Tips for Homework SUCCESS

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Whenever I look to a new school year, I think about curriculum, and I think about mapping the year out, starting dates, holidays, and oh yes, homework.  It is the dreaded “H” word! No matter how or where you are schooling your dear ones, they will, inevitably, have homework. You may feel some or loads of push back on getting that done too!  In order to help our children best succeed in this area of schooling, you may need a little creativity, a TON of consistency sprinkled with patience and grace everywhere!

Please know that intrinsic motivation is a very difficult skill to teach, but it is absolutely essential to the success of getting homework done without constant nagging, pushing and bribing by yourself!  Intrinsic motivation is that ability to get things done because the person wants the internal reward of satisfaction of a job well done, or a sense of accomplishment. With any skill, this can come naturally to some, while it may never be fully developed in others.  Remember, that is okay, and taking your student from where they are to any new height in this skill is a win for everyone (look for a blog post on the how to help build this skill soon)! One way to get started is to look at the why with your student - why would they benefit from this?  What can they get from doing this homework? If they can answer those questions, and stay focused on them, it can help move that homework along.

Another key aspect to getting homework done is the amount of positive energy, words, thoughts, you name it, that surrounds the task!  Homework can feel like the equivalent of cleaning a public toilet for your student. It is dirty, and yucky, and not at all appealing.  The brighter, and more positive spin you can put on this, the more likely you are to get it done and before you know it, that public toilet cleaning mindset has become a quick and painless counter wiping type of mindset!  So first, change the name. This is no longer homework. Here are a few other things you could call it:

  • Evening learning

  • Bonus skills

  • Practice Papers

No matter what you call it, make sure it is fun for your child, and brings a little smile or laugh from them.  Next, be a cheerleader when you can, and a firm standing wall when they are pushing on you to get out of this job.  Cheer them on to get them started. If they begin to refuse, have in mind two options for them so they can make a choice, and then stick to the options.  Saying things like “I love that you want to go to your friend’s house to play, but you have Bonus Skills to complete. You may complete the skills and go play, or you may choose to not complete them and sit here with me,” lets children know that they have a choice in the matter, and gives them the power to decide what they really want.  Knowing those are the only two choices is also motivating to many.

In the moment, try to remember the power of yet and the noticing!  When we use the word yet, we leave the door open for something else to happen.  When your student hears that word, they can feel empowered to change the course of the task/action/behavior.  Sprinkling this word in, can also bring an announcement to your child and yourself. I use this when I feel frustration or anger coming on.  I announce that I am not angry or frustrated yet, but I am getting to that place. Then I notice what I can do first, and what they could do to help change emotional environment.  This warning is usually enough to help my children take on a new behavior/action plan and it helps me remember that it may be time for me to move towards a de-escalation behavior so I don’t get into the anger or frustration zone too far.

Sometimes, homework can become overwhelming, and motivation is not the problem.  Some children need to have a very clear, tangible, simple goal plan. This is a great time to begin to show your student the power of a planner (look for Yellow Wood’s planner to be released soon!), or a “to-do” list!  At Yellow Wood, we have found that many students need more than what a traditional “to-do” list has to offer. They need a detailed list they can cross things off of that includes a space where they have help seeing what materials they need, if they were struggling with the assignment and need help to complete it, and maybe some notes on how to help themselves get this done.  We have included a free printable for you to use or modify for use in your schooling.  However it looks, a list of things to do has been proven time and time again to organize the brain, and improve completion rates in people of all ages.  It may take a few trials, and re-visits to get comfortable with this list, but remember, change is sometimes just what we need to keep things interesting enough to get it done!  Also, remember that people love stickers, markers, and other tools for recognizing completion at all ages!

One other thing to remember with homework, if you are assigning it.  Make sure it is purposeful. Giving 20 practice problems is counter-productive to most learners.  If you chose 5-10 really good, really purpose-filled practice problems, you would be more likely to get them completed (because who doesn’t like looking at those lower numbers?), and the learning would be stronger because the practice was more pointed at the skills that needed help.  If you are not the person assigning the homework, this is not something you can change, and that is okay.

One more thing that can help homework move towards completion is to think of this as a bonding time with your student.  Here you sit, one on one with them, either arguing about doing the task, or you can talk with them about favorite numbers, nouns, verbs, names for purple elephants, whatever the homework relates to - maybe you set up forts and hold a nerf war because it is about a famous battle, and then write answers to the questions, but talk with them and creatively make time for bonding and fun.  This time can be beautiful, if you can find a way to bond with your student.

Homework is an essential component of learning and must get done.  Try to remember these key points while you are working through it:

  • Remain positive about the task

  • Make a list that allows for the recognition of completion

  • Remember the power of the word yet and a good noticing

  • Get the tools ready to cross off the to-do list that will best motivate your student

  • Keep it purpose-filled as possible

  • Remember this can be beautiful bonding time - not every time, but sometimes

Make it a personal goal to really enjoy your school year: curriculum, curriculum map, students, homework and all this year!

The ULTIMATE Resource for Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner

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At Yellow Wood, we are PASSIONATE about helping families find success in their homeschool. Educating your own children can be challenging enough without adding learning difficulties and special needs into the mix! That’s why our mission is to provide the support you need to homeschool and feel confident in doing so!

Over the month of June, we’ll be announcing some pretty stinkin’ exciting new resources for our homeschool families! We’re compiling the very best resources for struggling learners so that you’ll know exactly what curricula and options are best for you! You can rest assured that the resources we share are truly awesome for struggling learners, because many of them are what we use in our cottage school in Lexington, KY! This month you’ll get an insider’s look at how we do what we do. Here’s the plan:

First we’ll go through our favorite curriculum for each subject! You can see a few posts below, and we’ll be adding to them throughout the month!

Then, We’ll talk about how to integrate social skills, life skills, and executive functioning into your homeschool day. These skills are VITAL to success and often parents feel overwhelmed on how to make them a priority! We’ve got you covered.

Another important piece of the puzzle is cognitive skills! Since this is our wheelhouse, we’ll share how we can support you in building up brain skills. We’ll also show you some awesome techniques to try for strengthening math and reading while also strengthening the brain! Here are a few suggestions for math to get you started! 

Possibly the most exciting part, we are going to help you put all the pieces together! Our goal is to provide you a roadmap for creating a homeschool experience that supports your struggling learner!

Can’t wait? A great starting place with us is our Jump start and Trail Guide programs! We do all the above, plus provide a super individualized experience. We walk with you through choosing curriculum, deciding on the best techniques for teaching your child, and what cognitive exercises to focus on each month so that you can ensure SUCCESS for your child!

Jump start gives you a “snapshot” of your child’s skills and some basic suggestions on curriculum. Trail Guide goes a step further by offering detailed plans and suggestions on a monthly basis, with monthly support meetings to keep you on track and moving forward!

I’m SO excited to walk through all our curriculum and resources at Yellow Wood with you! Don’t miss a thing by signing up for our email list!

Enroll Now!
from 250.00

The first step for all Schoolhouse options!

Pay this evaluation fee, then click HERE to schedule your evaluation!
 

Jump Start is a great starting point for all new Yellow Wood families! We begin with an in-depth evaluation of cognitive skills, academic skills, primitive reflexes, social/behavioral needs, and executive functioning. This evaluation is completed through parent questionnaires, placement tests, and an evaluation with the student (either in person or online) in which we play games, do some exercises and movement to gauge the skills listed above.

Have other questions before committing? Just email us at info@ywsuccess.com and we'd be happy to chat with you! You can also schedule a free phone consultation here.

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Trail Guide
from 250.00

The “DIY” version of our Schoolhouse program

Pay this evaluation fee, then click HERE to schedule your evaluation!
 

This option includes everything listed in our Jump Start program, PLUS...

Parents have coaching sessions with a Yellow Wood tutor every 4 weeks. During these sessions, you’ll discuss goals, troubleshoot challenges you’re facing in your homeschool, discuss progress and next steps. We then create a 4-week “goal plan” that includes lessons for Success Training and a general outline of work to be completed in your classes too. These lessons are NOT scripted lesson plans, but instead are daily, weekly, or monthly goals to complete for each subject.

Have other questions before committing? Just email us at info@ywsuccess.com and we'd be happy to chat with you! You can also schedule a free phone consultation here.

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Dyslexia: What You Need to Know!

 
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I’m so excited to be chatting with you today about Dyslexia, because this learning disability is what began my journey toward creating Yellow Wood. It was my first experience with a learning disability that directly affected me. I have 3 younger siblings who are a good bit younger than me. When I was in college, my two youngest sibs were in elementary school and were diagnosed with Dyslexia. Since I had been homeschooled through high school and had my heart set on being a teacher, I was so excited and determined to help my mom navigate the waters of teaching kids with Dyslexia. It soon became my passion, though at the time I really was just stabbing in the dark trying now things that may help. Through this process eventually I found cognitive therapy and received training.

The first summer after my training, I worked with my sister, who was 12 years old at the time, intensively. When she was younger, she struggled to learn the alphabet, did not read fluently, and had a very strong tendency to switch letters when writing and reading. When we began working on cognitive skills at age 12, her working memory was extremely weak. She had low confidence in her ability to read and was struggling to keep up with her school work despite a desire to do well and learn! She hated to read. It stressed her out, and rightfully so! When cognitive skills are weak, tasks like reading and math are extra daunting because the brain has to work 5x as hard!

The first thing we noticed was she stopped switching her letters as much. Her confidence grew and her retention of reading skills skyrocketed. Fast forward a few years and she is an avid reader who LOVES reading for fun. She is much more confident in her academic skills and works hard to be a great student. The difference is phenomenal.

So, if you’re reading this and have a struggling learner at home, you may be wondering, “How do I help my OWN child overcoming challenges like Dyslexia?” I’ll tell you! First, you’ve GOT to find the underlying causes! Every child is different. There are a variety of factors that affect the ability to learn to read. Some include working memory, visual processing and tracking, visualization, and developmental aspects like crossing the midline and primitive reflex integration. Today we’ll walk through what Dyslexia is, and then talk about a few of these factors and how they can cause symptoms of Dyslexia!

What is Dyslexia?

First, I think it’s important to mention that Dyslexia is an umbrella term that simply means the student struggles with reading. There are many symptoms and reasons for this learning disability, and no two students are alike. Some symptoms include:

  • Difficulty with phonemic awareness. Decoding words, or matching the sounds with written letter combinations can be extremely difficult.

  • Struggles with sight words.

  • Trouble sequencing or memorizing the alphabet

  • Difficulty learning to read or put sounds together to make words

  • Tendency to switch letters like b and d, n and u, while reading and/or writing

  • Difficulty with left and right

Ok, so now let’s chat about the underlying issues for the symptoms listed above. Like I said, it can be a variety of things that cause the difficulty. But, we’ll mention a few main weaknesses!

Working Memory

Working Memory is the post is for your brain. In order to learn new sounds, new sight words, and hold onto the story line in your head, you HAVE to have a good working memory. Kids at kindergarten age should be able to hold onto 2-3 items in their working memory. As they age, this number should increase to 7 or so by age 18! So, if working memory is weak, students will struggle with learning more complex words, sequencing words or decoding words, all because they cannot hold onto all the steps and pieces in their working memory! You can learn more about working memory and grab a free activity at the button below!

Visualization

Visualization is the ability to see images and symbols in your mind. It is crucial to learning the alphabet and also for spelling skills!!

Primitive Reflexes

There is a specific primitive reflex, the Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, that is connected with Dyslexia. Symptoms of this retained reflex include switching letters, trouble copying from the board, difficulty with visual tracking, and more! You can learn more at this blog post all about it!

The best news about all this is that the skills listed above can be STRENGTHENED! At Yellow Wood we are passionate about helping kids OVERCOME learning challenges. Reach out to us. We'd love to help!

 

Want to learn more about how to OVERCOME Dyslexia? Catch the re-play of our chat about Dyslexia in the "Inspiring Struggling Learners" facebook group! 

Help! My Child Can't Remember Anything!

 
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4 Reasons why your child

may be struggling with

long term memory!

As a mom guiding your child’s education, whether at home or in school, helping them memorize for projects, presentations, and tests can be quite a feat. Teaching young children to read and understand math facts can also be a daunting task. When you run into roadblocks as your child struggles to memorize and use information, it’s easy to become frustrated or overwhelmed!

 Sometimes the struggle is remembering things from one day to the next. Other times students will study and study, just to draw a blank when they get to the test! Aside from just not being able to remember things, there are several potential causes for memory difficulties and memorizing for tests. If your student is driving you nuts with their inability to recall spelling, sight words, memory work, or concepts, here are a few potential things that may be stirring up trouble behind the scenes:

  1. Anxiety

  2. Visualization

  3. Working Memory

  4. Long term memory recall

1. Anxiety

Have you ever gotten super nervous and totally blanked? When I was a child, this was a serious issue for me. I would forget lines in a play, lines of a solo, terms for a test… etc. It led me to be extremely nervous about situations that required me to have something memorized or where I was under the spotlight.

Fast forward to adulthood, I’ve come along way with this type of anxiety. I believe the main reason why is that my Moro reflex was not integrated, which causes, anxiety and other “fight or flight” symptoms in response to stress! When I began Yellow Wood, I received training in primitive reflex integration and it literally changed my life. I went from being a nervous person in almost every aspect to being able to speak in public confidently. Isn’t that awesome?

Curious what these primitive reflexes are? This is a topic I’m super passionate about and you’ll find more info at these blog posts:

So, memory recall when under pressure can be majorly affected by anxiety! If this sound like your child, I encourage you to look into primitive reflex integration or another anxiety reducing techniques like yoga!

2. Visualization

Visualization is the ability to see images and stories in your mind. Many times when a child struggles with memorization, it could because they are not able to see a picture of what they are trying to remember! ABCs are MUCH easier to memorize if your child can picture each letter in their order rather than relying solely on auditory (singing the song!). When visualization is weak, kids may also struggle with memorizing and utilizing sight words, or memorizing math facts. Visualization is also a key component to reading comprehension - the ability to make movies in your mind of what is being read. When trying to memorize something and put it in your long term memory, it will be much easier to do so if you have a picture or image associated with it.

3. Working memory

Yet another key component to great memorization skills. This is actually a different type of memory that can cause difficulties that “look” like long term memory issues. I have seen many students who struggle with learning to read, keeping up in class, and other difficulties due to working memory deficiencies. You can check out this blog post all about working memory to learn more!

4. Memory Recall

The last potential cause for poor long term memory I’d like to discuss is poor memory recall. This happens when you have something filed in your long term memory, but you aren’t able to access it quickly or efficiently. For example, you know that your child probably knows quite a few animal names. But, when asked to list as many as they can in a minute, what happens? Many students who struggle with recall will have great difficulty with this activity. You ought be be able to list 30 or more animals in a minute with ease if your memory recall is working the way it should be!

Ready to build up your student’s Long Term Memory? First, choose which area listed above sounds most like your student:

Is it anxiety, working memory, or visualization that is causing the memory hangups for your child? We've got an amazing workshop series just for YOU! Learn more about this unique parent workshop program to give you the TOOLS to guide your student towards success.

Or, do you think memory recall is the culprit? I’ve got a free activity for you so you can start on your journey to SUCCESS today! Just fill out the form below and you'll receive the activity in your inbox!

30 Day Challenge - Preschool Success Training

 
 

As you may know, I am a mother of three amazing kids, ages 4 and under. My oldest has some special needs, so my weeks are typically sprinkled with therapy appointments, specialist appointments, etc… not to mention my other two kids and running a business! You might think that since I run a business and write a blog about strengthening brain skills, that my son has the most amazing mom and I do all sorts of brain training with him each day. Ha! Let me tell ya, I am down in the trenches right alongside the moms I work with. It is not easy to stay on top of life AND Success Training.

So, as a way to motivate myself and my fellow moms, I have created a 4 week preschool Success Training challenge. I’m excited to try this out with my 2 and 4 year olds, and I’m SO thrilled to have you join me on the ride. If you have a child from ages 2-6, this challenge is for you!

During this challenge, we’ll tackle some key skills for school readiness with a movement and game based approach! You won’t find worksheets in this challenge! Instead you’ll find instructions for movement, games, and activities to encourage brain development and skills like:

  • Midline, primitive reflex, and vestibular integration
  • Sensory integration
  • Core strength
  • Handwriting skills
  • Attention skills
  • Working memory and long term memory
  • Visual and auditory processing
  • Letter and number visualization
  • Sequencing
  • And more!!

This is NOT an academic skills challenge. It’s a way to introduce play based learning and brain development into your day in a unique way! The skills taught in this course are meant to help build academic skills by strengthening the underlying skills needed in order to be successful in school.

How do the skills listed above help with academic success? In SO many ways! Here are a few examples:

Beginning readers need to be able to…

  • sound out words (phonemic awareness and auditory processing)
  • read the words correctly (visual processing and tracking)
  • hold the sounds together to make a word (sequencing and working memory)
  • remember the word when they come across it again later on the page (working memory)
  • stay focused through the page (attention skills)
  • remember what they read so they can put the story together (working memory and comprehension)
  • create a movie in their mind of what they are reading (visualization)

Wow, that’s a LOT of brain skills for beginning readers! Can you see it’s so important to make sure your child has a strong foundation in these skills?

So, if you have a child just getting started with academics, or if your child is struggling in math or reading, don’t delay!

What's New in 2018?

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It’s my birthday! Reflecting on the last year I decided it was time to update our community on what God has done the past two years since I wrote my last “life” post! Wanna read the original post? Click here!

Anyways, a LOT has happened since 2016 when I wrote that! Wow! Here are a few highlights:

Yellow Wood moved into a twice as large building in Lexington, KY! This move has blessed us in many ways, including a great facility large enough to house our schoolhouse and tutoring programs!

In August 2017 our family welcomed our newest addition, Ezra Maxwell! Our oldest two kids lovingly call him “Maxie poopy” at all times. He’s the sweetest baby and smiles all the time! He’s ornery already and decided to arrive a whole 14 days late (and just 2 days before the start of the school year). Thanks, bud! It’s been a wild ride, but totally worth it!

You may remember our Zeke has some special needs. We’ve had a quite a journey during the past couple years. When he was 5 months old he was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy and strabismus. When he was around two it became clear he likely had speech apraxia. The past year we’ve seen some amazing specialists who took the time to figure out what is going on, and gave us a new diagnosis and we’re in the process of genetic testing! It’s not necessarily answered all our questions, but we’re so glad to have doctors digging deep and not giving up. Zeke is 4.5 years old now and doing very well! He’s a busy, hardworking guy, going to therapies 4 times a week and practicing new skills at home. Zeke’s new diagnosis, Cerebellar Ataxia, is not one you can find much information on with a quick google search. We do know that it affects his speech, balance and coordination, and his eye coordination. This makes so much sense and are the three big struggles for him! He’s looking at more testing and an eye surgery in the next couple months, as well as looking into an AAC to help him communicate in school and in new settings!

Looking ahead, I’m so excited that Zeke will be attending Yellow Wood for Pre-K next year. It still amazes me how God paved a way for him to get the best care and education he could have. He’ll continue to grow and thrive while learning school skills in a safe environment.

At Yellow Wood, we’ve been blessed to work with even more families this year! Our students are the best and keep us on our toes at all times. We’ve had the privilege to work with students with a range of needs from anxiety, autism, down syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, PANDAS, and other difficulties… all with the goal of helping these students accomplish goals and gain confidence while also building up cognitive and academic skills. It’s tough work, but we’ve seen some amazing progress this year and are SO excited to see what’s in store for the future. We're working hard to reach students in KY and around the US with our unique and life changing homeschool support services!

Since we’ve been talking about Zeke, I have some exciting plans for this blog over the next couple weeks. Watch for a “Preschool Brain Games Challenge” coming your way next week, and some other great ideas and help for ages 2-6!

Before You Say, "Sit still!"... 6 New Ways to Look at Weak Attention Skills

 
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One of the most common problems we hear about from new families at Yellow Wood is attention issues. Whether it’s that their child has an ADHD diagnosis, is fidgety, or can’t seem to focus on something for more than a few seconds, these issues can be addressed when the underlying problem is found!

 

At Yellow Wood we combat attention issues in a few ways. I’ll mention I am not a medical professional, but I am certified in cognitive therapy and have worked with learning disabilities and special needs for the past 6 years!  Here are a few factors that can affect focus:

 

#1 Primitive Reflexes

Man, if you’ve read our blogs for a while, you are probably either really tired of hearing this term, or really curious! The reason primitive reflexes are SO important for attention skills is this: reflex integration allows you to use your WHOLE brain effectively, rather than just the lower centers of the brain. The areas of the brain responsible for attention and focus are found in higher centers of the brain that need to be used, and used well, in order for a child to be able to sit still and concentrate for a reasonable amount of time. So if your child is struggling with this, it’s very likely that he or she has an immature brain from retained reflexes.

#2 Midline

Crossing the midline easily is an absolute necessity for attention skills. If it takes your brain extra effort to cross the midline (for example, keeping up in a conversation requires you to process auditorily, produce an answer, and verbalize that answer, all while keeping up with what others are saying), or if you avoid crossing the midline, you won’t be able to maintain focus when doing tasks that require multiple parts of your brain!

#3 Processing Speed

This is a can of worms! If you are slow to process information visually or auditorily, you’ll have trouble keeping focused or keeping up. You have to be able to process quickly to keep up in lectures, conversations, maintain focus on reading, writing… and a gazillion other tasks!

#4 Working Memory

Working memory is the like the post it in your brain. You use it when keeping a tally at the grocery store of how much you’ve spent so far. When you get directions from someone, or a phone number. When you’re completing math word problems, taking notes in a lecture, learning to read… the list goes on and on. Children should be able to hold onto about 5 items in their working memory by age 12. If you look up ADHD, you’ll see poor working memory is a main symptom! We see this often with kids who can only handle 2-3 items in their working memory before they get overloaded. The amazing news is this skill can be strengthened!!

#5 Proprioceptive Sense

The proprioceptive sense gives you a sense of where your body is in relation to the world. If it is under active, you’ll see kids tapping their foot, fidgeting, touching EVERYTHING, getting in others’ space, all while not realizing there’s an issue. The reason is this: the brain is literally unable to tell where the body is! So, the child will tap their foot and the brain says, “oh, there’s my foot! Awesome!” While this is a simplified explanation, its true! Many kids are told to “sit still”, or adults assume because the child is moving or tapping that they aren’t paying attention. But the opposite may be true! Many kids with a weak proprioceptive sense NEED that movement so the brain can stop asking “where’s my foot?” and focus on what they need to be doing!

#6 Sensory Processing

Similar to the proprioceptive sense, if a child has an overactive or underactive sensory system, this can be incredibly distracting for them! Tags on clothes, bright lights, weird smells, noises in the room… all can be incredibly distracting for a child with a sensitive sensory system.

So, what does it look like when a child is “overloaded” or their brain is processing slowly? Fight or flight! If it’s a constant battle, or your child seems to always be avoiding something… think about this: it might not be entirely their fault. I know, being goofy, asking for 16 snacks, or having a meltdown are all behavioral choices. BUT, they can also be signs that a child is too stressed to cope with the situation, or that their attention skills (or other brain skills) aren’t strong enough to handle the task so their fight or flight response kicks in. It’s so very important to find the root of the issue and help build from there. When you come at a difficult moment with this view, you can start to see the behavior in a new light and help your child work through it without it becoming a power struggle.

Of course, we’d love to help you pinpoint exactly what might be causing attention issues! It's our mission at Yellow Wood to equip parents and kids with the tools they need for success. You can get started with our “jump start” evaluation process! We look at cognitive and academic skills to get a picture of what is weak and causing learning struggles!

If you're ready to get started TODAY, check out our Brain Based Movements course to get you started with the first step - Primitive Reflex Integration!

 

Brain Games to Boost Math Skills

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Did you know that many difficulties with math can be remedied by targeting weak cognitive skills? How cool is that? I know so many families who have seen some major gains and accomplishments in their students' abilities to do math with confidence. So how can you do this for your student at home? While the games I'll show you below aren't the silver bullet, they will help strengthen specific cognitive skills associated with math sense and give your child the confidence and ability they need to soar!

Before we get to the games, let's talk in a little more detail about cognitive skills and how they connect with math skills. In this post I'll lay out some main cognitive skills and what symptoms you might see in your child or students if it's weak. Then we'll talk about games you can play, and HOW to play them, so that you can start boosting these skills today!

Visual Processing

The ability to process what you take in visually quickly and accurately.

Symptoms of poor visual processing causing math difficulties

  • Reads numbers backwards or switched around

  • Trouble with math problems if they are horizontal instead of vertical, or vice versa

  • Needs large print or spread out problems

Visual memory

Being able to retain and recall information that was presented visually.

Symptoms:

  • Difficulty memorizing flashcards
  • Forgets facts from one problem to the next, especially when learning a new fact or concept.

Visual motor skills

writing and fine motor skills

Symptoms:

  • trouble lining up numbers when writing math
  • Hates to write out math work

  • Writes numbers backwards, flips them around

Auditory processing

Processing what you hear quickly and accurately.

Symptoms of a weak auditory processing

  • trouble remembering/repeating facts orally
  • Can’t answer math problems orally

Working memory

The post it in your brain! The ability to hold onto several pieces of information while completing a task that uses those pieces. Learn more here!

Symptoms:

  • trouble keeping track of steps in multi-step equations like long division
  • Trouble remembering facts from one problem to the next, especially new concepts or facts

  • Word problems! Holding onto the information long enough to work through the problem

  • Mental math

 

Long term memory

Ability to retain and recall information long term.

Symptoms:

  • Trouble memorizing facts and steps

  • Trouble being able to consistently use what has been memorized

  • Answering facts quickly

Attention

Learn more here!

Symptoms:

  • Difficulty focusing for long amounts of time - long enough to complete the task

  • Overwhelmed or distracted easily by lots on the page or lots of color

Visualization

The ability to picture numbers, letters, stories, etc. in your mind.

Symptoms:

  • Not able to see the number line or visualize which numbers come before, after, skip counting, etc.
  • Doesn't understand the pattern in addition facts, multiplication facts, for example, doesn't understand that 5+3 is similar to 25+3.
  • Difficulty with mental math

  • Difficulty visualizing word problems

Logic and reasoning

Symptoms:

  • Struggles to follow logical sequence in algebra

  • Struggles to understand abstract concepts like negative integers


So now that you understand how these skills can seriously impact math learning if they are weak, we can move forward with how to give these skills a boost!

Blink!

Use this game to boost visual processing. A great game for all ages! Play it as instructed. To learn more ways to play this game, check out our Working Memory Workshop! 

Spot It!

Spot it, especially this version with numbers and shapes, is AMAZING for visual processing and math. This is a great game particularly for younger children or those who struggle with number recognition.

Super Genius!

These Super Genius math games are SO much better than flash cards!! Get those math facts in your long term memory with this fun series. They also offer lots of ways to play, so it won't get boring quick, and is a great option for young and older kids alike!

 

Since we're on a roll, here are a couple other amazing ways to practice brain skills and math sense that we've already written about!

Ready for a major boost in skills? Check out our Working Memory and Attention skills DUO Course to get a huge leg up in math skills and more!