Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Learning Addition

Sweet Lauren has always needed a little more time than those the same age as her when it comes to school. We have tried a few different math curriculums in hopes of her learning her math facts. Yes, unfortunately she has been struggling with basic addition. Please don't judge. She just has some kind of glitch that Hubby and I have been trying to figure out what it is in order to help her learn better. If it comes down to it, we may have to hire a tutor, or take her to a learning center that might be able to diagnose what the glitch might be. We've learned not to compare her to her brother who is more advanced in school, nor to other kids in her grade level. We've also learned that sometimes we need to take one subject at a time with her and focus on that for a while so as not to stress out and overwhelm her or ourselves. And guess what--it works! One of the beauties of homeschooling. We can adjust what we need to in order to help her progress and not worry about a timeline because she is learning, just at a different pace. I'll admit though, I do still worry sometimes, and try to keep her on an average timeline like others her age and grade, but in the long run, it's all going to work out. Her reading is an example. That didn't click and take off until this past fall, but now she reads chapter books all by herself and loves it.

This math thing has really been a doozy to figure out though. I have been in tears worrying about it. I mean, she has to learn her basic math facts in order to use it in every day life. Then one day, a fellow homeschooling mom sent out an email saying that her 3rd grade daughter was learning her times tables and when she succeeded with that they were going to have an ice cream sundae party. She printed out a picture of an ice cream sundae with different parts and once the daughter memorized and tested 100% on that particular number 1-12, than one part of the sundae gets colored in. When it's all mastered than the daughter gets a sundae party. She asked others if they wanted to join them. I thought this was a great idea and Lauren could do this with addition. However, there was a time line and I knew that would not work with Lauren. But, I took this mom's idea and tweaked it for us. After talking with Hubby, we gave Lauren the challenge that when she could master her addition facts 1-12 we would take her to Chuck-E-Cheese. She jumped at the challenge. We made a pepperoni pizza and put it on the fridge and each time she masters a number (meaning a timed test within 2 minutes and 30 seconds she needs to get 30 addition problems correct) than she colors in a pepperoni for the number she mastered. We are currently working on the 4s. She is understanding that as the number gets larger, it's too time consuming to count with fingers, so she is trying really hard to memorize. She's doing great and we're taking the time that she needs to master each number. So far we have been able to conquer one number a week. One day her test took her 3 minutes, so we studied a little bit more and the next day she was under the time limit. If this way of learning her addition facts is successful, I think we will do this for subtracting, and eventually multiplying and dividing. Here's her cute little pizza:

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