuller

09-21-2016, 02:43 PM

We've dealt with all kinds of math phobia in this house. DD has mild dyscalculia (and like everything with this child, it's not full-blown and imminently problematic). She's simply had difficulty with some aspects of math, which, of course, has led her to throw the math-baby out with the proverbial bath water ("I just don't like math" "I am not good at math" etc.). It manifests itself with the inability to quickly recall even easy math facts, like multiplication or quick addition/subtraction problems, especially mentally. Math, therefore, has historically been a foot-dragging subject here.

But I have recognized, too, that she understands math concepts, really quickly (she's actually really smart if I can say that without sounding like a braggart my-special-snowflake freakmom), so we've moved her steadily forward and have NOT hammered math facts to death. I have met some resistance of this from the hubs, not that he advocates torturing her, necessarily. I am of the school of "she'll get it when she gets it," I guess. I also make accommodations (cheat sheets: PEMDAS, times tables, etc.) and let her use a calculator if the math is especially torturous.

We have always, however, done what I call "buddy math" (not that I made up that term, I probably learned it from here somewhere). We read the lesson together, I ask her if she has done something similar to it before, and THEN we proceed to solve a problem or two before I set her free to solve the rest of the problems. I also really try to hit the idea of spiral math pretty hard with her (we go over the operations with percents/fractions/ratios/GCF-LCD whenever I think she's starting to lose the concept of "how" something works) so we do go off-script for days at a time if the book's lessons gloss over something.

So my question of you parents with kids older or more math-gifted than mine is this: when did you pull way back and let the kid try to handle the lessons AND the problems all by themselves? I am wondering when to step back and let her, basically, fail or fly. Yes, I am a bit gunshy about letting up, as I don't want her back to the cycle of "I suck at math" if she's called to stretch her abilities too far...we've been there, it takes a lot of work for her to regain her confidence. But she's getting older and is better able to take stumbles without it turning into something more dramatic.

FYI: she's in 7th grade and doing algebra with the Arbor Algebra products (http://arboralgebra.org/) which she loves (they run prealgebra through some geometry with their Jousting Armadillos-Crocodiles & Coconuts-Chuckles the Rocket Dog series, which follows Harold Jacobs' Elementary Algebra as its guide; they, as you can kind of tell by their titles, are fairly engaging for this age group), and it's my plan to continue the series (completing it maybe mid-late 8th grade?) before embarking on high school work (online, maybe?).

But I have recognized, too, that she understands math concepts, really quickly (she's actually really smart if I can say that without sounding like a braggart my-special-snowflake freakmom), so we've moved her steadily forward and have NOT hammered math facts to death. I have met some resistance of this from the hubs, not that he advocates torturing her, necessarily. I am of the school of "she'll get it when she gets it," I guess. I also make accommodations (cheat sheets: PEMDAS, times tables, etc.) and let her use a calculator if the math is especially torturous.

We have always, however, done what I call "buddy math" (not that I made up that term, I probably learned it from here somewhere). We read the lesson together, I ask her if she has done something similar to it before, and THEN we proceed to solve a problem or two before I set her free to solve the rest of the problems. I also really try to hit the idea of spiral math pretty hard with her (we go over the operations with percents/fractions/ratios/GCF-LCD whenever I think she's starting to lose the concept of "how" something works) so we do go off-script for days at a time if the book's lessons gloss over something.

So my question of you parents with kids older or more math-gifted than mine is this: when did you pull way back and let the kid try to handle the lessons AND the problems all by themselves? I am wondering when to step back and let her, basically, fail or fly. Yes, I am a bit gunshy about letting up, as I don't want her back to the cycle of "I suck at math" if she's called to stretch her abilities too far...we've been there, it takes a lot of work for her to regain her confidence. But she's getting older and is better able to take stumbles without it turning into something more dramatic.

FYI: she's in 7th grade and doing algebra with the Arbor Algebra products (http://arboralgebra.org/) which she loves (they run prealgebra through some geometry with their Jousting Armadillos-Crocodiles & Coconuts-Chuckles the Rocket Dog series, which follows Harold Jacobs' Elementary Algebra as its guide; they, as you can kind of tell by their titles, are fairly engaging for this age group), and it's my plan to continue the series (completing it maybe mid-late 8th grade?) before embarking on high school work (online, maybe?).