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# Math U See word problems and retention

Tagged: Math U See, MUS, word problems

- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 10 months ago by Melanie32.

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- Melanie32Participant
Hi ladies. 🙂 I have been using Math U See for years now. My son started in Beta and went through pre algebra. He struggled with Algebra 1 and we switched to Saxon. I wasn’t really pleased with that option either. Now my daughter is working through Math U See. She has gone through all the levels and is finishing up Zeta now. She really struggles with word problems. I try to walk her through them but I really think she should be able to get more of them than she currently does. Have any of you supplemented with something for word problems? Is this just normal? I just keep plugging along but it does seem like she has to relearn concepts constantly-and not just with word problems. It’s not that she forgets the concepts completely. I refresh her memory a bit and then she’ll say “Oh, yeah! I remember now!”. Is this just middle school brain fog? I’ve heard a lot of moms complain that their middle schoolers had a very hard time concentrating on many days. Any thoughts?

AnnParticipantI don’t really have an answer for you, but wanted to comment that my daughter gets that brain fog going on some days also. She is 13. It always seems worse when it comes to math. Se has struggled with math anyway.

I’m wondering if there is a better math option for her. The repetition of MUS seems to make it worse.

HollySParticipantMy DD is 12…I’d say it is an age thing, but she’s always been like this. One day she will know the answer to a problem and the next she’ll struggle with an easier one. We have spent a ridiculous amount of time going over calculating the area of rectangles, triangles, and trapezoids. Yet she still has no idea which formula to use! I’m thinking of making a poster for the wall, but I’m not sure even that would help.

One thing that has helped is to change the time of day we do math. Since we both dread it, I’ve found we put it off all day. Recently I’ve been trying to fit it in first (or 2nd) thing, and I think it goes much better. I’ve heard to try different times to see what works best for the individual. Some kids concentrate better at night and some do better in the morning.

For story problems I’ve tried to help them find key words to help. For example, addition problems usually mention “all together”. When they are struggling I try to help them find some key words. I’m hoping this process will eventually work. 😉

Melanie32ParticipantThanks for chiming ladies! It helps to know my daughter’s not the only one. 🙂

Holly-Yes! We learned long ago to do math first! I also point out the key words in word problems. Something else that helps is to have my daughter draw a picture to represent the word problem. Well, I guess we shall keep plugging along.

I did find an old thread where Bookworm recommended a math supplement. It looks good. I can’t remember the name off the top of my head but I can find it if anyone’s interested.

Melanie32ParticipantSo, I’ve read some old threads on Math U See and I think I know where I went wrong. I don’t think I stuck with each concept long enough. I know Steve Demme says not to move on until your student really masters the concepts. I think I should have stuck with some of the tougher concepts until my daughter could work through the problems without any help from me. She usually only needed a reminder or two so I thought she pretty much had it, but maybe I was wrong.

I’m really hoping some moms who have used Math U See successfully through high school will chime in with more info.

So here’s my tentative plan. I’ve been reading about Math U See pre algebra and, from what I’ve read, it seems that it covers quite a bit of review. I’m thinking that if I start sticking with each concept until my daughter truly masters it (can complete a page without any help from me), that she will be much better able to handle high school level math. She does have a good understanding of basic math but needs to master fractions, decimals and percentages a bit more. I’m hoping that pre algebra will review these enough to make up for the gaps she may have in these areas.

I was thinking about purchasing some materials to help her review these areas but I don’t want to put her further behind. I’m hoping math u see pre algebra will do the trick. I would rather move through that slowly than stop and do a completely different program for review. That is unless anyone has something they would like to recommend for this specific problem?

HollySParticipantHave you been on the MUS website? You can print extra pages for each lesson. You pick how many problems you want per page and it generates new problems for you. We’ve used it a couple times when DD struggled with a new concept and we’d gone through all the workbook pages.

I’ve also used Khan Academy videos to give her a bit more instruction. Sometimes it helps to hear a slightly different presentation of a topic.

Melanie32ParticipantThanks Holly! Yes, I use the worksheet generator whenever my daughter needs more time with a certain concept. We also use Khan academy sometimes.

Today, I went through the Zeta book with my daughter and realized that she really did know all the information. I think my biggest problem has been giving her too much help. I need to let her stew a bit and try harder to figure things out for herself. We had a talk today and she did much better on her math. I’m feeling much better about her math skills now.

Thanks ladies, for discussing this with me. I feel pretty confident about my plans for my daughter’s math lessons now, thanks to all of you helping me to think this through. 🙂

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