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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
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     The Teaching Home E-Mail Newsletter #38
     Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement

     June 11, 2003
     Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

Table of Contents

  • 15-Part Basic Skills Series: Math
  •      Beginning Math for Your Young Child
  •      How To Teach Math
  •      Math Objectives
  •      How To Solve Story Problems
  •      Online Math Resources
  •      8 Ways To Teach Higher Math
  • For Fathers
  • Flag Day
  • Recommended Resources
  •      Kumon Math & Reading Centers
  •      Software (Flashcards)
  •      Laurelwood Publications New & Used Curriculum
  •      Teaching Home Back Issues


         In this issue we bring to a close our 15-Part Basic Skills Series. You can access all the past issues on our newly indexed Newsletter Archive site:

         May the Lord richly bless your family for His glory as you bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord!

    Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
    The Teaching Home is a 22-year-old, home-school family business.

         Kumon Math & Reading Centers (Call 1-800-ABC-MATH)
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         * Curriculum designed to take your child from
              kindergarten to high school in Math & Reading.
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    15-Part Series on Basic Skills
    by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, editors

         Our 15-part series is written to help you evaluate your children's skill levels and help them improve in those areas.
         Topics are listed with the newsletter number in parenthesis. These can be viewed in our Newsletter Archives at

         1. Listening (#18)
         2. Word Analysis/Phonics (#19)
         3. Vocabulary (#21)
         4. Reading Comprehension: Knowledge (#23)
         5. Reading Comprehension (#25)
         6. Reading Comprehension (#26)
         7. Reading Comprehension: Analysis & Synthesis (#28)
         8. Reading Comprehension: Application (#29)
         9. Reading Comprehension: Evaluation (#30)
          Spelling (#32)
         11. Grammar (#34)
         12. Penmanship (#35)
         13. Writing, Part 1 (#36)
         14. Writing, Part 2 (#37)
         15. Math (#38) (This Issue)

         Mathematics reveals the consistency and beauty of God's truth. It is used in measurements of fair trade, in scientific studies, and for producing all that is necessary or helpful to mankind.

    Beginning Math for Your Young Child
         There are several steps you can take to help your young child make math an important part of his everyday life.

    1. Hearing Numbers
    * Let your child hear you counting plates, making change,
         comparing prices, and measuring to show him that math is

    2. Saying Numbers
    * After your child has heard you counting for some time, have him
         say the numbers with you.
    * Teach your child to count by 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s.

    3. Associating Numbers with Objects
    * As you count blocks, help him touch each one.
    * Pose a simple problem such as "There are four of us. If Grandma
         comes to lunch, how many plates do we need?"
    * Play games that involve counting such as moving his marker in a
         board game.

    4. Working with Numbers
    * Let children help measure, double, or halve a recipe while

    5. Studying Math
    * Make math a priority in daily study, early in the day.
    * Minimize distractions.
    * Stay with your child to help him over any hurdles in new

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    How To Teach Math
         In order to teach math effectively and efficiently, we must balance the different components of instruction:

    1. Present Math Concepts
         Use objects and situations encountered in everyday life to show the need for math and how it works.
    * Demonstrate number quantities and math operations using blocks,
         measuring tools, clocks, coins, and purchased or homemade
    * Continue to use concrete visual aids that involve seeing,
         touching, and moving objects.

    2. Practice Math Mechanics
         Practice the mechanics of math operations and procedures intensively until your child thoroughly masters them.
    * While he is still young, have your child memorize the math
         (addition and multiplication) so that his recall is
         instantaneous. These are the foundation for success in any
         math work.
    * Teach, practice, and review daily the basic math skills
         (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) including
         fractions, decimals, and measurements.

    3. Apply Math Skills
         Apply math skills in everyday situations or realistic story problems.
    * Spend ample time and effort to make sure your child is able to
         use his math skills in practical ways.

    (See Back Issues: Jan./Feb. '96; Jan./Feb. '99).

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    Math Objectives
         A group of prominent math educators has compiled a list of 12 components of math education they consider essential:

    1. Problem Solving -- be able to choose which math skills and procedures to use in order to solve a problem and realize whether it could have multiple or alternate solutions.

    2. Communicating Mathematical Ideas -- be familiar with the language and notation of mathematics.

    3. Logical Reasoning -- make a hypothesis (tentative conclusion) and understand that even one counterexample (failure) disproves a hypothesis; discriminate between valid and invalid arguments.

    4. Applications -- see how mathematics is applied by translating everyday situations into graphs, tables, diagrams, or mathematical expressions and interpreting these; use of proportion, percent, direct or inverse variation, and ratio.

    5. Reasonableness -- always check to see if an answer makes sense.

    6. Estimation -- be able to compute an estimated answer using mental arithmetic and to decide how precise an answer needs to be in a given situation.

    7. Computational Skills -- be proficient in calculations with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions and be able to decide whether to solve a problem mentally, on paper, or with a calculator.

    8. Algebraic Thinking -- learn to use negative numbers, variables (represented by letters), equations, and formulas; observe how one quantity changes in relation to another.

    9. Measurement -- be able to understand and solve problems involving time, temperature, distance, weight, angles, area, and volume.

    10. Geometry -- know the terms parallel, perpendicular, congruent, similar, and symmetrical.

    11. Statistics -- understand mean, median, mode, range, and deviation; know how to collect and organize data; know the uses and misuses of statistics.

    12. Probability -- learn basic principles of probability.

         Buy Teaching Home Back Issues Online

  • Select from 51 Never-Out-of-Date Back Issues.
  • Practical How-Tos & Teaching Tips.
  • Search for Topics You Need.
  • Find Information, Inspiration & Encouragement!      Each Issue Is Pictured and All Articles Are Listed.

    How To Solve Story Problems
         Because this skill is directly applicable to everyday life, it is important to teach your child the steps involved in solving a story or real-life problem.

    __ 1. Read or define the problem; get a general idea of what the problem is about.

    __ 2. Draw a picture or diagram showing what you know and/or list and label everything in the problem; decide which given information is important and what information you are looking for.

    __ 3. Set up an equation or equations containing given information and symbols that show relationships between known and unknown quantities, using any applicable formulas. This most crucial step requires familiarity with the language of math (e.g., 2x-3 = x+4 means three less than twice a number is equal to four more than the number).

    __ 4. Solve the equation.

    __ 5. Answer the original question presented by the problem, giving all the quantities asked for in appropriate units.

    __ 6. Think about your answer; be sure it make sense.

    Online Math Resources
    Math and Aeronautics
    Higher Math
    Math Art Gallery & Games

    8 Ways To Teach Higher Math
         There are several options available for teaching your child higher math, whether or not you have learned it yourself.

    1. Learn It Yourself First
         As a mature and motivated adult, you may find it quite possible and enjoyable to learn algebra, geometry, and more in a fraction of the time it takes in high school.

    2. Team Learning
         and your child can learn together working as a team and helping each other over rough spots.

    3. Independent Learning
         Your child can study independently, using texts that present concepts clearly.

    4. Correspondence Courses
         These add accountability and feedback to independent study.

    5. Coach
         If your child needs immediate help, arrange for him to call on you, a friend, a tutor, or even another student who can explain whatever he is stuck on.

    6. Learning by Teaching
         Have your child teach you what he is learning. This will help him learn better.

    7. Textbooks and Workbooks
         In addition to a good, solid textbook, consider using one or more workbooks or texts from another source. Then if one does not make sense to you on a specific topic, the other one might.

    8. Video or Computer Programs
         Math video courses that show a teacher presenting concepts to a class can help an inexperienced teaching parent. Computer programs may also be valuable.

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    For Fathers
    Your Own Spiritual Life
    Your Leadership
    Your Family Devotions
    Your Marriage
    Your Children's Training

    How To Make Every Day Father's Day

    United States Flag Day: June 14
         See Newsletter #8 for links and questions to study our country's flag.

    Flags of the World
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    God Loves You.
         Because we were separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
         "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

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