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Help! My Child is Struggling with Math

by Sarah K Major June 15, 2017

Help! My Child is Struggling with Math

If your child is a kinesthetic learner who struggles with math, it is very likely that there is a mismatch between the child’s learning strengths and the approach being used to teach math. When this is the case, it is actually really great news because the teaching approach can be changed. Let’s keep in mind that upwards of 85% of children are kinesthetic learners.

How math is traditionally taught

  1. Math is taught in sequential steps: do this, then this, then this, and finally this. We’ve just started, but already we’ve lost a few kids.
  2. Learning math content traditionally relies on children memorizing a lot of data: rules, facts, procedures, etc. We’ve just lost a bunch more.
  3. Math is all about symbols that in themselves carry no meaning. Here we lose the rest of the kids.
  4. Math is traditionally taught without hooks that make sense to kinesthetic learners.
  5. Traditional ways of teaching math don’t necessarily take the time to lay a good foundation of number sense – the very thing kinesthetic kids need.

About kinesthetic learners and math

  1. They need to understand what is happening in math – not just learn procedures.
  2. They can’t rely on memorization of facts and procedures, because what they memorize doesn’t stay in long term memory.
  3. Kinesthetic kids tend to see the big picture surrounding the problem and can, if well prepared, imagine or “see” the solution without following little steps that made sense to a mathematician hundreds of years ago.
  4. Kinesthetic children are drawn to math when they are encouraged to discover the amazing patterns that exist when presented with an array of numbers. They end up remembering how to solve problems and remember number facts because of how the numbers fall within a whole array of numbers.
  5. These learners rely on images, story, and body motion (hands-on work) to learn. None of this is traditionally associated with learning math.

Where to start? How to help?

Right-Brained Math is designed to utilize images, body movement, stories, and hands-on activities to teach math in a way that makes sense to kinesthetic learners.

  • It helps kinesthetic learners use their visual and spatial strengths to solve problems
  • It supplies them with a rich visual background that makes sense out of numbers and how they related to each other
  • It transforms math from a tedious pencil and paper chore to an engaging mental and tactile exercise.
  • It makes math engaging.
  • Math concepts stick because children understand what is happening.
  • It empowers them to see solutions visually, allowing them to skip memorizing steps for solving problems.

Foundations

These are the skills children need which form the foundation of all their math studies into the future.

1. Addition and subtraction facts to 10.

There are not that many facts, but when your child knows these instantly and fluently, all subsequent math will be easier. In Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

  • Children are provided with a rich visual background of numbers and what they represent.
  • Stories and visuals provide pattern-detection opportunities which is the next layer in number sense: children learn how numbers relate to each other.
  • Stories and visuals, along with tactile activities allow children to discover combinations of numbers that equal a target number. Using real materials, they answer questions such as “How many ways can you make a 7?” For this activity, they would use 7 counters and two bowls to discover for themselves how many combinations of numbers equal 7. (0 & 7, 1 & 6, 2 & 5, 3 & 4).
  • By studying a global map of all the number combinations to 10, children begin to absorb visually some related characteristics of numbers. For example, by looking at a global mapping of the numbers to 10, children will note that odd numbers (3, 5, 7, 9) will never have two of the same numbers as addends like the even numbers do (2, 4, 6, 8 10). 2+2=4, 3+3=6, etc.

    5 out of 5 stars - My daughter needed help!!!

    By Kasey Wood on June 3, 2014 | Verified Purchase

    "I felt like I had come up against a stone wall with my daughter in math. She just wasn't getting it. She is very very smart, so I knew it was not a learning disability! I got this book and it opened my eyes to different ways of learning. I wished that I would have been taught this way as a child. I struggled all through school. I hated math! My daughter loves this way of learning. She is flowering with it. Thank you so much for writing this book. This book is not a series of lessons, but rather teaches you (the teacher) how to teach a right brained student. It teaches you how they think and learn. It also provides you with everything you will need to do. Not text book style. You will have to get used to something more creative. Don't worry, it gives you many ideas. It's so easy you will wonder why you didn't think of yourself!!!"

    Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

    Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

    Learn more about Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction Book and Games

    2. Addition and subtraction with numbers over 10 – place value.

    This is the next skill set which is taught based on the facts to 10. Once children are fluent with the facts to 10, all other addition and subtraction is rooted in these facts. Children will be engaged in making 10s and in taking from 10s. Using this approach, you by-pass the need to struggle with borrowing and with carrying, which can be very frustrating to children.

    Right-Brained Place Value picks up where Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction left off.

    • Children review their facts to 10.
    • Stories and visuals and tactile materials help children understand the idea of place value. Because these concepts are taught from within a story, children naturally remember what do to when they are adding numbers with a sum greater than 10. They simply make a 10 and put the left over 1’s in the space to the right of the 10.
    • Related games with color-coded numbers add novelty and the fun factor to fluency with computing.

    On April 18, 2015, Buyer said:

    "My daughter did so well with the flashcards I wanted to find something to help her with math. Looking at math this way just makes so much sense to her as a super visual learner! Thanks for another great resource."

    Right-Brained Place Value

    Right-Brained Place Value

    Learn more about Right-Brained Place Value Book & Games

    3. Multiplication & division.

    This often-dreaded subject becomes easy and attainable when it is presented to kinesthetic children using all the right-brained elements that make perfect sense to them. A prerequisite for this study is fluency with sums to 10 (see item 1 above).

    The track record of Right-Brained Multiplication & Division is that children who had failed to learn their multiplication tables were able to very quickly master them when they used this right-brained approach.

    MY SON LOVES THIS!

    Unknown on Feb 15, 2016

    "My son loves this book! He is definitely a right-brain learner and this is a book that he can actually enjoy while he is learning. We have had no tears with this book, as we have with regular homework. Just yesterday we finished a chapter and he decided to read the next one on his own!"

    Right-Brained Multiplication & Division

    Right-Brained Multiplication & Division

    Learn more about Right-Brained Multiplication & Division Book and Cards

    4. Fractions

    are historically one of those hated subjects because children rarely understand what is actually happening when they compute using fractions. Traditionally, children are just asked to memorize fractions and the rules for computing with them.

    Using Right-Brained Fractions, stories and tactile materials show children what fractions really are and show children what is actually happening when they compute with fractions.

    By efrensgirl on February 28, 2016 | Verified Purchase

    "This really makes understanding fractions easy"

    Right-Brained Fractions

     Right-Brained Fractions

    Learn more about Right-Brained Fractions

    Expected outcomes of using Right-Brained Math resources

    1. Children will have confidence in their ability to “do math”
    2. Children will be engaged and enjoy math
    3. Children will have a strong visual and body background in numbers and how to use them
    4. Children will learn how they learn best so they can help themselves in future math classes

    Where is your child when it comes to math? Is he counting on his fingers to add and subtract? Is she ok with adding but says she “can’t do” subtraction? Is he struggling with borrowing and carrying? Multiplication tables a problem?

    Use Right-Brained math resources and experience the difference it makes for your child!

    If you need any help or want to discuss your child’s needs more in-depth, please use our contact form to reach out to us. Or call us at 800-881-0912.





    Sarah K Major
    Sarah K Major

    Author

    Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.


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