Homeschool

Got a Child Who Hates Math?

Jill and Her 16-Year-Old Daughter (Who Hates Math) Loved Learn Math Fast!

I have a daughter who really dislikes math. She didn’t mind math as a young child when 1+1=2 made sense, but as she got older and the figures got increasingly confusing and complicated to her, it was the one subject she dreaded. Give her grammar, spelling, and history and she’s fine – but not math, please not math.

I’m a believer in making sure my children are comprehending the schoolwork that they are doing. I don’t believe in just having them memorize facts for a test, but I want them to logically grasp what they are learning to the best of their ability. I allowed my daughter to move through math slowly so that she was truly understanding it and not getting so overwhelmed by doing so many pages in one day. Over the past several years I’ve tried a couple different math curricula and had finally decided on one that she seemed to do best with. I had thought I was settled on the math she would do throughout high school until I heard about and had the opportunity to review the Learn Math Fast System.

Learn Math Fast System is written by JK Mergens–who watched her own son struggle with math. She decided to teach him math in her own way and in an easier language that he understood. Her son did so well with this system of learning math that he actually excelled, enrolled in college math at age 16, and became a math tutor! Today he is a successful engineer, and Mrs. Mergens was encouraged by her husband to write a whole series of math books to help other students excel in math as well. I am so glad she did because it has been just what my daughter needs to help her learn math in a way she understands and that will prepare her for life!

Learn Math Fast System isn’t just for those that dislike math like my daughter, but it also works well for those with learning disabilities, those that struggle with math, or those that would like to cover several years of math in a short time. When I heard that my daughter could do Algebra I & II as well as Geometry all in 2 years, I immediately agreed to give it a shot. Only two more years of math, and then we could focus on other things like finances and economics before she graduated? Yes, please!

All seven math books are written for grades 1-12. If you start the books in first grade, however, you will need supplemental math as these books do not cover all the math basics for the younger grades. If you use these books for older grades, supplemental math is not necessary as they will have had that math foundation in the younger grades.

To get started, you can give your child a placement test  on the Learn Math Fast website to find out where to begin. We received all 7 books, so we started in book 1 but skipped several of the beginning, very simple math lessons. They were truly unnecessarily simple for her, so we started at a spot we felt was a good place of review.

The lessons are written to explain math in a way that makes sense! By working through these lessons, we have been able to find areas that we need to stop and focus on, make sure she has mastered the concept, and then move through the other lessons until we find another area we need to focus on. The books are written in a way that helps you find those trouble areas and master them. We have been very pleased with the lessons because they are simple yet thorough and are written in an easy-to-understand manner so that you and your child can focus on actually doing the math problems and not build up frustration over trying to just understand the lessons and decipher the instructions. This is true learning!

Katie and Her 7th Grade Son Found Success with Learn Math Fast!

When my son showed an early interest in literacy, I decided to jump-start his formal homeschooling. He was an only child and I was a former first grade teacher, so having an early reader on my hands was a dream come true! We spent our days reading books, discussing characters, identifying initial sounds of objects all around us, singing songs, and listening to books on CDs. My husband still jokingly complains about the little notecards I used to label EVERYTHING in our house with environmental print. The card labeled “ceiling fan” remained in place for seven years and was still there the day we moved out of that house. My son was a fluent reader by age four, and it felt like a waste of time to not start him early with a “real” kindergarten curriculum. So, I did.

But first I needed to purchase the right curriculum.  With my teaching background, I felt confident enough to piece together an eclectic selection for my little guy. I spent hours on end researching websites, ordering samples, asking questions on forums, and drilling fellow homeschoolers before I landed on just the right choice for each subject. Or so I thought.

I made purchases from several popular homeschool curriculum providers. I was so proud to even save a few dollars by finding some of what I wanted on eBay.  The excitement to officially begin this journey mounted with each box that appeared on our doorstep {on the other hand, my husband’s reaction to the plethora of purchases would not be called excitement}, and I could barely restrain myself from starting earlier than the day I had long ago circled on my calendar!

That first school year was filled with much joy and loads of fun. It seemed that my well-thought-out plans and curriculum choices were all spot-on, and I had visions of spending the next 12 years in perfect homeschooling harmony.

Ha.

Fast forward a couple of years, and you’ll find me pulling my hair out and crying myself to sleep. I had made two very big mistakes with my seemingly-perfect plans.  One, I had made the uber-ridiculous assumption that just because my four-year-old could read fluently, he would be naturally brilliant in ALL areas. Oh, how wrong that was! He could read like a sixth grader at age four, but his little, chubby hands could not hold a pencil properly, so writing was downright painful for him. And he could not spell to save his life. He could take a word apart to read it like a wonder, but asking him to put sounds together to create {spell} a word was as painful for his brain as writing was for his hands. But the biggest challenge was with math. He truly struggled with math. This makes my second mistake even worse. The math curriculum I chose was all wrong. Oh, he did fine with the first couple of math concepts. He could count, sort, and add as the curriculum guided him to do.  My little guy loved the math curriculum’s colored blocks so much that he played with them in his free time. But as soon as the colored blocks were supposed to translate to actual math equations, something became fuzzy {or perhaps just unfun}, and he shut down.

This curriculum caused a lot of arguments. He and I argued every day when it was time for math. My husband and I argued over the fact that our only son wasn’t doing well in all subjects. I argued with myself about abandoning an expensive curriculum. And I argued with the facts that proved that my son was in fact NOT gifted in all subjects. And I argued with this curriculum. I tried for multiple years to force it to work for my son.

The day I relented and decided to try something different was a very freeing experience. And not only did I decide to give a different curriculum a chance, I actually decided to put my son back a year in math. The day my son was reading 8th grade books, doing third grade science/social studies/history, and working on second grade math was a day I never thought I’d see, let alone actually plan and teach! After that initial math selection, we tried three more. If the first one was too abstract, the second one was too boring, the third one was too busy and the fourth one was too repetitive. They all taught math but not in a manner that worked for my son. I gave them all ample time to work and kept starting over to build a solid foundation. Every year we got more and more behind. One year we doubled up so that the subject he hated the most was the one that he spent twice as long on as any other subject. Though I had wised up enough to know we needed to pay special attention to our math selection, after six years of homeschooling, I still struggled to find the right math curriculum for my son.

Until we discovered the Learn Math Fast System!

The Learn Math Fast System is a unique curriculum in many ways. First there is never any mention of grade levels or targeted ages. Ever. The complete system includes only seven books, but those seven books cover most of the content that is traditionally covered in grades one through twelve. Every book even looks the same and is presented with a simple cover that portrays very little about the level contained within. So when I handed my 10-year-old sixth grader the first volume, he had nothing to scoff at. There wasn’t a babyish cover that screamed “You’re 10 and still working at third grade math!” Nor was there a scattering of complicated formulas on the cover to instantly overwhelm him and affect his opinion of the book.

Second, the format of each book is basic, clean, and to-the-point. Black print on white pages laid out in a simple manner. It begins with a brief explanation of how to use the system and then launches right into chapter one. Each chapter is presented in a self-directing narrative form with examples embedded in the text. The font is simple, large, and uncluttered. It makes for easy reading and quick understanding.  There is no separate teacher’s manual because ALL of the teaching is right there for the student {and parent} to work through.

Third, the philosophy is different than any of the other math curriculum we tried. The entire goal is for kids to learn math fast, but more importantly, to learn how to do pertinent math easily and with confidence. There is no wasted time on days of the week, twelve sided shapes, or puzzles. All time, energy, and effort are spent on learning important and necessary math. The math that kids need to graduate high school. The math they need to get into college. The math they need for life.

Last, the approach is simple. Because the instruction is so direct and thorough, there is no need to cycle and be repetitive. Once your child masters chapter one, he/she is ready for chapter two and so on and so forth. There is no need to ever revisit previous chapters because whatever is learned in the previous chapter is instantly built upon and pertinently used in the next chapter. This foundational approach equates to teaching math not for a test, but for life.

More About Learn Math Fast

Learn Math Fast isn’t only great for kids who don’t love math or who don’t “get” math. It’s also great for kids with learning difficulties or special needs–like kids with autism and dyslexia. (It is even recommended by a Dyslexia Specialist.) We know there’s no single curriculum that’s perfect for every child, but Learn Math Fast is definitely a great curriculum to try if you have a child who’s behind on math and needs to catch up.

If you’re interested in doing the Learn Math Fast placement test, click HERE.

If you’d like to take a look at the available curriculum in order to make a purchase, click HERE. Use the code HIPMOM to get 10% off your order from now until May 1, 2018!

If you want to look at the freebies and extra information that’s available to you, click HERE.

Or keep reading if you’d like to enter for a chance to win a complete set of Learn Math Fast curriculum for your homeschool!

For a chance to win a complete set of Learn Math Fast Books (a $289 value!) enter the giveaway below!

 

Learn Math Fast Complete Set

About the author

Wendy

Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children. Hannah, age 23, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 21, was the second homeschool graduate. Mary Grace, age 15, is the remaining homeschool student. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

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