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encouraging the math phobic


Forum: Homeschooling

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  #1  
July 4th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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I have a friend who is currently homeschooling 2 of her 5 children (the rest are not yet school aged). She's been struggling with teaching her oldest daughter math and I volunteered to help by tutoring her once a week. I just started yesterday.

I talked with her daughter about what she is learning and what she thinks she's struggling with. We worked some practice problems together. When we were done, she starting talking to me about how she feels like she can't do math. Part of why she feels this is that she just started 4th grade but is in the Singapore 3B textbook. She feels like she is "behind" and it makes her feel stupid/incapable.

I tried to explain to her that math isn't a race and that it's good for her to be going at her own pace and actually learning and understanding the topics (rather than rushing through and not knowing anything). I don't think that convinced her.

Any suggestions on how to encourage her? From working with her, it really seems like her struggles are from a lack of practice and confidence. She wants to do well, she has the ability to do well, but she has this "I can't do this" block in her head. I'm good friends with her mother, so I can pass any good tips onto the mom for her to use during the week if it's something that would be best done on an ongoing basis.
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  #2  
July 4th, 2010, 11:29 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Location: The Lonestar State
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Tell her that's "level 3B" (for the publisher) not "grade 3B" (for the standard). Show her the scope & sequence for other publishers who teach things at different times (she probably knows things that are in the 4th or 5th grade book for other publishers). Test her (if she has no objections) to see where she is at the national level. I'd give her a % answer rather than a grade answer. Say "this % of kids" are performing below you on the same material.

To make it more fun, try checking out some math books from the library. By "books", I don't mean textbooks. I mean things like these:

Amazon.com: Fractals, Googols, and Other Mathematical Tales (9780933174894): Theoni Pappas: Books
Amazon.com: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) (9781570911521): Cindy Neuschwander, Wayne…
Amazon.com: A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure (9781570918728): Edward Einhorn, Adam Gustavson: Books
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  #3  
July 5th, 2010, 04:21 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by BensMom View Post
Tell her that's "level 3B" (for the publisher) not "grade 3B" (for the standard). Show her the scope & sequence for other publishers who teach things at different times (she probably knows things that are in the 4th or 5th grade book for other publishers). Test her (if she has no objections) to see where she is at the national level. I'd give her a % answer rather than a grade answer. Say "this % of kids" are performing below you on the same material.

To make it more fun, try checking out some math books from the library. By "books", I don't mean textbooks. I mean things like these:

Amazon.com: Fractals, Googols, and Other Mathematical Tales (9780933174894): Theoni Pappas: Books
Amazon.com: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) (9781570911521): Cindy Neuschwander, Wayne…
Amazon.com: A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure (9781570918728): Edward Einhorn, Adam Gustavson: Books

I think that is a great idea on testing her and showing her how great she is doing above other kids her own age. Tell her the 3 is just a 3, doesn't mean anything at all like what Chrystal said.
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  #4  
July 5th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 784
Try doma
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  #5  
July 6th, 2010, 05:16 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,039
Thanks!

She did just get some test results back. I'm not sure if she shares them with her daughter. I also don't know the exact results--just that she's improved and that she's above the proficient level.

I tried looking for some fun books. She's currently studying measurement (volume specifically). She understands what that is, she knows things like how many cups are in a quart. She just needs practice converting and practice adding mixed volumes (ie 3 qts 1 cup + 2 qts 1 cup). Any books that help with converting and adding/subtracting volumes?
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  #6  
July 6th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Why don't you bake stuff and incorporate adding and subtraction?
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