Help! Crying mom here....
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  1. #1
    mom2mce is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Help! Crying mom here....

    What am I doing wrong? My oldest child is excited about T4L but is doing poorly. She is getting 40's and 50's on her first attempts. I was so excited about this program thinking it was the solution for my troubles with learning. She has always been homeschooled. We used Abeka and last year 4th grade she started struggling with math. I backed her up and tried many different approaches. Ug all frustrating. She is a very smart ,bright, well spoken kid. No one would guess she is struggling with her studies. Very Fluent reader when I can get to interested in reading. OK I had to vent.
    How long and how many times should I make her do the lessons over and over? I feel this is a wonderful program and want to continue using this but I don't want to over do it that she would hate it. Any suggestions?????????? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Grade levels are just suggested starting points. Is she working at a level that is too advanced? Here's how to switch the level one grade up or one grade down to try it out:

    http://www.time4learning.com/hints/Hints_30.shtml

    If you decide you want her grade level adjusted, please email and we'll be happy to do so. Sometimes it is a good idea for a student to begin at a level below their actual ability until they become accustomed to the program.

    Also, are you utilizing the printable resources? While part of the appeal of T4L is that it's computer-based, the printables are very helpful for more practice when needed:

    http://www.time4learning.com/hints/Hints_50.shtml

    Be sure to come back and let us know if this helps.

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

  3. #3
    MarilynM is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    mom2mce, I believe that Kelly is right. Back up a little and allow her to have some success. She will move through quickly, I'm sure. It would be discouraging to start out the program with difficulties.

    Take time to figure out how to make the program work for her. The answer is there, but you may need to read other threads or flesh it out here on the forums for help.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. #4
    KathyK is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    My son is having the same problem!! What I've found is that he's doing one of 3 things- 1) only skimming the material (usually in science or social studies) and therefore misses the questions 2) is going so fast he mis-clicks (happens alot!) 3) is rushing so that he misreads the questions and/or answer choices.

    I'm trying to brainstorm solutions for these issues. I think a topic discussion prior to quizzes would help. This would 1) re-enforce the material and 2) maybe it would put him in a quiz frame of mind and he'll slow down and be more careful!!
    Kathy
    Homeschooling a fourth grader, first grader and nursing a little one!

  5. #5
    lorisoard is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Don't worry

    What I've found is that when the girls do poorly on something, they have usually rushed through the lesson. I would just go back and rework the lesson and sit with her while she goes through it, making sure she understands the key points. If there are any supplemental worksheets print those, and then have her retake the test. I then print the report and use a sharpee to mark out the poor test and only count the one where she mastered the material.

    We are homeschoolers, so we have the ability to stop and go over a topic until our kids really get it. Also, don't worry so much as long as the material is mastered. When there are only 10 quiz questions, it is very easy to get a lower grade if you only miss a few.

    Hope that helps

  6. #6
    sandra is offline Junior Member
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    Default struggling

    My daughter is in 4th grade and enjoys doing the language arts, she loves to read also, (but enjoys it when the computer reads to her also.) Math has also been our tough subject and I like theabeka program. Usually when she does not do well in a particular area we often move on to a totally different section in math and return to it in a few weeks, just to discourage frustration. Also in Math I usually sit down with her and go through the lesson with her. On the mini quizzes she often uses the back arrow to review definations. For the other subjects I just need to be in the same room for when she has questions, although I still look over her shoulder often.

    I hope this helps.
    -Sandra
    Mom and Teacher to
    Reyna
    Ryan
    Mason
    Karissa

  7. #7
    Syele's Avatar
    Syele is offline Member
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    My dd will also skim through lessons, or if I'm out of the room she will get distracted by something and not listen to the lesson. Several times I've seen her clicking randomly, I ask her why she clicked there and she'll say "I dunno." I realized she was just not paying attention so I told her that if she got bad grades from clicking randomly she'd have to do workbooks on that subject plus redoing the t4l lesson. Having a consequence for not paying attention seems to help lot.

  8. #8
    Mommydynee is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Just now had time to read over the forum and saw your plea for help. This is our 1st year using this program as core. My 8th grade dd is a bright student and excels quickly. However, after running a report I was concerned over a number of quizzes below 70%. I will accept 80% but no lower. (And then only 80% if I believe she has really put forth an effort). When I more closely checked the time spent on each quiz or section for that quiz, she was not really spending time to the point of understanding. Some of the quizzes she had repeated but most she had not. I prepared her last week, by telling her that monthly I would run a report and she would have to redo any quizzes below 80%. I decided to do that today and I assigned her all the lesson numbers I wanted her to repeat. This time they were much better and I'm convinced she grasped the content.

    I do think having them repeat over and over on the same day can become frustrating. Though she did not like initially that I was going to have her redo them, today she seemed very upbeat and relieved that she now understood problem areas. I was also relieved. To me that is one of the most wonderful benefits of homeschooling - that we can work on an area until it is mastered rather than pressured to move on too quiickly.

    Part of the problem, I believe, is just getting use to a new program. Another is having the freedom to whizz through if you think you can get away with it. T4L, as I'm learning the more I use the program, has great features for parents to stay on top of the learning. I recommend checking the progress reports daily at a glance and then more discerningly on a weekly basis to ward off any problems.

    Hope this helps. We are really loving T4L.

  9. #9
    Strouse House's Avatar
    Strouse House is offline Senior Member
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    Default What we are doing....

    I noticed my son doing the same thing. I had to set the rule that if he did not get 80% or hire on an area that he had to do it again. If he still did not get 80% then we would print out the resource and he would re do the section the next day. This has worked. It has reinforced where he has trouble.

    He now goes to his portfolio and checks his scores when he is done. He will repeat it all on his own. But I still have to be the one to print out the resource sheet. If he gives me a hard time doing the resource sheet we turn them into our car schooling.

    If we go anywhere in the car during the day my son is expected to do some type of worksheet/'workbook while in the car. These are great to print and have on hand for just a time. When he finishes the worksheets then we can listen to his book on CD.

    I hope w/ all the post you find something to help you out.
    Brandy - Christian (86), Wife (93), and Mother (boy 99, girl 07,boy 08). Homeschooling since 2003. Come check out our adventures in life and Time4Learning.com at Five in Training For Him.


  10. #10
    lauramacf is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    mom2mce, you are obviously not alone in experiencing this! I've been working on this same problem with my 4th grade son, who is easily distracted and tends to rush through his assignments, skim the reading and then get frustrated when he scores low--so I'll share what I think has been working, most of what I'm referring to below is math:

    I printed out the worksheets for every chapter I have him working on in a given week, have labeled them in the order they are to be worked (#1, #2, etc), and stapled them together by subject matter (math, language arts, etc.), storing them in a notebook. This keeps them from getting "lost."

    I give him a daily to-do list with the assignments/worksheets/quizzes listed in an outline format, to help him stay on track. He also needs to see that there is a progression from assignment (activity) to practice (worksheet, "exploratory", and "handbook"), to quiz, to test. This is helping us structure our time and keeps us from arguing about how much is enough. I've noticed he is much more attentive to his scores now, and in general is feeling a sense of accomplishment when we cross off the items on the list.

    I've written notes on his assignment sheet to help him stay focused on our current approach to using these T4L lessons and tools, which is to do the intro activity, then the worksheet, then the additional activities with mom's help if necessary. I either help him with his worksheets or I have him do them using the tools in the "exploratory" activity, and I insist that he get me to come help him with the "Handbook" math activities (or any other text-based activities) because these are more reading intensive, so we "team read" them, taking turns with the text; he doesn't skim through them anymore, and sometimes puts his hand up to quiet me as he reads right through them on his own! I can see that he is actually reading because he is clicking on the definition links, and of course his time spent on the activity is no longer 15 seconds!

    Most importantly, I've been coaching my son to seek my help--he is the sort to really need guidance, with math especially, but he forgets to ask for it. It isn't that he can't do the work, he just feels overwhelmed at first. So I am often sitting with him, usually just to go through the first few questions together so he feels he is on the right track.

    My son's biggest problem is simply that he needs to slow down. When he take quizzes and tests I've gotten in the habit of standing right next to him. I don't 'help' him find the answers, but I stand there and ask him to read every one of the answer choices, and sometimes (even if he's made the correct choice) I stop him and ask him to check again before he clicks the button. He has poor test-taking skills (some of us just aren't compatible with tests at all!), so I don't feel apologetic about doing this, I feel that it is a big part of his learning right now for me to guide him as much as possible in slowing down and learning how to take a test properly.

    Like many of the other posters, I require an 80% or better on quizzes and tests, but I will sometimes allow a lower grade on the graded lesson activities. I remind both my children constantly that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, that is how we learn; I don't want them to think it is only about the score--when they are working hard to grasp something I couldn't care less about grades! I've often noticed that they will score poorly on the activity (when they are being introduced to the topic and just figuring it out), but will have much better scores on the quizzes, so don't think they must get a high activity score before taking a quiz, you might be surprised. Once they've done the worksheet, the other activities, reviewed it a bit with me, they are generally ready to succeed on the quiz--but if not we just back up and review more (maybe the next day). I use other materials and methods to have hands on learning opportunities available, too. Sometimes, a kid just needs a while for a concept to sink in, so taking a break and waiting a while can help. You don't have to do the lessons in any particular order, so especially if you've hit a road block, just back off of it for a bit and it will probably sink in before you return to it.

    Sorry this is so long. Hope you find some ideas here that help!

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