Topic | Struggling in Math @ 14yr

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  • Misty
    Participant

    My son has always struggled in math.  He is going to be 14 in December.  He is in Epsilon with MUS.  Every year I have worked hard with him over the summer but this summer was the busiest, craziest, don’t know where it went summer.  Guess what he worked on math daily but did a terrible job.

    I don’t care that he’s not where he’s suppose to be in the books.  I just care that he gets the basics and can move forward even at a slow pace.  He is a great reader, does well in all his other subjects up to this point.  But this year with science and actually having to do more tests vs oral narration I am sure we’ll be in for another rollar coaster.  He just has a hard time remembering from one day to the next ‘week’ what he did.  day to day we’re ok, but from lesson 1 to lesson 4 he may or may not forget what he learned.

    I am at a loss how to help him.  I love math, my dh does math daily and is very good at it also.  We have decided to build him back up and just go back to some worksheets doing the basics.  Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  He does these well and it will build his moral back up.

    But what then?  My thought is to start back on lesson 1 of Eplison, have him just take the test if he passes the next day do test 2 and continue till he gets to many wrong and then start on the lessons for that one.

    I know he likes videos and thought about Khan, but where would I start and how do I find video’s for where he’s at?  Anyone who could help me or suggest another option I would appreciate it.  

    Once again I am not worried about where he is at, just that he can continue to make continueal progross daily.  He works very hard when he does math but we have learned he needs to do it in the quietest of places where there is nothing to interupt or bother him.  So we are working on find ing that spot within a house of 9 people LOL

    Thanks for your suggestions or comments.  Prayers for him would be greatly appreciated also as he gets so mad, so angry and so down on himself.  He could use a lot of grace.

    Tristan
    Participant

    Does he do the review pages every week? Because if he’s forgetting a concept a few weeks later it sounds like he’s not doing the review enough. Maybe he needs to do a review page every day and then the new concept for the week too? Obviously he may hate that! Mine would.

    Makayla struggles with this in a slightly different way. She gets so focused in on a concept that when they switch areas she often has trouble switching gears to do old problems we’ve not reviewed lately. So if we’ve been doing a ton of fractions and then I toss an area of a trapezoid problem in she probably won’t be able to switch gears easily to remember the process for trapezoids. Give her a 10 second reminder of the process and she’s good to go.

    Her switching issue is one reason a spiral program was horrible for her (did Saxon for K-3). MUS is much better, but she still has times where she struggles to remember past concepts.

    art
    Participant

    It sounds like my 14 yr old daughter. She can never remember what she’s done before. I know I probably haven’t given her enough repetition. My kids were all absolutely baffled by MUS. She seems to like Ray’s or Strayer Upton better. I think we’ve tried every kind of thing with her. She wants to be “caught up” but can’t seem to get there. She can remember something once the light bulb goes on. It’s just that that doesn’t happen too quickly. She’s trying to get ready for Algebra for next year. She’s going to have to work hard though. I wish math was like a poetry contest–she would cheerfully work hard on that. She wants math to be easy. I need to help her find a way to concentrate better and really think about it after the lesson.

    If I were you, I personally would not say that it was the Epsilon lesson 1 test. I would just put some problems down that are the same and give it to him. The fact that we were going back would occupy my daughter’s mind so much (making her feel inferior) that she couldn’t think how to do the math.

    Wish I was more helpful, but you’re not alone.

    Linda
    Participant

    Personally I think epsilon is the hardest of all of the books in the elementary level. I like your idea of going back to lesson 1, giving the test, etc. that will help you know where he needs help. Also maybe two 15-20 minute sessions might be more beneficial rather than 1 big 40-60 minute math block.

    Misty
    Participant

    Thanks ladies.  Linda – that was our thought on the time thing also.  One in the morning and maybe one in the evening after dinner.  Yes he is doing all the review pages we don’t skip with this son cause he needs that to much.  We have tried other math programs and it’s all the same for him.  He does want to be caught up but he really isn’t pushing to get there.  All he says is why do I have to continue I know how to +, -, * & /.  Don’t blame the kid how many of us day to day families use much more than that?  But it’s important to not give up or settle for the easy way out in life.

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions I appreciate it.  

    Monica
    Participant

    I haven’t used MUS in the later grades, because we switch to TT. For a kid who is prone to forget, the constant review and spiral approach are very helpful. My 11YO is in his 3rd year of using TT, and when he has difficulty with a concept we supplement with Khan videos.

    TT has sample lessons on their web site. Perhaps your son can try a few of them to see if they work for him.

    Sorry he’s struggling…

    Misty
    Participant

    TT – could you give me a web link?  Also, where do you find math video’s on Khan for the middle years (being that’s the book he’s in)

    Monica
    Participant

    http://teachingtextbooks.com/

    Click on the appropriate level, and there are sample lessons he can try.

    My 11YO is doing Pre-Algebra with TT, which is still in the “Arithmetic” section of Khan. Because TT and Khan are set up differently, it’s hard to point you to an exact “section”. This is their knowledge map, if it helps you at all (it just confuses me!)

    http://www.khanacademy.org/exercisedashboard

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