Delaying Math

by | Math | 6 comments

Dear Bluedorns,

I have reached the point with my 9yos where I may be ready to try your recommendations regarding math. I must admit that I have been too “chicken” until now. I realized today, while teaching two-digit multiplication, that he can follow the steps without prompting, but he does not understand why those steps make sense. I have always insisted that my children understand the “why,” and not just the “how.” He also struggles with fractions, which makes me think that your recommendation to delay math may just make sense for him. My questions are these: 1) if we abandon our current math programs (Singapore with Horizons for review), what should we do for the rest of the year, since he has already covered so much math? 2) How/when should we reintroduce a math program? He is doing 4th-grade work right now.

Your idea about delaying formal math is especially intriguing to me at this point in my life, since I am pregnant with our fourth child. The thought of spending this pregnancy in a chair with good books and my children, instead of serving as taskmaster over the workbook, is most appealing.

Thank you for your time. – AmyH in Memphis, TN

Perhaps you could spend the rest of the year playing math type games such as dominoes, RummyCube, or cribbage. Play these in the evening when Dad is home and can help.

I suggest waiting till he is ten and starting with a book similar to Saxon 65. I’m not familiar with any of the other math curricula, so I don’t know where he would start with the others, but most math programs have placement tests which will help you decide. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trial and error — try one book, and if it doesn’t work try a different level. If you can borrow books or get them used then it won’t cost you too much.

Have fun and read the winter away — and let us know what books you’re reading! Laurie