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February 14, 2008



That's funny - the way your son subtracts with the negative number is exactly how I run numbers in my head (and I usually can do basic math and have an answer before people find their calculator). I never realized I diverged from what I do on paper, but now that you say it, it's when I try to do it the paper way in my head that I make mistakes because I forget what number I already had in the first column by the time the next one is done. Fascinating!


Without meaning, some kids don't really learn.

You've got it right! Although, I would venture to say that all kids need things to be meaningful in some way in order to learn.

Thanks for your insight... good to know for the future!


The way your son worked through the subtraction problem is exactly the way my daughter was taught to do it in her 3rd grade class. It was one of 4 different strategies they were shown for working through that problem. They also do a ton of word problems every day. Some schools also work hard to recognize and honor the different way kids learn.


This is so insightful for me! My oldest is five, and adding well. She loves story problems, and I couldn't figure out what was 'wrong' with her! ha!
Anyway, I think it's good food for thought for the other two kids coming up. I like the comment related to lying about subtraction, too.


I kind of do math that way too!


Thank you for sharing this post with the readers of this week's Carnival of Family Life! This week the Spring is Just Around the Corner Edition is hosted at home at Colloquium! Hope you will drop by and read some of the many other wonderful entries received this week!


Thanks for sharing your son's method of subtraction. My daughter, 7, does the same thing and had this not been our third year of homeschooling with lots of living math, I would never have been comfortable allowing her to work the problems that way. I think she also "sees" a number line in her head when she works. I agree with you - it is more labyrithine (?) than linear. It makes me wonder what my other two DDs, 4 and 1, will throw my way!

gina b

Wow, Stephanie, that is so interesting! This topic is of interest to me since I have 2 preschoolers with learning disabilities. At present, with early intervention, intermediate unit pre-K, and daycare they seem to be thriving (and right now I work). But while I've always wanted my kids integrated into school, I wonder if I should perhaps consider homeschooling if they encounter difficulties. I know that Amelia, who has down syndrome, does not learn concepts or rote easily. And Zoe has sensory integration disorder, which makes anything tactile or loud out of the question. She has to learn in bits and pieces.

Very interesting...thank you for sharing!

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