It’s no secret that lots of kids struggle with math. And kids with ADHD who tend to have attention issues may have a harder time than most.
In our family, Tigger (our oldest daughter) has been a lifelong math-hater. She just loses all interest and tries to get through it, instead of trying to grasp the concepts. But, as I’ve tried to tell her, we don’t get to just “opt out” of things we don’t like in life. Thanks to homeschooling, though, we do get to try different ways to understand them and improve.
So I was excited to try the Pre-Algebra program from Mr. D. Math! I’d heard such great things about the program and my daughter was happy about having someone to walk her through pre-algebra and get her ready for middle school math.
See how using Mr. D. Math is helping us to manage common ADHD math problems!
Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for this post and I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
Managing ADHD Math Problems with Mr. D Math
Let me just start by saying that I completely sympathize with Tigger. If I could have gotten through life without math, I would happily have done so. But as I got older, I found that I’m actually good at math…when I try. And the same is true of Tigger. It’s just taking some time for her to realize that.
I mean, look at that face. That is a beautiful young woman who should never feel inadequate about doing anything, including algebra. (Sorry, I had a Mama moment.)
Common ADHD Math Problems
What are some of the common ADHD math problems kids deal with? Well, since kids (and adults) with ADHD often have issues with executive function, they may have trouble with the following areas:
- organizing their thoughts into a process
- executing that process
- persisting when they’ve made mistakes
Pretty much everything you need to do in order to grasp a math concept, right? You need to learn the steps, perform them IN ORDER, and take the time to check for errors. So, for kids with ADHD, a math lesson can be a recipe for disaster.
This is not to say that all kids with ADHD struggle with math. My youngest boy, who is the most hyper of all of my kids, actually does better with math than language arts. But a child who has ADHD and struggles with math lessons may find that even the simplest concept is almost impossible to learn.
How Mr. D. Math Works
Which is why I found Mr. D. Math to be such a great program for my daughter with ADHD! Here’s a look at how the Mr. D. Math Pre-Algebra program works:
The lessons are organized very clearly by topic and chapter. As your child works through each lesson, it appears with a checkmark.
Every section begins with a video lesson. In the lessons, Mr. D. himself introduces a concept, demonstrates how it works, and asks a few questions.
Here’s a look at one of the video demonstrations. This one was on Order of Operations.
After the lesson is complete, students take an online quiz on what they learned.
Afterwards, they submit their grades.
At the end of each chapter, students take a test. And, as you can see, the solutions to the chapter tests are provided. Those are great for checking work and finding areas that need to be strengthened.
How Mr. D. Math is Helping My ADHD Daughter with Pre-Algebra
The Mr. D. Math Pre-Algebra program is a super introduction to algebraic concepts. What I loved about the program was that it begins with a nice introduction to exactly how math works. So your child doesn’t need previous experience with pre-algebra to begin it. As long as he or she can add, subtract, multiply, and divide, they’re good to go!
Right from the beginning, Mr. D. won Tigger over. As he explained, math is a language. It has its own symbols that have a unique meaning. And you have to understand the language to understand what each expression says. Since Tigger is a bookworm and interested in writing, that analogy made perfect sense to her.
His initial comparison was to compare learning math to talking to a dog. The dog only understands select words that have meaning to him, so the rest of your sentence would be “blah blah blah”. And that’s how math is! Block out the parts that have no meaning and focus on what matters. Brilliant!
What I also liked was that Mr. D. paused during the lesson to ask a few questions.
Knowing Tigger’s tendency to let her mind drift away, I asked her to write her answers down. And lo and behold! Neatly written notes! That’s how I knew she was paying attention and actually interested in the material.
After introducing a new way to look at math, Mr. D. reviews basic arithmetic operations with students (addition, subtraction, etc.). But, as the chapter progresses, he moves on to new concepts: order of operations, simplifying expressions, and so on.
Remember PEMDAS? He uses that mnemonic device also! While she remembered the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”, she had a little trouble remembering what each word in the phrase actually represented. So she wrote it on the board to help herself remember it.
I will add one note of caution that I observed with Tigger: Kids with ADHD may tend to redo the same things again and again without slowing down to pay attention to why something is incorrect. Since the Pre-Algebra program is self-paced, kids can take quizzes whenever they want.
After Tigger’s first Order of Operations lesson, she took the quiz and missed several of the questions. Naturally, she simply took it again and then again. But since she didn’t slow down to review her notes, ask me for help, or rewatch the video lesson, she kept getting a failing grade. And you can only take each quiz three times. So she had to accept a grade lower than she wanted.
But that was a lesson to her as to why it’s important to slow down, check your work, and get help when necessary. So, if your child with ADHD behaves similarly, keep an eye out when they start taking quizzes and encourage them to take a break or get help with something that seems fuzzy.
If you’re looking for a self-paced Pre-Algebra Math program for your child, Mr. D. Math is definitely worth the investment! And if you’re in a time crunch, you can get a program to get your child ready for Pre-Algebra in just 11 weeks or even six weeks!
To find out more about the program, follow Mr. D. Math on social media!
And if you’d like more ADHD math ideas, check out my list of 10 Math Activities for Kids with ADHD!