I think I am failing my Kindergartener

Denise

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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
4
Hello. This is my first school year officially homeschooling. I homeschool through a charter school program which placed my son at 1st grade level. He is brilliant so I'm not surprised, but after today's math lesson, I think that he has just memorized most of everything up to this point. I realize this when I asked him to put 5 random numbers ranging from 0 to 50 in order from least to greatest and he failed to do it. I can give him the assessment worksheets from our Saxon curriculum (which we've completed 97/130 lessons), and he can read the directions and CORRECTLY answer the questions independently, but I am freaking out because I want him to have a conceptual base. Rather than knowing the correct answers, I want him to know why or how he got the correct answers. I am so confused as to how he can keep up with the curriculum taught but not understand basic number order. How do I assess to find the gaps? Do you all think I have to start back at square one with preschool math? I am in tears and feel like I have failed him and putting him in traditional school setting wouldn't have had the gaps.
 

EightGreatKids

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Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
57
No, don't start over! And don't panic! He may just not be understanding the concept of Place Value. I'd play lots and lots of number games with him. There is something about the competition and fun of games that inspires kids to make sense of whatever they need to, including numbers. Worksheets and textbooks just don't cut it sometimes. Games are also the best diagnostic tool, because your kids don't realize they're being tested.

It's critical right now that your son thinks math is fun and that he's smart and capable. if you start testing for "gaps" he'll worry and he'll lose more ground by losing confidence than you can imagine. I also use Saxon and the spiral approach will eventually eliminate any and all gaps. I wouldn't worry about that at all. I've used Saxon all the way through and my three oldest have scored near perfect on college entrance tests -- it's that thorough.

I'd honestly just take a break from the textbooks altogether for the next month or more, and just play math games together, letting your son build important connections and number sense. And most of all just enjoying math together.

I have lots of math games I've used with my kids. Some of them.are posted on my website, OrisonOrchards.com, but the rest are PDFs. I keep meaning to get them.up on my blog, but life happens, you k ow? If you want, I can email them to you. You might want to start with ten frames and ten frame games, then progress to place value games. Both of those use lots of manipulatives and fun things, and they're up on my blog with free printables. My guess is that you'll be able to pinpoint where he's missing.

Ack, I hate typing from my phone. Let me know if you can't find my ten frames posts and place value posts, and I'll just email you all of the PDFs.

Hugs!
 

momschool

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Messages
16
I would do as Amy said and try playing more games. I wouldn't panic! Sometimes it takes time to build number sense and that honestly seems kind of normal to me for his age :0) Keep doing what your doing and add in fun games like chutes and ladders (I found a free on to print called dinos and volcanoes that my son LOVES), teachers pay teachers has some for free or paid too. Your doing okay and probably better than you think <3
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
8
First, you are doing great! Second, don't panic. Every child, regardless of where they are schooled, will have "gaps." It is okay! Truth is no one can learn or retain everything. Third, math is a developmental skill. The understanding of the concepts will come when he is ready. It is okay that he is memorizing how to do the math. Saxon is great for reviewing important concepts. If you are worried about an area, play games to reinforce concepts and use manipulatives. At your son's age, developmentally he needs the manipulatives to understand the concepts fully as developmentally children at this age understand concrete things better than abstract, and numbers are abstract. (I hope this makes sense.) So finally, there is no need to go back. Pause, if you want. Reinforce concepts with games and hands-on activities and manipulatives. (Popsicle sticks work great.) Keep up the great work because you ARE doing great! The conceptual understanding WILL come eventually, as I said, when he is ready. (Many kids graduate high school WITHOUT knowing all the math concepts. They can do the work because they memorozed how to do it but cannot tell you the why. That's ok. They are still successful individuals.)
 

Denise

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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
4
Thank you everyone for the responses. I wanted to post an update on how things are going. I have been incorporating more games and activities like ranking animals by their speed (Because he is a little zoologist at heart) and "school time" has actually become fun, not just for him, but for both of us. I appreciate the comments and have taken your advice. I need to step away from the traditional way of schooling and BREATHE. It's Kindergarten and should be fun and not to use how many "standards" he has met as a measurement of our success, but just as a tool of where to focus on next. It is still a work in progress but I greatly appreciate your support.
 

Denise

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Jan 28, 2020
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4
I love your blog!! Thank you for your response. I read your Gameschooling article and have started to incorporate more games, it works!! Learning while having fun and spending time together, WIN WIN WIN. I didn't want to bother you so I was just going to research for more games, but if you have a compile of them I would love to take you up on your offer to e mail them to me. It will be greatly appreciated.
 

KrisMCox

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Feb 11, 2020
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EightGreatKids

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Nov 12, 2019
Messages
57
I love your blog!! Thank you for your response. I read your Gameschooling article and have started to incorporate more games, it works!! Learning while having fun and spending time together, WIN WIN WIN. I didn't want to bother you so I was just going to research for more games, but if you have a compile of them I would love to take you up on your offer to e mail them to me. It will be greatly appreciated.
That's great to hear! Send me your email, and I'll email you the files.

These posts include directions to lots of math games on his level that you can play with things you have around the house or the included free printables:

Free Printable Place Value Chart & Games
FREE Printable Ten Frame Games
DIY Math Manipulatives KIT
Place Value Maze
 
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