Ok..is this how would you solve this problem?  
          84
X        79
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      5600
        280
        720
          36
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      6636
 
This was the way the book handled the example for my 4th grade daughter’s math homework last night.  Can ANYONE explain to me how this is supposed to be a logical method of solving the problem?  I understand breaking it up and doing it all as single digit multiplication with the  place holders…BUT what is the logic of having her do the TENS column first and moving in the opposite direction from what is used in other operations.  It seems to me that this will only add to confusion when it comes to regrouping (carrying). 
 
Please note, tonight’s homework will go back to working right to left again and require regrouping be done on the same line as shown below. 
 
      31
   X 67
  -------
     217
   1860
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   2077
 
They seem to wonder why my kid is having problems with math.  SHE HATES IT!!!  Hmm...the rules seem to change on a daily basis.  Which direction should I move working this problem? You know, I think that is probably a big part of it. It takes FOREVER..(ok, that may be an exaggeration, but multiple hours is not) to get her homework done.
 
I just wish they would show her a method that is consistent with the rules for the rest of the math she has been doing…so the rules stay the same (move in this direction...regroup like this, etc.)  Something that will work EVERY TIME so she can learn it and get sufficient practice would be wonderful.  No changing everything from day to day would be wonderful.  Quite literally, Tabitha has been given a different way to solve the problems every night for a week. She is not getting more than a day of practice with any of them before they change it again.  I understand that not everyone learns the same way, but this is ridiculous. 
 
Has anyone else had this situation?  I called my daughter’s school and was connected with the principal.  She noted other parents are also frustrated with this curriculum.  She also noted she will have Tabitha’s math teacher call me because she says there are ways to deal with the struggles we are having.  I sure hope so.  She agrees that it should not be taking up all our time.

Elaine