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  1. #11
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    Squares, have you had her tested for any issues which may impact her ability to do math? The working memory has a HUGE impact on math (and other things), and PS isn't going fix that. If you want to chat about what we've found helpful with that, I'm happy to share. Also there are many other things that could be the root cause.

    How you describe math was our life for years. Then we found DS have a full work up by an educational psychologist. Most of his areas (particularly writing ability and printed language type stuff) came back in the 99th percentile. But working memory and cognitive efficiency came in at 11th percentile and 17th percentile respectively. Math was in the low average to average range - but ONLY if it was multiple choice. He could rule out the wrong answers well enough to make a good guess often enough to be average. Anything with multiple steps - and he literally could NOT do it. I mean truly he did not have the ability. We've since gone through some therapy and discovered ways to teach him and ways for him to learn that work for him. And this year was his third attempt at 4th grade math. The first year he got stuck half way through. We'd just gone through vision therapy so I had high hopes. Vision therapy helped him get through 3rd Grade math, when he got stuck there (lining up columns.) But there was something else holding him back at multi-digit, multi-step problems. We tried it again the next year after changing curriculum a few times and me thinking he just needed to adjust to the vision therapy. But he got stuck half way through again.

    So we did the testing, did another therapy for working memory, and applied new ways to break down math for him to learn. THIS time on attempting 4th grade math he completed the whole grade in 5 months.

    Interesting thing to consider - the psychologists who worked with us pointed out that DS would not qualify for any type of IEP or assistance for math because on standardized tests he could score an average score. But...give him a problem to solve (like long division) and there was no way he had the ability to do it. So he'd just be getting more and more behind and lost each month and year and start to fail.

    I know what it's like to feel hopeless. That's where we were when I took DS for the testing, because something had to be resolved. We could not continue on with the frustration we both were feeling. DS was so relieved when he found out what was going on, to know there was a real legitimate problem - not just him being "stupid" or "lazy" or not caring, and his anxiety was well founded - who wouldn't be anxious when you are expected to sit down and do something every day that is practically impossible? My child resisted school work because it was destroying him to keep trying, keep failing, and not know why. And to realize there were things we could do to overcome and/or manage this was such a relief and so helpful.

    This year, DS has actually asked to continue doing math over the summer so he can try to catch up. I would have never believed that would happen. Going through the testing a year ago and all that came since then has turned everything around.
    Last edited by ejsmom; 06-09-2016 at 10:07 PM.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

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  3. #12

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    I'm in a bit of a rush so I wasn't able to read responses carefully and I'm just typing quickly. (Sorry, I'll come back again tomorrow).

    I know DD's behavior isn't because she's a bad kid, and she is indeed frustrated. But if I can't educate her, even if it's not her fault, then I need to have her educated somehow. (I do think she's additionally gotten rather disrespectful, but that's not the whole issue).

    DH was labelled "Learning Disabled" as a kid, including ADD (no H). He had a hell of a hard time in school and ultimately just shut down. DD seems to have his learning style and we had hoped we could avoid the issues he had in school by homeschooling her. But we're having to eat crow.

    DD does have visual integration issues. She does not have vision therapy and maybe I need to look into it. Nobody does it anywhere near us, but maybe there's a place a couple hours away. She's been formally diagnosed by a behavioral opthamologist who specialized in this kind of disorder - we were supposed to see him again a few months after our last appointment so he could determine if she needed therapy, but he ended up retiring sooner than he anticipated (he was, like, 80 or something already). Anyway, I guess I let that slip - but her reading has improved so I thought maybe she was compensating as her cognitive function improved with maturity.

    Typing longer than I intended and being quick and sloppy about it - but yes, her working memory is not strong. Also, she just has a very weak number sense - to her, 12 and 21 are basically the same thing. Yes, I touch upon place value frequently to reinforce, but I just see that numbers just don't mean much to her. Multiple choice math wouldn't help her one bit - she would not be able to eliminate anything. If the question were 15 x 15, and the choices were 25, 225, 1012, and 25110, any of those would seem equally likely to her.

    THE WEIRD THING!! Is that we just talked to her about the 3 options (public school, virtual, or doing homeschool at the library) and now she's kind of thinking maybe she'd like to go to public school! We'll support her in that if that seems to be what she wants, but DH and I are going to have to get used to this! Yes, I know we brought down the hammer but honestly what we really wanted was to homeschool - and for her to at least 50% cooperate. Parenting is a wild ride.

  4. #13

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    Middle school age kids can be the worst! I went through this with my 2nd son... He fought everything. Even now (several years later) he can't tell me why.

    Anyway, be open with the school. You should have her tested and go from there.

    Good Luck! And ((((((((hugs))))))))
    ~*~*Marta, mom to 5 boys.
    DS 1 ( 19, has his associates' degree and is off to college)
    DS 2 (17 and dual enrollment in college)
    Keegan (15 and enrolled in a PPP but still has home classes)
    Sully (10 years, 4th grade)
    Finn, (9 years, 3rd grade)

  5. #14
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    {{{hugs}}} I totally relate - I'm having the same thoughts about DS. Many days are great, but we butt heads over math in particular, and it's a) driving me crazy and b) I feel like it's harming our relationship. I do wonder if he'd do better in school. He hates the idea of going, but perhaps he needs the structure and expectations.

    It sounds like you've decided on grade levels. The only other thought I wanted to throw out there is that I was young for my school year - although about a month above the cut off, and I sometimes wonder if I would have done better in the next year/grade down. I had a poor elementary education anyway, for various reasons, but I didn't feel like I really caught up until I was mid teens. And I did go onto to get 3 good degrees anyway, so it's not like it had a terrible lasting effect on me
    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  6. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSong View Post
    She has been at home for 6th and is just finishing up 7th grade. The past two years have been very difficult. Lots of resistance and struggle. Trying curriculum after curriculum, modifying, etc. Math especially has been difficult- short working memory and struggling to focus. All accompanied by anxiety. I have long thought that there must be some underlying cause. No matter how we approached school she ended up resisting. But she didn't seem to be doing it deliberately. I started to pay closer attention what was causing her reactions. Her reactions seemed strongest when she had to read something that wasn't interesting to her, or if she had to sustain her focus on something for an extended period of time. I ended up reading The Mislabeled Child to try and find answers. As I read I saw my daughter in the pages. I ended up calling a psychologist that was highly recommended in order to have my dd evaluated for ADHD-inattentive, ASD and dyscalculia.
    The struggle you described sounds very familiar. Also the short working memory and struggle to focus. For my DD, the big trigger seems to be sustaining focus on difficult math. I've tried a bunch of things to space out the math but it's difficult because the amount of stuff we have to get through in a year just to not be incredibly behind requires that we do way more work than she's up for. And she has to practice often or she WILL forget, so it's not like I can just skip half the practice.

    I will look into that book, thanks for the recommendation.

    I might consider an evaluation but - what would it achieve? I mean, let's say we get diagnoses of ADD and dyscalculia (I have no doubt she fits the latter, possibly the former but not sure) - then what? What magic will happen? If there is some method to address these, do I need a diagnosis to apply the method? Not arguing, genuine question.

    Quote Originally Posted by WindSong View Post
    There may be an underlying reason for her resistance if she is trying hard and itsn't willfully resisting. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk further.
    There is an underlying reason, but ha, she IS willful! Very much so! Even her saintly piano teacher sometimes just shakes his head in amazement.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejsmom View Post
    Squares, have you had her tested for any issues which may impact her ability to do math? The working memory has a HUGE impact on math (and other things), and PS isn't going fix that. If you want to chat about what we've found helpful with that, I'm happy to share. Also there are many other things that could be the root cause.
    It's very interesting that you said that PS isn't going to fix those issues. The reason that's interesting is that it made me realize that I am not sending her to PS because I think they can do better with her with math, and your comment made me question my motives. I actually doubt very much they can do nearly as well as I have in teaching her math - that may sound quite pompous, like I can do better than professionals, but it just comes down to me being DD's mother and knowing how she thinks, and above all being able to give her undivided, one-on-one attention. PS cannot match that.

    I believe that if I send her to PS, I will still either have to spend as much time as before with her math just to keep her at her current pace, or she will quickly fall behind if I decide to take a hands-off approach (i.e. just check to make sure her homework is done, but not actually check the answers or help).

    So why would I want to send her to PS? I guess the honest answer is twofold: I don't want to ruin my relationship with her. And I don't want to feel like I didn't try everything I could.

    I am intrigued by the idea of working to improve working memory. But I don't know how to address a lack of number sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elly View Post
    {{{hugs}}} I totally relate - I'm having the same thoughts about DS. Many days are great, but we butt heads over math in particular, and it's a) driving me crazy and b) I feel like it's harming our relationship. I do wonder if he'd do better in school. He hates the idea of going, but perhaps he needs the structure and expectations.
    Yeah, that's totally where I am, including worry about harm to our relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elly View Post
    It sounds like you've decided on grade levels. The only other thought I wanted to throw out there is that I was young for my school year - although about a month above the cut off, and I sometimes wonder if I would have done better in the next year/grade down. I had a poor elementary education anyway, for various reasons, but I didn't feel like I really caught up until I was mid teens. And I did go onto to get 3 good degrees anyway, so it's not like it had a terrible lasting effect on me
    Elly
    That is useful to think about. DD is 3 days away from the cutoff.

    However, I guess you're right, I now feel confident about having her be a rising 6th grader.

  7. #16

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    The thing that is freaking me out is that now DD wants to go to public school. For so long, going to public school was about the worst idea in the world to her. Until yesterday. Now she just told me that she wants to commit to a year of public school.

    So I guess that's it.

    I'm scared, lol.

  8. #17
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    The reason I'm suggesting testing is because some of these issues do have to be diagnosed to get an IEP to help her in school. Otherwise she'll just be failing. If she has diagnosed dyscalculia, working memory, ADD, etc. then she is entitled to help and accommodations in school that she will not get otherwise. I truly believe sending her to school without those in place, if she has certain issues, is setting her up for more struggle and failure, and to experience not in the privacy of her home, but in front of new peers at middle school age. Also, the therapies we've done for vision therapy and working memory made such a huge difference for DS, and he could not have had them without being evaluated and finding out exactly what the problems were.

    For some of the issues there are therapies, and various methods to manage those challenges to set her up for success in math. It isn't just about school work. Working memory affects a great deal in life. Successfully managing that has a big impact on one's life. The ability to drive a car (a lot to keep track of at one time), hold certain jobs successfully, and keep track of important things in life - like food on the stove and that the baby is still in the car can have big ramifications. Dyscalculia would be something to know how to manage so one can successfully manage their budget.

    I have a 13 year old. The past 2 years were attitude and belligerence, I understand that frustration. I also agree that if she really truly wants to got to PS to try a year, she should. I would be prepared to bring her back home, however. And I would explore what the root causes of the math struggles are and what can be done to help her - because it very well could not just be about math. It's about her future and managing her life.
    Last edited by ejsmom; 06-10-2016 at 12:56 PM.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

  9. #18

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    If you do the testing and get a dx the school will make accommodations. If you don't they will probably end up suggesting that you do. It is just more Information about how she learns and that can be really helpful.

    We we put my daughter in fourth grade last Fall. Her birthday is also very close to the cutoff. We could have put her in fifth. We went with a private school instead of public. It was the right decision for my daughter. Our decision to homeschool in the first place was also the right decision. Things can change and being flexible is a good thing IMO. Good luck! I hope it goes well.
    Julie,
    Former Homeschooler to two daughters, age 20 and in college and age 12 back in ps.

  10. #19

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    OK, I get it about the testing now, thanks for explaining. Do I get testing through the school system or privately, how does that work?

    DD confirmed this morning that she's committed to public school for a year. I will notify the superintendent's office on Monday.

    I've shifted my homeschool focus to "filling in the gaps" starting today.

  11. #20
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    In regards to any testing, from my experience. . . if I had testing done while my kid was a student of the local PS, it was free. If I had testing while my kid was not registered at the local PS, it was an out of pocket expense for me.

    I also put a kiddo in PS for almost a year. My dd wanted to go and I seriously needed her to go. She is back at home now, and our relationship is much better. Hugs to you.
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

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Sending DD to public school - what grade?