I want to do math now

I mentioned previously that my son is a whole to part learner.  He learns better by understanding the whole picture.  We take a multi-pronged approach to math.  We approach higher level concepts through things like living books and videos.  We are working our way through Singapore Primary Math Standards Edition.  In addition, we are following up with math facts practice at a level lower than Singapore.

I just wanted to share an example of how my whole to part learner responded to math instruction.  Yesterday, I introduced new material by showing my son problems that he didn’t know how to do.  He was enthralled.  He wanted to do problems like that.  But his skills were not at a level where he could solve those problems independently.  I gave him a couple sample problems that I know he could do with his current skills and then gave him one that I knew he would struggle doing.  I explained the importance of working through Singapore so his skills would be at a level where he could do those problems easily.  When he found that out he readily completed a couple days worth of lessons in Singapore.  And this morning after asking to do some more sample problems within his skills set he came to me with his Singapore math books and said “I want to do math now.”

This was a bit of an eye-opener for me.  Our multi-pronged approach to math has worked very well for his learning style, but I realized that I need to introduce new concepts by presenting what type of problems he will be able to do later on.  I need to remember to emphasize the end result of math studies on a topic rather than focus on the steps along the way.  The steps are important, but I need to keep my son’s eyes on the goal.


  1. I love this approach, and I think it’s great that your son is enthralled rather than intimidated by problems beyond his level. That in itself is tremendous!

  2. Recently I decided to go back to college.When I took the placement test, I was shocked to the fact that I would need prep classes for my math ((blush)). This has really made me take my child’s education even more seriously then ever before ( I do not want them to have to take prep classes when they go to college). Your approach interests me. At the moment we use Time4Learning and I have also heard of a site called math-city… Anyways,Thanks for the link to living math I will check them out too…. ~> Don’t You love back to school shopping, trying to figure out the best thing verses your budget 😉

  3. what a great concept!!

  4. I am mostly using living math books. You can find a pretty big list at http://www.livingmath.net. Next year I am starting Life of Fred. I also used some math DVD series from the library.

  5. What are you using to teach the advanced skills? This approach sounds like it would work really well for my oldest. We are currently working through Singapore 3.

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