View Full Version : 8th grade math help

LisaC.

04-11-2013, 08:11 AM

My DD13 is currently in public school for 7th grade(her choice). She tested into Math 7 and has struggled to maintain a C/B average. She is also recognized as "gifted" and scores Advanced in all categories (including math!) in State Testing. However, she HATES math with a passion and does not understand it. If my mom or husband work with her 1-1, she understands. She is having trouble transferring what she learned on one page to another page or test. Her public school teacher has decided that DD is a. lazy and b. doesn't study enough. Ironically, DD HAS learned a ton from this class. But public schools are not interested in growth unless it is up to standard, which it is not. And she is so discourage because she spends hours on math, only to see her grade slipping. One of DD frustrations is that she wants to understand "why" you do something in math and no teacher has that kind of time in a public school setting.

I am planning on pulling her from math for the rest of this school year and definitely 8th grade.

So, I am trying to find a program that explains math problems clearly, explores and explains the concepts behind the math, and can be used by DD independently.

Does this even exist? :confused:

Thanks

Elphie

04-11-2013, 08:41 AM

Check out Life of Fred math. It is a very different way to learn math. It is basically set up like a story and it explains the how and the why of math, and also where the math would be used in real life. You learn math by reading, and it is meant for the student to use independently. My ds14 has used it for the past two years and it works very well for him. I was always horrible at math, and now that I'm taking LoF math along with my son I am actually learning and retaining what I have learned. A lot of people think it is not a good stand alone curriculum...it doesn't ask you to do a ton of the same types of math problems...but if you felt she needed more practice you could supplement with something else. We use it as a stand alone and it is working fine for us.

We also love LOF and use it as a stand alone curriculum. An additional resource would be Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org). Khan has an amazing way of explaining things so that it is easily understood.

Accidental Homeschooler

04-11-2013, 09:41 AM

Teri beat me to it. My dd is hsed except for math, which she takes at the the ps high school. Khan is what she goes to when she needs extra explanation. If she gets stuck doing her homework and needs more examples worked out for her she goes to it.

WhatEverWorks

04-11-2013, 09:52 AM

We're using science experiments to back up the "why" and give application practice. Right now, we're working through an AP physics lab kit. Every single thing so far has tied back to something we've done earlier this year in math. (He did a hybrid 7th-8th grade program for math). Things he balked at in math, he spews out in science.

gypsylovecircus

04-11-2013, 12:17 PM

I would suggest Teaching Textbooks http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/ . It is book and computer based, you can choose to use one or both resources. There is a placement test to help you figure out what grade to go with, and I believe that TT is slightly below grade level, or rather set to move at your own pace to help kids keep up and enjoy math. Over all, it is a fun program, and you can do lesson demos online to help you see if it will work for you. Good luck!

Kimberlapoderosa

04-11-2013, 12:24 PM

You could try mathalicious. It is not a complete curriculum but it is fun for showing real world uses of math.

CrazyCatWoman

04-14-2013, 09:15 PM

My daughter does her math from Khan Academy. Last week she went to a special thing at a local community college that was Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) The first day they did some algebra, which happened to be the same thing that she had watched on Khan Academy that day. She said Khan did a better job of explaining it, and told why you would use that particular type of exercise in real life. The class did not explain it. For their hands on portion of the evening, she built a pvc marshmallow shooter. Other than measuring, they did no algebra or explanation of math. She didn't go back to the next two nights. The next night they were supposed to make a necklace - which she does at home all the time.

atomicgirl

04-15-2013, 03:23 PM

Life of Fred helped my daughter, who has similar issues, a lot this year. My dd (10) could do the computations if the problem was presented exactly as originally taught, but found it very difficult to apply that knowledge in a new situation. It drove the teacher batty for some reason, and lead to all kinds of preventable stress. Life of Fred often starts with an application and works backward to build the rules for computation, and it's made all the difference. She's also having an easier time with word problems as the math she studies is more algebra, and less arithmetic. Writing expressions and solving equations is easier for her than trying to keep track of, and process, several steps to find an answer.

teglene

04-21-2013, 12:34 PM

I'd suggest you look into

http://www.teachingtextbooks.com

and

ALEKS -- Assessment and Learning, K-12, Higher Education, Automated Tutor, Math (http://www.aleks.com)

outskirtsofbs

04-21-2013, 12:47 PM

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but while there are numerous people posting that use LOF, could someone please direct me to the book of LOF that I should begin with? DD is 10, finishing up 4th grade, scored high in mathematics on her last testing in January, BUT sometimes has similar problems as stated above. I would love to check out LOF but really don't know where to start. I'm under the assumption that the earlier books are for younger children.(?)

mpippin

04-21-2013, 02:25 PM

We love and use life of fred, too. I also recommend teaching textbooks.

mpippin

04-21-2013, 02:28 PM

The author recommends all children in elementary school begin at the beginning. The scope and sequence are so vastly different from traditional math that concepts are taught in the early books that aren't usually taught to young children. There's no real harm in starting with Apples with a 4th grader or 5th grader. Look at it as an easy transition, and review. You will fly through them. However, we started with Farming and did just fine.

Not meaning to hijack this thread, but while there are numerous people posting that use LOF, could someone please direct me to the book of LOF that I should begin with? DD is 10, finishing up 4th grade, scored high in mathematics on her last testing in January, BUT sometimes has similar problems as stated above. I would love to check out LOF but really don't know where to start. I'm under the assumption that the earlier books are for younger children.(?)

CatInTheSun

04-21-2013, 02:41 PM

Personally, I would start by looking at Khan and see if that helps. Sometimes what they need is a toehold to lock in a few key concepts from a different perspective and the Khan website with its practice and awards can be motivating (and it is FREE). It also allows kids to build up and focus on what they really need as well as skip to the skills relevant to their school work as things arise there. If that does the trick, great.

If not, then there are whole separate currics to consider. I am NOT a fan on LOF, but if it works for you, that's what matters. I like Zaccaro's Challenge math books as a means of locking in and exploring concepts from a fresh perspective, and they tend to be fun for the kids.

What math program are they using at her school? That might help us think of what might complement or contrast. ;)

WindSong

04-21-2013, 06:43 PM

I would recommend that you look into Thinkwell. My ds has been using it for three years and loves it. He doe sit completely independently. It's the only curriculum that he has asked not to change. You can check out the curriculum review tab to see a review I wrote up.

Before trying Thinkwell, he used Teaching Textbooks. I personally don't think that TT is conceptual. But I only have experience with TT3 and TT6- none of the upper levels. We found that TT wasn't challenging enough, but a curriculum like Art of Problem Solving was too challenging. So, this was a happy medium. If your dd is testing as gifted, she may get bored with TT.

atomicgirl

04-21-2013, 06:49 PM

...DD is 10, finishing up 4th grade, scored high in mathematics on her last testing in January, BUT sometimes has similar problems as stated above. I would love to check out LOF but really don't know where to start. I'm under the assumption that the earlier books are for younger children.(?)

When we started home school in the fall DD was just beginning 5th grade. Her old school did a sequence that had her just finishing fractions and starting a unit (about a year per unit) on decimals and percentages. I found Fred while looking for a program that emphasized and in depth look at decimals and percentages in order to keep her on the same path in case we put her back into that school. Starting with the LoF "Decimals and Percents" book worked just fine for us.

dbmamaz

04-21-2013, 07:22 PM

my 4th grader is using the decimals and percents and its pretty challenging for him. we did fractions last year, and that was really good - but he is advanced. i havent used anything earlier. before he published the younger books, he recommended starting fractions after they had mastered multi-digit multiplication, long division, and something else, i always forget - maybe negative numbers?

kimgoldman

06-15-2013, 10:29 AM

Thinkwell is GREAT!

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