My 6th grade sort of easy child/not really difficult child has been up and down in his math work this year. 97 on one test, 52 on the next and the like. His teacher likes him and says she thinks he lacks confidence in his abilities. He is not math Learning Disability (LD) nor is he dyslexic (H and easy child are dyslexic). He is also not math gifted like oldest boy and difficult child are and he goes to resource room, where they work on it with him. He has a mid-term next week and I was trying to work on fractions with him. He has struggled all year with how to do the various operations in fractions. We were working on multiplying and getting nowhere. He was screaming, throwing a pencil and pretending to fall asleep at 11 AM after just waking up at 10. I lost it and went downstairs where I sat on the couch sobbing over what a horrible mother I am that I can't even teach a child of above average intelligence how to multiply fractions. I finally asked H to tell me how he would solve the problem. OMG! He explained it in the same, convoluted way my son did. After listening to him take 20 minutes to solve a simple problem and getting it wrong in the final step, I showed him my way. After another 20 minutes, he got it. We then brought my son downstairs and told him that his brain does math like dad's and not mom's. He and H worked through a problem their way and then H helped him to do it in a modified version of my way (he added one step which to their minds, makes it more concrete and easier to grasp - I usually do that step mentally so I was skipping it when working with my son, but he needs to do it). Bottom line - we are going to do some problems tonight and also do adding, subtracting and dividing fractions, but I think that after 5 months, he's finally getting fractions. Best part is that this is the first time since he's been in K that he and H have worked on schoolwork (that didn't involve building something) wthout my son screaming for me. The funniest part is that my son asked if we could have difficult child help him study as well because "difficult child is the greatest math teacher ever!" difficult child taught him some tricks to help him with the metric system last week and he's very proud of how he understands it now. As for me, I just do NOT get metrics. However, difficult child was at a sleepover birthday party and isn't home yet. I am SO thrilled with the ease of this method of doing fractions AND the fact that both H and son now understand a new math concept that I had to share.