Wednesday, March 14, 2012
"Mommy, can we do math now?' I hear this several times a day from my math loving girl! Grace has always loved numbers. Since the age of one, Grace has had a strong mathematical knowledge base. I really wanted to foster Grace's love of learning and her love of math so I investigated many, many math programs that I could use to continue to teach Grace at home. After lots of research I decide on a program called RightStart Mathematics. My main objective was for Grace to fully understand math and numbers since 95% of math should be understood and only 5% learned by rote. This program emphasizes patterns and reasoning over memorization and algorithms. I also wanted to be fully involved in the program and RightStart Mathematics is heavily parent driven. Grace and I cherish this time we spend together every day. Since starting this program several months ago, Grace has learned to count in a whole new way. We typically count 10, 11, 12, 13 and so on, which really does not give a child an idea about tens and ones. Grace has learned to count by saying ten-1, ten-2, ten-3 for the teens and 2-ten and 1, 2-ten and 2, 2-ten and 3, etc. for the twenties and so on. In the pictures above, Grace is using tally sticks to show the answer to an addition equation (9 + 4). Grace has learned to add numbers together easily by grouping -- e.g., talking a 1 from the 4 and putting it with the 9 to make 10 and 3 or 13! I love how Grace is learning to add numbers together by fully understanding how it is done rather than relying on counting strategies or simply by memorizing the answers.
Grace has also loved learning how to use this special abacus, which is based on fives and tens. By grouping fives it has taught Grace to think of ten as a unit. She has also learned how to add two digit numbers together using her abacus. It is a great learning tool.