Struggling with first grade math concepts.
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  1. #1
    Sams Grandma is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    Hello everyone,
    I am new to this forum and have been homeschooling my 6 year-old grandson Sam for one month now. I am having no difficulty with progress in the reading, spelling, science and social studies but the basic understanding of numbers is coming very slowly. We have repeated the lesson on counting backwards and by 10s multiple times, I have physically had him walk forward/backward on a number line on the floor, tried to teach him that less than is always to the left of the number line and more than always to the right. He has a good understanding of left and right but seems to have a hard time understanding forward and backward on the page. If given manipulatives, he can count with one to one correspondence and when he sees pictures of the amounts can determine which is more than/less than but seems at a lose with numbers greater than 5 for this concepts and cannot for the life of him count backwards even with a 100s chart/number line.
    Help!!
    Sylvia

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    Hi, Sylvia. Welcome to the forum!

    Sam is really young. If he is still having to stop and think whether numbers over five are "more" or "less", he's probably not ready to be counting backwards or by tens yet. I really like your idea of having him physically walk forwards and backwards on a number line, but is sounds like quantity is still somewhat of an abstract concept to him at this point.

    Children should be very comfortable with numbers through 100 before attemtping the first grade math program. It's fine for a six-year-old to work in kindergarten math, and you might consider moving him to that level. Even if some of the lessons are too easy, it will be valuable practice for him and will help avoid the kind of frustration that often causes a student to give up.

    How far can he rote count? I think I would concentrate on counting and estimating games for the time being. You can use manipulatives, pictures in a book, or real-life objects.

    For example, when looking at a book, as him to guess how many windows there are in the picture of a house, and then have him count to check his answer. Make it a game, not a test.

    While driving, suggest that he count all of the animals you pass and so forth.

    Get a bunch of index cards and a packge of identical stickers. Put one sticker on one index card, two stickers on another, three on another, and so on until you have a deck of cards. Play a more-or-less game: Deal all the cards between the two of you and then take turns placing one card face up. Whoever's card has "more" stickers gets to keep both cards. Encouage him to guess which card has more before counting to check. When all the cards have been played, the person who has kept the most is the winner.

    Most of my own kids have been advanced in reading and language and lagged somewhat behind in math skills. The good news is that the ones who are now grown have fine math skills, even though they took a while to develop. (One is an engineer!)

    Good luck to you and your grandson.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    Jamie Gaddy is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    I reallly like your ideas Kelly -making children count and "think" math even while they are doing non school things is great! That is what we have used so often with our olders ones, it really does help to make it PRACTICAL!

    Third grade twins are still struggling in math - and have a difficult time with manuevering through the math sections in t4l but are getting better...
    Jamie
    Homeschooling mom to 6 dear blessings!
    http://onlineeducationforkids.com

  4. #4
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    denimay is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    Sylvia......what Kelly said!! I think you're expecting him to get concepts he's not ready for and this is only going to contribute to the possibility of him HATING math. I agree that you should try the kindergarten math in T4L and see if that doesn't help to fill in some of the blanks. just my humble opinion.......also, get a book of rules for card games and several packs of those BIG print cards. Teach him how to play rummy or canasta.....learn new games together......even WAR is a good game for number sense......I can remember playing canasta with my grandmother when I was a kid....we played for HOURS....sometimes with 4 decks of cards.......and we made up our own rules to make it harder!! *L* what great memories......deni..........
    deni may ............
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  5. #5
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    Yes . . . War! GREAT math game! Board games where the child has to count the number of spaces to move their marker are good too.

    We have a game called Hi-Ho Cherry O. The child picks the proper number of plastic cherries off cardboard trees . . . VERY fun!

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  6. #6
    Amarey is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    I know it sounds funny but baking. In baking a batch of cookies their are so many things to count. Measurements etc. How many cups do we need? How many cookies do we have here? How many cookies did you eat???????? I don't know it just got us so comfortable with math. Now I see my 7 year old measuring out two halves to make a cup on her own. Of course I have to ask " What if you were using a 1/4 cup how many would you need?" And her answer is 4. She gets it. She understands so much and I know it came from baking cookies. Those good old chocolate chips. Two cups to each batch ya know!

    Mandy

    PS THe Uno card game is also a favorite of ours. We started with a Winnie the Pooh version and now enjoy the real thing.

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    Yca's Avatar
    Yca
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    Default Re: Struggling with first grade math concepts.

    and the best part about baking is EATING all your work (duh)
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!


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