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How do you teach a kid math?

I am having the hardest time trying to explain math to my son. He is working on subtraction using the barrowing method, and I can't seem to get him to understand. We even tried some websites, but he is still struggling. I have no money for tutoring, but I hate seeing him struggle. Poor guy gets so frustrated and I know exactly how he feels. I've always had problems with math myself. Any suggestions on how to help him would be great.

Answer Question

Asked by berrysweetmamma at 11:01 PM on Sep. 18, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 9 (240 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • First make sure he is very confident with place value. That is extremely key.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:02 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  •  I know you said you had looked at websites but I really like this one.

    Also talk to his teacher about him staying after one day for a little extra help.


    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:06 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Have it do it by counting. Make piles of small objects and show how you have to borrow.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 11:12 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • I agree with PGA, make it visual. Use pennies or M & M's and have him show the subtraction that way.

    Answer by kmath at 11:14 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Check with you library. I can't remember the name but the book was something like

    Fun Math with M&Ms.

    I think you best bet is with a hands on method. In other words, physically, demonstrating how it works.


    one pile of ten M&Ms another pile of M&Ms some sort of divider and one set of 3

    have her physically count the three in the ones column.
    Do you have enough to take 6 away? No?.
    Where will we get them?
    We will take one pile of M&Ms (10) and move it into the ones pile.
    Can you take 6 away from this pile now> Of course you can. Now how many are left? 7

    Now let's do it on the paper.

    Move everything back
    we had 23 but we needed to "borrow some time be able to take what we needed away

    When we take 10 from here The tens column, we no longer have 2 sets of ten or twenty, do we? We only have 1. so we cross out the 2 and make a one.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:22 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Now we have a set of ten in our hand. Where are we going to put it? That is right. In the ones column.
    so we put a little 0ne, for one group of 10 next to the 3 and now we can do the problem.
    There are a lot of great and easy to do sorting and math problems in the book. That is just my personal type of demo.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:25 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Thanks. I was thinking some sort of visual, but I didn't know what. I think the M&M's are a great idea. I'll have to try it. Appreciate your help. We were just frustrated yesterday and exhausted from all the work. I'll have to try this when he is calm and can listen.

    Comment by berrysweetmamma (original poster) at 2:56 PM on Sep. 19, 2013

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