# Public school math is confusing...

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That is the point, actually, to make them think... their brains are still developing and can grasp some pretty amazing mathematical concepts if they can start doing serious mental math.

I doubted the mental math that some of our curriculum's taught my daughter, too... but I've seen some terrific mathematical ability from her.

However, that being said, some kids don't have that level of capacity for math, so it's hard to push stuff like that in a public school setting.

Quoting calimom1123:

I get it but I really dont understand how it makes things easier for kids. Its really not that hard to just line up the numbers and do it the old way with borrowing. The other way takes alot more thinking.

Note: Knowing new math is helpful when doing very large numbers. But all children should first learn the old math , and then learn concepts (new math)....not the reverse. Math U See teaches the old math, and their first series that uses manipulative's gives children a very important understanding of math that is omitted in public schools now.

However, the children have to learn new math in order to pass the standardized tests, and move on to the next grade...they can pass the tests, but can't do basic math when they get to college. Since your child is in P.S. , I would recommend your child learn both new and old math. Using Math U See's beginning manipulative's are a simple way to do that.

As for parents learning the new math, many teachers give parents after school classes on on this math so that you can teach your child. Ask your school principle about this, and if they don't have one, help him organize one.

My brother has two boys in public school...they are doing poorly in math as the whole state has changed curriculum this year. The division is VERY confusing and they are trying something called "zip zap zero" and another way to do division. When one could not do either, the teacher told him he could use the traditional way. What is going on with our schools? What is wrong with the old way of doing division?!??!?!!?

I use Math U See with my daughter and she is flying through it, so I see where you're coming from.

It's my neighbor's daughter that is having the hard time with the public school math and I only see her a few days a week after school so unfortunatly I have no time to sit down and teach both concepts with her. I actually popped in some of our videos for her, but I think those confused her even more, especially since I'm not even sure where this type of assignment would fall into one of the videos...(Another neighbor of mine has the videos before Gamma, and she let us borrow hers and recommended certain ones) My neighbor tries helping her, but becomes so frustrated. I've offered to have her daughter come over when they work on math and I'll help, but I've yet to have it happen. I'd like them both here actually so maybe my neighbor can also see what it is they want the kids to do... I'm just at an impass with explaining the hows of the assignment to her :/

We did make a slight breakthrough last night. When she was supposed to be writing out the expanded form, say: 439= 400 + 30 + 9. She couldn't even do that. She would have numbers from who knows where... 439 = 40 + 394 + 990. She had no idea the numbers she was supposed to be using was right there in front of her even. I told her to say the number out loud at first but she wrote 439=4+3+9. We were close! I then told her to write EXACTLY what she was saying and she finally got two of those on her own. She can add and subtract and even multiply amazingly quick so I think she has a good foundation at least there, but she can not apply the math at all. I'm almost positive she never grasped what they were supposed to be doing in class when they were first explained to about it, and they're now left to their own devices.

My neighor has written a letter to the school, teacher and principal, about not being able to really help with homework because she has no clue what they're supposed to be doing, and has gotten nothing back from them. I wrote up one last night for her to...I just need to edit it (it was late last night when I typed it) and submit it yet this morning (its all electronic so kids can't "forget" to give stuff to the teachers).

Quoting romacox:

Note: Knowing new math is helpful when doing very large numbers. But all children should first learn the old math , and then learn concepts (new math)....not the reverse. Math U See teaches the old math, and their first series that uses manipulative's gives children a very important understanding of math that is omitted in public schools now.

However, the children have to learn new math in order to pass the standardized tests, and move on to the next grade...they can pass the tests, but can't do basic math when they get to college. Since your child is in P.S. , I would recommend your child learn both new and old math. Using Math U See's beginning manipulative's are a simple way to do that.

As for parents learning the new math, many teachers give parents after school classes on on this math so that you can teach your child. Ask your school principle about this, and if they don't have one, help him organize one.

This is what is going on as explained by a neurologist: She also explains new and traditional math.

Quoting Crowsnest5:My brother has two boys in public school...they are doing poorly in math as the whole state has changed curriculum this year. The division is VERY confusing and they are trying something called "zip zap zero" and another way to do division. When one could not do either, the teacher told him he could use the traditional way. What is going on with our schools? What is wrong with the old way of doing division?!??!?!!?

The point is, when moving from concrete math (maths dealing with specific values) and try transitioning to more advanced maths which deal with a lot more variables, it can be a huge leap. The New Math is a means of trying to make lower maths a little less concrete. It's just terrible at it...lol...

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- kirbymom

Sonja on Oct. 10, 2012 at 6:59 PMMe too Me too Please? lol :)