So….we are loving our Singapore math curriculum. To better prepare for our year, I spent the summer months working with the two older children on a review of third and first grade, respectively. If you have not used Singapore math from the beginning, jumping in midway, especially if you are wanting to begin “on level”, present challenges. It is an excellent math program, but it requires mental conception and thought that other curriculums, even highly rated ones, do not. Our school had suggested the summer work, and I am glad we did it; it has made the transition into this year much easier.
Mostly easy, I should say. When one is working with a little boy whose brain likes to skip ahead, there are some challenges, as I saw today. This morning, Jonathan and I began a unit on “Subtraction With Renaming”, that is, borrowing ten ones from the tens place to stick in the ones place, borrowing ten tens from the hundreds place to stick in the tens place, and so on. We looked at our first problem:
92 – 68 = ?
And before I could even say anything, my child did the subtraction in his head. Brilliant, but you still have to learn this renaming “thing”, Jonathan.
So, I began explaining the concept that since we cannot take 8 from 2, we must “borrow” ten ones from the 3 in the next place over. And Jonathan stops me once again, this time with an almost incredulous-sounding, “But Mom, you don’t need to rename the 2 at all!! Don’t you know: 2 minus 8 is negative 6?!?”