I’m truly overwhelmed and humbled by the many responses I’ve received in the comments and through email to my S.O.S. post about math. Thank you! It is great to see the possibilities through so many different eyes and we’ll be using some of the ideas in the near future.
Today after a chat with Makayla I found that one of the hardest things to her is simply staying focused on math when there are things going on around her with the other family members. It might be someone talking, playing, or even just walking past her that draws her attention. It really didn’t surprise me too much, she’s a lot like her daddy in this area. We decided to try an experiment. For the next week or two she’s going to test out new places/ways to do her math.
Day 1 (today) found her upstairs in her bedroom with a fan turned up for white noise, curtains shut, and earplugs in. Her worksheet was on a clipboard, she had the Math U See blocks available, and if she needed help on a problem she was to go on and do the rest before we worked together on trouble problems. The other children stayed downstairs working with mommy on their own math, reading, and other activities.
How did it go?
It went pretty well, actually. She completed the work and only made three mistakes, all of which she was able to look at the problem and tell me where she went wrong without any hints. She was still cheerful by the end of math. In Makayla’s words, “It really helped to not have all the noise around me. I like doing math there.” The one thing she didn’t like is the earplugs, which ‘felt too big’. She used them about half the time today. I need to see if they make some for children so they fit better for her, as blocking the noise seems to be important for her.
It looks like we’ve found a good place to do math, now our focus is going to switch to finding the best setup in her room. She’ll try working on her bed, on the floor, and we’ll move a desk upstairs to try as well. She has climate control with her fans and blankets so she feels comfortable temperature-wise. There is a bathroom just outside her door. She can even stand and do math at her dresser if she wants to.
There are more changes in the works in an effort to make math more enjoyable, which I’ll share after we try them.