My daughter was in a great groove with math (something with which we have always struggled), and I was so excited until the day she started the chapter on multiplying three digits by three digits.

It was just beyond her. She just could not keep everything straight and constantly got herself mixed up in the middle of it.

That’s when the crying started again. And, I had foolishly hoped that it was finally behind us–the crying, the sobbing, the hours of saying “I can’t do this!”

I looked at the instructions, and realized that while Mr. Saxon was kindly trying to teach students some really great shortcuts, all it was serving to do for my daughter was to confuse and vex her.

So I took a deep breath and said a little prayer that I would know how to proceed.

And it actually came to me! I needed to color coordinate! I think it took so long to figure out how to help her because I would not have thought of it myself. But, here is what I did.

I used one colored pencil for multliplying the ones column, a different color for tens, and a third color for threes. In this way she didn’t lose track of what she was doing:

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It really works for her, and I think it might also work for other kids when they first encounter this concept to help them understand that we are multiplying different place columns each time.

Brilliant (said with an English accent)!

When I read it, I read it in an English accent in my mind before I even got to that part! 🙂 We must be kindred spirits! 🙂

That’s Awesome!!! What a great idea! Genius, m’lady. Genius!

Why thank you, Mama Rachel!

I will admit candidly here that the first time I did the problem myself, I got it wrong! I had to double check with the calculator. Sadly, I don’t think this is because of the meningitis. I was actually nervous to post an idea to teach math because it is my one weakness. 😉

Ooh, I need that and I don’t even have Asperger’s! I’m trying to get my girls started on memorizing their math facts and I don’t even have them memorized so it’s really painful. Thanks for sharing your neat tip.

Holly, see my reply to Mama Rachel! I have slowly but steadily been enjoying doing Algebra problems on my own to try and teach myself better than I was taught in my younger years.

I find that I truly enjoy math now. It’s so comforting to look at a problem and know that the solution will always be the same. It’s like a wonderful little puzzle everytime. I feel a nice sense of accomplishment when I am done. 🙂

That is an awesome idea, but more importantly you taught me something that I always forget! You taught/reminded me that I have a tutor to help me help my family. Thanks, sometimes I feel SO slow. I’m glad you are doing better. keep up the getting healthy work!

Shelly

Shelly, I am so glad I could remind you! I was particularly happy to share the idea because I know absolutely that it came from the Holy Ghost. It was such a nice sweet little miracle for me to be able to be given knowledge on how to help her because it was beyond my ability to know what to do.

Thank you for the encouragement! It is much more frustrating than I had planned it to be, but today I was able to sit in the sitting room for about 20 minutes! It wasn’t even that painful. I even tried to walk in the kitchen and hang out, but my husband thought I should get back in bed (and he was right). In my mind, I had planned that I would be able to help with lunch…I am an overachiever. So glad I have my husband here to pace me. And great friends like you, who inspire me! ♥

Oh, that is just fantastic! I forwarded your post to my daughter who teaches 3rd grade at a local elementary school. She has a few delayed students and one student who shows strong tendencies towards Aspergers but who’s parents refuse to get the child tested. This will be a wonderful help for her to teach all her students!

So glad I could help, Tara!

I noticed that several of my homeschool friends have already “pinned” your idea. Who knows how many people this will help. Love it!

What a great idea this is! It is just what I need for my son right now. And…ahem….well, to be honest, for myself as well. I am the girl who got straight A’s in every subject and mostly D’s and F’s in math. I’m not dumb in math, I’m just “numerically challenged.” I’ve been re-teaching myself math as I homeschool my kids, and I’m actually starting to get it this time around. But this is sure to help! Once again, thank you for sharing!

Oh wow i can’t believe it, I was sat worrying because one of my daughters was seriously struggling with this today and I spent an hour trying.with her and now I see this wonderful idea which immediatly makes sense to me …that’s such a great idea 🙂

I really hope you get better, but I think you are very inspiring the way you are dealing with such big problems with such good grace and attitude:)

This is great! I use it for my students with long division as well…it’s so helpful.

This is what I’m doing with my son, but he needs to write the addition numbers on top for multiplication sums above 9. So, he gets confused when moving onto the next step when the addition cue is now above the multiplication cue.

His head is in multiplication mode and switching between addition and multiplication adds complexity to the process.

“I used one colored pencil for multiplying the ones column, a different color for tens, and a third color for threes.” I think you mean “hundreds” instead of “threes”…

Very cool idea!! Thank you!

This is a skill I teach in 5th grade and I love this! Can’t wait to use it. Thank you!

Thank you! This was our story today, including the tears! I will try this method with my daughter tomorrow, and I think it will help a lot!