Jul 232013

DO you need a Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia?
Do you need a visual and/or hands-on method for teaching math?

Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia – Options

Using multisensory teaching methods is most effective for teaching children who are diagnosed with a math learning disability or dyscalculia. Multisensory teaching is a proven method that is effective for children with learning disabilities.

Multisensory Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia (math learning disability) Remediation

The Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia listed below are either fully multisensory or partially multisensory. The ones near the top include hands-on teaching along with visuals. Since these Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia include aspects of touching, seeing, and hearing, they are fully multisensory.

As you go down the page, you will find Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia that is more audio-visual in nature. Some of the programs do not use hands-on manipulatives. Those programs are great programs for kids who are auditory or visual learners. However, they won’t be the best choice if your child is a kinesthetic or tactile learner.

As with all choices, pick the Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia that you think will work best for your individual child. What works for someone else’s child may not work for your child at all. Therefore, you probably don’t want to go by what is popular. Pick a Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia based upon your child’s learning style and learning needs.

**TouchMath – This Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia is multi-sensory, research driven math program specifically designed to help children with dyscalculia and highly recommended by parents of children who have dyscalculia.  It is ideal for visual and kinesthetic/tactile learners. The program is worth a try with any child who may be struggling with math computation skills.

Ronit Bird – Ronit Bird is specifically designed as a multisensory Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia. It focuses on hands-on math understanding rather than on memorization. The program uses one of our favorites, Cuisenaire Rods, along with games. It incorporates many other hands-on and visual tools. This program is rapidly becoming THE favorite among Learning Abled Kids’ moms.

**Shiller Math – ShillerMath is a solid multi-sensory math learning program that is well-suited to kinesthetic/tactile learners. It’s also effective for any learning style.  ShillerMath uses all of the senses. It addresses every possible learning style when teaching each math concept.  The ShillerMath Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia includes diagnostic tests to pinpoint a student’s precise math understanding. The program is well-suited for homeschooling. This program is specifically designed to help children with dyscalculia. It’s highly recommended by parents of children who have dyscalculia.opt-freesampledownload-185x195
Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia
Times Tales program with DVD – The publisher sent us a review copy of this program. This is not a complete curriculum. However, if your child is struggling to learn their multiplication tables, particularly the 6, 7, 8, and 9s, Times Tales is a great Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia students who are visual learners. It also works well for learners who remember mnemonics well. This is an inexpensive, easy-to-use product that helped solidify the times facts for my son. The program consists of a Times Tales Spiral Bound Book and an associated New Times Tales DVD. Combined together, the book and DVD make an effective unit study on multiplication facts that is helpful as a multi-sensory teaching tool. They have a Times Tales Video you can watch as well to get a better idea of what the program is like.

**Reflex Math – For younger children (elementary and middle school) with dyscalculia, many members of the Learning Abled Kids’ homeschool support group are using Reflex Math. They’re having success with their children gaining fluency with math facts. The program uses adaptive and individualized instruction. It has engaging games that keep students coming back for more. It also includes intuitive and powerful reporting for educators. Reflex Math is ideal for children who prefer audio-visual learning. It is not a comprehensive Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia. However, it is a great program for practicing math fluency, particularly with math facts.

**Dynamomaths – For younger children (elementary and middle school) with dyscalculia. This program provides computer-based, visual representations of math concepts in form that is easier for children with learning disabilities to understand. You can enter any math problem. When you do, you’ll see the visual representations for better understanding. This helps you teach your child, especially if he’s a visual learner.  The DynamoMaths program “230+ remediation modules in small cumulative steps, grouped into Dynamo 1, Dynamo 2, Dynamo 3 and Dynamo 4 that seamlessly moves the child’s learning from the Number sense to numeracy proficiency with concrete to a pictorial representation using models and images. The models and images help your child visualize mathematical relationships.” This is a great supplement to any Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia when you have a child who is a highly visual learner.

**Carnegie Learning – Cognitive Tutor Software – For older children (high school) who have dyscalculia. The Cognitive Tutor software helps students understand the relationships between mathematical representations as they explore linear functions. Students work with various representations of functions including tables, graphs, algebraic expressions, and text descriptions. They translate functions from one representation to the other. This helps students learn to understand how these representations are interconnected. The Cognitive Tutor courses are complete, higher mathematics courses with texts available to homeschools.  Again, this Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia is best for students who prefer visual learning.

Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia Packages Which May be More Effective than Standard Math Programs

These programs below are not specifically developed for kids with dyscalculia. However, they are multisensory in the same ways as the programs above. The first program listed here, Math U See, worked particularly well for my boys.

**Math-U-See – This is a great comprehensive math program using manipulatives. It allows your child to see and experience mathematical concepts from the very basics of number concepts and counting up through calculus.  The Math-U-See website has placement tests there you can use to see which unit would be best to place your child into. Math-U-See is great for visual learners. It also has manipulatives that can help kinesthetic/tactile learners as well.  This program was THE mainstay for us through all elementary and some of middle school. The Math-U-See manipulatives were instrumental in helping our sons with their math learning. The only reason we stopped using it when we approached high school is because of program requirements we had at the time. My sons wanted to take some of their high school maths as joint enrollment courses. They did very well in joint enrollment, partly due to the foundation laid by Math-U-See. This is not specifically a math curriculum for dyscalculia. However, it is fully multisensory and can easily be used as a math curriculum for dyscalculia.

Catchup Math – If your child is in middle school or high school and struggling with math, this program is a mastery-based program. It will review basic concepts with your child as needed. The program provides progress through mastery of high school-level math. “Catchup Math covers Grade 6 Math up through Geometry, Algebra 2 and College Developmental Math, drilling down to elementary school topics as needed.” Even if a child isn’t struggling, this program is a great, comprehensive math program for teaching your child math concepts! They have a free trial option, so I suggest letting your child use the program for awhile to see if he likes it. You can use the trial to determine if you think the program will work for your child in the longer term.

**Thinkwell – For high school mathematics (except Geometry) – Thinkwell uses multimedia instructional videos to teach concepts. I really like their teaching videos because the video clips are highly focused. They eliminate any unnecessary distractions. This is particularly helpful for any child with ADHD / ADD. Most of the time, the videos show only the teacher’s hands and the white board where he’s working the problem. The instructors talk directly to the student. There is no other students that serve as a distraction (as there is in the A Beka and Bob Jones DVD courses). Thinkwell has online exercises. They are automatically graded for immediate feedback. The feedback gives an explanation for why the student was correct or incorrect. Each math course also have books available. The books mostly contain the same content taught in the video. For a child who does not need a lot of repetitive practice, but needs focused, undistracted teaching, the Thinkwell programs are an excellent choice. There is no hands-on component to this program, so it isn’t the best math curriculum for dyscalculia if your child is a kinesthetic or tactile learner.

**ALEKS Math – For any grade level – “ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage. The ALEKS program also avoids multiple choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.” We find the ALEKS program to be an ideal reinforcement to our math learning. However it can easily serve as a complete, stand-alone program. The perfect thing about ALEKS is that it tirelessly provides ongoing review as many times as a child requires it. The program moves on just as soon as a child has mastered a concept. It is what I consider a “nearly perfect” progression of learning. The main limitation I’ve found in the program is the reiteration of lessons in exactly the same way–If your child does not get a concept the way the program is presenting the lesson, your child may require additional explanation from you. We used it as our lesson reinforcement to insure mastery of learned concepts. However, we relied on other math curriculum for dyscalculia for additional ways of presenting math concepts.

**Switched On Schoolhouse Math – S.O.S. Math is taught through an interactive, visual software program. The S.O.S. programs provide instant feedback. This is often essential for children with learning disabilities. Additionally, the S.O.S. software provides visual and auditory reinforcement. The S.O.S. programs are available for all grades up through Pre-Algebra (8th), Algebra I (9th), Algebra II (11th), Geometry(10th), and Pre-Calculus (12th) in High School.  This program is not highly interactive. If your child needs a more interactive format, one of the preceding math curriculum for dyscalculia may be a better choice.

**Saxon Math – Many children benefit from the detailed step-by-step program that Saxon offers. This math program builds upon itself with plenty of repetitive practice. It helps cement the concepts cognitively for your child. The Saxon program uses standard textbooks, so the main benefit is in the incremental progression of teaching with lots of practice. This program is not really multisensory, but there are teaching CDs you can use to make this more functional as a math curriculum for dyscalculia.
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Supplemental Programs and Materials for Deeper Math Understanding

Standard Deviants School Math – We LOVE these DVD programs. The programs are high energy, dynamic, and uses a lot of visuals and graphics. The DVDs are interactive allowing students to answer quiz questions with the remote control to check for understanding. The programs also come in video form. There are worksheets that go along with Standard Deviants’ School programs, which are available on Teachers’ CD-Roms or in workbooks at the Standard Deviants’ website. This Edutainment is a ‘fun’ way to present math concepts to a child.

ETA Hand2mind (Formerly Cuisenaire) – These mathematical manipulatives are terrific. We used them and they have been instrumental in developing our kids’ understanding of complex mathematical concepts. We used the “Everything is Coming Up Fractions” unit study book written to be used with the Cuisenaire Rods. My boys LOVED the blocks. They couldn’t wait to work on the fraction concepts with them. They built towers out of the blocks as a reward when we were done studying the lesson. These blocks are used in conjunction with the Ronit Bird math curriculum for dyscalculia. The blocks can be used with *any* other math curriculum for dyscalculia as well.
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Base Ten Math – This is a great math program using manipulative blocks, rods, and cubes. It is one my child gives rave reviews. The markings on the cubes and rods help with concepts and counting. The Base Ten blocks are a bit different than the Cuisenaire Rods, but they have similar books to use with the blocks. We had a set of Base Ten blocks that we used for some concepts. It was particularly helpful for teaching and understanding the decimal system. These blocks can be used as a resource with any math curriculum for dyscalculia.
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