How to Teach Fractions
Year 2

As you will see in "How to Teach Fractions Part I," I had what I call my "fractions crisis" here in Year 2. God came through for me in a hurry. I never had to teach fractions again. My daughter was five years old then and now she is ten years old* completing standardized 7th grade mathematics workbooks as review materials.

*[update: she is no longer ten. She finished high school Algebra I at 13 years old (earned 100% on the final exam) and Algebra II at 14 years old (earned 100% on the final exam). She did not get straight 100%s on her quizzes, etc. but did earn A's each quarter.]

These fractions teachings were greatly spread out and that is why I included the dates when they were taught--if too much teaching is crammed in at once, the student will not get it and may be permanently disabled when it comes to fractions.

After reviewing "How to Teach Fractions Part I" please see my notes below for additional suggestions and information.

• September 2005: How to Teach Fractions Part I (this can help adults, too!)
• January 13, 2006: How to Teach Fractions Part II: Percent
• January 29, 2006: How to Teach Fractions Part III: Improper Fractions
• February 14-27, 2006 How to take a percentage of a number
• April 14, 2006 How to Teach Decimals

Notes:

In teaching my daughter mathematics, I had to know why so many of us Americans are so poor at numbers. I engaged a tutor to answer this and other questions for me. One of the things he told me is that many of us never understood and mastered fractions.

The following teachings were taught to my daughter during year 2. They coincided with RightStart. When we reached these things in RightStart, we departed from RightStart to learn these teachings and after our teachings went back to RightStart (she was in RightStart books D and E at this time).

The teachings were greatly spread out. The teachings were retained and I never had to reteach them. What I did do was incorporate the exercises into our homemade mathematics books later on so that there were continual reviews. I did not spring books on her with a lot of new information. Her new books showed new applications for old information with a little extension with new information. All of mathematics deals with the four basic operations of mathematics, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

FRACTIONS, PERCENTAGES, AND DECIMALS ARE ALL THE SAME THING--THEY ARE FRACTIONING (AS IN FRACTURING [Note:"FRACTIONING" IS NOT AN OFFICIAL TERM FOR THIS] OR BREAKING INTO PIECES. This will become obvious if you follow the advice to go slow.

Please do not think that these lessons are very easy and then decide to teach them all at once. You may permanently mess up your child's ability to learn fractions. Restraint is an important part of teaching. I, as an adult, cannot let myself learn too much at once--especially with mathematics. I do not recommend that parents look at all of these at once unless they are already experts at this material.

There are other teachings, but I do not want to convolute the matter. Once you understand fractions, God can show you other teachings and I'm sure far better than my own. I did what I had to do to get my daughter to understand, but I sure do wish that we had done it without zero 0. I just didn't know how to. I was taught the Greek way, which is better than nothing. Not only that, my American society speaks Greek. Much of Hannah's learning was intuitive, but not all of it due to my limitations. We all have to do the best that we can.