Please Help...Math Input Needed

Can anyone help with a boy who is in 3rd grade yet still can’t tell me off the top of his head what 7+7 equals??? When I attempt skip counting, he gets tears in his eyes and becomes overwhelmed. We’ve used Singapore math since K. He also cannot really grasp which operation to use with word problems either. He completely shuts down.

It sounds like your son may need a different way of doing math. Have you looked at Math U See?

It uses blocks to teach addition. So for example the seven block is tan color. The eight block is brown color. Each block 1-10 has its own color. The children quickly learn the number block and what color it is and then they learn to put blocks together. Add one tan block (7) to one yellow block (4) that equals 11.
It is a great way to learn math for a child who learns better with manipulative’s.

My boys have both learned math using Math U See. I think it is a great program. If you go to their website you can see how it works.

We use MUS and having the repetition and hands on has helped tremendously. My 8 yo can do tons of math problems in a way I mever could. Go back to basics with him and nail it down.

I have found huge success with Horizons Math. It is Spiral method (meaning they continually review topics they learned weeks/months ago so nothing is mastered and then forgotten). I only purchase the student workbooks and teacher guide (the worksheet masters are in the back of the teacher guide) and I skip buying the manipulative kit as I can make most of what is needed (flash cards etc.). You would want to start a grade or so younger than where he should be to go back and catch up most likely, but it has been a great program for us and often you can buy it resale on for cheaper. I hope this helps! I have a 2nd grader and Kindergartener using it (2nd grader is in her 3rd year using it). It moves quickly, so definitely go back in age/grade level and start lower to begin with and go at your own pace :slight_smile: we do!

1 Like is great for learning math facts. And it’s free!!
Hope this helps!


Does your son like to color and do art? If so I would look into Waldorf math curriculum. They do a lot of artsy journals for math facts / lessons. I found info on Pinterest regarding Waldorf math stuff that I sometimes do with kids when they are having troubles with math concepts.

We started using Christian Light Publications math this year. We LOVE it. My daughter is in 2nd grade. I’m not sure if they do this in 3rd, but for 2nd, they do a “speed drill” each day for 2 minutes and it helps with memorizing facts. I know lots of people had great success with MUS but my daughter hated it. :frowning: When she is struggling with facts, I usually let her practice on xtramath or print off some speed drill pages, do flash cards, etc. For skip counting, my favorite tool EVER is my Multiplication Motivation CD. I used those songs when I was a kid to learn skip counting and although they sound a bit dated, they WORK!


My questions would be, “can he figure it out without help? And how does he handle larger equations like 374+62?” My daughter hated memorizing math facts. She’s now in sixth grade and occasionally counts on her fingers while working on Pre-algebra. I’m Sure it takes her longer to do worksheets but since we continue to do flash cards she’s getting faster. If it’s math concepts rather than the memorization then you might want to change curriculum but if it is the memorization then just keep working on it. Also we like using “math wrap-ups” where you wrap string to connect questions and answers.

I tried Math U See and Touch Math to help with 2nd grade math. My son liked MUS, BUT was not knowing addition and subtraction facts. He is in 3rd grade this year and doing 2nd grade math again to get the addition facts. No need to go to multiplication I figured. I would try Rod and Staff math 2. It is VERY repetitive. It has worked well with my special needs child. But would work for anyone who don’t have addition and subtraction facts down. Only get SM not TM. I think there is a CD with music to help with addition facts(audio memory addition) . My child has Childhood Apraxia of Speech so fast songs don’t work for him because he is so limited with his speech. Good luck!

I second for some extra practice. We do our usual math and my boys also do the xtramath online. I would also suggest going down a grade or two and see if that helps. We use Saxon math and love it. It’s spiral, so it has I think like 20% new concept, 80% review each lesson. It really drills things home, so nothing is forgotten.

My 1st grader was having the same problem with not being able to get his addition facts down. We were using MUS and even though he is a hands on learner it did not work for him. We have been using Christian Light Education for the last two weeks and he loves it! The speed drills at the end of each chapter are his favorite and he is actually retaining the facts.

My daughter was having a hard time with her math facts. Nothing new I tried really helped but then on a whim I downloaded some free math apps on my phone and she ended up LOVING the games! Her favorite is Math Bingo. (Its free) You can choose + , -, x, or / and you can chose easy, medium, or hard. (Easy is the basic like 4+6) Anyhow, she really likes to play it and she now has all of her facts memorized! She even likes doing flash cards on my phone because I think it just feels funner and cooler to do it on mom’s phone versus with boring cards!

I also switched form teaching her Envision Math to doing Math U See at a grade level under and it has been going very well. I was worried at first because there is a lot less work for the kids to do each day with Math U See and I thought that it couldn’t be enough, but the kids seem to be retaining what they learn.

Hi Jenny,
There are 2 versions of Math Bingo… Are you using the app by ABCya?

We use the one that says “luyen sg” beneath it. It has a little picture of a tree and bird on it.

We use Horizons math with great success. A friend of mine uses Teaching Textbooks - her son (age 7) responds really well to it. For fact drilling, I let my daughter play Timez Attack on the computer as she really abhorred flash cards.

Your son sounds a lot like my daughter, now 16. I feel your pain!

We tried at least 8 (9?) math curricula. Singapore just threw her, Horizon was too busy, Saxon made her cry, etc. We settled on Math U See because it just made sense to her. (With added Right Start games and Life of Fred for Fun Friday Math.)First, she is an auditory learner and needed to hear a lesson. Secondly, we sat side by side watching and learning, she needed me to be on her team. Thirdly, there was only one concept taught each lesson, with review, and there was only one major focus each year. She is doing well in math, now, but is now using Teaching Textbooks (cds on computer) because she wants to be more independent.

Please DO change your text before math becomes a dreaded experience. Borrow what you can to use for a week. If it doesn’t work, borrow another. Tell your son you are on a quest to find a method of learning math that first his wonderful, unique style! Make it an adventure! Try to make it light and fun! Don’t worry–he still has many years to get where he needs to be.

Sorry to go on and on–just went through some trauma here and are so settled now!

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I use Singapore myself, but I’ve heard good things about Math U See for situations like this.

I’d also suggest using something like “Times Tables the Fun Way” and “Addition the Fun Way” and the game Tri-FACT-a to practice the math facts.

Have you looked into a game like Dreambox? It’s expensive, but my kids love it and play it regularly, and I’ve noticed a huge difference in their recall of math facts because they’re just playing it so much.

If you look into changing your math program entirely, I’d try to find samples of any math program you’re considering and having your son look at them first. If you know whether he’s more of a visual or kinesthetic learner, that would help. But regardless, if he’s involved in the decision, that might make a big difference in whether it’s a good fit for him and whether he really works at it.

Oh, another to look at is “RightStart.”

Hi there! I’d like to chime in on the math overwhelm discussion :slight_smile: We too have had great success with Math U See. But we’ve also had times with two of our children (age 9 & 16) when math just didn’t click.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of understanding your child’s learning style and then also using more than one learning pathway (visual, kinesthetic & auditory) to help them grasp the concepts.

Repetition has also been key for us. My 9 year old was struggling with math concepts two months ago. It was a tear-inducing experience. But with some adjustments I’m seeing significant improvement, and no tears!

If you’d like to learn what I did, I invite you to read my post at

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We use Saxon math. It’s Spiral and does a great job teaching math facts.
After we learn a group of facts, we spend a week playing games with those facts to really memorize them. I’m always looking for ways to make math fun for her.
What I loved about Saxon was how the break down the math facts into group that follow the same rule. And it’s very systematic.

Another source for you to look at is education unboxed. She teaches how to use c rods which are great hands on manipulatives.

My daughter struggled terribly learning math facts in first and second grade. I am amazed how she has improved, today she is doing great in math! Some things that helped… An spiral aproach (I love Abeka), it really works for my kids, the daily review and the speed drills help them so much. Lots of manipulatives, I know Abeka is mostly workbooks but I complement using Cuisenaire rods and some Montessori materials. We used some Kumon workbooks when needed, they are helpful, too.