Delayed Formal Math and New York

by | Math | 1 comment

I am really interested in the philosophy of delayed formal math. Unfortunately, I have not been able to read your book yet, but I have read many of the articles on your website. My question is, if you delay formal math, does that mean you do not have any math instruction at all? Or would one just not do written math? I was amazed at hearing that someone’s child tested in the 99th% with no formal math training. I am interested in learning more because my daughter loves math, but does not like the written part of it. Until a few weeks ago we were using manipulatives and the Miquon math pages for 3 hours a week to solve problems. She was at the point of hating school so we switched our schedule around. Now we play math games, mess around with manipulatives, play store, have time games, etc. two days a week. The other two days she has math lab where she has access to lots of math tools and she chooses worksheets from a large selection to fill in. (More in line with the original intention of Miquon). She is much happier now, but of course there is a lot less written work to show. (I am only worried about NY state requirements in this area). I am trying to figure out what to do next year. She is only in 1st grade this year and I do not want to push the written part and have her end up hating school. My biggest concern about not doing formal math is the standardized testing and the written work portfolio that we are to keep in case of audit. Here in NY we are required to do math for 3 hours a week and in 3rd grade they get tested. If they fall below the 33rd percentile then our right to homeschool can be taken away. So, every quarter I have to log that we have done math for 3 hours per week. What would that look like if we delayed formal math? Would we just play games and mess around with math ideas informally like we do two days a week now? Thank you for your time. Sandy

We suggest informal math with children below age ten, just as you describe you are doing. Perhaps one of our readers from NY could answer your legal question.

1 Comment

  1. Hélène

    I live in NY also. AFAIK you don’t have to be tested till the end of the 5th grade as the every other year peer review and then testing, starts at 4th grade. As for portfolios, these are only representations of the work done all year. If she’s doing 2 days a week of written work you’re more than fine as even a couple sheets a *month* in the portfolio is plenty.
    Don’t offer the info to the reviewer that you are not doing “much” math. Learn to not give info to anyone when you are going off the beaten path. LOL Anything outside the status quo is always questioned; and pointed at first if there is ANY trouble. This is in any area of life. 🙂
    Maybe you can think of your hours as the institutional teachers do. I was taught this concept a longggg time ago. One hour is one lesson. If you finish your lesson in less than one hour, you don’t penalize the child and make him do another, and maybe yet another. You say YAY, we’re done for today!
    Remember in high school how a period (class-hour) was really only 45 minutes? Homeroom(s)–some schools have 2 or 3 of these also! lunch, study halls and btwn class passing time (which does add up at end of each week!) all counted as part of the 6hr day in school.
    You teach your child very intensively. The regs were written for classrooms full of children which the state has then attempted to translate into regs for parent-tutored children. You can accomplish very quickly what takes a class all day. A tutor giving state-mandated equivalent instruction for a student at home (suspended from school maybe) does not come for 6hrs a day, 5 days a week. He comes for about 3hrs a day, 3 days a week. Do the math.
    Stop stressing yourself and take advantage of your tutoring situation, don’t let it whip you! 🙂


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