What we are using

13 January 2008

Math Woes

Someone please explain to me why my dd7 can tell you off the top of her head that the difference between 270 and 259 is 11 and that half of 11 is 5 1/2 but must use her fingers to tell me what 5+2 is. Please.

I thought I was comfortable with what I was doing for math. I really did. I tried too many math programs with her when she was too young. We blew through most of RS level B. We finished MUS Alpha and part of Beta. We tried Horizons. We went through Singapore 1B and most of 2a. Yes, we did most of that in kindergarten. She Loved math right up until she hated it.

She cries at the sight of the MUS blocks. She marks a giant X across workbook pages. She would skip all meals and fun and stay in her room for much longer than I could allow just to balk at math. So I backed off. I read about delaying math. We played math games. Over time, of course I relaxed even more. We quit playing math games. I dropped math in favor of waiting.

However, I see that she is forgetting the facts that used to come so easy to her. She knows the concepts, but not the facts. So 270 - 259. Really. How can she do this? If I add in facts practice, where do I start? What do I use? Do I try to start a math program again? Which one? Would waiting be worse than starting again? Or would starting again destroy any chance she has of eventually learning to love it again? Help.


Anonymous said...

You know, Quinn was the same way--understanding concepts but not facts. He also balked at math (except for RS, which was way too easy at the level we picked). Well, somehow, by some miracle, he all of a sudden is starting to remember the facts and COMBINE them with the concepts. What a revelation! Math is actually getting easy-ish. He's in Singapore 3 and is 10 years old, so there is probably a lot to say for it being a bit easy still.

Anywho...dunno. I think she's young enough that you can safely back off, let thing gel, and then catch up later. When she's ready to do it, it will be easy. She's so bright there's no way it can't. :)

Lorna said...

She will be fine. We had a lot of this at that age! We found taking things slowly and using unit cubes helped a lot. She sounds like she is actually a bit of a latent whizz at math. I would just build her confidence up again by doing a bit less at a time.
Try Singapore again. It is great for kids who are great at concepts.
Anyway, DH majored in Math at a really good school and he stills slips up on his multiplication facts. This is pretty common, strangely enough, with these mathy-types!
Beautiful blog, by-the-way!