Math Frustrations?!? Ideas anyone?

We were able to get most all of the items on my list for schooling next year at the conference.  Although we are having some difficulty figuring out math this year.


Like many of us, Princess has a mental block when it comes to math.  We have tried something different every year– with no success. 

We tried Miquion (1st year– probably my biggest mistake– should have tried something less abstract and more structured).  Tested after this year and Math was the only subject she was “behind” in.  It was totally my fault because I'm “math-challenged” and didn't work with her as dilligently as I should have, but she personalizes things like this and doesn't get over them easy.  (she still doesn't think she's any good at the Limbo, but has won several times this past year). 

Year 2 Horizons– she liked it okay, but it was still frustrating for us– probably because she's “not any good at math”.  Then Rod and Staff– she said she liked that because I was working with her more, but still frustrating.  And finally Saxon 5/4 this year.  She has NOT liked this at all!  Although she does like the tests (because they are only 20 problems). Maybe in a year or 2 we can try again, but for now Saxon is over.  (Drats– because mil has all of saxon through high school)  At this point the problem seems to be sloppiness–especially with carrying and borrowing back.  She is doing better getting mental math, but still has problems.


One noteworthy step of  progress, she does say that she's starting to see a purpose to math–quite an accomplishment this year. 


Bubba hasn't been that crazy about Horizons although he does very well at math.  We are considering Math U See and are waiting for a copy of Ray's from interlibrary loan to look over before we decide.   We looked at Making Math Meaningful this weekend–seemed too much like Miquion, and also Singapore, but didn't think she'd like it either).  She is working through “Math-It” and that seems to be helping some.  Thought about Calculadder for the summer and found “Developmental Math”  and are looking at that.  Right now we're not sure about anything.


We did get a copy of Greg Sabouri's lecture on Overcoming Math Phobia. Haven't listened to it yet, but hoping it will offer some insight. 


Part of me thinks we should go back to the very basics and kind of start over.  

Anyone have any ideas, thoughts or suggestions? 


4 thoughts on “Math Frustrations?!? Ideas anyone?

  1. I use a very simple approach. Instead of buying more curriculum, I decide where I would like the child to be in math. I have the child sit down and just watch me solve a lot of the same type of problems. After a few days of just watching, I let the child try while I watch. If they get it, fine. If not, I start showing them again. Sounds simple, but it works! No tears, no fighting, and best of all, no hatred towards math.
    Hope this helps.



  2. Sorry that I was not clear.
    When my daughter didn’t understand how to do addition with carrying, I had her sit down and watch me do it.
    For example:
    Mom- Writes problems down (can be made up or taken out of text)
    Mom- says 354
    Let’s look at the ones column. (I cover up the other numbers)
    Don’t worry about the other numbers yet.
    (If she didn’t get the answer quickly, or if she was just upset, then I would just give the answer)

    Mom- Okay, 11. So we put the one here and the other one is carried.
    (I continue to do the problem, while telling her what I’m doing)

    Then we do another, and another, and another, and another…
    Although, I don’t make the lesson very long because I want her to enjoy the process. My goal is to make her like math. If she likes it she will want to learn.

    Higher math isn’t any different. Sometimes I have to study out the problem for a few days before I get it! But, there is a lot of help on the internet.

    I don’t get upset if we don’t work on math everyday. It is better to spend one or two days a week learning rather than five days a week in tears and frustration.

    I hope this helps. If you have more questions please ask!



  3. Unfortunately, it’s true that us girls sometimes just don’t get it. It’s just the way our brains are wired. I’ll tell you, I’m teaching boys, and I just can’t believe how good they are at ‘getting it’. But back to girls. At her age, I really don’t see anything wrong with taking a more relaxed approach. I didn’t start my son on Saxon (which he now loves) until this year (age 12), and I started him in 7/6, which is really a review for most of the lessons, until he gets to the end of the book. I did this on purpose, so he’d feel like he’s really mastered the concepts. I do like their incremental approach, and constant review. I found that retention was his biggest problem, he wouldn’t remember the things he had learned a year ago, so Saxon really took care of that part of the equation.

    But for now, why not try little workbooks, work alongside her to ease her frustrations, and try using real world math, too. Ask her things at the grocery store. “How much should we buy to feed the family?” or “Which item is a better deal?” things like that. Do some baking. Just work things into everyday life, and enjoy it for a while.


  4. We have our frustrations with math as well. We have been praying for a good curriculum to help us to not just memorize, but really learn and understand math. I sat in on one workshop at the Indianapolis convention and it was one on math. I was so blessed because for once, I understood math!! I felt such a joy in myself to really understand the concepts of math. I was flooded with a freedom of understanding the concepts that God wants us to know. God is a God of math, order, numbers, and I have always longed to have this knowledge. Anyway, the curriculum is Right Start math. The website is I hope you find what you need!! Melissa


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