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JennVat User
Joined: 23 Mar 2014 Posts: 1

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:22 pm Post subject: Struggling Kindergartener 


My kindergarten son has been working on very basic addition for some time now (34 months). I am concerned that he seems to be making little to no progress and seems to exhibit no number sense that would indicate to him that his answers don't make sense.
For instance, one of the basic adding skills we've covered is plus one to any number. He can tell me what one more than any given number is, but when I turn it into a plus one problem (4 +1) he has to draw dots or I have to rephrase the problem by saying "If you have four cookies, how many would you have if I gave you one more). After a while of doing that he will understand (for a time) what plus one means, but will then generalize the plus one rule to ANY addition problem. For instance, if I then say (what is 4+3) he will immediately answer "5!!" Then when I ask him to use blocks or draw dots, he can get the right answer, but I have to reteach the same information over and over again and I am afraid to move on.
We are using MathUSee. Right now we are taking a break from adding and are doing patterns, even though those are not in the MathUSee curriculum. The kids all enjoy patterns and I can adapt it for my older and younger child so we are taking a fun break.
My son can count to 100 and did well in place value (although, now I question how well he REALLY understood it). Does anyone have experience with this? Is this normal for his age? Any advice? My oldest son (1st grade) blew through math with no problems, so this is hard for me to grasp. Thanks 

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Theodore Moderator
Joined: 06 Oct 2005 Posts: 2122 Location: Missouri, US

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:08 am Post subject: 


At his age, it isn't really the end of the world. Some children grasp the concepts later than others, but it's possible to go from elementary math all the way through high school math in just a few years, so he still has plenty of time left. For now, I'd suggest having him visualize the math problems by using one hand for the first number and the other hand for the second number and then counting how many fingers total he has up (obviously, you'll have to stick with numbers 15). Eventually he'll hopefully be able to start taking shortcuts in his head and then the fingers won't be necessary any more. You and I probably have it all memorized by rote to the point where we can arrive at the answer instantly without bothering to think about why it works that way. _________________ Homeschool Articles  Events  Support Groups 

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elliemaejune User
Joined: 30 Oct 2006 Posts: 620 Location: The Fireswamp

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:46 pm Post subject: Re: Struggling Kindergartener 


JennVat wrote: 
My kindergarten son has been working on very basic addition for some time now (34 months). I am concerned that he seems to be making little to no progress and seems to exhibit no number sense that would indicate to him that his answers don't make sense.
For instance, one of the basic adding skills we've covered is plus one to any number. He can tell me what one more than any given number is, but when I turn it into a plus one problem (4 +1) he has to draw dots or I have to rephrase the problem by saying "If you have four cookies, how many would you have if I gave you one more). After a while of doing that he will understand (for a time) what plus one means, but will then generalize the plus one rule to ANY addition problem. For instance, if I then say (what is 4+3) he will immediately answer "5!!" Then when I ask him to use blocks or draw dots, he can get the right answer, but I have to reteach the same information over and over again and I am afraid to move on.
We are using MathUSee. Right now we are taking a break from adding and are doing patterns, even though those are not in the MathUSee curriculum. The kids all enjoy patterns and I can adapt it for my older and younger child so we are taking a fun break.
My son can count to 100 and did well in place value (although, now I question how well he REALLY understood it). Does anyone have experience with this? Is this normal for his age? Any advice? My oldest son (1st grade) blew through math with no problems, so this is hard for me to grasp. Thanks 
Seems to me to be completely normal for a 5yo.
My advice would be to try really hard not to compare him to his older brother and to really back off on formal math instruction for a few months. _________________ Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
Caretaker of 2 budgies 

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