Thursday, May 12, 2016

Teaching Math When You Can't Put Pen to Paper

My sweet Rett Girl is 11 years old.  She is one super smart cookie!  She is in a 4th grade general education curriculum and ROCKS it!  Several years ago we made the decision to homeschool and haven't looked back since. 

Annie LOVES science and history.  We've been able to find some really great science lessons that hold her attention and of course she LOVES the experiments.  History is fun because she's a reader and will get really interested in all of the stories from the past.  These subjects seem to be the easiest for her because they're FUN!

Reading and writing are a bit more difficult, we need to be having a good day and have a good chunk of time set aside in order to work on reading comprehension or writing short stories.  Thankfully we have Rett University to help us out with these two challenging subjects.  The resources there have helped us tremendously and have really shown me what Annie is capable of.  

Math is a subject where Annie and I both fall VERY short.  Annie is not a fan of math, and I have scoured the Internet up and down trying to find a way to teach, and do math with someone who is unable to put pencil to paper.  This is the challenge, when you can't write down your steps upper level math becomes very difficult.  Truth be told we got so frustrated that we actually took some time off of the subject.  

Then one day as I was scrolling through Facebook I saw an ad for a DVD with simple stories and animation to teach kids their upper times tables.  And not only teach them but this DVD has been shown to teach kids in less than a week!  What?  Of course I had to buy it and try it out for myself!

I ended up purchasing the download so I could get the videos same day. That afternoon Annie and I started working on math again!  Annie is VERY attracted to animation so the videos caught her attention right away.  The videos were very engaging for her and were pretty short so we started watching them daily for about a week.  There were printables as well that were very easy to modify. I'm happy to say that Annie has done great with the videos and it's been a huge relief for me to find something that could help her continue with her math curriculum.

The method that Times Tales use is simply stories that provide students with a "memory peg" allowing them to quickly recall facts.  The stories aren't very exciting and they're only a couple sentences long but after each story, the video shows how it translates into math problems. 
During the beginning of the DVD, you learn the characters, each of which symbolizes a number. The characters (numbers) are used in the stories (math problems).  It's abstract and seems a little funny at first when you watch the DVD's but if your kiddo is a visual learner it may be worth a look!  

You can check out a sneak peek HERE.

If your interested in purchasing Times Tales, Rett Girl has set up an affiliate program with them. Use THIS LINK and 30% of your purchase price will go to Girl Power 2 Cure to further our mission.  Check it out and let us know what you think!  

If you have a great product or idea for teaching math or ANY subject to kids with Rett Syndrome or complex needs please share with us in the comments!  

Happy Learning!
Bridget MacDonald  

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