Everything from basic math up through high school!

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Postby springmama » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:28 am

My oldest dd is not homeschooled, and for reasons too complicated to mention here, she will remain in public school til graduation. However, this summer we need to do a little schooling at home because she's got some gaps in her pre algebra skills that need to be corrected before she starts Algebra 1 in the 9th grade this August.

She has a mood disorder and does not take direction well. Even if she doesn't know what she's talking about, when we help her with her homework, we are told by her that we are doing it all wrong and that we're going to make her fail, etc, then she starts crying and throwing fits. It's imperative that however we help her, WE don't get too involved. I need a book or a program that will explain nearly everything to her, only requiring us to step in occasionally.

Her teacher believes she has a good head for numbers and that she can do these things but she chooses not to pay attention (doodling and drawing and writing notes during class) on certain days. Her mood goes in cycles, so if her general mood is positive, she pays attention but if she's feeling depressed she goofs off in class. Since her mood cycles can go on for weeks, there are periods of time where she misses an entire set of lessons.

So, she CAN do this if her head is clear and she actually will read a lesson and/or listen to a teacher, there is no question about it.

Anyway, what she needs to work on this summer is the following (according to her teacher):

operations with integers and fractions
solving multi-step equations
and graphing linear functions

Here is another quote from her teacher's recent email-

"Kayla has a very good head for numbers. When the equations are easy, she can look at them and tell what the answer is; so at the beginning of the year she tuned me out when I taught "the process." Her way worked fine if the solution was a positive integer but not so well for fractions, decimals and negative numbers. When we came back to equations, Kayla still had the same mindset. Rather than trying to make sense of the process, she spends lots of time trying different numbers to see if they work. I spoke to her about her technique and that it is not the most efficient way. The rest of the class is finished with the assignment and she is still trying to guess her way to an answer.

Kayla is too capable to be in Algebra 1A (it would take her two years to complete a one year course). Summer School is for failures and Kayla is not going to fail math. I suggest you find someone to work with her one-on-one during the summer.

I'm sure Kayla will do okay on the test today because over half of it is multiple choice and she knows how to plug in the choices to see which one works. "

Sorry this is so long, but I really want to help her succeed. I, unfortunately do not have a head for numbers, so it's hard for me to take what her teacher has told me and then look for material that will help her.

The only thing I can think of is to get a pre algebra workbook and have her work on one page a day during the summer, stopping to find resources to help her once she gets to a page she cannot complete.

Does anyone know of a program that will allow her to teach herself? With her mood disorder, this would be the best option for everyone.

I also thought about getting a book for her, asking her to do a worksheet a day, then calling a tutor as needed when we run into a spot where she is having trouble. This would probably be a good way to keep her in practice with the things she can do, and help her learn the things she doesn't know.
Kathy, mom to 4 amazing kids!

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Postby Theodore » Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:13 pm

If she has a talent for math and works well with textbooks, the best solution might be Saxon.

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Postby Miguelsmommy » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:26 am

What about math-u-see She can watch the video over and over until she gets it and then move on. You can order the demo to see if she likes it.

If she has an IEP you may want to see if you can get it so she can work ahead when she's on an upswing. Like having a math teacher as her study hall teacher. See what she thinks, and the school.

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Postby Jazzy » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:35 am

You may want to look into Key Curriculum Press, Key To series. These are great for supplemental work in weak areas. They have one for algebra.

Good luck!

Kit Rivers
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Postby Kit Rivers » Fri May 23, 2008 2:27 pm

Personally I don't like Teaching Textbooks. They didn't work for me or mine, but this may be a case where it works really well.

Try looking at them, I think there are samples on the website...not sure about this though.

Married to dh, 23 years
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DD16 Ballet dancer. HS autodidact, using an eclectic mix of courses.
DS11. Geog Trails, MUS, Greek, WW, Plus lots of other stuff.
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Postby » Mon May 30, 2011 12:00 pm

Try my line of videos, I go over each and every detail AND each and every type of problem. You should try the arithmetic and/or basic algebra. I am sure that your daughter will excel with these videos.

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Postby TheresaHPIR » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:59 am

(I just typed a huge response to this before I saw the OP posted over 3 years ago, and it was simply bumped recently, lol. Anyway, it might be useful for SOMEONE, I'll post anyway!)

Although I have a very limited experience in teaching, I would recommend doing what the teacher has suggested...and getting her a tutor or someone to work with her over the summer.

I say this because it DOES sound like she's going to need some motivation and direction. If she tends to doodle or goof off, she may need some added supervision and guidance. However, you want to avoid the same old lines about how you're interfering and "making her fail." Therefore, I would suggest finding a younger tutor...someone who can be seen as more of a peer than an authoritative figure.

Check local colleges...they may have some students in the math department that will be willing to tutor for a very nominal fee. As an added benefit, this tutor may also turn into being a support system, friend, and mentor.

Since your daughter's teacher seems to be willing to work with you all, ask for a list of skills that your daughter is lacking...and skills that will be expected of her next year. Ask if you can get copies of this year's and next year's textbooks and materials to help practice. These can probably be made available to you for free, and can help supplement any additional books and materials you choose to go with.

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