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Old 11-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
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2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

We do not homeschool - we've always talked about it, but just haven't taken the plunge yet.

However, I know that I can come here for great advice.

We have a 2nd grade boy who has always done great in school. We just had parent teacher conferences last night. He's not doing the best. In a school system the size that we are in I can see him just sliding by and that worries me when I know that he can do better than he is doing.

Aside from behavioral things (not sitting still and paying attention) he was not doing well in math. He also was just at grade level for reading, which surprised me as we stress reading big time in our house and he has always been in the top of his class for this.

I do believe part of it is my fault - I need to be getting educational items for him to do here at home, but on the flip side I really want him to have time to play and be a boy.

He is not in any extra curricular activities except for church activities, so pulling him out until he is doing better in school is not really an option.

So here's where I need help. I would like to get him better at his math drills. That I know we can accomplish. I was wondering does anyone have a fave math drill book or set of cards I can get from Amazon?

As for reading, I'm trying to find a good set of books for him. He is fidgety and gets sidetracked, so they can't be huge novels. He is just finishing captain underpants - I will see how well he retained what he read when he is done. I find if they are too long of books he doesn't comprehend the whole story and can not remember it well yet.

Also, I am looking into herbal remedies for concentration. Anyone have any experience or luck with these things. My child is far from being ADHD or ADD, but just like many children (especially boys) struggles with concentration daily.

Thank you all for your insight.

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

What about xtramath.org? It's free. I've seen spectacular gains with my second graders at school. Parents can sign up under a parent account.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

I use sumdog.com for math fact practice. For reading I really like Reading Eggs.com (it's a pay site though). They have a learn to read and a read to learn game sites.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

We homeschool and use a math curriculum called Rightstart, it puts more emphasis on games than worksheets to help children learn. You can buy just the card game book and the cards that go with it here or try to find them used.

My 2nd grader and kindergartener both love the math games, even my 4 year old likes to play along and he has picked up a lot. I love them because I can see how much they do help with remembering math facts.

I hope this helps!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

We use aleks.com for math and really like it. They have quick, fun games. My son enjoys it. It may not work for you, but thought I'd throw it out there

Reading- it needs to be fun for boys. Go to the library, let him get books that interest him, and let him read for fun. He's got to love reading to really want to do better. Too many dull school books and he'll zone out. Also, get a couple of books on tape/CD from the library and play them in the car as you drive. The kids LOVE it, and hearing the story is great for building their love of reading.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #6
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

thanks for the information - I've already started him on xtramath and he seems to like it. I'll have to check out the other math sites.
It's not really rewarding to him, but very repetitive - which is what he needs.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: 2nd grader needs help with math facts and more

My 2nd grade dd has trouble sitting still and memorizing facts. She understand the math *conceptually* and can do some pretty in depth algebraic thinking, but it always takes her a second to remember that 6+3=9, kwim. She is a FAR right-brained thinker. Most school and curricula teach in a left-brained way. I'd look into the characteristics of each and see where your son fits. It might help you understand his strengths and weaknesses and help him in a way that suits his learning style. Flash cards and drill would not help my dd at all, she needs a tactile and visual approach to memorizing. Same with spelling. Hope that helps a little.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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http://www.rainbowresource.com/produ...s+Only)/013150 might be helpful. If is seems like he needs busy time, finding things that are more tactile might help. School is so much sit and drill and practice facts without enough practical application or problem solving. I don't think kids are meant to sit silently for hours at a time. Recess is down to 15 minutes a day at some schools.
If you haven't already, I might take a look at the reading measure they use. Many of the schools are going to reading fluency (entirely based on how many words per minute you read) as their measure of reading. Even a group achievement test can really oversimplify the process and leaves out many things that we know make good readers. Sorry for the rant- I'm an ex- school psychologist and had to get out because I couldn't stand the testing process and feel like education (mainly the assessment part) is headed a million miles an hour in the wrong direction.
If there are ways you can connect reading to a family activity, like reading a book about bears then seeing bears at the zoo and then drawing pictures of bears or something like that, it helps get kids engaged. Being read to really helps listening and reading comprehension, and that can be done while he plays if that's what you decide to do. It sounds like you are doing some great reading at home, so definitely keep that up. I like your idea of finding a series to get him interested, too. Sometimes a school or public librarian might have some ideas based on past books he's liked.
There are some things that are more natural learning, like math facts songs, math games, things like that that could be used at home too. Anything that helps keep it fun and sparks his interest! Just my two cents!!
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