Teaching math today is very confusing.Simple solution is to teach it
like it was during the 1950/60's.Need some common sense here.
I've been working with my kindergarten-aged daughter on addition and
subtraction ahead of the class. I relish the opportunity to "learn
again" what my "arithmephobia" prevented me from excelling at all my
life. To this day my brain shuts down if I have to do more than 2-digit
arithmetic, and solving such problems takes several deep breaths, a pencil and
paper (or calculator if handy) and a lot of patience.Hopefully I can
be a better example and prevent my daughter from likewise developing a fear of
We sang songs while driving in the car such as, 100 bottles of beer on the wall,
100 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, leaves 99 bottles of
beer on the wall. We would continue until we arrived at our destination. We
also had our children help in the kitchen. They learned to count setting the
table. Measurements were learned when making cookies, etc. They also counted
when they folded the clothes from the laundry. It really is quite simple to
teach young children. We also played the alphabet game while in the car. I
never did like kindergarten for our children. A half a day was difficult for me
to work around. My husband grew up in Idaho with no kindergarten. He has a
masters degree. Why the parents of today are so into preschool is beyond my
understanding. Their time would be better spent doing projects around the house
and establishing a good routine of chores and life in the home.
So, when I was in school, I was very good at math up to about the time came to
take calculus and trig. But I always got A's in math. But, when it came
time to help my kids out with their math homework (geometry and Algebra,
calculus) it was like I had never taken the classes at all. I could not remember
all that much and the way I learned definitely wasn't the way they were
being taught, so I was basically incompetent of helping out. Who knew that I
would need continuing education in math just to help out my own kids. Yikes!
@joseywales--that's why I say math is confusing. Parents are finding it
difficult to help even with basic math. Our schools are not teaching it
When my chiding were in the education fiasco in the 70-80's I could see the
writing on the wall and they are victims of the dysfunctional math they had
introduced during their years. And none of them have any math skills to this
day.I tried to teach simple math process but the schools failed
their homework for using outdated methods for doing math and they are still
unable to perform math beyond 3 digits whole numbers. A pie or pi to these
children is something you eat.New math and illiterate adults who
can't read bills and bank statements or make any sense of them. Our schools
have relinquished control of education to business and government and of course
they are going to do what is best to keep people ignorant & controllable.
The only way to turn around math and science skills is dump
computers/calculators and let children use brain repetition, thought, reasoning,
for calculating problems.Problem is that most testing is
synchronized to programming to make children and parents think they are being
educated. People working in banks don't even know how banking system works
and they are supposed to be the specialist.
So basically most of the kids who will end up labeled as having a learning
disability in math and cost a fortune to educate in special education classes
just didn't have the right foundation. Once again the power of parents to
impact their children is far greater than what schools can provide. As a
secondary teacher I can attest to the time spent in college teaching us how to
teach our content areas. Why aren't elementary teachers given the same
training in how to teach mathematics? Knowing something is one thing, but
knowing how to break it down, teach it, and troubleshoot when kids don't
get it is what teaching is all about.
I was fortunate to have some excellent teachers that taught me how to do basic
math fast in my head. It is something that I have benefited from all my life.
Anyone who does not learn basic math will be handicapped for the rest of their
Interesting article. My kids are really good at math -- much better than I was.
On car rides when they were young we would give them math story problems to
solve in their heads (e.g. if John has 5 apples and gives one to each of his
friends, Tom, Dick and Harry, how many does he have left, etc. They got so they
could solve surprisingly difficult problems.) When they were even littler, we
taught them to count and their numbers before they went to school. We never
said math was difficult or acted like it was harder than any other subject.
Maybe that's why math has been easy for them. I had never really thought
anything about what we did when they were little as affecting how they did in
math later on, but I think there probably is a correlation now that I think
The responsibility for teaching children belongs to parents. Schools are tools
to help. If the school isn't working, try to fix it. If you can't,
then buy a book, hire a tutor, or find a website.
"...innumeracy..."...Bush said the failure of trickle down
economics was due to fuzzy math...Now we find the problem was really