Why You Should Teach Math in a Right-Brained Way

We have been discussing how to help our children after testing has identified areas of weakness. (See general strategies for helping and strategies for reading help)

Why is math so hard for so many children?

The reason math is hard for so many children is that math is taught in a hyper left-brained fashion. Given that roughly 66% of children prefer a right-brained approach to learning, it is no wonder that math has gotten such a bad rap with kids. What right-brained kids need and thrive on include understanding the meaning behind what they are doing, relevance to their own lives, images showing what is happening, patterns that exist in arrays of numbers and so forth.

Math is normally taught in ways that appeal to the 33% of students who prefer left-brained approaches to learning

    1. Memorization is the primary mode of learning procedures, number facts, and math vocabulary

    2. Math is taught in steps and sequences: first, do this, next do this, then do this

    3. Math is all about symbols that represent other real things; on their own they carry no meaning

    4. Math is full of large vocabulary words that they need to memorize (integer, denominator, addend, etc.)

    But I found as an adult that math is cool once I began to include right-brained elements to help myself learn! It is rich, it can be understood through images and stories, and children who are visual, right-brained CAN learn math easily if it is designed in a way that makes sense to their brains.

    The presentation makes all the difference! In our resources, children will find math presented in ways that marry left-brained symbols with right-brained vehicles for learning and understanding such as:

    • Visuals
    • Personification
    • Pattern design
    • Story
    • Body Motion

    Here are two examples...


    ...from Right-Brained Fractions using right-brained elements to show the meaning of two vocabulary words:

    Story: Nom and Num Ator are brothers.  (“Ator” means “one who” as in “one who counts” and “one who names.”)


    Right-brained fractions

      Num is the guy who counts how many fractional parts we have



    Teach Fractions using stories and images

     Nom is the guy who names the fractional part we are working with



    ...from Right-Brained Multiplication & Division using right-brained elements to bring a concept to life:

    We use personification (& stories) to teach rules. For example, the book begins with Zeroman. With a POOSH of his wand, everything he multiplies or divides turns to a zero. It is as simple as that.


    Right-Brained Multiplication & Division


    How to help your child excel in math: 


    I Can Sing from 1 to 10

    introduces young children to number symbols and counting using full page color illustration and lyrics that can be sung to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep



    I Can Count from 1 - 20 Poster

    a poster of our stylized numbers arranged in rows allowing important number patterns to emerge, each number image includes some details to count and the rhyme helps children relate the image they see to the number symbol 


     I Can Count from 1 to 20 Cards Download

    are a fun and easy way for very young children to learn to recognize numbers and their names, using engaging rhymes, visuals, and personification. These number images are the same ones that appear in Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction. 


    Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

    takes a left-brained subject and integrates right-brained elements and body motion in order to engage the multiple regions in the brain in the learning process. This book introduces numbers including number recognition, counting, writing numbers, ordering numbers, number sense, and teaches addition and subtraction to ten.

    Right-Brained Place Addition & Subtraction Vol. 2

    is an effective way of teaching addition & subtraction for numbers larger than 10 using color, story problems, action, patterns, and fun math games, strategically building on Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction with all computation done in this book based on facts to ten, which the children already know! 


    Right-Brained Multiplication & Division

    utilizes right-brained elements such as symbols embedded in visuals, personification, pattern discovery, story, color coding, body motion, and hands-on practice to help children learn and remember their math facts.

    This approach will show students what multiplication & division means, will relate the two skills to each other. 




    Right-Brained Fractions

    addresses many of the common struggles children have with fractions by defining every term in such a way that the very structure of each word is explored for its meaning, stylizing each term in full color, using real life stories, hands-on components, and models so that students can see what is happening rather than just listening to an explanation.




    If you have any specific questions, please call us at 800-881-0912 or email info@child1st.com. We would love to talk with you about how best to support your child.

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