Confession time: I’m terrible at math. I don’t just mean like “struggled with calculus” bad, I mean like “had to watch YouTube videos to relearn long division in order to help my 4th grader with her homework” bad. I don’t know my times tables, except the easy ones. I can’t do fractions or percentages. I count on my fingers.
It’s sad and shameful, and I was determined that my children would not share my fate. So when my oldest daughter was 5, I bought the insanely expensive starter package from Right Start Math and set about teaching her how to do math the right way.
It did not go well, nor did it last long. I found even the very simple activities baffling because I couldn’t grasp the intention. It was like trying to teach my daughter a foreign language I didn’t know.
However, my abject failure to understand it did not diminish my enthusiasm for the Asian method of mathematics. One of the reasons I like Common Core math is because there are lots of similarities. If you’ve never been exposed to the wonder of Asian-style mathematics, allow me to remedy that for you:
Isn’t that amazing?! This video literally makes me want to multiply for fun, which is a sentence I have never expected to type. I guess all my weirdo math geek friends who claim that math is magical have been right all along. It is magical, unless you’re counting on your fingers. That will never be magical, only humiliating.
(Be honest though …you’re totally searching for scrap paper to try it out too, aren’t you? Don’t worry, I won’t judge.)