More on Math Facts

I had to use a tutorial to figure out
how to sew linings on three
little flower girl dresses

Maybe you'd like to paint your bathroom cabinets, sew a baby quilt, or learn how to make one of those snazzy Nutella spiral breads. Most likely your first step will be to search Pinterest for a tutorial.

Not long ago I wrote an introductory post about learning math facts. As I mentioned, some kids master math facts almost effortlessly. But for others, more work is required - both from them, and from their parents and/or teachers.  What I've wanted to do for some time is write a tutorial for teaching these kids addition and multiplication facts.

But writing any kind of tutorial is time-consuming. And with the first part of 2017 filled with wedding preparations for two of our kids, free time has been in short supply.

Happily, I've found an excellent addition math facts tutorial written by Kate Snow, a homeschool mom who has a math ed background.   "Everything You Need to Know to Teach Your Child the Addition Facts" is the best explanation I've seen of an approach that introduces and teaches addition in a common-sense, logical manner.

More than any other strategy, pay attention to step 1 - "Break it Up." Instead of expecting your child to learn all the math facts at once, teach +1 and practice those facts. Then teach +2. Then work on numbers that add up to 10. And so on.

Here let me add a couple of tools that will augment this. Print out a blank addition table like this one. Fill out the chart - but color code the various sets of facts by writing the numbers with colored pencils or markers. For example, the +1 and +2 problems could be blue and the "adding to 10" facts could be red.

Then, mark the facts that your child has mastered by shading those facts in. If he already knows +1 and +2, let him shade over all those boxes. Phew! Instantly the amount of facts she needs to learn looks less daunting! Each time he conquers a new set of facts, color in the boxes.

Next, make a set of triangle flashcards - with a twist. The twist is that you will use the same color code for these facts as you used on the chart. As you use these cards to drill, they will remind your child of the strategy for solving. I used manilla file folders for a set of sturdy flashcards that stood up through many children. Here's one *tutorial* for making triangle flashcards for multiplication and division facts. (I prefer mine to have rounded edges instead of the sharp ones shown here.) Of course, addition/subtraction cards are made in the same way. Just remember to color code them.

Mrs. Snow has numerous other helpful articles and resources. Check our "A Parent's Guide to the Most Useful Addition Strategies."   You might want to sign up for Kate's weekly newsletter, too. If you do, you'll get these three articles:
Should I Change My Homeschool Math Curriculum?
What to do When Your Homeschooler HATES Math
How to Teach Your Kids to Read Math (and Be More Independent, Too!)

Hurray! Now I can continue working on getting my family ready for wedding #1 this weekend in Texas!


Kate said…
Glad you found the article useful. Thanks for the link!

(And that flower girl dress is adorable!)

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