Learn to Add

Wasn’t there a time in your life when you thought that learning things like addition should be fun, effective, and inspiring? What happened to that feeling? Were you disappointed by what schools and teaching has become?

Maybe you, like me, were discouraged by the dehumanizing way that “the system” missed every opportunity to get it right. The ever-changing curriculums, the shifting “standards,”  – all those hoops you had to jump through. And for what?

We all know that there are good reasons for learning  good addition methods, but those reasons get lost in the constant stress of time constraints, “covering material,” teaching to the tests, and other things that actually decrease the chance of really learning for deep, meaningful knowledge.

Math is the subject that usually causes the most anxiety among students and their parents. It is even a main source of stress for most elementary school teachers, who are not usually equipped to teach math in-depth and in a meaningful way. They’re too busy doing other things teachers should not have to do, like be social workers, nurses, bean-counters, etc. They’re overworked and undervalued, and now they have to change the way they teach every time some new administrator buys a trendy program for them to follow.

Most people never progress with addition beyond the third-grade level. I’ll bet that you use the same way to add now as you did in third grade – write it down, line up the rows, add all the numbers in the ones column, and then “carry the seven…” etc, right? I’ll bet you even think that is the best way to add.

Not at your age, it isn’t! It’s not even a good way to add by the third grade. Most additions should be done mentally, and more accurately than the method you used in third grade. Learning that method to add might be good for first or second-graders, but it is like training-wheels. If a child never progresses beyond that, he or she will probably never learn about the more streamlined and effective ways that math works. Making algorithms (the steps that you take to accomplish something) more efficient is a big part of math.

Mathematics is not just “doing what the teacher wants,”  or “finding x” on a quiz. Mathematics is using your natural curiosity to examine your world and communicate abstract ideas as well as concrete values in a clear, logical way. Does that sound like what you learned in school? Does that sound like the kind of thoughtful math education your child is getting now? (Somehow I doubt it.) If not, you are being robbed. It’s time to do something about it.

Math is a special subject, and most elementary schools are not up to the challenge of having programs that take the individual students into account. Classes are too large. Material has to be covered and tested at standardized times in standardized ways. Most teachers have neither the specialized training to teach math, nor do they have a passionate interest in the subject. And the ones that do held back by poor standards that they have accommodate, because they have to “teach to the tests”, which are inadequate.

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know how many teachers resent having to teach arithmetic, would you? You already are aware of all of this.

And you know it’s getting worse. If you have school-age children you’ve experienced the frustration of not really knowing how to help, because they keep changing the curriculum. It’s like every time your child gets his footing, they pull the rug out from under him.

Luckily, there are things you can do about it …

We’ll be putting up tons of information about how to learn how to add, best strategies, best practice methods, and best attitudes in the next few weeks.

The course will get you adding unbelievably huge numbers mentally, without pencil or paper, quicker than most people can punch the numbers into a calculator. You’ll have most problems done and checked before they can even find their calculators!

This goes for decimals, dollar amounts, fractions or percents, as well.

You’ll be able to estimate final answers before most people have even added the first few digits. And you’ll check the answers quickly and accurately without subtraction.

Of course, all of these methods will help you with grades, and at work. Even though they are not the “way we learned in school,” they will help you immensely with schoolwork and on standardized tests.

Best of all, Learn2Add.com will help you feel better about yourself and your relationship to math and learning in general.

This is not your grandpa’s math course.


 

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