This evening, part of my task was to get the Monster’s homework done.
I don’t know how much the Monster really gets the basic concepts of math in the abstract. He does, certainly, recognize numbers and can read out a ‘math sentence’ (what most of us recognize as an equation) to the point where he’s required to fill in the answer. But he’s not making the mental jump to do the problems in his head.
I’m not absolutely sure this is a major problem, since Common Core seems to want them to show work, so as far as I’m concerned, that means manipulatives are okay. (His teacher’s aware of the fact that he’s using them, so that’s all well and good, and probably is enough ‘showing the work’ as is required.) But this means that we’re doing the homework by sitting there and having him count out the blocks on both sides of the equation.
Tonight’s homework involved subtraction, which is harder than addition. Usually, I put together a couple of sticks and he can count them, then we snap them together… but there’s the issue of how to illustrate the concept to him.
Those of you with NT children are going, ‘Oh, c’mon. This is easy.’ Yeah… not when he still has trouble with basic addition.
So what I ended up doing was building the whole stick out, and having him count out and snap off the number to be removed, and trying to correlate it at each step with what was written on the page. I don’t know that it’s really sinking in, but… we got through it, he did his homework, and we’ll see how his grades fare when the next progress report comes home.