Topic | Math for my son

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  • skye Gunner

    We have used Saxon math for all of his schooling years. I love Saxon, and how thorough it is. I feel like he has  pretty good handle on math because of it. However, he is a 12 year old boy and for years we have been trying to figure out how to make it through his math lesson. It would take him hours because he would sit and doodle or look out the window. I just couldn’t get him to focus. As we have moved into more of a charlotte Mason approach to school he has done better, and i only require half of each lesson to be completed in a day, but he still gets so distracted and unfocused. Although he usually only misses 2-4 problems in the 15. Mostly because he was lazy in his multiplication along the way. My question is, what can I do to help him? If i sit beside him and remind him to start the next problem, he does great and gets it done in 20 minutes. But he is in 6th grade and i don’t know if he should be required/able to handle that as independent work. He is  busy body and we keep things short and sweet, but math has always been a bore for him. What is the best method for helping him work more diligently?


    Just my opinion, but if you are requiring dull math, I don’t see any problem with you sitting with him.  Many adults here would have a hard time with 15 Saxon math problems per day:)

    If he doesn’t like you sitting with him, you could try a timer or reward him with extra free time or time doing something that’s a treat.

    Sorry if I sound harsh about Saxon math. I have been thinking lately how school textbooks have ruined the joy of math, but most of us, myself included, are afraid to set them aside.


    I have gone through periods of time where I sit with my kids to do math. Sometimes it gets tedious, but sitting with them, working the problems with them helps them gain confidence and also reminds them it does not have to take a long time to do math. If he does better when you sit with him, go for it, it will not be forever 🙂

    I grew up doing Saxon, my mom never had us do a full lesson, either just the odd or even problems and she would often cross off problems that she knew we understood and didn’t need consistent practice with. We use MUS and the lessons are over all shorter, but Algebra 1 my oldest needed me to sit with her more, usually just to keep her on track with all the steps (so many steps in algebra!) but by the end of the school year she had formed better habits and I usually just sat with her when a new concept stumped her and then she would get it and be ready to go solo again.

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