Math For Children With Learning Differences
My youngest son and I spend a lot of time working on reading skills.
At 12, he is profoundly dyslexic and only reading comfortably at about a second grade reading level.
His language arts lessons are tough, to be sure, but the truth is, his ability to read and recognize letters, words and numbers effects far more than our phonics learning for the day.
One of the main subjects that has become increasingly difficult for him, as he has gotten older, is math.
Please know, although I have been compensated for my time in writing this post, I only share products that have been helpful for my family, in the hopes they may work for yours as well!
You’d think it wouldn’t matter as much with math. As long as he can read and write numbers he should be fine, right?
I used to think so, but now I know better.
Although my son is actually quite good with math concepts, execution is becoming more and more of a struggle. Part of it is that he still reverses numbers. Part of it is that he still needs me to read him the instructions and the word problems. Part of it is that the more he struggles, the less confidence he has in his own mathematical ability.
In considering how best to move him into higher level math, I went to the sources I trust most – other moms with unique kiddos like mine. For years, I have read what Marianne at Homeschooling with Dyslexia, and Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers have written about Teaching Textbooks. So, when it came to selecting our math curriculum for this year, I decided it was time to investigate a bit more.
Honestly, I wish I had listened to them sooner!
Math For Children With Learning Differences
Teaching Textbooks is an online, interactive program that has changed the way we do math around here.
Here are some of the features of the program:
All lessons are read aloud. (seriously – the entire lesson, even the numbers!)
The teaching is interactive with immediate feedback. If a problem is missed, my child can try what he missed again, or if needed, watch the program solve it for him.
Easy online access.
I can check progress on my own parent page and my boys complete their lessons on the computer or on our iPad.
A large family plan.
Although I only have my two, I know many of you homeschool multiple kiddos at multiple levels. Teaching Textbooks offers discounted family plans for 4-8 children.
The Benefits Of Teaching Textbooks For Children With Learning Differences
Now that you have a brief introduction to the program, let me get to the good stuff – how it actually works in real life with children that have learning differences.
This is, by far, the greatest benefit we have enjoyed with Teaching Textbooks. My youngest can complete math on his own – something that at 12, is a new and welcome change (for both of us!).
Every aspect of the program is read aloud to the learner. Every single thing. This has made a significant difference in my son’s ability and his willingness to complete his math lessons.
A multi-sensory approach to learning is critical for children with differences. Seeing, hearing and touching the screen/keyboard makes the learning not only multi-sensory, but immersive for the learner.
It works well for my youngest, to be sure, but I am also seeing the effects of this in how my oldest son is learning. At 15, he has dyscalculia in addition to being on the autism spectrum. Math has just always been a struggle.
With Teaching Textbooks, both of my boys are able to experience math in ways that make sense for their learning styles and needs.
I LOVE that Teaching Textbooks takes a spiral learning approach. This means that previously taught concepts are reviewed periodically, throughout the entire program.
Retention is something both of my children have struggled with for years. In math, this has often led to frustration and avoidance. If they couldn’t remember what they learned a few months ago, they couldn’t understand the new concept being layered in. With Teaching Textbooks, the program gently and frequently reviews what they’ve learned and allows them to continue to move forward.
My youngest has never been so confident in math. Because he can do it on his own and not “feel like a baby with my mom having to read me everything” he is so much more engaged, excited and ultimately, making progress in his learning.
I have been so impressed with Teaching Textbooks, I shared a quick picture on Instagram last month for any moms trying to decide on curriculum for the new year.
Again, I found myself regretting my decision to wait so long. It seems I am not the only one loving the Teaching Textbooks approach! Here are just a few of the unsolicited comments from other moms, just like me.
“So glad we switched to TT. It was a game-changer for my daughter (and myself!). She went from cringing to cruising through her work.”
“Right? We started this year. Soooooo awesome.”
“The best homeschooling curriculum decision I made for all of my boys. I, too, kicked myself for listening to negative comments more than the positive ones and I waited until we were all stressed out before buying it. So lame.”
“We use it, this will be our 2nd year and it has been an absolute game changer for my two aspie/adhd boys! I am so happy you are finding success also.”
Teaching Textbooks For Free
Good news! Teaching Textbooks offers a 15 lesson free trial! Take a peek.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.