I find it highly ironic that I’ve been hired, once again, to tutor a public schooled child. Also ironic is that it is, again, for math. A subject I very much hated as a young child.
This time I am glad that it is for the elementary years and not pre-university level math. Because of this factor and none other, I’ve lowered the rate. I won’t be spending many evenings doing math!
Although I am using this opportunity to re-examine math curriculum. We are using Math-U-See, and it is working great. My kids are doing well and they really like this system. And yet I now question using it for a child (who is a developmentally delayed 13 year old boy) who I will only ‘have’ one day per week. Now, I sent home Calculadder drills and explained to the father that I want him to do one sheet per day for no more than 2 minutes. I suspect that this will be done, as I know the parent well.
I showed the boy the blocks, and almost immediately he ‘took’ to the manipulative. I examined the specialists report.
He has certain math skills. I think the very act of living gives all of us certain math skills. For example, he never gets a question of “less than/greater than” wrong. But as the report said, “explain this by using the ‘dessert’ analogy.” Well, yes, any child is an expert at knowing which bowl of dessert has more!
But the problem lies in that he uses his fingers for addition above +1.
When I looked at the previous tutors work and the folder of items the parents showed me, the previous specialists had the child working ‘all over’ the range of math. Fractions, counting money, telling time, you name it!
I have explained several times to the parents that I’m not going to do that. But I wonder how they will respond when they realize that I am not going to do that! What will they think when their 14 year old child takes home worksheets with only simply arithmetic!
Anyways, I am going to purchase a different curriculum. At the least, it will give me another perspective on teaching math. At the most, perhaps it will benefit my children just as much. But like Math-U-See, it handles only one thing at a time, addition, then subtraction, then …
But unlike Math-U-See, the entire K – 8 curriculum costs the same as 1 year of MUS!