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    #212605 - 03/13/15 02:48 PM Math - hates it but needs it
    greenlotus Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 582
    DD9 started AOPS pre algebra this year at an after school class. Great grades on first few tests then deliberately bombed next thinking she wouldn't have to go anymore. Instead, she was put in 5th grade class and is NOT happy. Indeed, it is much too easy but my take is she finishes it out until end of semester because I don't want her to get the message if she doesn't like something she doesn't have to do it. It is miserable for ME because I have to drag her to class every week. She claims that she despises math. The school director thinks her age, length of class (1 1/2 hours) and ADHD all combined to make the pre algebra class too much for her.
    What might be some alternatives? I guess I am asking do we pull her out and try something else? School math is dreadfully easy for her as well thus, the after school class.
    PS - just so you know, we have made many changes for the better for her so we aren't being mean about this!! laugh Also, she reads "Life of Fred" for fun at night plus one time claimed she liked the new math class because it had games instead of all lectures.


    Edited by greenlotus (03/13/15 02:49 PM)

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    #212616 - 03/13/15 03:33 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    Quantum2003 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1432
    I may be in the minority and I apologize ahead of time for being judgmental but I am actually horrified that a 9 year-old is required to sit for 1 1/2 hours after school to work on pre-algebra or 5th grade math when she has clearly indicated that she doesn't want to go. If your DD progressing in math is so crucial to you, then at least give her things to do that she doesn't hate. There are many interesting books about math and mathematicians if she reads well so perhaps shift gears in that direction. It is also less horrifying (at least to me) if you are forcing her to do a 1 1/2 hour class in the summer when she hasn't already had a full day of school.

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    #212619 - 03/13/15 04:09 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    Tinker Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/10/14
    Posts: 8
    It seems that your daughter is aware that the math class is far more important to you than it is to her. Perhaps as Quantum suggested, you should find something else for her to do. You don't have to fold completely if you are worried about giving the wrong message, but you really should give her a choice so that her activities will be important to her.

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    #212621 - 03/13/15 04:47 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    brilliantcp Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/04/12
    Posts: 76
    Yes, I too would worry about giving the wrong message... about trying hard things and perseverance. The decision to take the class is in the past and it is the current decision to persevere or opt out that must be dealt with IMO. The "changes for the better" that you mention hopefully include helping her learn coping skills for future situations that are similar. Clearly the work itself is not too hard given the great tests at the beginning. Can she take a 15 minute recess in the middle of the 1.5 hours? Run around at the park before class? Other parents of children with ADHD may have better suggestions. I'd approach this like any other unpopular task that must be done. Lots of different methods are used by parents on this site and some of my favorites include explaining the rationale for taking the class, the simple "this is the way it is" (which I suspect is similar to the dragging you mention) and bribery. Special snacks to take along or at pickup time for the ride home were quite popular when DD was that age. Money also works if your child is saving for something or just into money.

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    #212625 - 03/13/15 05:30 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    What is the reason for taking the class, considering that you've successfully advocated for a grade skip for your dd and she's doing well in math at school? Is it something you would have had her do before finding out she was gifted?

    I think it's really important to learn the lesson of sticking with things that we commit to in life, but this sounds more like a situation where *you* made the decision to commit to the class, not your dd. I also think it's important to offer classes like this as after-schooling when our children either *request* them or when our kids need help to fill in gaps or to keep up - but it doesn't sound like any of these situations apply here. If your dd is reading "Life of Fred" for fun - go with it, let that be her "extra". And if she doesn't want to do any kind of extra math after school, I'd suggest letting her not do any - unless there's a really compelling reason to make her study math after school.

    If she does need to make up some gaps - I'd consider having her tutored or study math in the summer. Expecting a child to study after school when it's something they haven't bought into, aren't passionately interested, and don't want to do, is tough - on both the child and the parent! I'd give both of you a break, and suggest if you want her to be after schooling for the sake of enrichment, find a subject or program she's interested in. Or find a new sport to try. Once *she's* chosen the program then you can require her to stick with it until it's over.

    polarbear

    ps - I may not be in the majority on this, but if your dd *isn't* behind in math, and doesn't want to study it outside of school, I think it's ok to just let it be what it is in school for now - easy. When she hits middle school she'll have a chance to accelerate. She might not be as far ahead at that point in time if you do no after-schooling vs having her sit through a class in pre-algebra each week, but (jmo), that's ok. It's not going to be the end of the world for her if she's not multi-grade accelerated in math.


    Edited by polarbear (03/13/15 05:31 PM)

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    #212627 - 03/13/15 05:31 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    Whose choice was it to enroll?
    When it's my choice, I let them quit. When it's theirs, they have to attend through the end of the enrollment period.

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    #212631 - 03/13/15 06:16 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    Tallulah Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/25/10
    Posts: 480
    I disagree. I think that it's not a good thing to let kids just coast. They need to learn how to deal with difficult things and how to try and fail. Those are lessons which will be very useful in life. Of course a nine year old isn't going to volunteer to do something difficult, or enjoy it, especially if she's never been asked to before.


    Edited by Tallulah (03/13/15 06:17 PM)

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    #212632 - 03/13/15 06:28 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    syoblrig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/18/11
    Posts: 329
    Is this the AOPS online pre-algebra class? Personally, I don't love that format for a 9-year-old. They have to type quickly to be part of the "conversation," and the math is hard. When my son did that class in 5th grade, his teacher, a former high school math teacher, couldn't even answer one of the challenge problems! Of course it's designed to be challenging but if my son wanted to take the class. I can't imagine how it would have gone if I would have insisted he take it.

    My concern is that forcing her to stick with this class will make her hate math.

    I suggest you find something else where she can work to her level. How about IXL, Kahn, Thinkwell, CTY, BYU online, or any of the numerous other online math classes. AOPS is extremely well regarded, especially for gifted kids, but it's not for every gifted kid.

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    #212633 - 03/13/15 06:31 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: greenlotus]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    In my opinion, the try-and-fail lesson works best on a topic of the kid's choosing: riding a bike, solving a puzzle, winning a chess match. The lesson in perseverance can then be applied to required academics, but is really hard to first learn when the kid isn't trying all out - which they won't be if they don't care whether they succeed or not.

    My style, yours may vary.

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    #212634 - 03/13/15 07:03 PM Re: Math - hates it but needs it [Re: ljoy]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: ljoy
    Whose choice was it to enroll?
    When it's my choice, I let them quit. When it's theirs, they have to attend through the end of the enrollment period.


    Similar here.

    Our choice-- you stick it out until we owe more money or re-up for enrollment.

    Hers: Stick it out until the agreed-upon break point.

    (This assumes that the situation is one which poses no risks to health, well-being, or anything like that-- THOSE, immediately walking away is always on the table).
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