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  1. #1

    Default OLSAT Scores Low

    I administered the OLSAT to my DD so I could identify any weaknesses. She scored pretty low in nonverbal (SAI was 81), so I'm thinking about adding something to next year's curriculum to work on this skill. Nonverbal includes logic, models, creative thinking, construction and technology (basically, problem solving). This actually explains a lot about her dificulty with some math concepts. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. Workbooks would be fine, but something more engaging would probably be better. Thanks for any help!
    Last edited by kmc; 05-16-2018 at 10:40 PM.

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  3. #2


    Hmmm Im not at all familiar with that test....
    Critical Thinking Company makes a bunch of workbooks on those topics... whether they would help or not, I dont know.
    We had fun with “Making Paper Models that Move” as a physics / attention to detail / modeling activity. All you need are an xacto blade and some glue.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    This book looks great! Seems like a really fun way to work on this issue. We read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes this year and made some cranes out of origami paper, but I always took over and did it for her. I obviously need to let go of my tendency to control everything and let her do it herself.

  5. #4


    Math manipulatives are great, but they come with a rather hefty learning curve for the teacher, and could present great difficulty for someone who tends to over-teach, if the goal is not just to demonstrate a concept so the learner can understand and apply it, but to provide the learner with opportunities to experience, experiment, and discover.

    While conceptual understanding of procedures is important, it was the weakness in spatial intuition and problem-solving ability you were concerned with, so she would need opportunities to finding things out by trial and error, which might mean that you might have to step out of the room and go do something else, if you are generally goal-oriented rather than process-oriented.

    Skilled facilitation (in which the learner's process is supported by minimalist carefully asked questions, more like the Socratic method) is far more difficult than direct instruction, though, especially for the majority of us who had no example from our own experience growing up so have to learn it from scratch, so the online interactive adaptive services (such as can be really helpful in situations in which you, the teacher, need a break, or find you have a hard time resisting the urge to "help" too much. But they are all about skills mastery, and what you seem to be saying is you want to assist her in improving problem-solving ability itself, not necessarily as it pertains to skills mastery?

    Hmmm.... The Art of Problem-Solving gets high marks for that, but I have heard from many people that kids who tend to be exceptionally able in mathematical reasoning, and bored by ordinary methods, benefit from it the most, and kids who aren't, can feel bewildered by it.

    If you can score some AoPS used for cheap, maybe try it?

    The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has some resources (including some online conceptual apps) you might look at, free, here.

    Not sure how old she is, but Goldieblox is a brand of discovery-based engineering/spatial problem-solving toys marketed to girls, started by a woman frustrated with the fact that nearly all engineering/spatial toys are marketed specifically at boys. I remember wishing them well when they were a startup, and being glad to see an array of their games for sale at Barnes and Nobles alongside the Night Sky in My Room and other science/discovery games and toys.

    Great conversation! I'm always looking for ways to deepen conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability, too, so love hearing others' experiences and suggestions.
    Last edited by crunchynerd; 05-18-2018 at 11:35 AM.
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

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OLSAT Scores Low