One of the challenging things about homeschooling a child with ADHD is helping him or her learn to think critically. Kids who have classic ADD tend to avoid any kind of sustained mental effort, especially when the topic is challenging.
And that’s my Tigger. She’s linguistically smart, but she’s not a natural at math. When there’s a concept that’s hard for her to grasp, she tends to tune out or get frustrated. But we can’t just skip those parts, right?
Recently I got a chance to try the workbook Math Bafflers from Prufrock Press and I found it to be a great way to teach logic to kids with ADHD! Here’s our Math Bafflers review.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
Math Bafflers Review
Just to give you a little background:
I’m pretty sympathetic to Tigger on the whole “avoiding sustained mental effort” thing, because…
I’m the exact same way.
Last semester, I took Honors Logic and I’m here to tell you that it was rough. I can do the work, but there are times when I sit down to concentrate and my head pretty much feels like it’s filled with bees. Kind of like a mental static.
So if that’s what Tigger deals with, I can vouch for the fact that it’s irritating and it interferes with your ability to concentrate.
However, logic is SUCH an important skill to learn that I was determined to find a way to teach it. And Math Bafflers was a great way to introduce it.
Math Bafflers is not a logic curriculum, but it is a logic puzzle workbook. The first thing I loved about it was that the activities are fairly short – perfect for Tigger’s short attention span!
Look at her expression. That is the face of a child who is NOT interested in this subject at all…lol.
I loved the way Math Bafflers provided a gentle intro to logic for children. In the very beginning, the book acknowledges that logic is not the easiest subject to learn.
So there are a list of steps to follow to help kids (and their parents) make sense of how to solve each puzzle. I summarized the steps and wrote them on the board.
Then I had Tigger copy them down. Having her write things down seems to “ground” her in a way. Then, she’ll have something to refer back to when she can’t remember how to solve a problem.
We started with the very first Math Bafflers puzzle. Basically, it requires kids to sort through a list of criteria to determine which television program comes on when. There are clues such as: “Program ABC comes on after Program XYZ, but before Program DEF.”
I’ll be honest. Those kinds of puzzles stump me too.
Which is why I was so glad for the problem-solving steps in the beginning of the book. Finding the answer seemed overwhelming initially, but as we followed each step for each clue, we ended up narrowing down our choices fairly quickly.
Something I noticed about Tigger is that she tends to read “more into” a sentence than is actually there. For example, a clue might say “Leah does not breakfast while watching Program XYZ. She eats breakfast between 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.”
When I asked Tigger, “What does that mean about Program XYZ and when it doesn’t come on?”, she would answer, “It doesn’t come on in the morning!” But the clue didn’t say that. It simply said that it didn’t come on during her breakfast time. There were other morning times outside of the time when Leah eats breakfast.
I chalk that up to her desire to hurry up and get through a problem quickly. So helping her slow down and develop patience with her schoolwork is going to be one of our focuses this school year.
Tigger kept trying to give up, but I wouldn’t let her. And sure enough, we solved the puzzle! Whoohoo!
Now I will say – After we finished the first puzzle, we stopped with this subject for that day. I didn’t want to overwhelm her and I didn’t want her to hate learning logic. But this will definitely be part of our curriculum for the 2015-16 school year. 🙂
And that’s our Math Bafflers Review! If you’re just getting started with a study of logic in your homeschool, I highly recommend Math Bafflers! It’s perfect for kids with ADHD, kids who struggle with math, or anyone else!