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My daughter is having trouble with the verbal math questions for the OLSAT®. I keep trying to practice with her using the workbook we bought but she’s not getting it. What do I do?

Working with OLSAT practice questions

If you’re working with a workbook and trying to practice a certain type of question, giving your daughter more of the same type of question will not help if she’s already not getting it.  Instead, take a look at what the skill behind the question is and work on it in the real world.

For instance, a workbook question might typically ask, Bill ate two pieces of pizza and Bobby ate four pieces of pizza, point to the picture that shows how many pieces of pizza Billy and Bobby ate together.  Ask yourself first if your child is even ready to answer this question: Can she count? Can she really understand what numbers are and what they look like?  Your daughter needs to see the skill in action and understand before she’ll be able to use it in a workbook.  Take the problem and show it to her in the real world: give her a number of goldfish crackers or M&Ms and then ask, “If I eat one, how many are left?”  Let her count one by one, let her use her fingers or do anything she needs to figure it out.  As long as she’s learning the skill, it’s fine.  Once your daughter gets the hang of this, she will work her way up to it in the workbook.

If your child is having trouble with matrix questions and analogies, focus on how things relate to each other in real life.  Point out things that are alike and things that are different and ask your child how they are similar.  In page 135 of Karen’s book Testing for Kindergarten there is a very helpful analogy game that can also help with this skill.

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