Math overview resources for the Visual-Spatial Learner - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 04:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The spiral math curriculum at DS1's school is causing him a lot of anxiety.  He learns what he is taught one year so deeply that when the next level of complexity is added the following year, his brain revolts as his entire understanding of the subject matter is challenged.  I would love to find some resources to give him a big picture look at where the math curriculum is headed, but am having trouble figuring out what might help. 

 

Part of the problem is that I am not really sure what a good resource would look like.

 

He has a real passion for machines and inventions and I keep thinking that there should be some way to show him that math is a valuable tool for making his ideas into real things, but I don't have any concrete examples that I can show him.

 

I feel like I am circling around the problem and not explaining myself clearly, so feel free to ask me questions about what I'm getting at if it doesn't make sense.

 

TIA

 

 


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#2 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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math U see has worked well for my visual-spatial learner. we don't do the practice problems over and over. when he "gets it" we move on.

 

he enjoys the DVDs and the blocks too. 


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#3 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you like about Math U see?  And is it just a full curriculum? Is there overview material?

 

What I really want is more something to show demonstrate how some of the early elementary math topics get used in more complex ways.  He learns the simple operations by working complex problems.  For example, he has been learning his arithmetic facts by solving series of equations in 3 variables.  Without the algebra, he has had no use for addition or subtraction, but by doing the more complex thinking, he is learning the "boring" stuff as a by-product.

 

My instinct is to get algebra and geometry books and teach him the stuff he needs to know for each problem as it arises, but I am afraid it would be overwhelming.  And, I know the school won't have any idea of what to do with an approach like that.


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#4 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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i believe you could use the advanced sets like that. check out the website. most V-S kids learn from the whole to the specific, so math U see would be helpful i think. (it's a full curriculum from preschool to HS)  i believe "every child is spatial" has math curriculums too. how high up they go i am not sure. check out their site. 

 

you might want to ask about this in the HS forum. you might get more answers. 


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#5 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 06:09 PM
 
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Hergrace - how's the new school going other than math?


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#6 of 12 Old 01-17-2011, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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joensally: Not good. 

 

I have just pulled him out temporarily until I can meet with the team at school and I expect that I will end up homeschooling him - which is not a good scenario for the family, but I can't stand seeing him devolve because they can't cope with him.

 


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#7 of 12 Old 01-17-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Oh, no!

 

Well, let's have a pity party - DD is now homelearning too because school was just not working on a whole bunch of levels.  Started right after xmas break.  It's not the best scenario because I work almost full time, fortunately largely from home, and she'd rather be in a good school environment than at home (on balance).  We're deschooling, I guess, atm.  I'm looking forward to getting our legs back under us.

 

I found strange comfort in this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

 

I'm trying to recall - it was a neighbourhood school that said they could accomodate your ds?


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#8 of 12 Old 01-17-2011, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love Ken Robinson.  And he always makes me want to homeschool rather than subject my kids to the system.  Trouble is, I am a serious introvert and the demands of four young kids is killing me. And, if I start homeschooling one, then there is another who should probably come home and then the other two will want to come home and suddenly my now-tenuous hold on sanity will be demolished.  Of course, my attempt to start a business this year has been completely thwarted by the school troubles, so it would be much better for the family finances if I took the little ones out of the private school that is working for 2/3 of them.

 

You were right, it is a neighborhood school that said they could accommodate. But, all they have actually tried to do is contain his behavioural challenges. And, now, he is so anxious about the whole process that he has largely decided that he is a failure at school. Worse, I keep hearing about problems days after they have arisen, so I have not chance to intervene quickly.

 

They seem to think that I am insane to think that giving him a more challenging academic environment might help.  They talk about being willing to give it a try, but then nothing happens.

 

We are going to do an ADHD medication trial, an anger management worskhop, and a sensory processing assessment in the next few months, and I want to get him in for a sleep study, to see if we are missing other things that might help.  But I am convinced that we would solve a lot of issues if there was something at school that he could be proud of working hard to solve. And, he is scheduled for some in-class OT that I really want him to have that won't happen if I pull him out.

 

I really think we all need to take a break and deschool.  The whole process is killing me as much as him.


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#9 of 12 Old 01-17-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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Oh, that's awful!  I am so frustrated and angered at schools'  inability to accomodate kids like ours!

 

We HS'd DS for gr1 and he's now in an alternate program and doing well.  I found he made huge leaps at 7 and 8 that have made his life easier - but then we knew he had SPD and we had some other small supports/ resources that we plugged in at opportune times.  I don't know what we'll do with him next year as he'll have aged out of the classroom that's working and it's acknowledged by the school team that it will take a special teacher to take him going forward. 

 

While DS HS'd, DD schooled, and now we're reversing the order.  We're trying to do whatever works for each kid given their individual developmental stages and what's available at any given time.  And while I find it sometimes suffocating to fulfill all of my responsibilities and often crave silence and calm, I have to say that not "fighting" with schools creates space.

 

I'm going to PM you an idea that may help :).


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#10 of 12 Old 01-17-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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have had one in school and now unschooling my two, i think HS is easier. :)

 

but i'm a right-brained freakazoid. wild.gif


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#11 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Had a good meeting at the school today and we came up with some new things to try, so I'm sending DS1 back for now.


Kate
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#12 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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glad to read that things are looking up!


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