Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 19:00:31 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Missing the boat
How about introducing her to problem solving? At home, select a problem, not necessarily a number problem to start out with, and work through it with her. Don't tell her how to do it but guide and answer questions. For example, using 4 squares, how many ways can you arrange these squares to make a garden. The area will always be 4 squares, but the shapes will be different. Squares can only touch each other by complete sides. If 2 squares only touch each other by their corners, it doesn't count. The idea is to get your child interested in solving problems (or figuring out how to win at games such as tic-tac-toe) and at some point she will need to use some arithmetic. She may at some point realize that there is a purpose for learning basic arithmetic.
A place where you might find some problems is the Elementary Level Problem of the Week at the Math Forum, http://forum.swarthmore.edu/elempow/
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