Talk

(21 Posts)
southeastastra Sun 07-Jun-09 12:56:52

it's so frustrating trying to teach him basic subtraction. any suggestions before i tear out all my hair.

southeastastra Sun 07-Jun-09 13:15:59

anyone? or is anyone else's 7 year old as bad as mine

TimeForMe Sun 07-Jun-09 13:48:35

My dd age 6 struggles a bit with maths and her teacher recommended this site www.mathszone.co.uk/ We use it quite a bit at home now and her confidence levels with maths have increased. Also, I try not to put too much pressure on her as this only seems to make the situation worse. If she doesn't grasp the concept of what we are trying to learn I leave it for another time. A number line can be pretty useful too, you could ask the teacher to give you one. They use them in class. HTH

TimeForMe Sun 07-Jun-09 13:50:06

PS DD is 7 in August.

missmapp Sun 07-Jun-09 13:52:38

Agree with timeforme, is also a good idea to see his teacher to ensure you are teaching the same method, as this can be v confusing. I would recommend as practical approach as possible, acting out the 'sum' if that works. For example if it is 8-5, then write I have 8 sweets, igive u 5 etc, and actually act out the problem using sweets, or blocks. ive done this with struggling mathematicians in my yr3 class and it seemed to help.

ellingwoman Sun 07-Jun-09 14:15:09

I found with dd3 that she was getting confused with all the different words - subtract, take-away, minus, the difference. Once she realised that they all meant the same it was merely an uphill struggle instead of a completely hopeless case.

Agree with using sweets. You can actually uuse the word 'take-away' with this scenario. Then write it down as a number sentence. Dd also didn't understand for ages tthat the big number always went first.

trickerg Sun 07-Jun-09 15:52:32

What are you calling 'bad at maths'? What can't he do?

southeastastra Sun 07-Jun-09 17:39:05

i will talk to the teacher to see if she can help me help him at home.

he can just about add up single figures trick but today was basic subtraction ie 10 - 8 that he was struggling with.

i wish i could understand why he struggles so much.

southeastastra Sun 07-Jun-09 17:39:28

opps was meant to be a rather than insane grin!

trickerg Sun 07-Jun-09 18:22:51

Here are a few simple subtraction games:

www.sums.co.uk/playground/c1a/playground.htm

www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/subtractiontest.html

www.ictgames.com/soccer_subtraction.html

The last one's a football one - took me ages to work out what to do! You click the Brazil players to subtract, then click the England player to shoot!!

dancingbear Sun 07-Jun-09 18:50:59

To uncover why he doesn't understand you need to continually ask him about how he's solving a problem - get him to justify him answer, take through a problem before he attempts to solve it - not just when he gets it wrong or he'll see it as a critisism. Allow him to decide his own method as long as he's comfortable with it.
Would stay away from pen & paper - it's too dry and it's too passive, he needs to learn actively - use a white board to illustrate problems - it makes it a more shared experience.
Ask him to be the teacher and you be the pupil. Do maths with sweets - sharing between teddies. Pasta as he eats the last few tubes. Money - encourage him to learn coin combinations so he can try it out at his local sweet shop. Plant a sunflower, measure it weekly, plot a graph of height aginst time. In short make Maths as relevant as possible to the "real world".

Try and get him to do very simple puzzles/games - they'll help him to see numbers more flexibly and it'll be more fun for him...think the BBC education site has a few.

Keep it positive - have a self-rule that when you get annoyed/shout at him, you stop the session immediately.

Even just 5-10 minutes a day could make all the difference - I know it has with my DS.

cornsilk Sun 07-Jun-09 18:56:11

Numbershark is an excellent ICT resource for reinforcing basic number facts (and beyond). Also Deinnes blocks are good as they make it a multisensory learning experience. Don't be afraid of giving him concrete apparatus to use - research shows that children are expected to work without apparatus in maths too early.

Feenie Sun 07-Jun-09 19:05:01

Ahhhh, trickerg - I LOVE rabbit takeaway!

I miss it in Year 5

TimeForMe Sun 07-Jun-09 19:22:50

Awh bless him. My little girl is just the same. She seems to get a mental blockage no matter how hard she tries to think. Try not to worry about him too much, I am sure that one day things will just click with him and there will be no stopping him

ahundredtimes Sun 07-Jun-09 19:32:08

My ds2 is useless as well. So am I. It's difficult to explain how and why you don't get it, you just don't. It's like pouring water on a stone, it makes a mark, but then it's gone.

I agree re all the physical activities. Though I've given up ds2 and I both got v. distracted by the wrong things

do you like the red sweets more than the green ones?

Yes I think I do. They look like rubies.

Do you think they'd ever just make a packet of the red ones on their own?

I don't know, they might do, but it'd be a big risk because they wouldn't know for sure whether everyone liked the red ones best, so maybe people wouldn't buy them?

PAUSE. Both: what was the sum again?

Dh is now in charge.

Sun 07-Jun-09 19:55:02

why don't you try him with an old fashioned abacas

Sun 07-Jun-09 19:55:10

Here we are -hope this helps:

www.societyforqualityeducation.org/index.php/stairwaytomath

Sun 07-Jun-09 22:51:17

my DS loves darts - have you thought of giving it a go, hes 7 too and has been playing about 18 months. has done wonders for his mental arithmetic.

<proud mom>

silvercloud Mon 08-Jun-09 10:10:13

try bbc bitesize key stage 1~the games are fun and easy and they are in control.

go back to absolute basics,counting things in the kitchen,on his plate,tv channels,counting up and down.Use an abacus to see the number bonds that make 10.Count the days in the week,months of the year etc.

Does he like sport,play games where you have to get 10 catches,first one up to 20 etc.

Also board games like snakes and ladders,frustration,monopoly,using dice gives loads of practice,also Risk if he is doing well.

Mon 08-Jun-09 10:13:15

Agree with other posters that you can practice maths in daily life and try to get him to grasp the abstract concept of subtraction using his fingers, nose, toes.

We sit around the table with the children at supper and ask DD (4.7) to tell us how many fingers there are at table. And how many fingers there would be if DSS2 wasn't there. And how many there would be if DSS1 and DSS2 weren't there. And how many there would be if Mummy chopped her hand off.

Etc.

southeastastra Mon 08-Jun-09 11:41:53

thanks for the links and suggestions. i will try an abacus too, forgot about them .

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now