Eyewitness to Dumbing Down


people-316506_1280Uh Oh! We’re in trouble!

We run a educational bookstore business, and we often hire employees to help us. Usually these are college students. Recently we decided to give a simple math test to our potential employees as a way to screen out those who may make costly computation errors when working for us. I was stunned at the ease of the standard industry test form we found: simple division and multiplication, addition and subtraction that required “carrying” (“regrouping”). Nothing very advanced. I know that my 11-year-old could do it easily, as could yours!

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Egg Carton School


I am always looking for ways to “fun up” learning, and this one is a hit . All you need is an egg carton to make practicing facts fun. For little ones, you can practice color or number recognition, or beginning letter sounds. Elementary age children can drill their addition facts or times tables, or practice more advanced phonics sounds. Even 12-year-olds think it is fun to do their math facts practice this way.

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Messed up in Math


Our granddaughter goes to public school and she is struggling so hard with math. The school has really messed her up and is teaching her things backwards. When we try to help her it confuses her. They are teaching her to do math problems from left to right, to do all of her borrowing before she even starts to subtract right to left. She hates math because of it and it is so hard to get to work on her math homework. We tell her how important math is and how she will use it the rest of her life. Do you have any suggestions that would help us? [Read more…]

Memorizing the Times Tables

My grandson Isaac

My grandson Isaac


My 11-year-old boy is still trying to memorize his times tables. He’s finally gotten his 5’s and 9’s (and of course 0’s, 1’s and 2’s) but the rest seem to be hard for him. I’m wondering what we can do without spending much. [Read more…]

Indispensable Math Facts


Math facts! Those stalwart, foundational facts that carry us through our lives, making us able compute things in our head at the grocery store and figure out the cost of a tank of gas. We need them! Our kids need them! Let’s give it our best to teach them to our kids, making their experiences with math much easier.

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Times Tables Fun


Mastering the math facts is one of the journeys and victories of childhood. The sooner they are learned to the “automatic-response” stage, the better! All math that follows requires the basic addition and mulitiplication facts. One mathematics professor at the university said that most of the problems his Calculus students misssed on tests were due to math fact errors, not because they didn’t know the formulas!

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