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Public school math is confusing...
October 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM

 I watch my neighbor's daughter a couple days a week. She's in the same grade as my daughter, but goes to a private school which does the exact same curriculum as the public schools around us. I was having her do her homework when we got home since my daughter still wasn't finished with her school work. She finished realtively quickly so I checked her math over - not a single answer right.  It took me at least 20 minutes before I figured out what they were even doing before I realized she hadn't answered anything correctly! I asked her what they were doing in math and she had no clue.

It turns out they're working on mental math apparently and they're trying to have the kids write out what their brains should be doing.

          43 = ____ + 3
        +67 = _____+__
        ___ = _____+____+_____
That's an example of what they were doing, but there were no directions. So unless the kids knew what they were supposed to do, the parents were kinda out of luck with helping... But there was more to just that.....
What they wanted you to do on the next part was take it to the next level:

          43 + 67 
         +__   -__
          45 + ____= _____
I had a really hard time trying to explain this to her... I think they're still working on it for the rest of this week. The worst part is, they were working on multiplication just a few days ago and it seems like they're back tracking.

Any suggestions how I can help explain this to her?
I've tried showing her on the marker board and with blocks and then having her try using those.  She said she understood, but her face looked so confused.
My neighbor is constantly calling and asking what they're supposed to be doing in math since they never tell the parents what they're doing or what they're expecting

I meant to add this in before, but my daughter had finished up her math lesson while I was typing this earlier this morning and I forgot and just posted it...
The answer would be:

 43 = 40 + 3
+67 = 60 +7
___ = _____+____
But then you would solve the extended version first:
40 + 3
60 + 7

Then mentally you have to know that 10 can't be in the 1's column and 100 can't be in the ten and you'd put the correct answer in the correct spot of 110.
For the second part it would be:
 43 + 67
+ 2
45 + 65= 110

Sadly, it wasn't until I just typed this up when I realized they were trying to show mental math in 2 different ways...
Still, I have run out of ways to try and explain the concept to her.
Any suggestions??


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