# Long division -- tell me my son isn't the only one that didn't get this in one day!

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It has been 5 days since I introduced this to him, and he still gets stuck.

I have shown him how it works with real items. We continue to do a new lesson each day -- which is easy -- he has understood all lessons with only one day spent on it. Each day, though, he stumbles on his long division problems.

ugh

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I think long division is one of the hardest things to master in elementary math. It's a tricky operation that takes a lot of steps and depends heavily on quick recall of math facts and a good grasp of place value.

My daughter just did it a month or so ago, and it took her a while to get the hang of it. I went slowly with it and did a lot of repetition and explanation. She got it eventually, but it didn't surprise me at all that it was a long process.

One of my clearest memories of grade school is not knowing how to do long division, at all. I had an awful time with it, and since I was not used to being so clueless, I actually didn't know I could ask the teacher for help.

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We're not there yet but I remember spending at least a month on it in school.

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Oh, this took both of my kids awhile! My daughter would get one step & then come up to me, very confused, not knowing what to do next--and when I told her she had to do all of the steps another time, it was like I was from Mars, LOL! They do get it eventually. I did it with my kids a lot. I would talk them through a few problems each day, showing them how to write it etc... Eventually I had them try to talk me through while I wrote, and then after that I had them try writing with me there to prompt what was next--until they could put all the steps together to do it. Have you seen the McDonald's cheeseburger long-division? Kinda cute, check it out.

Merry :-)

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Long division is a challenge. Many intelligent children require half a school year to truly master it; and many kids don't really work on it until 5th grade.

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I think one of the hardest things about it for my dd is that you basically have to know the answer before you start. For instance, if you are doing 50 divided by 12, you have to already pretty much know that it goes into it 4 times to start the problem.

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B is stil struggling with this. Actually, he totally shut down when we hit long division in MUS Delta. He had similar problems in MUS Gamma with multiple digit multiplication.

This is actually the reason I'm having him work in TT5 (which I bought last year during his Gamma melt-down. He did fine in TT5 until he hit multiple digit multiplication!) He's started over in TT (due to a computer crash that wiped out all previous work).

It's all easy review so far, but I figure that's a good thing. Hopefully his brain will mature a bit more, and he'll be ready to tackle long division in Delta at the beginning of next year. :)

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We had a hard time with this also. My daughter would cry about it. We were doing TT5, and there just wasn't enough long division problems to make it solid. She's finally getting it now. I'm afraid come fall, she'll forget it again.

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No, you're not the only one! My dd, who has always been very quick at math, is in the middle of this right now and continually forgets the steps. This is the first time I've seen her struggle in math. My older dd, who has always struggled mightily with math, happened to enjoy long division and actually helps her little sister with it, which I never thought would happen. Hang in there - they'll get it!

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I think long division is one of the hardest things to master in elementary math.

:iagree:

We camped on long division for months. I have a degree in math and ds picks up math quickly.

:chillpill:

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When it comes to certain areas of homeschooling, there are 2 that I just hate and dread. Phonics is one, and long division is the other. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

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Nope, not the only one. My ds is struggling with it too, and he's fairly advanced in math. I think some things just take a while to soak in. And that's ok, just let him go at his own pace and he'll get there. I like to say that his brain is marinading on the topic and once it's good and soaked, it'll sink in completely.

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Had to introduce it 4 times over the course of the end of 3rd grade, beginning, middle and end of 4th grade, before it finally "stuck" at the start of 5th grade. It will finally click for your DS, too -- but in his own timing and brain maturity. Hugs for patience and encouragement to you both! Warmly, Lori D.

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When it comes to certain areas of homeschooling, there are 2 that I just hate and dread. Phonics is one, and long division is the other. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

Phonics is my favorite but I wouldn't mind farming out long division to my husband if my daughter doesn't get it easily.

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DD1 struggled with this for a while. It's one of those topics I expect to spend extra time on. Hang in there. He'll get it eventually.

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I let my son use a times table chart for his long division. he caught on really quick . He has been slow to learn everything else in math. Long division is now his favorite math.

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This one can take a while. My little guy was the quickest in math; it took him the longest to master ld. I think part of the problem is that the way we write it down on paper seems "normal" to use because we have been doing it for a while - with all the estimate, multiply, subtract, check...... steps. :001_smile: Honestly though, if you think about it there is no *magic* in the WAY we write it. We have all just been taught to DO it that way. The writing it down THAT way bothered him because he couldn't grasp WHY it had to be that way. He likes rules that have consequences; it's his personality. Drives me nuts sometimes! Especially during algebra. I keep forgetting that I need to TELL him when a method is just standard-use rather than imperative.

Starting out, I teach long division with base ten blocks for a couple of weeks - talking through it. (Kid watches me. We do it together. Kid does it while I talk. Kid tries talking his way through a problem while manipulating the blocks. Over and over and over. A little bit every day - until I think the child understands the process.) THEN I introduce the paper method WITH the blocks as we are still talking our way through it; I tell them that adults use a calculator to do it.... so even the paper method is kinda out dated. But it's something that they have to learn because it's a good process to master. AND as soon as they can handle the paper method WELL, I teach them short division which just reduces the amount of writing.

But my kids continue to do one long division problem a day the old fashioned way for about a year or two after they have mastered the format. The format does a great job of teaching 3 life skills:

1. You must be relatively neat or you are going to botch it.

2. You have to start and finish the problem without getting distracted or drawn away or you will lose your place and botch it.

3. IF you make a mistake, you have to go back and FIND your mistake. You can't just quit! Life's not like that!

Teaching kids to submit to long-division MY WAY is one of my methods for developing good students. :001_smile: Sneaky, sneaky. But effective! :001_smile:

Peace to you and yours!

Janice

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I want to give you the same advise that I was given on the old boards.

First I used graph paper to help the child line up the numbers properly.

Then I had my son do every number.

We worked using money because I had Monopoly money and I got stuff off the internet. For example:

350 divided by 5. I ask him, "how many 5s can go into 3?" He would say, "none." Then, "how many 5s can go into 35?" He would say, "7." We continued until he completed the problem. We used the money so he could visually see that he could not break 5 into three. So he would go to the next column. I did this for about a month for all his problems until he could do it himself without the helps. It worked for me. I hope that helps.

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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Check your child's estimating skills and number facts, and understanding of place value. If those are in order, then it's just a matter of practice. Lots and lots of practice...:D

nm

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Thanks all! It really irks me that it's thrown in there right at the end of the book when we're trying to finish up.

But, then when I look at the book for next year, they aren't doing it until half-way through the book! The first half of the book looks like review.

Honestly, he is very solid with math because of the daily review, and the only problem we've had so far is the long division. I have a feeling the first half of next year will be a breeze.

I'll plan to spend a little more time with the hands-on and just give him all of the patience and time he needs on it.

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tell me my son isn't the only one that didn't get this in one day

I remember spending (what seemed like) half of a school year doing long division... and I didn't understand why... until I had to TEACH long division! It really is a culmination of all math learned up to that point! Addition, subtraction, multiplication, place value, multi-step, fractions... all at once! It is sort of like the "final exam" of elementary math. :D

Even my oldest -- who is "mathy" and learns concepts with ease -- took a while to truly "get" long division. Oh -- and he still cries about it. Literally! We did testing this week, and there was ONE long division problem, and the tears started! "LONG DIVISION!! You didn't tell me there was going to be LONG DIVISON!!!" Good grief. Drama over one single math problem. :tongue_smilie:

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It took my 2nd ds (11 today!) 2 years to actually "get" long division. We ended up using the Singapore Math HIG idea of using base 10 blocks and it all clicked.

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One day?

Did you say DAY?

:smilielol5:

It's been one year here and my ds is still prone to confusion about long division. Mostly he gets it right, but every now and then we'll have an "ADD Day" and he'll go blank on some aspect of it. And it took months of doing it daily to get him to that point.

Hang in there - long division can definitely take a while :).

SBP

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I've had better luck teaching my children short division first. Here's an explanation of short division. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_division

They did short division with more understanding of why they were doing what they were doing and not getting caught up in the procedure and steps. It's also very handy to know. I personally use short division all they time.

Once they mastered short division, it was easier to teach my children long division. Something that helped my daughter with long division was turning the paper sideways so that she could keep her numbers in columns.

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We spent a good number of weeks on long division. There is a photo of my son on my blog displaying his happy dance on the day he finally got it. It was a difficult time in our homeschooling. Long division is not quick and snappy like other math. It is tedious and frustrating.

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My ds still will ask every time how to do the problems. . .we went through an online tutorial called the DMS loop, which I now use to prompt him into remembering the steps, and that does help some. That way he can keep track of where he is in the process and what to do next.

http://www.coolmath4kids.com/long-division/long-division-lesson-1.html

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My son, who loves math, had a meltdown last year when he was learning long division. We just stopped all math until he got it. I just made him memorize all the steps. He enjoys it now, but sometimes will still need reminding of the different steps. I remember long division being a big thing in school. Hang in there!:001_smile:

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