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Kids and calculators

Posted by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM
• 9 Replies
What age do you usually let you kids start using a calculator for the bigger problems that have multiple steps?

DS, 10, has been learning multiplying mixed numbers. Today he was asking about using a calculator, but I didn't think it was a good idea until he was older. He knows how to multiply and divide bigger numbers, but to me the more he practices the better he'll be. But I was tempted to let him with problems like those. What do you think?
by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM
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Replies (1-9):
by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:13 PM

My daughter started using a calculator when she was 11 and only after she had shown a mastery of the problems with out it.  Even now, at 12, I make her show me random problems with out the calculator to make sure she still knows how to do them.

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:19 PM
My 10 yo has a lot of basic math to master before I let her rely on a calculator. My 11 yo still does most math without a calculator even though he is doing Prealgebra at this point. Honestly, he does most of it in his head so I know he doesn't need a calculator. He always wants to use one to convert fractions to decimals, but I don't let him because he only wants to do it because he doesn't like fractions. I want him to get comfortable with fractions so I make him use them if the problem uses them.

I don't think I used a calculator regularly until high school math, so I don't think I will let my kids for a while still.
by Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:22 PM
Quoting TJandKarasMom: My 10 yo has a lot of basic math to master before I let her rely on a calculator. My 11 yo still does most math without a calculator even though he is doing Prealgebra at this point. Honestly, he does most of it in his head so I know he doesn't need a calculator. He always wants to use one to convert fractions to decimals, but I don't let him because he only wants to do it because he doesn't like fractions. I want him to get comfortable with fractions so I make him use them if the problem uses them.

I don't think I used a calculator regularly until high school math, so I don't think I will let my kids for a while still.

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:24 PM
I encourage them to play with them at a young age. When it comes to school work I would probably let them when they hit pre-algebra. Honestly I rather them use their brains to figure out large problems in their head. I see more a point when they start doing problems are really difficult without using one. I also could see a point in using one to check their math.
by Bronze Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:30 PM
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I just recently let ds start using a calculator.  He is 13 and is doing Algebra 1.   I find it so important for kids to master the 4 basic operations - I mean really really master.  It makes any higher math so much easier.

by Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 8:32 PM
Quoting Silverkitty:

My daughter started using a calculator when she was 11 and only after she had shown a mastery of the problems with out it.  Even now, at 12, I make her show me random problems with out the calculator to make sure she still knows how to do them.

Yeah, I was thinking about having him do like the first half of the page with out one, then he can dothe rest with one.
by Platinum Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Hm, I let them get it out just for certain sections.

by Kim on Apr. 14, 2014 at 11:02 PM
When I taught we used calculators for showing how to switch fractions to decimals (after we did it by hand) and for long division - not to get the answer but to help with multiplying large numbers like 38 in a problem like 123456789 / 38. Because really why do all that by hand?

My guess is ill do the same with DS when he's older - basically pick & choose what to use it for
by Group Admin on Apr. 15, 2014 at 1:20 AM

I just started letting DS 10 use a calculator for his math within the last couple of weeks or so ....BUT he's finishing up Algebra 1 and I thought it was time from him to focus more on the steps and not the math. He's been doing big multiplication and division problems for at least 3 or 4 years now and I know he's proficient.