To say that math for my kids on the spectrum is anything less than a mess would be lying. I will accept the blame, in part, because I switched programs so frequently with Austin in an attempt to find something that would work for him. Since we didn't know what we were dealing with back when he was little, I was left to assume there was a problem with the curriculum and the way he learned. Once we learned that we were dealing with autism spectrum disorder (along with the alphabet soup of labels he also received during that time), I got Math U See and did my best to stick with it, despite a lack of confidence in the techniques.
Well, this week for Sun and Fun, as Austin reaches another point in his math where he is struggling, I decided to give him a placement test for Saxon Math, just to see how the work he has done in MUS translates to another curriculum. It was much, much worse than I imagined.
He placed into the 4th grade level book as a rising 8th grader. The results sent me reeling, as you can well imagine. I had already planned to spend some time supplementing with the "Key to..." series (Fractions, Decimals, and Percents) so I went ahead and ordered those. But my plans for the future with math are all up in the air now. We simply cannot move forward into higher level math when he does not have a firm grasp on arithmetic and its applications. I don't know what to do. We'll work through the Key to... books, and then, I just don't know.
As for Reece, my friend Laura has lent me her Right Start math materials to look through. I know I do not want to use Math U See with Reece, judging from the results I have seen with Austin. I started looking at Right Start materials today (she has levels B and C... I would place Reece in level B). It's completely overwhelming to consider. It seems very involved, which is hard to contemplate since I have two older children whose lessons require much from me. It is also quite a financial investment.
But I can't help but wonder if it would be "the answer" for her. I have tried every other major math program out there. That's not an exaggeration... Austin was my guinea pig for math programs. Yet, I'm willing to invest the money if it means that she understands math. And I will invest the time as well. It's very important to me that the children have a firm foundation in the basics. I feel like I have failed in that area with Austin. I'm afraid that in my vain attempts to keep him "at grade level" I have sacrificed making sure he truly understands and is able to apply what he knows. I'm afraid I've figured that out too late.