2

Hello,

Another question. (Can I ask more than one question a day?
)

I'm teaching my son basic math, the 7 year old, and I have a problem. I'm not good at ALL at basic math. And I mean plus, minus, multiplication, etc.

Before you say much -- I should tell you I have a science degree in theoretical mathematics. And I graduated with honors.

Have I confused you yet? LOL

Here is the issue... I am extremely good at higher level math -- algebra, calculus, abstract algebra, linear algebra, geometry, non-euclidean geometry, number theory, etc, etc, etc. All those things that terrify many homeschoolers. I do private tutoring and teaching on these subjects for highschool and college students, and I'm pretty good at making math simple for kids who find it very difficult.

BUT I CAN NOT ADD AND SUBTRACT. I use a calculator for almost everything. 17+4 ? Give me a calculator. I got straight Cs in math, and many tears, all through school, until Geometry, when I started to get straight As -- because they let us use calculators finally. I always had "carelessness" written on the top of my math papers. But I wasn't being careless -- I actually tried very hard! I just have a very hard time with basic number stuff. I know I'm dyslexic, and I suspect I may also have dyscalcia (sp?!?).

I see on so many homeschool boards to teach math in life -- when you're cooking, at the store, etc. But that is what is EXTREMELY hard for me. I can estimate ok, but anything else, please... I wouldn't know if the store clerk gave me incorrect change unless it was a huge mistake. It's stressful.

So, I'm trying to teach my son basic math, and I have NO IDEA how normal people think about these things. We have Singapore math, and it looks good (we didn't start yet), but for myself, I look at the problems and think, how is he supposed to just KNOW that? And then I think, well, everyone ELSE just knows it. But... how do they know it?? I look at the math he did last year in school and think, wow, that's hard for me, but so easy for him. How does he do that??

Do kids memorize it? Do they just *know*? Seriously... ?

Another question. (Can I ask more than one question a day?

I'm teaching my son basic math, the 7 year old, and I have a problem. I'm not good at ALL at basic math. And I mean plus, minus, multiplication, etc.

Before you say much -- I should tell you I have a science degree in theoretical mathematics. And I graduated with honors.

Have I confused you yet? LOL

Here is the issue... I am extremely good at higher level math -- algebra, calculus, abstract algebra, linear algebra, geometry, non-euclidean geometry, number theory, etc, etc, etc. All those things that terrify many homeschoolers. I do private tutoring and teaching on these subjects for highschool and college students, and I'm pretty good at making math simple for kids who find it very difficult.

BUT I CAN NOT ADD AND SUBTRACT. I use a calculator for almost everything. 17+4 ? Give me a calculator. I got straight Cs in math, and many tears, all through school, until Geometry, when I started to get straight As -- because they let us use calculators finally. I always had "carelessness" written on the top of my math papers. But I wasn't being careless -- I actually tried very hard! I just have a very hard time with basic number stuff. I know I'm dyslexic, and I suspect I may also have dyscalcia (sp?!?).

I see on so many homeschool boards to teach math in life -- when you're cooking, at the store, etc. But that is what is EXTREMELY hard for me. I can estimate ok, but anything else, please... I wouldn't know if the store clerk gave me incorrect change unless it was a huge mistake. It's stressful.

So, I'm trying to teach my son basic math, and I have NO IDEA how normal people think about these things. We have Singapore math, and it looks good (we didn't start yet), but for myself, I look at the problems and think, how is he supposed to just KNOW that? And then I think, well, everyone ELSE just knows it. But... how do they know it?? I look at the math he did last year in school and think, wow, that's hard for me, but so easy for him. How does he do that??

Do kids memorize it? Do they just *know*? Seriously... ?

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

~For us, I showed my son how math (addition, subtraction) is worked row by row so that it was a process, not something overwhelming with bigger numbers as they went along.

~Multiplication....I showed him that one number was the number of boxes needed, and the other number was the number in each box...like...2 x 3 ....[@@] [@@] [@@] <<sorta like that. Multiplication is more of a memory thing so he'll learn that the answer to each is always the same and will simply know it from memory eventually.

~Division...I haven't gotten that far yet because I feel he should have a firm grasp on multiplication first. I intend to sort of do the same thing with the boxes to explain the basics again. This time, the boxes being the number divided and what's in the box the number divided into...such as...

6 divided by 3 [ ] [ ] [ ] <<three boxes...see how many goes in each box...what's "extra" would be a remainder if there was one.

~I consider Algebra nothing more than trying to figure out the missing number...sort of like a sleuth thing... lol That's not something I need to teach anytime soon though... lol

I hope this helps in some way...

April

intuitive medium

~Multiplication....I showed him that one number was the number of boxes needed, and the other number was the number in each box...like...2 x 3 ....[@@] [@@] [@@] <<sorta like that. Multiplication is more of a memory thing so he'll learn that the answer to each is always the same and will simply know it from memory eventually.

~Division...I haven't gotten that far yet because I feel he should have a firm grasp on multiplication first. I intend to sort of do the same thing with the boxes to explain the basics again. This time, the boxes being the number divided and what's in the box the number divided into...such as...

6 divided by 3 [ ] [ ] [ ] <<three boxes...see how many goes in each box...what's "extra" would be a remainder if there was one.

~I consider Algebra nothing more than trying to figure out the missing number...sort of like a sleuth thing... lol That's not something I need to teach anytime soon though... lol

I hope this helps in some way...

intuitive medium

I would highly recommend Miquon Math to you. I think that the "mathematical" approach to arithmetic will appeal to you. It makes extensive use of manipulatives (chiefly Cuisenaire rods, which I think are the world's most brilliant, yet beautifully simple, math manipulative). It introduces those basic operations in ways that make clear the way those basic operations work -- how they work, and why. The relationship between addition and multiplication is straightforward. The commutative properties of addition and multiplication are no-brainers using this approach. The patterns of relationships between numbers become second nature.

It's too dependent on use of the rods to go into explanations of how things are taught here at any length here, but in a nutshell I found that Miquon and the Cuisenaires gave my kids a very firm sense of, for instance, "the threeness of three" ... and how this idea of "three" relates to 6, and thirteen, and thirty, and one, and nine and and seven. I did okay at arithmetic and quite well at higher math at university, but I found that I learned things about numbers and operations that I had never fully understood before by going through Miquon with my kids. The program is somewhat chaotically laid out, but reading through the Annotations Manual thoroughly and making use of the Miquon-Key yahoogroup helped me come to a good understanding of the heart of the program.

Singapore Math is also excellent, but I found that at the outset of the introduction of numbers and operations, Miquon's concrete, Cuisenaire-based approach built a stronger conceptual base. We did Miquon (or most of Miquon) first, and then moved into Singapore at the 2A - 3A stage. My kids are not big on bookwork or anything top-down and structured for their learning, but all three have really enjoyed these programs, doing them "for fun" and in playful, enjoyable ways.

Miranda

It's too dependent on use of the rods to go into explanations of how things are taught here at any length here, but in a nutshell I found that Miquon and the Cuisenaires gave my kids a very firm sense of, for instance, "the threeness of three" ... and how this idea of "three" relates to 6, and thirteen, and thirty, and one, and nine and and seven. I did okay at arithmetic and quite well at higher math at university, but I found that I learned things about numbers and operations that I had never fully understood before by going through Miquon with my kids. The program is somewhat chaotically laid out, but reading through the Annotations Manual thoroughly and making use of the Miquon-Key yahoogroup helped me come to a good understanding of the heart of the program.

Singapore Math is also excellent, but I found that at the outset of the introduction of numbers and operations, Miquon's concrete, Cuisenaire-based approach built a stronger conceptual base. We did Miquon (or most of Miquon) first, and then moved into Singapore at the 2A - 3A stage. My kids are not big on bookwork or anything top-down and structured for their learning, but all three have really enjoyed these programs, doing them "for fun" and in playful, enjoyable ways.

Miranda

I can just see math. It always has been easy for me. (I still don't understand spelling) but math is just obvious to me.

It isn't like this for one of my DDs and I honestly couldn't explain it to her. Actually, I think she sounds a bit like you. She could convert fractions in her head, but ask her what 4 + 7 is and she would just get a "deer in headlights" look. If she had buttons or something she could figure it out, but otherwise, no. She just didn't get it and couldn't make the leap from manipulatives to basic math. She really wanted to understand addition and subtraction because they come up all the time, and we tried both Singapore (which made her cry) and Miquon (which just annoyed her) and eventually ended up with Prof B's Power Math for Kids which really explains math. It is a comes on a computer CD. Basically, it is a power point presentation that explains how numbers really work in a step by step, methodical way. It totally makes sense to my DD. She can be the banker in Monopoly now and that is really something my DH and I thought would never happen for her!

I've been thinking about digging Miquon back out and seeing if she would like to work through some of it now because it does show really cool thing about relationships and patterns, and I think she might enjoy now.

Since you have Singapore you could give it shot and see if it makes sense to your DS, but there are a ton of other options out there if it isn't a good fit. A lot of people really like Singapore. I think it would have been a great program for me when I was a kid!

It isn't like this for one of my DDs and I honestly couldn't explain it to her. Actually, I think she sounds a bit like you. She could convert fractions in her head, but ask her what 4 + 7 is and she would just get a "deer in headlights" look. If she had buttons or something she could figure it out, but otherwise, no. She just didn't get it and couldn't make the leap from manipulatives to basic math. She really wanted to understand addition and subtraction because they come up all the time, and we tried both Singapore (which made her cry) and Miquon (which just annoyed her) and eventually ended up with Prof B's Power Math for Kids which really explains math. It is a comes on a computer CD. Basically, it is a power point presentation that explains how numbers really work in a step by step, methodical way. It totally makes sense to my DD. She can be the banker in Monopoly now and that is really something my DH and I thought would never happen for her!

I've been thinking about digging Miquon back out and seeing if she would like to work through some of it now because it does show really cool thing about relationships and patterns, and I think she might enjoy now.

Since you have Singapore you could give it shot and see if it makes sense to your DS, but there are a ton of other options out there if it isn't a good fit. A lot of people really like Singapore. I think it would have been a great program for me when I was a kid!

Originally Posted by GoodUserNamesTakenBUT I CAN NOT ADD AND SUBTRACT. I use a calculator for almost everything. 17+4 ? Give me a calculator. I got straight Cs in math, and many tears, all through school, until Geometry, when I started to get straight As -- because they let us use calculators finally. I always had "carelessness" written on the top of my math papers. But I wasn't being careless -- I actually tried very hard! I just have a very hard time with basic number stuff. I know I'm dyslexic, and I suspect I may also have dyscalcia (sp?!?). |

Have you googled "dyscalculia"? I tried it just now and found pages of various links. One of them is the Dyscalculia Forum

, and it has message boards.

I'd be sure to use plenty of mutisensory input - colored pencils to illustrate pictures being added or substracted, goldfish crackers, raisins, manipulatives, counters of all kinds (especially ones that provide sensory input, such as acorns, popcorn, or plastic teddy bear counters), fingers - anything and everything to incorporate the whole system of senses.

Good luck!
Lillian

, and it has message boards.

I'd be sure to use plenty of mutisensory input - colored pencils to illustrate pictures being added or substracted, goldfish crackers, raisins, manipulatives, counters of all kinds (especially ones that provide sensory input, such as acorns, popcorn, or plastic teddy bear counters), fingers - anything and everything to incorporate the whole system of senses.

Good luck!

The website on dyscalculia is very interesting. The symptom list is eye opening... much of it applies to me, though some doesn't, which is typical of most lists like this. I was interested that it said sightreading music may be difficult, when for me, one of my strengthes in music is my sight reading ability. But so much else, my husband said, "Yep, this is you!" My husband can not handle the fact that it takes me at least a few years to memorize phone numbers correctly -- including my own... !

Quote:

This so interesting! I'm curious about what it is that makes advanced math so easy for you in spite of all this - I guess you don't even know that yourself.
Lillian

Originally Posted by GoodUserNamesTakenThe symptom list is eye opening... much of it applies to me, though some doesn't, which is typical of most lists like this. I was interested that it said sightreading music may be difficult, when for me, one of my strengthes in music is my sight reading ability. But so much else, my husband said, "Yep, this is you!" My husband can not handle the fact that it takes me at least a few years to memorize phone numbers correctly -- including my own... ! |

My son seemed to get the whole "objects" way to add and sub

We would use cheerios, pennies, etc. To add and sub

We havnt got to mult. yet

I would say (and demonstrate) if you have 2 pennies, and i give you 3 more...how many pennies do you have? We'd also use our fingers

For sub i would say...mommy has 12 cookies...if i give you a cookie...how many does mommy have left

Something like that

We would use cheerios, pennies, etc. To add and sub

We havnt got to mult. yet

I would say (and demonstrate) if you have 2 pennies, and i give you 3 more...how many pennies do you have? We'd also use our fingers

For sub i would say...mommy has 12 cookies...if i give you a cookie...how many does mommy have left

Something like that

2

Lillian,

I have no idea! LOL It's just very logical to me. It's very, first this, then that, then this, then that. Even theoretical math, which did take me awhile to catch on, has a method of thinking that gets you to the answer -- and being able to move along a number line is not part of it at all. There may be numbers involved in the problem, but they aren't part of why or how it works the way it does. Know what I mean? Like, as a very simple example, when you take a derivative, if it's x to the a, it becomes a times x to the a-1. I can subtract 1
, and the steps are easy for me to remember and understand. I don't even remember using numbers beyond 1 and 0 in Advanced Abstract Algebra in college, it's ALL variables and theoretical concepts. My husband, however, who is an engineer, can't even read the first page of my advanced abstract algebra book. None of it clicks for him.

BUT... if you ask me to memorize a code or phone number, G-d help us...

I have no idea! LOL It's just very logical to me. It's very, first this, then that, then this, then that. Even theoretical math, which did take me awhile to catch on, has a method of thinking that gets you to the answer -- and being able to move along a number line is not part of it at all. There may be numbers involved in the problem, but they aren't part of why or how it works the way it does. Know what I mean? Like, as a very simple example, when you take a derivative, if it's x to the a, it becomes a times x to the a-1. I can subtract 1

BUT... if you ask me to memorize a code or phone number, G-d help us...

She really likes doing her math program because she wanted to make sense of math and just couldn't.

I also like the book "Games for Math" by Peggy Kaye. I'm suggesting it not so much just for the games, which are good, because I found reading her books helped me thinking more creatively about learning. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039...lance&n=283155

A 100 chart is a fun thing to play around with.

You can see if 3+4=7 then 13+4=17 and 23+4=27. Or if you do 3+8 you can see how you have to jump to the next row to get to 11.

(and it is easy and cheap to get one
print thishttp://www.cdps.k12.ms.us/teacher_tools/math/num100.doc)

An abacus is a similar idea and is fun to play around with.

You can see if 3+4=7 then 13+4=17 and 23+4=27. Or if you do 3+8 you can see how you have to jump to the next row to get to 11.

(and it is easy and cheap to get one

An abacus is a similar idea and is fun to play around with.

My husband laughs at me because he can't believe I think algebra and stats and calc are *so* easy yet ask me what 8x8 is and it would take me awhile to figure that out....LOL

3

Quote:

My brother is another one of "those" people
. I think it's because higher math and arithmetic are pretty much completely different things. Higher math is very conceptual/image based/spatial (depending on your learning style and how you approach it). Arithmetic is linear, logical, and two-dimensional. My brother is dyslexic and dyscalculic, and the most developed spatial thinker I know. Arithmetic drives him around the bend.

The good news is, I don't think you have to be good at something to support a learner - just open to them discovering ways to figure it out for themselves
...

Originally Posted by Lillian JThis so interesting! I'm curious about what it is that makes advanced math so easy for you in spite of all this - I guess you don't even know that yourself. |

The good news is, I don't think you have to be good at something to support a learner - just open to them discovering ways to figure it out for themselves

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

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