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What am I doing wrong.... be honost

 
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ontheprairie
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 71
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: What am I doing wrong.... be honost Reply with quote

We started homeschool in Sept so we are fairly new at it. We choose A Beka. We have a 5th grader, 4th grader and kindergarten student. Right away I noticed that math would be too difficult so I moved down a grade for math (ie. 4th, and 3rd).
Problem: my kids don't want to 'learn' from me. My daughter is having difficulty GETTING division and each time I explain it to her she gets frustrated and tunes out. We have been doing division for over a month and she still doesn't get it : I have been very patient with her .. I sit there and watch and when she makes the wrong desision I correct her hoping she will learn to make the right moves on her own.
Our son depends on me for english. He is learning about subjects, adverbs and adjectives. He doesn't do a question without me... when I leave the table he just waits... if I ask him to continue he says he doesn't understand that one.
Both of them are doing well on Math tests but were blowing the tests on all the other subjects (science, english, social studies). So, since ABeka is advanced and were getting used to things I decided to see if I could encourage them with some good grades. I started writing study questions out (very similar to the test questions) for them so they could study them for a few days before the test. It works.... they are both getting 90-100 percent. But, isn't that cheating ?

What am I doing wrong? Are they depending on ME intead of their textbooks for learning? Is that okay ... since it is the beginning of our homeschool career?

I am finding that my kindergartener is doing it too. I sit there with her during her learning (A Beka seems to be designed that way) and go through counting numbers ... then have her write them and do a page in the book. I go through her ABCs and her phonic sounds, ladders, etc with her then have her write them and do a page in her book. I know she can do them without my help (she's a smart cookie) but she depends on me to help her because she is afraid of making a mistake.

PLEASE HELP. Be honost... I hope I have painted an accurate picture so that you are able to give me sound advice.
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Minniewannabe
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you're doing everything just right.

First, there's the "that's not the way Mrs. Jones did it!" that you have to go through with your kiddos that first year of homeschooling. All of us endure it.

Second, you chose A Beka and if your kiddos weren't already in that program, then many need to go back one grade. You have already done that so congrats!

Long division starts soon into the 3rd grade so if your DC are struggling there, I'd get that workbook, have them do a few of the beginning division pages and then go back to 4th grade. Fourth grade expects a solid knowledge of division because it covers mostly fractions and decimals. Nonetheless, there are about 3 division problems on every page in 4th so that the concepts are not forgotten.

Finally, it's not cheating for your kiddos to study for tests even if from study sheets you made. I even go over material right before a test most times. Part of learning is learning how to study. By 5th grade you may want your kiddos to start learning to highlight important sentences to help with studying.

You will always have ups and downs homeschooling but nothing like what you endured when your DC were in the other school. I read your other post and shrieked!
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Lily
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: What am I doing wrong.... be honost Reply with quote

ontheprairie wrote:
We started homeschool in Sept so we are fairly new at it. We choose A Beka. We have a 5th grader, 4th grader and kindergarten student. Right away I noticed that math would be too difficult so I moved down a grade for math (ie. 4th, and 3rd).


Good for you. I just want to share a little of my experience: the first year is the hardest. You're trying to figure things out and find a groove but most of the time end up feeling lost. It does get easier and better.

Quote:
Problem: my kids don't want to 'learn' from me. My daughter is having difficulty GETTING division and each time I explain it to her she gets frustrated and tunes out. We have been doing division for over a month and she still doesn't get it : I have been very patient with her .. I sit there and watch and when she makes the wrong desision I correct her hoping she will learn to make the right moves on her own.


I wasn't sure whether to respond here or further down, but I just looked over the A Beka curriculum for math. I didn't notice any manipulatives on the order form. Are you using just a book to teach?
You may want to scrap the lesson book for a while and pull activity based work for her instead so that the concepts can be solidified. I believe every child should have work presented in a way that makes sense to them. In the first year this is more difficult to tailor, so a good rule of thumb to is say it, show it, have her do it, and have her teach it. Cover all your bases until you find the one she gravitates toward more. The library should have books like Family Math, I Hate Mathematics, and Hershey Bar Math to help with the division, and sites like http://www.education.com/activity/ and www.besthomeschooling.org offer other practical activities. Come back to the workpages when she is successful with the hands on.

Quote:
Our son depends on me for english. He is learning about subjects, adverbs and adjectives. He doesn't do a question without me... when I leave the table he just waits... if I ask him to continue he says he doesn't understand that one.

We use a spin on the Socratic method here. I ask a LOT of questions! "what don't you understand? Read it to me so we can find the problem" I have a very, um, social child, so verbalizing things helped him learn how to ask himself the questions silently later.
Quote:

Both of them are doing well on Math tests but were blowing the tests on all the other subjects (science, english, social studies). So, since ABeka is advanced and were getting used to things I decided to see if I could encourage them with some good grades. I started writing study questions out (very similar to the test questions) for them so they could study them for a few days before the test. It works.... they are both getting 90-100 percent. But, isn't that cheating ?

Are the tests important? What is being measured - if they know the material or if they know the right answers? There's a difference there. Can you skip the tests and instead continue until you're satisfied it's known?

Quote:

What am I doing wrong? Are they depending on ME intead of their textbooks for learning? Is that okay ... since it is the beginning of our homeschool career?


Well....I think there needs to be a balance. There are days we don't use the textbooks at all, or look at the pictures only. I do a lot of straight up teaching here! But the question is *can* they use the textbooks if needed? If yes, cool. If no...........why not?
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ontheprairie
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all that insight Lily ... it is much appreciated.
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 591
Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are your dc enrolled in ABeka Academy, or did you just buy the books? Because if you just bought the books, there's no reason to do the tests.

It is going to take you *at least* a year to figure out how things are going to work for you. But that's no big deal, because your dc are so young.

If you're not using the Academy, my best recommendation would be to do much of the material by your reading aloud to the dc while you all sit on the sofa together, and not try to reproduce a school classroom in your home. The most important thing this year is to work on your relationships, because the academics can always be caught up. In fact, almost everything of real importance will be covered multiple times over the next few years.
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rhi
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Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 25
Location: Middle of Nowhere, California

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree, the first year is the hardest.Even this being our second year we are still finding out new things that don't work anymore. When we I first went to our charter school for just the informational forum they told me that it was going to be the hardest year. It's just a lot of trial and error, what works and what doesn't. I found that one math program worked for one of my kids and for the other it didn't. I've also found new materials that I wish I had found earlier in the year last year. But that's o.k, this is all a learning experience.
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Jill
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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: What am I doing wrong.... be honost Reply with quote

I don't think you are doing anything wrong. It takes awhile for kids to learn to think for themselves (especially when they are coming out of a school setting) and you are on the right track to teach them how to do that.
I had always heard homeschoolers brag about how much work their kids did on their own. Cool! I thought it just happened...well, it doesn't. We started in 2004 and they are now finally getting to that point in many subjects, but still rely on me on others...and that's ok.
You said if you leave and ask your son to do the next English question, he says he doesn't understand that one...maybe ask him to skip down and find one he does understand, and do that one, to build his confidence. I have also made my kids "think out loud" when they don't understand something. This helps me determine if they really don't understand, or just don't want to do something. If they say nothing, I may ask leading questions (like in your english example where they have to ID a noun, verb, adj...)
Read the sentence.
What are you looking for in this sentence? (If they say they don't know, have them read the directions and underline key words.)
OK, so you're looking for a noun.
What is a noun. (If they say they don't know, find the page that defines a noun and have them read it out loud and underline the key words.)
Now you know what a noun is, can you find anything in the sentence that fits the definition?
Ask them to read the def of a noun again. Ask if the word fills the definition. If they say yes, ask how (I don't know isn't an answer here.) If they say no, start over. At first, you may have to finally intervene and help, but they will have put in alot of effort to get to that point.

You'll notice that I don't give the answer flat out. Yes, this is very time consuming (especially at first), but it has been effective for us. I have found if they just want me to give them the answer, they don't continue this very long, because it's a whole lot of work for them if they do really understand and just don't want to put forth the effort. I guess they figure they might as well engage their brain, because mom isn't making it easy.

If they really don't understand, this is usually helpful to them and it's worth the extra time it takes for me to sit with them and talk them through it.

Hopefully, this wasn't too confusing (it was hard to "type out a conversation") and helps you some.
Best wishes.
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ontheprairie
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Jill it wasn't too confusing... I much appreciate all your helpful advice. Thankyou rhi and elliemaejune also. Elliem ... we started off in the ABeka Academy but switched over to the books. I have all the testing books and the reason I choose to give tests is because I want our kids to be used to testing so that it is not to huge a leap for them if they choose to enter collage or university on day. You are right ... the first year is an adjustment and we will continue to do that. And, you are also right ... I need to spend more time building the relationships rather than worrying about grades. Thanks so much.
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tigersgrowl1093
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Joined: 01 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you should try to make up games for your kids on what they're learning. For your son, school house rock is an amazing "show". A little outdated but helped me a lot when I was younger.

For your daughters, make up games. Math can be boring, I know, my worst subject. When I was younger, playing games in math was the only way I could get something. Now being in Algebra 2 we don't play games lol but now I am old enough to pursue things in math that I don't know on my own.

I heard a lot of bad things about A Beka. Not that they don't teach, just that it is boring. I think A Beka was made so that the students learn up to par but it is up to the parents to make it fun because they know their children best and what they like.

Good luck. Remember, homeschooling is new to you and your children and you all need time to adjust.
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ontheprairie wrote:
No Jill it wasn't too confusing... I much appreciate all your helpful advice. Thankyou rhi and elliemaejune also. Elliem ... we started off in the ABeka Academy but switched over to the books. I have all the testing books and the reason I choose to give tests is because I want our kids to be used to testing so that it is not to huge a leap for them if they choose to enter collage or university on day. You are right ... the first year is an adjustment and we will continue to do that. And, you are also right ... I need to spend more time building the relationships rather than worrying about grades. Thanks so much.

Well, you know, children can get used to testing when they're older; they don't have to endure it when they're this young.

I almost never tested my dc when we were hsing, and yet they were honor students in college. Smile
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sartasd
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Joined: 27 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son is just beginning division. We used various objects for multiplication such as seashells, buttons, pennies, counters, and etc.
we group them into groups of a number (fact family) such as 5's.
As he laid them out in groups of 5, He learned skip counting, by 5, and then caught on that the 5 times tables was skip counting by 5's and he learned them faster.

As for division, He is working backwards. If he had 25 and needed to divide them by 5, he would take the 25 and group them into groups of 5 and then count the number of groups, that 5 so, 25 divided by 5 is 5,

this can be done for any division problem. Seeing it visually and doing it with his hands helps alot.

another way is to show how division is backwards multipication.

for example, He knows that 5x5 = 25 /5 =5

same can be done for addition and subtraction 5+5=10-5=5
or 1+2=3-2=1

It will take practice to learn this tech.

My sister uses Abeka and I found that Abeka wasn't for my kids. It is too accelerated for my kids. Abeka is a good curriculum, just not for us.

We use Christian light for the 3 R's and living books and text books for the other subjects.
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