# Word problem question

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My son is finishing up Math Mammoth 1B today. When he does word problems, he doesn't need to write things out. He can just do the math in his head and write the answer. I think in all of 1A/1B, he's gotten ONE word problem wrong. So this method is accurate for now, while the math is simple. Today's math had some with multiple calculations, and he still did it in his head and got it right. He's very good at mental math.

My question is... At what point should I require that he start writing out HOW he got the answer? Should I get him in the habit now? I know he'll need to write it eventually. Or should I wait until he actually hits problems where writing it out is required in order to do the math?

I should mention that writing is still difficult for him ("my hand hurts"), and we're much improving, but I'd have to assign probably 1/4 of the word problems if he had to write them all out. Or I would have to scribe for him. I don't mind doing that, but I think him writing it would be more beneficial to him than me writing it. If I'm writing it, I don't think that's much different, education-wise for him, than him doing it all in his head? :confused:

Thoughts?

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My dd is at the end of 2A (so it may be different?) but when the directions say to write the number sentence I have her write it. Do the directions in Grade 1 specify? If not, don't worry. If/when they do ask them to show work I think it is fine for you to do the writing. He will still have to explain how he got there and that is useful.

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I always make my ds write out the problems or I scribe it for him. Even if the problem is super easy and he knows the answer (which happens a lot), the problem gets written down. I would rather him get in the habit of writing down his work while the problems are easy. My ds is very intuitive when it come to math and sometimes has to think about the problem harder than the answer.

The main reason I'm so strict on this is that I tutor high school and college students. One of the main issues I see is that the students don't write their work down properly. It causes a lot of problems and I spend a lot of time remediating that skill before we can cover the other math topics. I'm starting at the most basic level with my ds so it won't be such a shock when we get to harder problems. I'm already seeing it pay off as we dive deeper into CWP.

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Thanks! I'll start requiring it as we go into the grade 2 book. I'm pretty sure the grade 1 problems didn't specify showing work, so that will be helpful if the grade 2 ones say to. I can say "Follow the directions!" and I'm not the bad guy. :tongue_smilie:

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