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The Hundred Chart is a simple tool that parents can use to help their children learn math. There are as many ways to use it as there are numbers on the chart, from teaching simple number recognition to learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and figuring out basic math patterns.

Recently I gave my friend Mellissa a few copies of The Hundred Chart along with a few suggestions for using it with her children’s homeschool math. A few days ago told me that she posted a copy at the breakfast table and now, after a couple weeks, her 6-year-old daughter is counting to 100. 

The chart looks like this: (more…)

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Note: a shorter version of this post will be published in the September 2009 issue of the Southwest Homeschool Network newsletter

“My son has trouble with division,” a young mom told me once. “I think it’s because he hasn’t memorized his multiplication facts.”

She explained that her child had figured out his own method for getting the right answers to multiplication problems. He just kept adding the multiplied number mentally until he had added it enough times for a correct answer. His multiplication method was slow, but it gave him right answers. Division had him stumped though. He couldn’t figure out the problems.

Although it may not appear that way, this boy’s trouble with division was the same problem that 5-year-old Elias had with addition the day I asked him, “How many places should we set for lunch today?”

First Elias counted himself and me. Then we talked about the other people who would be eating lunch with us – my husband (who was working in the garage), Grandma (who lived in a mobile home on the back of our lot), and Daniel (who was asleep in the loft). This talking wasn’t enough. Elias still couldn’t figure out how many places to set. If all five people had been there in the room, he could have easily figured out the answer by counting them. But since he couldn’t see the people, he couldn’t count them.

I tried to help him by showing him how to count people in his head, using my fingers to represent each person : “You (thumb), me (index finger), Dennis (middle finger), Grandma (ring finger), Daniel (pinkie) – one-two-three-four-five – see?”

His face went completely blank. Obviously, to Elias, a finger did not represent a person. He could not count people by counting fingers.

This is a developmental characteristic. (more…)

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