Thursday, March 13, 2014

What's the Answer to Dyscalculia?

Math. It's the bane of my homeschooling existence.  Which is sorta odd, because I was just nerdy enough to be on the math team in high school.  Yes, I really was. 

Yet, in doing research on dyscalculia (learning disability in math), because I think one of my children may have a have mild form of it, I discovered that I too may have a mild form of it.  I was able to compensate and I did just fine with higher math.  In fact, oddly enough, I found calculus to be easier than long division.  I still struggle with things like making change, calculating discounts, directions, motor sequencing, and puzzles. Yet I can do calculus just fine. My teachers all thought I was super good at math, because I could get A's in geometry and trigonometry and calculus...yet I struggle to figure out the change you get for something that cost $8.23 from $10.00. You figure it out.  Actually I think it makes sense in a way, because higher math requires a different set of skills and thinking processes than arithmetic.  

All that to say that I'm finding teaching 6th grade math to be a challenge. I feel I'm learning right along with my daughter.  Sometimes I have to think for a minute or two, before I am able to explain something to her. And, sometimes we have to look up videos on Khan academy.  Teaching math has actually improved my math skills quite a bit.  I can now figure out change in my head (albeit slowly, but I can do it.)

Some people may not agree with labels, like dyscalculia, dyslexia, etc, but I find them useful.  It's much kinder and more helpful to think that a person has dyscalculia (even if it's mild) than to think that they are lazy or stupid or just not trying hard enough.  And, then once you realize there may be a problem, you can look for alternative ways to help them succeed.  

Math instructional videos on Khan Academy have actually helped us quite a bit.  I'm hoping to find a few more methods or tricks that might help us as well.  

I took this photo with the page up to the window.  You can see the writing on the back through the paper.  I think it gives a neat effect. 

Looks like someone needs to learn how to spell "quarter"
 And, this are my photos for theme thursday, answer
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  1. I'm kind of the same way with math. It doesn't come naturally to me. Analog clocks: can't do 'em. But I've always been able to make do. And teaching math has helped a lot.

  2. That sounds like me and my family. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Have you checked the programmes Dynamo Maths and Dynamo Profiler? They are an assessment and an intervention for dyscalculia. They are aimed at children from 6 to 9, they could be useful for your daughter! You can try for free.
    The assessment is

    Hope it helps :)


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