Skip Counting with Learning Disabilities

It's Saturday and I'm homeschooling. It's the Saturday after Christmas and I'm homeschooling!! I wonder if there are any other homeschool moms doing this today. I'm sure there are some moms who are planning their homeschool lessons for the new year, but probably none who's kids are doing homeschool lessons.

Samantha was awfully quiet, so I went in her room to see what she was up to. You know, we need to wonder what they're up to when they're so quiet! Trust me, with twins, I've had my share of "Oh, no! What were you possibly thinking!" although I didn't actually say that. hahaha. At the time it wasn't so funny. But now as I think back on those moments, they're quite amusing. Now if Samantha is quiet, she's either eating some snacks she shouldn't be eating (last month she ate most of her Halloween candy in one sitting!) or she's on her bed or on the floor reading. And she always has a selection of books lined up around her.  I've told her so many times that she only needs to take out one book because she can only read one book at a time. I guess she just likes lining them up around her. So that's what I expected to see again. Instead, I found her playing on her iPad. It was a game app where she was applying make-up to a face....which is fine. Sometimes. (The internet is off on her iPad and she can't install apps without a password).

Anyway, I've got a bit of time on my hands today. So I decided to go through her iPad apps to separate what I call the fun learning games from the fun silly game. It'll be easier for her to find the learning games before doing the silly games. I included some brain games on the same screen with the learning games. She enjoys playing these brain games on the computer.  These games are good memory and logic practice, but they're also great hand to eye coordination exercises. So I found some for her iPad, as well.  We started going through some of the apps together and deleting those she either doesn't like or are too easy for her. Of course, to do this, she had to actually play some of them. As we were doing this, we found one of the math apps had skip counting. Now, I know we've done skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's in her first grade homeschool curriculum. She scored very well on her quizzes and tests before we moved on to the next lessons. But as I watched her play the skip counting game, I learned she had forgotten her 2's and 3's.  Of course, this is not uncommon for Samantha because of her Down syndrome. I think most kids with learning disabilities have this challenge. We often have to go back to something she hasn't practiced in a while and do some review.

So after seeing her struggle as she tried to answer the questions, I decided to pull out some notebook paper. I wrote out the numbers from 0 through 100 and had her count by 2's and circle the numbers in red, then count by 3's and circle the numbers with a pencil.

Then I had her write the numbers in columns as she counted by 2's. I taught her to whisper the number she didn't write as she counted by 2's. This will help until she understands and memorizes it. Counting by 3's was a little different. You can see 3 lines under the 1, 2 and 3. She used those to count by 3's.
I lined up the columns on the notebook paper so she could see a pattern as she counts by 2's and 3's.  It's much easier to do when counting by 2's though.  As you can see from the picture to the right, it didn't work the same as she tried to skip count by 3's. So I turned the paper sideways and had her do the 3's this way.

The 3's were difficult for her no matter what we did.  But at least she was able to see a pattern. We'll have to do more skip counting repetition the next few days and then maybe once a week until I'm sure she's got it...and then, of course, come back to it to be sure she hasn't forgotten. I've already found some great ideas on Pinterest.  I'm not sure how important it is for her to learn to count by 3's, but I think it's possible for her to learn it. So we'll try.  I showed her with pennies why it's important to count by 2's. We counted the pennies by 1's. And then by 2's. And she recognized how much quicker it is to count them by 2's. Right away she said, "That's much faster!" It's almost like one of those comic book strips where the light bulb comes on over their heads. :)

As she was trying to write out the 3's skip-counting, I had to have her take a break. It's almost like she started to shut down. She couldn't even remember what number came after 77....78, 79...instead she was saying 90 comes after 77. She knows her numbers very well. She was getting frustrated, and so was I. So she was definitely due for a break. This is the beauty of homeschooling. We can do that. Heck, here we are homeschooling on a Saturday! But that rarely happens. ;)

During the break I'm writing this blog post while we also watch this live cam (Southwest Florida Eagle Cam) on another laptop.
We've been watching a couple of eagles and their little eaglets. One hatched yesterday and the other hatched today. So we've also been learning about eagles. It's so interesting how mom and dad both take turns with the eggs/eaglets. They also both bring back fish to the nest for feeding. We look forward to watching them grow over the next few weeks. I've got to search for more sites like these! But now to get back to math......

I had to come back to say that we went back to the Number Math app and she did great!! I'm so proud of her. She finished and walked away saying, "I love that app, mom" and "you're such a good teacher, mom."  Now that makes it all worth it!!!


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