Is your middle schooler good in math? Are you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2012
Is your middle schooler good in math? Are you?
9
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 11:53am

This is mostly just a vent but I am SO tired of butting heads with my kiddo over math homework! Although I was never fantastic in Math back when I was in school, I did OK enough to get through. However, I'm already finding myself in over my head when I try to help him with his homework --it's only middle school!! I do not know what I'm going to do when he gets into high school. Frown 

I hate the idea of having to re-learn all this stuff but I don't know what else to do. Any good math tutoring websites out there? The other problem is that teachers seem to teach them one particular way how to solve a problem and when we look it up online, it's shown an entirely different way, confusing us even more. Ugh.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

I have definitely seen that math is taught a bit differently now than when I took it 20 years ago!  Luckily my oldest was/is better in math than i was so she has cruised through math without much problem.  Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.com) is one i have heard is actually pretty good and available free and through itunes.  Does your middle school have a website with helpful links that you can look at during the evening if your child gets stuck?  That was one other resource our middle school at the time was good with, providing us links we could use while at home.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011

Funny, I just used the exact same phrase to describe the daily friction that happens when DH attempts to help my 7th grader with his Math homework- "butting heads". And in answer to your question, no I am not good at Math, which is why DH gets stuck helping him with it all the time! I can help him write and edit a paper all day long but Math has always been challenging for me.

I'll have to look into Khan Academy for sure! So is it like an app? 

Lisa 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-09-2013 - 3:22pm
Here is the overview video of it. I'll admit I started watching it, but stopped, and havent' actually used the website, but I've heard tons of good things about it from others. http://www.khanacademy.org/talks-and-interviews/v/overview-of-khanacademy-org You can also get it from the iTunes U app on any of your iphone/pad/touch devices. They have exercises to do, videos of how to do things, etc. It looks interesting, I definitely need to sit down with it for a longer timeframe to get the whole gist of it all.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 01-10-2013 - 12:55pm

Three of my four kids are really, really good at math and like it and one is above average but dislikes it (not sure which came first!). Ds12 takes Algebra in 7th and Ds10 takes pre-Alg in 5th (goes to middle school). I, OTOH, am okay but no superstar. Dh is very good. It also obviously helps that ds12 is only one level above ds10 and can help him do it the "right" way (meaning their particular school way).

I also like Khan, and I think they explain things pretty easily. My older boy read Danica McKellar's math books (just google her) and even though they are really geared towards girls, they did a good job explaining things (and okay, I'll admit, good review for me, lol). I also like the mathforum online and the associated "Dr Math" books. These (and the McKellar) books aren't like textbooks but they're a great supplement.

My second dd didn't really like math a lot and had a bit of a math phobia when she was young, so with the next two I tried to make it more of a natural part of our homelife - I had books lying around (they both also loved Life of Fred) and we talked math more. They both enjoy it now and I'm glad. I think that getting a good foundation in algebra/geometry is really essential for a lot of different classes in HS and college, and just for life in general.

Our HS also offers a few "math for parents" classes which help with specific things. Who can remember HS math (ummm.. okay, showing my age- that was a LONG time ago for me ;)). Don't be afraid to ask for help from the school for your son if he needs it as well - our MS and HS offer tutoring, afterschool classes, etc. Believe me, a lot of parents can't remember this stuff. I helped out in the 5th grade accelerated math class and many parents were already throwing up their hands in frustration!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I was good in math--got all A's in high school up to Trig but I didn't take calculus cause I could see that I would never use it (and I was right).  My kids were both good in math, so lucky for me I really didn't have to help them w/ HW.  I would suggest asking the teacher for help--maybe there is a specific math website that goes along with the way they are teaching in your school.  I do have to say that by high school they will either have to get help from the teacher or probably from a more advanced student.  my DD took AP Calculus--no way could I ever have helped her with that!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004

My 7th grade daughter IS good at math, but thinks she is not.   When I took her out of school to home school, I used K12, which is very advanced and doesn't give enough time to memorize (2 weeks in 2nd grade and 2 weeks in 3rd grade to memorize multiplication.)  My daughter is bright, but when she doesn't do what the "book" says and has to do extra practice (because the book is based on bad educational therory) she thinks SHE is bad.   

I ended up doing "Math on the Level" with her because it just has concepts, no books.  I made up the worksheets and we worked until the area was mastered.  It was great.   She finished that last year, and now is doing pre-algebra with Khan Academy, again great for her as there is no book to compare herself against. 

Khan academy works two ways.   They have videos that you can go and watch to explain concepts.  (My husband told his grad students to go there first, then come to him.)   The other way you can use it is to sign up, then do it as a math program, like my daughter is doing.   If you sign up, you watch the videos, then do practice problems until mastery is reached.  I printed out the common core standards for her grade, then we work from those so that she doesn't have to start at the very beginning and master everything.   You could also sign up and have your child watch videos, do some practice so that you know that they know what they are doing.  Parents are the coach - you can keep track if you want, but it isn't necessary if they are already doing the work at school.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 01-14-2013 - 9:09am
Thanks for the breakdown of the program!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 12:43pm

Yes, thank you! Sounds like Khan would be very helpful for all of us! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

My oldest DD does well in math and I like how math was taught in middle school b/c the work prepared her for high school math, It was tackling formulas in small steps then that has really helped her understand it in 9th grade now, She's doing quadradic formulas and early trig already.  My second daughter OTOH struggles with math, elementary division is still a difficult concept for her and I'm grateful she gets assistance and accomodations with an IEP. 

School math today is different than the way things were 20+ years ago, If your kid needs help ask for it. 

Edited to add, I've heard great things about khanacademy too.  There's an ixlmath website too that my kids get on at school, My kids can sign on to the site at home but they use their school sign on and password, I don't know if it's a free site.