Math Homework that Makes Me Want to Cry.

Luke came home from school yesterday saying that they’d started long division in math, and that he knew he’d have homework tonight and need help with it. I assured him that I’d be happy to help. I kinda enjoy watching my kids learn a new life skill like long division.

Aaaannndd then I remembered that I despise the way most math is taught these days.

The homework came home with him: 25 long-division problems. So far, he’s only learned one method of doing it, and it’s apparently the UK Method, and since I’ve not been taught that method nor has it been mentioned on Downton Abbey (my newest obsession, and it’s getting its own post soon), I had to first be taught by Luke.

While I get it, it’s more complicated and much easier to “lose” an answer when doing it this way. Take a look:

why? how is this helpful?

There are a lot of weird, shouldn’t-be-repeated things about the 80’s, but I really don’t think that the way long division was taught is one of them.

{I should note that despite my complaining, Luke is getting the hang of it with more practice.}

12 responses to “Math Homework that Makes Me Want to Cry.

  1. I’m not looking forward to helping my kids with math homework when they get to this stage – there’s a reason I teach kindergarten!!! Good thing my husband is a huge math nerd and will love helping with their homework! But I was expecting to see something different, the picture is exactly how I learned to do long divinsion in the 80’s in VA. Around here they are teaching the kids some new grid method that I totally don’t get. Just curious – how did you learn?

    • I often google (and once I posted to Facebook for help)!

      I learned the way on the left – Luke is doing the way on the right, which involves more steps.

  2. Math in our house ends in an argument that I don’t know what I’m doing because that’s not how they were taught. I end up googling all of the time in an attempt to learn their way. Ugh

  3. In small-town IL, we still teach the ‘old-fashioned’ way (which I’m like you and am so okay with that!)…but there is definitely a push for kids to understand the worth of each place value, which unfortunately equals more steps and more work for the students.

    • I contend that if they don’t have place value memorized by the time they’re doing long division, there’s a bigger problem 🙂

      And yay for you, teaching it the way you learned it!

  4. Here in RI in 5th grade math you have to write your answers in words and explain how you got to the answer. Totally out of my element and finding I have a lot of extra vocabulary words I never knew I had! Just want to get back to the basics!

  5. I’m with you. How are parent’s suppose to help if they complicate (aka change) math? Isn’t1+1=2?! It seems like this new way doesn’t teach kids their multiplication tables. It lets them multiply by big numbers by 10’s and only work with the little facts. I am NOT looking forward to Korry’s math. We do algebra with Blake and end up calling Jared’s brother whom teaches college math.

  6. Just wait until you get to Lattice multiplication. It is fun it is something that I’ve learned in my 50s with my six grade class. Enjoying math time. (Dsw)

  7. Totally agree with your ‘bigger problem’ statement, Nicole!

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