Questions about using LA and Math
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  1. #1
    Ruth_Lanton's Avatar
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    Default Questions about using LA and Math

    What exactly is the difference between LA and LA extensions? Is it imperative that my son do both? He's starting to get frustrated with the number of activities- he felt that he was wasting his time at school, and doesn't want to do "busywork" at home either. He's bright, picks up information quickly when it interests him, and is easily bored.

    Looking through the math assignments, I see that each subject has a "show me" followed by a "let me try" followed by a "reteach." I doubt he needs the "reteach" and I wonder if he needs the "show me" or if the "let me try" explains things well enough for him. When I taught my daughter math, I had an actual textbook. I'd skim the explanations in the text, explain it to her in a way that made sense to her, make her do one or two problems to make sure she understood it, then move on. We'd typically do a month's worth of math assignments in half an hour or 45 minutes of sitting down together, and we'd only do it about once a month. That would be my first choice method of teaching math, but I figure I should start off by using the online math I've already paid for and only purchase a separate math text if this isn't' working for him.

    I personally have little patience for sitting and watching a video while somebody explains things slowly. I like to have a long page of text (and diagrams, when appropriate) that I can quickly skim for the relevant information. I never used any LA programs at all with my daughter, since she was (and still is) a voracious reader. She'd always found ELA assignments in school to be a waste of time. I found that was the case with my son as well- tons of activities involving spelling and vocabulary words that he learned from hearing and seeing once- so why repeat them 10 times over the course of the week?

    But since my son doesn't do a lot of independent reading, I feel that he needs SOME LA lessons. I'm just not so sure he needs ALL of them.
    Ruth, single mom to Jack, 13, Hannah, 19, and Leah, 20.

  2. #2
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
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    Ruth, Regarding the math, my daughter HATES to repeat anything! I'm telling you that the "show me, teach me, let me try" drives her over the edge. To get past this here is what we do. She does the initial lesson. If she feels like she has the concept I let her go to the quiz/activity quiz. If she has the concept, she makes a 90%, we go on. If she does not do well, she has to go back and do the additional lessons. This means that she has some control over her schooling and I don't have to bang my head against a brick wall to get her to do "all" the lessons! LA is sort of the same way for us. We don't do every one. Short story here. In public school 1st grade she came home and told me they thought she was stupid. I said, "What, why do they think you are stupid?" She said that they must think she was the stupidest kid on the planet...they make her review the same spelling words for FOUR days before testing her. Her suggestion? Why not give me the list, let me study it and test on it. Then the only words I'm studying is the ones I don't know, no need to waste my time on the ones I already know. ...Made a whole lot of sense to me, out of the mouths of 1st graders!! At any rate, we started homeschooling middle of 1st grade because she didn't have tolerance for busy work, or mindless repetition. It is great to be able to allow her to do school at her own pace, and adapting as we see fit!!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  3. #3
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    Oh, almost forgot...LA and LA extensions...One is mainly a grammar/spelling component, the other is literature/reading with applied grammar, which is where they answer questions, do activities, write paragraphs using the specific story and grammar learned. My daughter is a voracious reader, listens to audio books constantly, writes pretty well now, so we have used the LA/LAext as a guideline, but do not do every lesson. We do a fair amount of "testing out" of things. If she can make a 90% without doing every lesson, that is what we do! BTW, I actually cut her slack on the quiz scores if she does the lessons, she only has to make an 80% if she does the lessons. 90% if she doesn't do all of the lessons.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    So the extensions are the grammar/spelling and the regular LA is the literature component?

    We've decided to make Jack do the LA extensions but not the regular LA component. He's not currently a voracious reader, but I want to encourage him to do more reading. This is only our second week and we're not quite in a routine yet. I plan to make him read daily. I think that reading "real books" will do more for him than reading excerpts with questions as part of an LA curriculum.
    Ruth, single mom to Jack, 13, Hannah, 19, and Leah, 20.

  5. #5
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    I think extensions has the reading component, not sure now. And we are not in a
    good routine yet either.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    My granddaughter is in the 4th grade, and we continue to home school because of Common Core. I don't have a problem with most of the standards, but I do have issue of dumbing down math to the lowest common denominator. The 4th grade math curriculum on T4L is following CCSS. My daughter looks at those videos and asks why we need to make 10 steps when it is easy to do the math and get the answer. This is her choice, not my influence. So I teach traditional math calculations method and she says, "Why would anyone choose to do it the other way? What is this with all those stupid 1, 10, and 100's bars. Can't we just do the math?" That was major rebellion with partial products and using manipulatives for base 10. She consistently gets 90-100% on all her quizes and tests, so I guess what I am doing works. Plus she can apply the principles to real life situations. CCSS math methods may be appropriate for some students, but to make it the standard for ALL is a disgrace. End of my rant for today.

  7. #7
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
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    If your granddaughter is finding 4th grade math really easy, why not let her try 5th grade math? Some kids need the repetition, others get the concept the first time through and are ready to move on. My own daughter skipped most of 8th grade math because she was just ready to move on, bored, hated the repetition, so I do understand! If you just need the "check marks" for completing chapters maybe try letting your GD test through by seeing how she does on the quizzes. If she does fine then let her advance! I hope this helps!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  8. #8
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    I went into TFL with the intention of giving the online math a try, and buying a math textbook if it didn't. Typically, when I taught math, we'd go through a month's worth of "math lessons" in about half an hour. I'd skim the chapter, explain stuff to the child, move on if he or she understood it, and slow down to explain things when necessary.

    So far, Jack has been doing fine with the math, just doing the "let me try" and ignoring all the other activities. That's working for now.
    Ruth, single mom to Jack, 13, Hannah, 19, and Leah, 20.

  9. #9
    monnalu is offline Member
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    There are still concepts and skills in 4th grade math she needs to master--fractions and decimals being among the major ones. It's not that it is so easy, but the CCSS method of teaching with manipulatives and pictures is stupid to her because the numbers make sense in her brain without all that cutesy stuff.

  10. #10
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    You could try having her do just some of the math lessons- if she understands a concept, move on, even if she hasn't done all the "Activities" that go with it.

    I'm homeschooling my son. I'm in charge. Yes, I'm paying for access to TFL materials, but I don't feel "married" to the curriculum. I'm using the materials in a way that works for my family. We're "picking and choosing" which LA and Math activities he does, but doing all the science and social studies. I'm filling in with other materials for Spanish and for his Judaic education. We're enjoying a lot of "down time" because he didn't get nearly enough of that for the past 2 years. We're making time for literature (reading real books) and cultural exploration (TV and movies.)

    The only thing I feel the need to still add, at this point, is writing. I don't like the setup of the LA lessons so we're not using all of them, but I do want to add in some writing assignments to fill in the gap.
    Ruth, single mom to Jack, 13, Hannah, 19, and Leah, 20.

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