Math making us mental


A friend of mine was thinking the other day that maybe for those kids who are not "math minded" maybe the program should not be over explained. Maybe they do best with straight forward ..with a lot  of review. The program she switched over to explains much more the why.. almost to the point of making it too abstract, in her opinion. She was thinking maybe not all people need to know the inner workings...just how to do it and get there.

In a lot of ways, I agree.

With my 9yr old son, I have had him working on memorizing his multiplication facts. My husband likes to help him by saying things like "If you know 9x10 is 90, then you know that 9x9 is 9 less than 90 and then you just subtract 9 from 90 in your head to get the answer."  (Coming from a math lover, of course!) However, it makes my son not memorize and sit there trying to figure out some rabbit trail kind of thought process to get to an answer. Finally I had to say something about not worrying about all the "whys" and just memorize them so you know them.

Brainless memorization has its merits in many cases.


My 14yr old daughter is using Teaching Textbooks for the second year. We started with PreAlgebra and now we are in Algebra 1. In my opinion, they give you enough explanation to a non-mathy person and don't overdo it. I certainly pay big money for this program, but I can rest knowing it is being taught right and it works for her.