Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mastering Fractions for Your Child's Future Success

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday September 25, 2013, on page D1, ran an article about children learning fractions:  "Pop Quiz: Why are Fractions Key to Future Math Success?" by Sue Shellenbarger.  The article says that mastering fractions is a "crucial stepping stone to progressing in math."  Computer programs are being prepared to help teach the concepts of fractions.  The article goes on to describe professors conducting studies to find better ways to teach the concepts of fractions to children.  The article says, "Teachers using the new method wait to introduce problem-solving until after students understand what denominators and numerators mean."

This is a racket.  Societies have known for thousands of years how to teach fractions. Professors and corporations are blowing smoke in order to make money contriving ridiculous methods.  We have been alerted that fractions are important and that schools often get stuck on concepts.  Now we parents need to oversee our children's education on fractions.

The Saturday September 28, 2013 Wall Street Journal, page C1, ran an article, "Tough Teachers Get Results" by Joanne Lipman that says traditional methods and rote learning are more effective than many educators admit.

Work with fractions starts at 3rd grade and continues until 7th grade.  By 8th grade it is time for Algebra 1.  I recommend going to a bookstore, buying math work books, and making sure you work with your child on fractions if you want your child to do well in math.  The Spectrum Math series of books was helpful to my children.  They are sold by grade level.  Later I started using workbooks called Singapore Math.  You can also buy these books online.  The key is to get a reasonable amount of practice working problems with fractions.

I do know many parents shy away from math and will rely on the schools.  Mastery of math will be increasingly tied to higher incomes in the future as our country gets increasingly competitive.  If we want our children to succeed, then we will remember to watch over their progress with fractions.


PS:  If you have friends with children in grades 3 through 7, you might forward this article to them.