Any fool can know, the point is to understand. – Albert Einstein
Don’t Teach to the Test
When I first started teaching math to my young daughter, I used cheerios to explain numbers to her. That went very well. She understood what I was talking about.
As she grew older, I started writing equations and their answers to teach her math. It did not start out well. She did not understand what the equations meant.
Eventually, I would just tell her the answer, and she would just remember it. When I teach her to memorize the answers, she can pass the test. But, she would not develop an understanding of the meaning of the equations. She would also not learn to question what I am telling her.
Teach the meaning of the equation
Now I teach it differently…by explaining to her what plus actually means.
Instead of me giving her answers and her memorizing them, she can think through the problem, and figure out the answer. When I asked her whether 2+3 is the same as 3+2, she figured it out.
As the problems get tougher, I continue to explain her the concepts. For e.g. I explained multiplication to her –
It amazes me how quickly she picks up the concepts when I explain instead of just testing her.
Educate for the Future
Whether you use Kindergarten Math, or use cheerios and a bowl, teach concepts. Your kid’s future success depends on it.
Computers will do computations at tera-flops and peta-flops speeds. Your child cannot compete with a computer. Don’t make them. Computers can only solve equations that they have been programmed with. The scientists of the future will do what a computer cannot. They will define the equations.