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#1 of 10 Old 02-18-2002, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been homeschooling my son, almost thirteen, for two years. Before that he went to school through half of fifth grade. Along about third grade he started to really dislike math (when they start to doing nothing but worksheets with the same basic twentyfive problems). Til then he had enjoyed it and done well enough with it that in second grade he went with a small bunch of kids from his class for enrichment math, for kids who really grasped the ideas and were in danger of being bored by just the math being done in the classroom.

Problem now is that he still really hates math and although I like the curriculum we have (Math U See) because it always explains WHY and WHEN and not just HOW, he dreads doing it, zones out, doesn't think about what he's doing, and sometimes does poorly, although doesn't really have trouble getting concepts. I don't make him do mindless worksheets either. I only have him do as many problems as it takes to show me he gets the idea in terms of when to use the concept and that he can do it. I try to come up with as many word problems as possible because he likes those better.

What I want to know is, how much math does a person really need? I keep thinking he has to learn this stuff because you have to have a basic level of math skills under your belt, but what is that level???? Does it include multiplying mixed numbers? I don't see him working in a field where high level math is required, but I don't want to limit him at such a young age to the possibilities open to him. He is much more of a reader/writer but loves the computer and designing web sites. Will he need alot of math for that kind of work? Who has the answers to these questions? Any grown unschoolers out there who let go of the math at a certain point and don't regret it?

Thanks!
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#2 of 10 Old 02-18-2002, 01:31 PM
 
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I don't know the answer to your question, but I think that kids can take a break from ANY subject for a while without risking their entire future. If you stop doing math for him and let him explore other areas, he may at some point decide that he needs math for something that he wants to do. At that point he will sail though his work because 1) he is very bright and 2) he already has a great math foundation. The only thing he is missing is a reason for doing math, and I think he may have to find one on his own.
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#3 of 10 Old 02-18-2002, 06:45 PM
 
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IMO if he decides he is interested in a field that requires math he will do what it takes to learn the math he needs. When it seems worthwile and useful to him he will do it. I have heard of many children who realized they needed a certain level of math in order to pursue something that interests them and they were able to pick up quite a bit in a short time. When he's ready and he knows he needs it it will come much more easily to him because he will want to do it. Math for math's sake really isn't much fun for anyone. Math in the context of something you love is a different story. Just give him some time.

Another thought: is he interested in music? My mother, who works in the high-tech field says that all of the people she has dealt with who are good software writers, etc, are also good at music. Reading music and music theory relate to math in the way the brain uses both types of information. I don't really know how but I have heard that from several sources. In my personal experience, those who I know that are good with computers tend to have some background in music as well. You might want to see if your son would be interested in pursuing a musical instrument, if he hasn't already, in the time being.
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#4 of 10 Old 02-18-2002, 08:23 PM
 
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I would suggest you take a year off and see if that helps. If he still hates it maybe just focus on consumer math. That is all most people use anyway. College math starts at pre-algebra and he needs it to reach a goal like a college ed. he will figure it out then.

Some people just don't like math.

oh, there are sone threads about mathnatics and some lesson plans somewhere on this board. The ocncept is different from school math and might apeal to your son. Both threads were started by Alexander so if you do a search on him you should find them easily enough.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-18-2002, 09:00 PM
 
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is Family Math too basic for him? all the activitites are very hands-on. how is YOUR math? are your skills up to speed so you could teach him how to use algebra or geometry to figure out different things - say he wants to build a treehouse - can you help him learn how to calculate how much wood he needs, etc?

i think if you just let him go, he'll learn what he needs to when he actually needs to use it.
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#6 of 10 Old 02-19-2002, 01:01 PM
 
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"He is much more of a reader/writer but loves the computer and designing web sites. Will he need alot of math for that kind of work?"

Your child is learning a ton already by devoting his time to web design/computers. What's even cooler is that he's self taught in this area. Which means, he knows what his goals are and he is learning what he needs in order to get there. Programming is a formal system governed by logic, Math is a formal system governed by logic. He will learn the math that *he* needs to learn in order to be successful. I would respect his interests in this area. Support him and encourage him.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-20-2002, 10:25 PM
 
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I have read a really good book for those who hates maths(or are afraid of them) : in French it is called Le démon des maths by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. The book is translated from German ( Der Zahlenteufel )

It is written like a novel and I was surprise to understand some math concepts I never had a clue of before...

I will look if I can find the title of this book in English



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#8 of 10 Old 02-22-2002, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your assurances. I feel in my heart you are all right, now I just have to convince my head! I asked my dh to read my post and your replies and he agreed without any problem (he who loved math and was always a whiz at it!)

Valerie, I would be interested in that book if you find the title. We have used a lot of fun and interesting books about math that my son has enjoyed (though he wouldn't have picked them up to read on his own). I just worry about the skills, the skills.......
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#9 of 10 Old 02-22-2002, 05:53 PM
 
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I found the book in english

You can look at the back cover here

The title is : The Number Devil

Have a good time with this Devil

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#10 of 10 Old 02-22-2002, 07:44 PM
 
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Is he interested in building things? If you are worried about skills (especially fractions) designing and building anything (ex. treehouse, sandbox for younger siblings, cd storage rack etc.) uses lots of math skills - especially estimating, which is one of the most improtant concepts to master i think.

Another good book is the "i hate mathematics book" by marilyn burns.
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