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View Full Version : It's the little victories...



archibael
04-07-2011, 11:38 AM
My eldest is very bright-- intelligence testing is superior and very superior on all categories except one: processing speed. There she's like 4th percentile. For whatever reason, she gets the concepts, but executes on them really slowly.

I'm not going to get into those issues right now, I'm just going to narrow on what happened earlier this week. We recognize her processing speed issues, but we also recognize that in order for her to be successful in her career goals (assuming she continues to stick to them) in the sciences, she's going to have to speed up her basic math facts.

That's just the reality of the situation, and she accepts that, but we've been having a god-awful time getting her to execute on it. There are pure memorization issues there, but my wife, in observing her, noted that a significant aspect was her actual writing itself. She writes her digits up or down, as the mood takes her-- or so we thought. Actually, she writes a "5" from the top when after a digit which ends near the top of the line (like 0 or 8), and writes it starting at the bottom for digits which end at the bottom of the line. In some way, she's got it in her brain that this is most efficient. She may even be right about that, but unfortunately what we've discovered is that it makes her hesitate before writing the second digit because her brain has to make that decision and... processing speed!

My wife had her always write the digit the same way and her speed improved significantly. Amazing.

She'll be attending a really good charter school next fall, but we discussed how thankful we are we were able to home school her this year. There's no way a teacher-- even at a charter-- would have the luxury of slowing down a 6th grade curriculum enough to spend the time to diagnose a problem to this level of detail.

Thumbs up!

Hampchick
04-07-2011, 01:55 PM
Great job identifying that and helping her work on it. I'm sure you are right, that it would not have been picked up were she in a typical classroom.

I have to wonder if what your daughter learned to do is common. DS in first grade had terrible letters because he just sort of wrote them any which way because he thought it was faster. I still have to remind him to start at the top and form them correctly sometimes even though we've been working on it for the whole year.

Pefa
04-07-2011, 04:26 PM
Fabulous. Isn't it great when you can find something so simple that makes such a big difference.

MarkInMD
04-11-2011, 11:10 PM
Good call. We have a similar situation in that Hurricane doesn't struggle with figuring out math problems, but he's very slow at executing, as well as memorizing the basics. (He's in 3rd grade and still has to think for a few seconds to remember things like 7+9.) I'm hoping there will come an aha moment for him soon that will speed things up, but for now I'm not stressing. He gets the right answers. Just not very quickly. :)

archibael
04-20-2011, 03:09 PM
To make things even more bizarre, she seems to do even better when she's singing a song while she's doing math. Wow, to be a cognitive scientist. I'm guessing the right half of her brain keeps bothering the left half and if she keeps it busy it doesn't interrupt so much.

Pefa
04-20-2011, 08:19 PM
doesn't surprise me at all. B1 would noodle on his mandolin while balancing equations if I let him (I wouldn't care except that it drives BOO crazy and there's no way to seperate the two or change the schoolwork schedule). If he can finger w/o picking he can use the mandolin, otherwise he has to either listen to his mp3 player or chord on a flat board.

MarkInMD
04-20-2011, 08:26 PM
To make things even more bizarre, she seems to do even better when she's singing a song while she's doing math. Wow, to be a cognitive scientist. I'm guessing the right half of her brain keeps bothering the left half and if she keeps it busy it doesn't interrupt so much.

I'm not surprised, either. Some kids need to move, hum, or otherwise multitask to focus. Counterintuitive to some, but my mother (a former teacher) was always fine with letting fidgety students fidget if they got their work done more quickly. On some occasions, if it wasn't abused, she'd even let them listen to an iPod. Worked for her. Both our boys are fidgeters, too.

fbfamily111
04-20-2011, 10:49 PM
DS also has trouble doing math quickly. He's super smart in math, but when working an equation he gets "lost". He likes to tap his fingers on the table, sing and hum, which drives ME crazy, but helps him a lot, I'm learning to deal.

Ariadne
04-21-2011, 10:06 PM
Awesome success story. The world needs more parents with this kind of diligence so kudos to you. :D

Kylie
04-21-2011, 10:14 PM
wow kudos to your wife being attentive enough to pick up something like that.