The key to success in arithmetic (or one of the keys, probably the most important) is a good attitude. Parents who dread math are likely to impart the same feelings to their kids, but simply committing to learning what you expect your children to understand can allay those fears and turn math study into an enjoyable part of the school day.
Ruth Beechick outlines three mental modes of children (manipulative, mental image, and abstract), and stresses the importance of teaching math progressively in keeping with each stage. The first involves tactile learning in which kids use counters, for instance, to learn basic computation skills; during the second period they do the same work without any objectsactuallyin front of them; and in the third they are able to reason from facts to general principles and work through problems logically.
Opportunities for math learning present themselves all day, whether at the supermarket, in the kitchen, while playing games, etc. Beechick encourages you to take advantage of these without somehow making them onerous—you don't want your kids to hate math and setting the table. To help with this, ideas for implementation by grade level (as well as what your child needs to master in those levels) are included for grades 1-3.
There is also a "hundreds chart" with suggestions for easy and advanced use. It's essential that kids master the basics of math before attempting the really difficult stuff, and while internalizing facts isn't always fun it's the best way to move ahead. Beechick's highly practical suggestions will certainly help your kids get the facts down, and some of them are pretty fun, too.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Table of Contents
Arithmetic Can Be Easy for Your Child
It is under your control more than you might think.
The child catches his attitudes from you!
This chapter describes attitudes that make a difference.
Modes of Thinking
A genuine, working understanding of thinking odes take time, thought, and experience. Master this chapter and you have a rare key to success in teaching.
The Child’s Early Years
If you start early, use “real-life” methods, not “school” methods. This chapter explains the difference.
What do school curriculum guides include for first graders?
Should you use workbooks?
What activities add variety to arithmetic learning for first graders?
What do curriculum guides include for second graders?
Teaching suggestions, activities and games can help achieve this learning.
What do curriculum guides include for third graders?
Suggestions, teaching aides, and games ideas to help to achieve thorough learning of the all-important basics of arithmetic.
Ways to Use the Hundred Chart
This chart is the most powerful, flexible, and useful teaching aid you will ever meet. Here are ideas for using it with beginner and advanced pupils.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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