Mothering Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have posted in this board in the past about my dd and my struggles to approach math with her. She is definitely a creative right-brained visual-spatial sort of kid and I am very left brained and sequential and did well in the sequential structure of school (including math and how it was approached with me..very arithmetic based and plugging in numbers and flash cards...I was in elementary school in the 70's). Although, sometimes I didn't have understanding, I was an ADULT when I actually truly understood what carrying really was when subtracting! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
I am at a loss and totally stumped, I want math to be fun and puzzles and stretching your brain and enjoyable, not tedious. With dd, if anything I do doesn't have a "context" then she resists it, like a typical RB sort of learner she sees the whole better than the parts. So....sitting down to do lessons on place value would not work, yet I know that she is grasping that from explaining her score in a computer game, why it is 4 numbers long...that is the "context" she would need to understand it. My fellow hsers here tell me to get math U see or Miquonl; I am sure that she would NOT want to sit and do the books, but would be open to using the rods or cubes to explain the computer game score, LOL! Till now I have done the "typical" unschooling approach of pointing it out in daily life, like minutes in between the numbers on her watch when checking the time, helping her realize she needs 3 more bannannas to make 10 when she is helping me shop, the measuring cup if helping me cook and playing around with liquids, that sort of thing. This is ALL she has been open to or willing to try, I get major resisitance if I get more "formal".<br><br>
I am stumped as to how to get beyond this level with her. She knows what adding is, or the concept of it as increasing, but could not consistently tell me her facts up to ten (we have tried it as verbal games like kitties coming to play or something) and she is EIGHT. I am having a bit of a panic attack when I realize she would be starting to multiply if in school. I am concerned because I feel like I don't know how to meet her learning style. She loves computer, but so many games that are like drill turn her off because she can't do them, but she loves more general games like on the Cyberchase website and is good at these more general concepts. I think she would like literature like the Stuart Murphy series or Noble Knights of Knowledge, I am poking around the Living Math website regarding these and plan to purchase some titles, again, this is the "context" for her. Some people have recommended Rightstart math to me as it is visual, but I know it would not work for her as again it is so isolated and out of context to something that is meaningful to her (ie-why fiddle with an abacus and do addding when there is no purpose for the result?)<br><br><br>
Does anyone have any advice? I was never anxious about math as a kid and liked it and was a "math nerd", but I think dd is sensing my anxiety and that is causing her to clam up too. Does anyone here have kids like this, how do you approach it? Please tell me I won't have a 15 yr old counting on her fingers! At the very least I want her to be able to comparison shop and understand ratios, fractions to cook, balance her checkbook and do it without a calculator for example.<br><br>
ps-here is my link for RB learners, so you can see an example of my kid. I think it is why unschooling is such a good fit for her and ds (who is much like this also although in a "building"/3D sort of way instead of drama/liturature/storytelling like dd.)<br><br><a href="http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Visual_Spatial_Learning/vsl.htm" target="_blank">http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Vis...arning/vsl.htm</a><br><br><br>
the last part of the link is /Visual_Spatial_Learning/vsl.htm<br><br>
Unschoolers, I need help relaxing, helpful links, etc...and some reassurance or a kick in the a$$!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Kick in the a** eh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
First of all, take a deep breath <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> and remember your DD is only 8. She has plenty of time to learn. A child can't be "behind" in learning when she's moving at her own pace. She's not in a race with anyone else, she's on a leasurely stroll. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Here are my initial thoughts: Looking for teaching advice with unschoolers makes me think you may not understand unschooling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Unschooling is not about teaching your kid everything you want, just in a different way. It's about introducing interesting things into their life and allowing them to take it or leave it depending on their development and desire.<br><br>
Ask yourself some questions: How do you know she'd be doing multiplication in school? Maybe she'd be getting so much pressure in math, she'd be failing or labeled special needs. She might be thinking of herself as stupid with all that comparison to the other kids (my sons experience in school). What if she knows more now than she would had she been in school? Why are you even comparing her to a school model of learning anyway? She's not in school and one of the beautiful things about that is being able to move at her pace, without the competitive pressure.<br><br>
So what if she's counting on her fingers at 15? Heck, I still do that on occasion! I don't know multiplication very well. Ask me how much it's affected my life. Nada. I have a calculator. And I prefer writing (as you can tell by my long winded answer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">). Everybody has a skill, very few people are great at everything. BTW, although I was never great at understanding math in school, now that I'm in my 20's I'm learning it easier and becoming more proficient. I've known many ppl who have had similar experiences. It's a developmental thing. When you're ready or you need it, you'll get it.<br><br>
What if she never gets proficient (to your standards) in math but is *happy* and excels at her own thing? Does she have to be good at everything or good at the same things as you? What if she is fantastic with writing stories or taking care of horses or racing go-karts or helping people instead? Wouldn't it be great if she had all the time in the world to excel at her passion and give herself the edge in her chosen career?<br><br>
As for advice on how an unschooler might handle it:<br><br>
Drop the pressure. Force-feeding - even nicely - still produces a gag reflex. If she's not ready, she just won't get it. And being 8 and not ready is a very common thing. But keep math a part of your lives so that she is exposed to it and has it available when she is ready. If she likes baking, continue to offer baking experiences. If she likes playing games, don't make her do the math, just do it (out loud) for her. She'll hear you and absorb that info even when it doesn't look like she is.<br><br>
And above all else: <b>Give her some spending cash on a regular basis.</b> Money is fun and kids love to figure it out. It will take time and it won't require you doing anything other than answering her questions or helping her count it out.<br><br>
You don't have to (and probably shouldn't) ask her math or money related questions. Don't drill or test her in any way. Trust me when I say math happens internally and won't be measurable until one day they're spouting off complicated solutions. The more you question or deliberately point out math, the more she may feel the pressure and tune out.<br><br>
That's what worked for us - answering every math question he had (just as you would answer for an adult - you wouldn't tell your friend to figure it out would you?), giving him money on a regular basis, and relaxing with the fact that math is everywhere and nearly impossible not to learn. Zeb couldn't learn math in the 2.5 years in private school, but in less than 2 years in the real world with games and money, he's doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions. It's not linear and it's not rote but he's doing math problems in his head all day long, he wakes up asking math questions, and goes to bed with questions and he's getting faster and faster.<br><br>
Numbers are fun if we parents can just let them be. They *are* a puzzle that kids *want* to figure out. But they have to come to it in their own time and in their way. That may be when your DD is 9 or 19 or 29. But the most important thing is that she is happy and confident that she is exactly where she should be. Her confidence and happiness will do more for her in life than knowing her multiplication tables. Support THAT and the rest will come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I'll stop rambling now...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
we use cubix cubes, they come in different colors and you put them together like legos (in a row). So I will give my kids 4 blue ones and three green ones and have them put them together, the adding thing and the different colors really helps. Then we take the same amount away ((7-3) and keep doing that with different numbers but always with two different colors and something about attaching the cubes makes it click for my highly visual and tactile kids. if you have legos you could probably do the same thing. also trying different words like subtract/less/minus/ take away until you find a few words that make sense.<br>
don't worry 8 is young ,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Buuuuuuuump<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top