Thursday, March 01, 2007

Math, Math, Math

Ugh! Little Miss History is having trouble learning her math facts. And I have no idea how to effectively help her. We do flashcard drills. No dice. We try worksheets. No go. I set her up on the computer doing games and problem sets. But she doesn't get it.

This is reason number two why I haven't considered homeschooling my children (beyond the summer months). My daughter has no desire to be taught by me. I have no idea how to reach her. We both end up incredibly frustrated.

Here's the thing: she's got to learn them. I'm not sure she even understands that part. She works her hardest to just get through the drills or worksheets, but never puts any effort into actually learning. And she also doesn't seem to get that it's just a matter of memorization (which she's good at). She constantly counts in her head instead. It's slow, but she gets to the correct answer and as long as it's not a speed drill then she's fine. Guess what? At this point in the school year it's all about speed.

The thing about this is, she's a bright girl. Most things come easily to her. So actually I'm glad she's hit a wall as early as second grade. It's easier to figure out how to work at learning now than to suddenly face it in high school or college. At least I think it is for her. Just not for me.

6 musings:

WilyHacker said...

I blame this on the schools. The teachers are generally from the camp that they don't like math and feel the need to teach math without calling it math. They don't add, the combine things. They don't do subtraction problems, the practice taking things away. Ugh.

Llama Momma said...

wilyhacker -- seriouisly? I would have expected more from such a stellar school district.

Of course, I cheated my way through math until algebra. Then I flunked. True story. (Not a story to tell the kids!)

A Musing Mom said...

LM-Wily is serious (maybe not about the "they don't like math" part). All through first grade the kids worked on different ways to combine numbers to reach the same answer. Kinda this pre-algebra for first graders.

Now this year when Little Miss History has problems, they want us to fix it. So I ask, "should we drill her on her math facts?". Oh yeah, guess that would help.

For now... said...

I feel your pain! Maybe math just isn't her thing. My son never liked reading, as a matter of fact he called it his enemy all through elementary school. But he was a whip at math. The math concepts came to him immediately, no problem. We worked on reading a lot, many fights and tough times, but I kept at it. Prayed A LOT about it! Reading still is not his thing, but now in sixth grade he is doing great. Much better than I ever expected in all his subjects, because the importance of reading clicked for him. So don't give up and keep fighting and doing those math cards. She'll get it! Oh, and pray your heart out about it!

Jerseycow6 said...

Getting her to memorize is a good idea. I could never do the speed drills all that well, since I counted on my fingers for just about everything. I mean, I was in gifted class and all, but I just never really got into the memorization with math. I didn't really hit the wall until college second-year calc, which is now the bane of my existance. At this level, it's all about memorization, so, in retrospect, it's a good idea to get started doing that early on.

I also have drilled my niece in addition and subtraction by having her play school with her American Girl and my old American Girl dolls. My dad became very agitated to see me "playing with dolls," but my niece loved it. Maybe that's worth a try, too, so that it's not all just straight memorization. Or try playing that you're having a math bee like in the Molly books, so you can still work on speed.

A Musing Mom said...

Jerseycow6 - thanks for the tips. My daughter would be thrilled to have me play school with her and her doll. Sneaking in the math practice would be a piece of cake!