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Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?





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If you were 13, in school, what kind of help
psratliff
#1 Print Post
Posted on November 07 2008 02:30 PM
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I have a 13 year old daughter who is a member on this forum with me. I just want to know what would have helped you when you were about 13 years old to help get through your math classes? I struggle to know what to ask for. My daughter (MonkeyFeathers on here) has no idea what to even ask, so maybe since you all have lived through this, you can offer some suggestions.

Tutoring hasn't worked too well, but we're still trying. She seems to forget what she's learned, or if it looks different than the problems she knows, she can't translate what she does know to the new problem. I hope that made sense.

Well, no where better than to ask the people who have walked this path, so any ideas for us?
 
Dulcy
#2 Print Post
Posted on November 07 2008 02:44 PM
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Oh, yes, ma'am. I assure you that around here, that bit about her not being able to remember or translate makes 100% perfect sense.

The tutoring really didn't work for me, though my parents tried, bless their hearts. I'd learn the stuff, then feel it literally just evaporating out of my gray matter like smoke. Sometimes in the middle of solving a problem, even.

I don't know what to tell you that works, as I was in school in a time and place where something like this was unheard of. I know of one thing that really, really helps, and that is patience and understanding. Don't pressure her, or tell her to try harder. Look for alternate ways to learn the stuff than what is commonly taught. The people here that are coping in schools today can probably help more than I can.
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tammyk1
#3 Print Post
Posted on November 08 2008 12:48 AM
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Thank you for being an involved parent and asking for help (wish my mum had done that)!!!

As Dulcy said, please dont tell her to keep trying harder, that is a literal death sentence to self esteem. When people told that to me I just wanted to burst into tears; could they NOT see I was trying? Just be positive and let her know you love her very much and you understand her frustration.

"She seems to forget what she's learned, or if it looks different than the problems she knows, she can't translate what she does know to the new problem. I hope that made sense."

Perfect sense as I have the same issue.

As far as tutoring, is it a tutor that your child can relate to well? I know I have gone through several tutors before I found one that "clicked" for me. Everyone has a different teaching style and everyone has a different learning style, and to get the two to fit is like finding a needle in a haystack. But, well worth the search.

Is her teacher willing to spend some extra time with her after school? Sometimes twenty minutes with a teacher is better than fifty minutes in a classroom. I have made special arrangements with my math teacher at college to meet with her two times a week for half an hour going over what I dont understand.

Are the notes your daughter is taking in class adequate for her to understand after she gets home? Teachers normally spew orders of operations on blackboards, but if you dont understand it in the first place how are you to understand it when you get home? Perhaps you could get a copy of the notes/lessons from the teacher on a weekly basis? That way either you or the tutor can look over her notes and help her re-write them to her understanding.

Have you checked into different math books at your local library/bookstore? Sometimes a different written explanation for the problems may help in understanding. I know Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper from the Wonder Years) has a good book for young girls to help boost their self esteem in math). From Wikipedia "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail (ISBN 1594630399), which encourages girls in middle school to enjoy and succeed at mathematics...McKellar said that she wrote the book "to show girls that math is accessible and relevant, and even a little glamorous" and to counteract "damaging social messages telling young girls that math and science aren't for them".

Other than that...give her a big fat hug everyday!!!!




Edited by tammyk1 on November 08 2008 12:51 AM
 
MonkeyFeathers
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Posted on November 08 2008 01:21 AM
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Hey! ( hi mom) I'm the thirteen year old daughter. =] I have actually read "Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail". I liked it and it did clear up a few things.

It's nice to listen to people who understand. =] I have an understanding math teacher, but she is a very verbal person. That makes it hard on a visual learner like myself. Plus I have Dysgraphia so that makes taking notes hard. Maybe I'll try asking my teacher for some notes. We're trying some new tutors next week. I have an assessment with Sylvan Learning Center tomorrow.

I'm ADD to so this is taking a while for me to type. I keep getting distracted. =]

~MonkeyFeathers =]
 
psratliff
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Posted on November 08 2008 01:39 AM
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Dulcy wrote:

The tutoring really didn't work for me, though my parents tried, bless their hearts. I'd learn the stuff, then feel it literally just evaporating out of my gray matter like smoke. Sometimes in the middle of solving a problem, even.



We're still trying. She tells me that that happens, so we'll try to be fussy about our tutors.

Have you checked into different math books at your local library/bookstore?


What a good idea! I'll look into it.

Hey! ( hi mom)


Hi daughter. Pfft I do try to give her big hugs, but she's 13 and won't admit to it or let me do it too often.
 
justfoundout
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Posted on November 08 2008 01:45 AM
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11/7/08
This may seem like a strange thing to say, and I don't know why I feel compelled to say it right now, but I think that I could learn algebra better if (--- now we move into the 'dream sequence' of the scene ---)... if I were part of a group of people who were all interested, simultaneously, in learning a certain math 'function', and if that one thing were sort of a "new discovery", and if nobody was worried about the next, and the next, and the next math thing that we had to learn. I don't know how well I'm doing at expressing what I'm trying to say. Maybe this would be clearer,... I just wish that, when studying math, there were time to learn something 'finite', turn it over in my own mind, enjoy it, try it again, and then go to bed and sleep, all without worrying about having to learn something different the next day. I hope someone else here knows what I'm talking about. - justfoundout
 
MonkeyFeathers
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Posted on November 08 2008 02:07 AM
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Justfoundout: I feel EXACTLY the same way. In my math class we learn something new everyday. We don't have much time to think about what we're doing. And if you don't understand something you only have a a few chances to learn it before the next quiz or test.
~MonkeyFeathers =]
 
justfoundout
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Posted on November 08 2008 02:14 AM
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11/7/08
Dear MonkeyFeathers,
Then if you understand me, this must have been the perfect time for me to say it. Thanks. You've 'made my day'. Pfft - justfoundout
 
kiki
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Posted on December 04 2008 05:41 AM
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I think what would have helped me in school would be to do extra assignments to help me "remember" pass lessons. I would have tried my best to practice the previous lessons so they stay fresh in my mind. Its seems in school, the teachers teach something different every single day and its hard to get enough practice to make sure you have it down.

The school district I was in created a "special" math class for those who weren't ready for the Pre-Algebra classes for Jr. High and High school. This was the only "solution" the school district would offer those struggling in math. Sadly, I never passed that math class and was in that class from Jr. High all the way to High school. Now that I'm a 21 year old college student, I'm still trying to make up for what the school district should have recognized. Its really sad that no one takes Math LD's seriously!

Monkeyfeathers, just know you aren't alone and we know exactly what you are going through. I hope you find something that will help you atleast get through your math classes! =D
Edited by kiki on December 04 2008 05:42 AM
 
PinkRangerV
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Posted on August 28 2009 02:45 AM
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I know the feeling--young, unable to understand...ahh, nostalgia. (Not.) The best thing I can offer, besides the 'Math Doesn't Suck' books, is letters. I don't know why, but when I started doing algebra with LETTERS, no numbers, I was fine. Didn't even mix up my signs! Try doing concepts with ONLY letters. Play with it a bit.

If that doesn't work, try using fingers, counters, whatever. Try putting it into visual terms. With algebra, it's tricky, but as long as you're pre-algebra, you should be all right. And finding a way to have fun is essential. I prefer games and cooking, since I don't have trouble reading numbers off a sheet. Of course, keep little brothers away. They like stealing the paper.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
 
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