Thursday, August 30, 2007

Math for "right-brained" learners

I love my eight-year-old. She is very artistic, creative, and has a great imagination. But it is very hard to get math across to her. It seems as if she makes things too hard. She will understand the general lesson, but when it comes to working the problems, she has so much trouble getting through it. I feel like she just freezes sometimes.

I know she needs to drill some of these addition facts, but she tenses up whenever I mention it. She is very worried if I try to give her a time limit, but I know that her dependence on a number line is going to make math harder for her later on.

Last spring at our local homeschool convention, we had a chance to hear from Dianne Craft. I missed her talk about right-brained learners, but I snagged a handout. There was my sweet little girl, all described in black and white on the page. I went over to her table and got a copy of a lecture that she had done about right-brained learners. She was selling a set of flashcards to teach multiplication to right-brained kids. I did not buy it because frankly, I didn’t want to think about multiplication until we got past the obstacle of addition and subtraction!

One day this past summer, I found a couple of books on Amazon. They are called Addition the Fun Way, and Times Tables the Fun Way. They are written by Judy Liautaud. Dianne Craft says on her website that, “Right brainers learn anything easier when emotion, color, or stories are added to the learning method.” These books fit that description perfectly.

We have not tried the Times Tables book yet. The addition book is going so well, I want to give that a chance to take hold. I can tell you that she is enjoying the new way of doing math. The speed isn’t quite there yet, we’ve been doing this such a short time. But she is changing her attitude and is much more relaxed about math. She wants to do it, and has fun telling me the story that goes along with each addition problem I give her.


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