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KS 3/Year 7 Maths, DS struggling.

(9 Posts)
MrsRobot Wed 12-Oct-16 13:04:10

DS1 (11) is really struggling with Maths.

In primary he was tested for dyscalcula, but not diagnosed. I don't dispute the result, however he doesn't know offhand that 4 + 6 = 10, for example.

He has (somewhat understandably, considering he's struggling so much) decided he 'hates' maths, which makes teaching him awkward and stressfull, but he's a good kid and will sit down and learn when asked. He doesn't know his times tables (bar 2x, 5x, 10x and 9x hands trick ) and tends to throw his hands up in the air when faced with any question he feels is hard. We're trying to nurture a more positive attitude toward the subject, and I've been explaining how useful it is in everyday life/work etc.

I'm looking for any decent resources (books or online) that I could use to help teach him maths at home. Or if anyone else has similar experience, maybe you could share what did/didn't work for you? We can't afford private tuition.

I'm thinking we need to do between 1-2 hours a week initially, maybe focusing on the times tables at KS 2 level, then working up from there.

Should I talk to his maths teacher, to try to sync up the subjects at home and school?


DoItTooJulia Wed 12-Oct-16 13:10:06

Ah, poor lad.

I wouldn't make it too formal. I'd just start with nailing times tables and number bons (or is it bonds, I'm never sure!) so all the combinations that make 10 to begin with.

I would absolutely talk to the school. You need to know what would help after he's nailed the TT and NB.

I've not used it, but I've heard great things about mathletics and I have used the app Hit the Button for TT practice-makes it seem like fun rather than sitting over a Bond Book!

Good luck.

Afishcalledchips Wed 12-Oct-16 13:23:24

Thanks, that hit the button looks promising, maybe we'll do one of the boring worksheets then play that tonight and see how we get on smile

He's a bright kid, not massively academic, sort of average-ish in most subjects, which is fine. I think a good grasp of maths is important though, and I'm worried that so many doors will be closed for him if he doesn't get, say a 'C' in his GCSE (I know it's a way off, but still).

MrsRobot Wed 12-Oct-16 13:25:38

^ Ah bugger - That's my other MN name grin

Pipthedog Wed 12-Oct-16 13:26:29

My daughter is year 7 and has always hated maths (much the same as her older brother) but a year ago I started to do a degree in physics. As you're probably aware, maths is a huge part of physics and I wasn't a maths bod!

I got the kids to help me, get involved and enjoy it. I learn best when I can see something so I took maths outside. Measuring the height of churches using trigonometry, finding the area of Tesco car park or simply working out travel times using speed and distance.

One conversation started with next time you go for a poo, work out how many tiles there are .....

Maths doesn't have to just be done in a sterile area. Bring the numbers alive....

Last night we had a discussion over dinner about Hubbles constant and the expansion of the universe.

Meloncoley2 Wed 12-Oct-16 13:31:27

My DD has always found Maths difficult. Teachers have said she can do it but lacks confidence, whereas she would say she couldn't do it and grew increasingly miserable about it. It turns out she has poor working memory and processing difficulties, so now if she is given plenty of time she has more chance of success. When she was with whizzy kids with brilliant mental arithmetic skills she sank in confidence, but things are better now. We nailed tables by singing along to CDs in the car! Otherwise I found it better to talk to school about concerns and let them support, rather than us being miserable doing extra maths at home.

TeenAndTween Wed 12-Oct-16 13:31:50

Is he set for maths yet?

My DD2, also y7, said today (for the first time ever), that she likes maths. She is finally in a class where she is one of the better ones rather than struggling near the bottom. It is giving her confidence, and maths is a lot about confidence. (I suspect she would add 6+4 on her fingers and not just 'know' the answer).

If you remove the 'number work', how is he with other bits?
e.g. This term DD2 has reviewed place value, rounding, pictograms - you don't need to know times tables for any of them. Similarly you don't need times tables to know stuff about triangles, or to plot graphs.

With the number work, can he do methods if you do the times tables? e.g. Does he have a method of long multiplication he can apply, similarly adding up?

Although it is sacrilege, I'd be tempted to leave times tables and focus on other areas, then return to times tables later when confidence elsewhere has increased. And definitely contact maths teacher - much better if you can be working on similar topics I would think.

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Wed 12-Oct-16 13:48:32

Can you afford a weekly tutor, even for six months? It could make a huge difference between passing and failing that GCSE if he can get at least nearly on track now.

MrsRobot Wed 12-Oct-16 17:39:23

Thanks for all your responses and suggestions.

I think I'll give the school a ring tomorrow and try to get in touch with Ms Maths.

pip grin at you doing maths on the loo. But I get what you mean about making it more fun, we've been making up sums where the answer is always 5, and high 5ing when he or I says the answer is 'high 5' It's silly but we both enjoy it.

teen He's much better at the non number work stuff.

snork Unfortunately, a tutor is really not an option at the moment, but could be in a couple of years time, so I'll have to help him myself for now.

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