“Taking the Frustration Out of Math”

"Taking the Frustration Out of Math"You’ve probably been there yourself.  You try Saxon, play with Math-U-See, dabble in Horizons, before switching to RightStart.  You feel like throwing in the towel.  You’ve decided your child is just “odd.”  There IS no math book that fits him!

This how-to is for you!

There is nothing wrong with your child (or you) that a bit of time and patience won’t fix.  There are simply children who need to see math in action. Give up the math book for a while.  Let your child learn instead.

Young children learn through a process of constructing their own knowledge of the world around them through interaction with people and things. In math, this means that developing an understanding of concrete operations is much more important than simply memorizing facts.  For the purposes of this article, I want to concentrate on giving you some practical ideas and tips for working with children in the area of math up through about age 9 or 10.

“Taking the Frustration Out of Math” by Dr. Mary Hood

Taking the Frustration Out of Math” is an article written by Dr. Mary Hood, author of The Relaxed Home School, that originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

Dr. Hood advocates skipping the math text until around grade 5 (something also advocated to one degree or another by Dr. Ruth Beechick).  Prior to textbook math, Dr. Hood recommends teaching time, money and measurement; and afterward, teaching adding, subtracting and even multiplying and dividing, using real objects.

Taking the Frustration Out of Math” offers many ideas for making math simple — and effective.  The key is meeting your child where he is, offering him what he needs to understand and enjoy math, and propelling him forward with a solid math background.

Does arithmetic have to be dull and difficult? Does it have to be frightening for you or your pupils? Must children grow up with the epidemic disease “Arithmetic Anxiety?”

The answer…is no.

You can make the difference. You can make arithmetic easy for your child whether you are teaching him in a home school or helping in his preschool years and his after school hours.

An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Dr. Ruth Beehick

Additional Resources

Michelle’s Math
This has been around for a while, but it is so, so useful to those of us who grew up not really understanding math, or hating it! Math concepts easily explained so that our children become proficient at their math facts. Similar to the math concepts as described in “Taking the Frustration Out of Math.”

Beechick BasicsAn Easy Start in Arithmetic by Dr. Ruth Beechick
Targeted to parents of children in grades K-3, this title explains how children learn math — progressing through manipulative, mental image and abstract modes of thinking — and then provides a course of learning and suggestions for teaching math for each grade.

Hundred Chart
Highly recommended in An Easy Start in Arithmetic. This interactive at allows you to print a blank one or completed one.

Keeping Math Real
Another article that describes how to use Mary Hood’s favorite Cheerios and M&Ms among other food favorites to keep math real.

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth BeechickBeechick Basics
This book provides everything you need to teach your children all subjects grades 4-8 for those who understand “it is the child you are teaching, not the book.” There are 114 pages devoted to teaching arithmetic that cover developing an interest in arithmetic, the principles of teaching arithmetic, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division teaching concepts, and grade-level guidelines for grades 4-8.