Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Long Division and the Boogey Man

I am generally a good teacher as long as I enjoy the subject matter. Give me something like say, math, that I understand and can do, but doesn't come all that easily to me, and I'm a fish out of water. I don't like it. Therefore, my students don't like it. (Aren't we all glad I taught English now?)

Up to this point we've been using a math program called Math U See. I like it for the following reasons: it's cost efficient and a video guy teaches the lessons so I can just answer questions. And if your kid is a more visual/kinesthetic learner, it's great. If your child is like can be hard to follow. (In my opinion.)

Today when we went over long division Math U See style for the 3rd time and Reia ended up in tears, I knew we had a problem. I did what any normal homeschooling mom who wanted to make something stick in her kid's brain would do. I googled "how to teach long division". After all, I KNOW how to do long division, but explaining that to someone in a systematic way is different.

After I studied a new "method", which was DUH, so easy I felt like an idiot, we set to work. After lots of hugs and support from me, within minutes the light bulb went on. And the long division boogey man was gone. And trust me, he was terrifying all of us.

What is the point of this post? I don't know how parents home schooled before google. =) Ok, that's only part of it. The larger part is that there is more than one way to skin a cat (google "figurative language" on that). Our children are all different! Don't be so stuck on one way to do things that you are miserable, or worse, they are, for an entire year.

(And to Maureen who I'm sure is smiling if she reads this, I'm not loyal. Just frugal.)

1 comment:

Lorren Says... said...

I've been learning in school how to teach division and it's come in handy with Audra...when she'll actually listen to her mother. I use the phrase, "How many groups of X can you get out of Y?". It helps Audra to think of division this way. Seems like you got it figured out, though. I use Google all the time in my math class and I'm in college. Sometimes simpler is better.

You're doing a great job homeschooling. Miss and love you!