I sat down with her and said "look, if you subtract something you have to actually write it on both sides of the equation, if you multiply, here's how you "show it", etc. I have a feeling this was covered in the previous course and she just had no idea. It certainly wasn't in any of the videos. Combine that with the fact that she hates writing, and everything was worksheets up to this point (as opposed to copying out of a textbook into a notebook) and I can see why she was finding X in her head. I'm a bit concerned about the amount of material that she is missing from previous courses, but one of the teachers made a comment that this is largely a repeat because of the "spiraling". So probably random things like this will come up again--like not knowing how to write things the proper way, because it's assumed the child has been exposed to it before. So far she says everything is easy. If she was getting agitated I'd be more concerned. I'm open to move her down a level though...we'll see how she's doing on the tests.