Subtracting Became Just A Bit Easier

As a homeschool mom, I often find there are easier subjects to teach my daughter than others. I think it's natural for any parent to be able to help better in certain areas than others. For me, history, science, art, music, geography, language arts, german... these are all really simple and easy for me to teach and help my third grader grasp. But when it comes to math, there isn't always that confidence. 

Sure, third grade math isn't that hard. I'm dreading the middle and high school years of math for sure. But of course, math was not my strong point in school as I know it wasn't a lot of people's. So it is my biggest challenge teaching. However, my third grader has a love for math I never did {and probably never will}. She used to say math was her favorite subject. 

This year we started off with Math Mammoth but switched recently to Singapore Math and it's been a lot better. She lost her love for math using Math Mammoth, but has gained it back with Singapore. So that is a plus. But now we are doing four and five digit subtraction and even though she is good at it. A lot better than I thought, she has some difficulty still remembering when to regroup and borrow when lots of 0's are involved. And even for me, it seems so simple to look at but then I start even getting a bit confused. As it has been many years since I had to sit down and do all of this.

But tonight I found a teaching trick that seems to be wonderful. I tested it out even and sure enough, it looks like a winner. Though for some reason, she says the traditional way is easier for her, I say this one is easier for me. In the end, as long as she comes out with the right answer, I think that is all that matters regardless which method is used. But I thought I would share with you all just because I know a lot of children struggle with math and this may help out someone else. I really like this way.

So these are a few problems that my daughter did today for her math lessons.

So as you can see, this is the typical third grade subtraction. Lots of regrouping or borrowing... however you would like to call it. Now here is the trick I learned that I thought was pretty cool.

Now, this doesn't work with all subtraction problems that have a lot of zeros in them. I tested this out with a few of our problems today. Majority of them worked using this new way which totally made me feel like a kid in a candy store. But a few were really close. You still had to do a little regrouping, but it was not nearly as much, nor as complicated. Here is an example:

So if your children need a little help on grasping the concept, try this method and see if it helps them understand it more. Try it out and see if it works for you. I cannot take credit for this but just passing along something I saw going around social media.