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Trouble with 'switching gears' in Math


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I'm thinking this is just something that will work itself out with time. Is that correct?



Kid is doing well in math, but after learning about a new skill and practicing on it, when he goes to add it to what he already knows then the stuff he already knows he has to be reminded of. He doesn't have problems with it in general, though.

So say he just learned the +8 facts and has them mastered and figured out.

Then we get to a problem that is 6+9 and he begins to figure it out as a +8 fact instead - kwim?

Then I remind him and he remembers it.


I figured this is normal and no big deal, and that with plenty of practice and review of the old stuff he'll get to where it comes more naturally to switch gears like that.


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I am confused by your question. Are you saying that he wants to solve 9+6=14 b/c he has been learning that 8+6=14 or he wants to do 8+6=14+1=15? If it is the latter, I think that is perfectly normal b/c it shows that he is understanding the relationships b/t numbers. If it is the former, if he is doing it consistently, I would be concerned that he is simply memorizing numbers vs. understanding what he is doing (but see my last comment for qualifying this statement.)


For example, my dd typically "moves" numbers around to make 5s and 10s and the works from there. So, 13-5 would most probably be turned into 13-3=10-2=8 She does this as she encounters math facts she hasn't memorized. Since she already knows that 3+2=5 and all 'same' numbers subtracted from the 1s column makes 10, it is an an easier way for her to tackle the problem.


FWIW, I have never had my kids just focus on a single math family (like only 8+s) and not working on other math facts simultaneously, so it may be a completely normal process w/that approach. I don't really know.

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