Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How to get my child to understand double digit subtration?

I am sorry ladies I word it wrong but thank you so much for the input.

He gets confused after you borrow if the number on top is smaller that the bottom.

Ex: 96
- 27 He is in 2nd grade he needs to do this right, how can I help

without getting mad at him or impatient.

Thank you so much Ladies what would we do with out eachother.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:42 PM on Mar. 5, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (6)
  • Make sure you are doing it the same way he is learning it in school. My son is only 20 years behind me and math TOTALLY changed, so when I tried to help him I just confused him more.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 7:54 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • I think that in 2nd grade he is just being introducted to that kind of subtraction. It will show up next year in his 3rd grade math book. He's probably not expected to master it the first time. When I teach my children, I cover up the part of the problem that is not part of the step he is working on. For borrowing, I would have him cross out the number borrowed from, write in the new number it changed to, and write the 1 in front of the number that needed to be increased. Then I would cover up the tens column, and tell him to just subtract as if it were a simple subtraction problem. Then I would cover up the ones column, and have him subtract the tens. Showing that the steps are simply easy things he's done before makes it look a lot less monumental.

    Answer by momo8child at 12:07 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • Try these:

    Subtraction with or without regrouping

    Two digit subtraction

    We used these to help my kindergardener understand subtraction.  Good visuals.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • the way i learned (and it got me into advanced math in 3rd grade) if you have:


    subtract each column from right to left. 0-0 is 0 2-1 is 1. answer is 10. thats how i learned. now i can do it without thinking lol i have super brain lol

    Answer by ssnelson26 at 1:50 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • My daughter is horrible at math. Here is what she finally understood. The numbers on the top are the parents the bottom are the children. Then I told a story . One day the number on the bottom left was getting ready to go to school. She asked her mom above her for some lunch money. The mom in a panic realized she didnt' have any money and ran next door and asked to borrow a 1. The next door said sure and mom ran home holding the one. Now the 1 is next to the mom and the next door neighbor has 1 less. We told the same story for each problem for a whole page of problems. She now can't forget it and it will probably haunt her forever. haha stupid i know but I tried everything.

    Answer by MACY7108 at 11:28 AM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • I used to teach second grade. The type of subtraction you are talking about is called "subtraction with regrouping". They used to call it "borrowing". Anyway, the issue most kids have with this is that they are trying to cross out numbers and go through all of the steps without really understanding why. The best thing to do would be to ask your child's teacher to show you how to "regroup" using manipulatives (base ten blocks). And don't feel dumb about it. You would be surprised how many adults know how to go through the motioins of subtracting, but don't really understand why you cross out and carry, etc. Your child probably just needs a little more practice using the blocks as they are more concrete and easy to understand before moving on to paper/pencil as that is too abstract for him. He'll get it with more practice .

    Answer by sports2mom at 11:50 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.