Home School Heartbeat Radio Program
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Please note: Today’s program is a rerun that first aired on September 18, 2008.
We all know that you need the ABCs for reading, but what are the building blocks of math? Find out on today’s Home School Heartbeat with HSLDA President Mike Smith and his guest, Henderson State University math professor Fred Worth.
Want more extensive help from Fred Worth? Check out his on-demand e-vents from HSLDA’s @home e-vents!
Mathematics is fairly unique in academics. It and maybe language arts are the most sequence-dependent subjects. We don’t start trying to teach complicated algebra until after children have learned their basic arithmetic skills. So it’s important that homeschool parents pay very close attention to the level of understanding their children have as they work through the mathematics.
A lot of problems in mathematics arise because previous material wasn’t learned on a deep enough level. Lack of understanding may not show up right away—it might show up a couple or three years later. Parents should regularly give their children the opportunity to play teacher. Let the children teach how to work a problem, and make them explain why they do what they do. Make sure they understand what they’re doing, but you also want to make sure they understand why.
If a child struggles with mathematics, don’t stress about how fast you go through the materials. I’d rather have a student only get through algebra I, but really understand it, than go through lots of mathematical content with minimal understanding.