COAH Community

Help with 3rd grade math

My daughter is in 3rd grade at age 10. She has always struggled with math and at the beginning she struggled with reading, so progress through the grades has been slow. I, for the life of me, can’t seem to get her to understand the basic math rules, and her curriculum is not helping at all. She is doing Abeka video school. Would any of you care to recommend a different curriculum or have suggestions on how I can handle this? I have been trying for years, my husband tries to tutor her, but there is never any progress.


We use Math You See and my boys really enjoy the lessons. Mr. Demme does a great job describing each topic.

Yes, Math U See has helped our family tremendously. You can call Demme Learning and they will help guide you and are excellent with struggling kiddos.

I too was going to suggest Math-U-See. Great company and they will help her get a solid foundation for math. The blocks really make concepts more concrete for kids–numbers are very abstract without that solid foundation of number-sense. It’s also possible she has dyscalculia. Here’s an interesting video describing what dyscalculia is, on Ronit Bird’s website.

I know it can be discouraging for both mom and child when there are significant struggles like this. I would encourage you to make sure you include something she really enjoys or is gifted at in her regular school schedule if at all possible. Maybe she likes singing or dancing or art or taking care of animals or helping others or building things or hearing history stories–try to find a way for her to shine and explore an interest that doesn’t highlight her struggle. Hang in there!

Thank you all! I will look into that!

Hello! We have been using Singapore Maths. We love the programme. This is their site:
Starting with concrete examples to present concepts (hands-on) really helps.
I don’t know if your daughter has any particular reason for not understanding. If this is the case, I can’t help. What I do know, is that most children need an abnormal amount of practice, patience, and time.
With my daughter, we would do Primary Maths but then we also used the Kumon books for drilling and we would practice mental maths on a daily basis.
I’ll give you an example: We do go to school, and the teacher introduced times tables towards January of Year two. At the rhythm of one per week, the times tables were done by the end of the school year. Our teacher drilled everyone daily. They (teacher and class) went over them from the beginning from September of Year 3, again reviewing them one per week, and then the teacher kept asking them on a daily basis up to the end of the school year! That is 18 months straight just going over times tables! And I would also have my daughter repeat them to me. I am sure of this because, with schools closed because of coronavirus and online learning, I heard the teacher start daily math sessions in this way. Every single day. If some children need reviewing in Year 3, it will have taken two years, for some kids, to learn their times tables. Some things take time.
Do encourage, and start from something easier, to build confidence. This is what I did with problem solving- it’s what we were stuck on- and it really helped.
At times things just take time.

Hi!! Your daughter sounds exactly like my daughter. She should be going into 6th grade and is still doing second grade math!! I have used Right Start Math with her for the past couple of years. I like it because there are so many manipulatives that it becomes really concrete in their heads. They can figure out the problem by using manipulatives such as a balance scale and see that 5+2=7. There are a ton of games and math became fun for her. I can also easily stop in the middle of a lesson if she is overwhelmed or there are time restraints. The downside is the manipulatives are very expensive, but it is a one time purchase.

I really like to recommend Math U See especially for struggling math students. It is more hands on, and make sure that kids understand one concept before introducing a new one. A lot of the math programs are spiral in nature, so they do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It works well for some students, but for others they have a hard time moving on to something new when they never really got good at the first thing. So it may be a good thing to look into :slight_smile: