Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Tip for the Reluctant Mathematician

Amazingly, in 15 years of parenthood, it's just been this year that we've used an abacus to help with math. In the past I guess my kids just learned fine with the Base 10 blocks that we have, or other handy around-the-house manipulatives (cheerios, pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, etc.).

With my reluctant mathematician, though, these things weren't working too well. So I pulled out our handy dandy Melissa and Doug abacus. (you can find these online, or at parent-teacher type stores. They are very well made, and not expensive.)

This abacus comes in super handy for just about any kind of math we do. It helps my son see for himself how addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division work, and also how they are interrelated. One big plus (that I would have done well to appreciate in my earlier years) is that there are not removable parts. Major helpful when your house is already strewn with parts and pieces of all manner of educational (and otherwise) items.

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