Monday, April 13, 2009

Desperately Seeking Advice

Here's the deal. I am not doing well homeschooling my eldest daughter. Unlike her sister, Miley does not show any passion for school. It's not that she doesn't get it, is confused or slower than most; it's that she doesn't care. At all.

I literally spend two hours going over one subject with her every homeschool day. Math. She whizzes through the rest--sloppy and inconsistent but correct. Then she works on math for at least two hours by herself and then two with me or vice versa. And she still gets the same problems wrong. The formulas, the equations, the 'Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally'...they go from my lips, through her ears and up into the atmosphere.

And like I said. It's not a confusion issue. She is still doing well on her tests. But it will be a confusion issue soon. 

She does not listen to anything. She tells me math is boring. She hates it. And now the latest, she's not any good at it. Well of course she is losing her grasp on it. You can't solve every single problem with A=bh; there's A=1/2 bh, P=2l + 2w and of course everyone's favorite A=(Pi) r (squared) among others. 

I want my daughter to have confidence in math, to know she can do it. But first, she has to pay attention. She has to sit down, listen and do it.

And how on earth am I going to get her to do that?


OHmommy said...

I have NO idea. I hope you find some answers. However, I always hated math and struggled with it and never found a comfort zone. I simply did not get it. There were so many other things that I excelled in.

Wishing you luck.

dani said...

gosh, i don't know what to tell you, either. i have a few friends who take have taken their kids to kumon and have seen great results???
good luck, lisa:)

Susan said...

Geez, I don't know either. Some people just are not interested in Math.. esp. geometry.. maybe she will like Algebra more... I hated vocabulary in school, so I would do a sort of word association with that. Or you could award her money when she gets an A on her report card. That motivated me in school.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Hey Lisa. Did you know i taught Math in High school for 5 years before becoming a SAHM? I also worked at Sylvan Learning Centers. So, my years of experience, few though they are, tell me this about your daughter: Math was probably always easy for her as a child and she grasped concepts easily and therefore did not need to work very hard to get an A+. But now she's at the age where simple concepts are turning into more complex ideas and require a lot more work to master. Maybe more work than she's interested in devoting to it. My guess is that she never liked math but simply tolerated it because she could do it easily. Now that it's harder she can do it but it takes a lot more work. Kinda like us moms trying to lose weight now that our metabolism has slowed down! hee hee

My suggestion would be this: first try to find a peer who she gets along with. Have them meet once a week to do math together. This can be supervised study time, but give them the chance to learn from each other. Kids her age really feed off of friends. Also, possibly, look into getting a tutor that she gets along with. I have done private tutoring for years, and parents are constantly telling me, "I know how to help her but she won't listen to me. She always says that I am doing it wrong or I can't explain it well enough." I think sometimes kids have the "my parents are stupid" thing hard-wired into their brains and need to get the exact same info from another adult. Or, if you know of a teen that could be a tutor that would work as well. Maybe in your homeschooling group, you might have a mom who could tutor your daughter and in exchange you could tutor their child in some subject.

I know you must be really frustrated right now. It's also that time of year - almost the end but still a while to go. It's a tough stretch right now. But keep the faith. You'll make it!

Jacque said...

If you want her to finish faster than she is, try setting a timer and tell she has to have a certain amount done by the time it goes off. If she does, she could have a reward.
Also, Math is much more fun when it is a game or activity instead of a worksheet. Make up a Bingo game with the answers on it. Use dice to roll numbers and use those numbers in your problems. Changing up the way she does her Math may make her a little more interested.
Good luck!

Amanda said...

I understand your feelings on this matter as I'm having similar problems with my eldest ~ he shows little to no interest in school and would rather sit and talk and distract other children. I have had teachers talk to me about this.
We have sent him to Kip McGrath for extra help with both English and Math. Just to allow him to catch up on what he has fallen behind on in school.

I wish i had an answer for both you and myself!

Good Luck,
Amanda x

Brian and Staci said...

Wow! If you solve this problem...please let us all know!!! I wish I could help. I HATED math (and still do!), but I was just better at other things :) Gosh, I'm no help...hopefully, all your other wonderful readers will have some great suggestions :) Good luck friend ;)

MOMSWEB said...

I have two sons and neither shows 'passion' for school. The 13 year old does enough to get by, so I give him PLENTY to challenge his approaching high school mind. The eleven year old is lazy like an old sleeping dog. Honestly! He use to cry when I gave him his homework and he HATES to read!!

Good Lord! Well, I had to make sure I didn't lose MY focus and remember my reasons for homeschooling. Now, I don't care if they take all day - they won't do anything else until it's done.

Responsibility and time management can also be taught through this challenge you're having.

Don't forget the age factor. Somewhere around 8-11, they don't care about ANYTHING (smile) and when they hit 13...well, that's a whole new ballgame (lol).

One more funny - Yesterday my eleven year old had some division to do and he had the AUDACITY to tell me he forgot how to do it. I kept my cool and told him to look back through the chapter or find another math book to help him because Mama couldn't keep teaching just for him to forget. Minutes later those division problems were finished and correct. He tried me, but this Mama won! Thank you, Jesus!

Blessings to you in all that you do!

mah-meeee said...

i don't really have any suggestions, but reading all the comments for you give me a hint as to what to do if i do come up with that problem as my kids gets older.

good luck and do update us!

photomama said...

I have no children in school as of yet. But i have read other blogs and seen some moms send a child to school for a year to see if they take it more serious or hire a tutor for the subject they hate focusing on. I am sending my oldest to a montessorri program in the fall and hoping to homeschool in the folowing year. He just doesn'yt want instruction from me right now. Good Luck! all children are different.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a tough one. I always had my kids start their school work (each subject) with a prayer to ask the Lord to open their minds to what was being taught. We learned that homeschooling just wasn't possible with my son as he needed to be taught by someone other than me.

We have always had math tutors for our kids. They thought it was because they were dumb at it until my son realized that the smartest kid in his class whet to the same tutor. I know it is a huge expense, but oh, so worth it. You can also contact your local high school math department and they will suggest names of kids to tutor. In our area they will come to your home where you can suporvise.

Good Luck to you.

Clare said...

similar to ohmommy, math wasn't my greatest subject. but i excelled in english, social studies, etc. so it might just not be her thing!

Anonymous said...

hmm that's a tough one. I loved Math and it was something that came easily.. but teaching it is a whole different ball game for me. I have tried to help my 10 year old sister-in-law and wasn't much help for her. I hope something starts to click for her soon!

EatPlayLove said...

I would try a reward system, maybe a chart and when she gets through a week or two ( of sitting & focusing) then reward her with something.

Loukia said...

Oh... I'm sorry I can't offer any advice here... because I am just terrible at math! I stopped taking math when I was allowed, which I think was in grade 10 or 11. My parents really tried with me, and I had some great tutors, too, but no helping me... that part of my brain just doesn't work! I am excited for when my son starts school next year to see if I can do math all over again, at his level. I'm not kidding!