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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3 comments:

  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.

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

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  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 www.dynamomaths.co.uk for free.
    The assessment is www.dynamoprofiler.co.uk

    Hope it helps :)

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