# When a child appears averse to making 10s

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For example, when adding 9 to 63 today, DS mentally added 6 and then 3 more. That's his normal way in spite of learning to make 10 or being taught other specific strategies such as when adding 9, add ten and subtract one. He gets it, responds with so-so interest, and resumes his own strategies. This isn't remotely new. He's been doing since he began adding past ten in kindergarten.

Problem? Not a problem?

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I'd say not a problem. My dd does this, too. I just keep reminding her to make tens and hope she'll do it at some later developmental stage.

FWIW, I wasn't taught to make tens. I "memorized" the basic addition facts from repeated use. But now I prefer to make tens when doing mental calculations.

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I have given my children a variety of strategies and told them that which one they choose to use may depend on the problem in question and their personal preference. As long as the child isn't making mistakes, what difference does it make? I would want to expose them to different strategies.

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The more commonly used methods are (counting on - when adding 1 or 2 usually), using doubles - you know what 7 + 7 is, therefore it is easy to work out what 7 + 6 is, and making a ten. Really as long as the answer is accurate and can be done with relative speed then it doesn't matter which is chosen. I think knowing all methods is better than knowing just one since it enables a child to choose the quickest method and to manipulate numbers better - so if your child does NOT know how to make tens then you should make sure he can, but if he is choosing to use another method when he knows both then I would leave him to it.

To be honest making 9 is a very strange method to be using: 63 + 6 + 3 = 69 + 3 = 72 but usually to get to the 72 you must add 1 and 2 or do counting on - is he happier with adding to 9 or is it that he knows certain bonds better than others and just chooses what is easier for him?

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I don't think it's an issue, unless the program specifically required him to do it a certain way for practice.

If you want to practice making 10's, a fun game to play is Phase 10 Dice. It's SO much easier to count up your points by physically making 10's. I'll bet I modeled it for my kids for at least 10 games or so, before they started doing it--but once they got it and saw how fast it made adding, they began to use it all the time.

So...it could be a matter of what strategy he's most familiar with, and just needing more practice with making 10's.

Merry :-)

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It may be that he is just using whatever number bond comes to his head first. It doesn't always make sense to me but in the example I would venture to guess he just had 9 on the brain - he was adding 9 to 3 so perhaps the 6, 3, 9 relationship was immediately invoked in his mind by the sum itself.

I do like the game idea. I have another two just learning their number bonds for 10 so it will be useful fun all around.

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No problem. I wasn't taught to make tens. I have my own weird strategies and I talk through my strategies with my kids. Ds8 has HIS own weird strategies and while they are not the ones that I would ever think of (even in my weird math brain), he arrives quickly at the correct answer. It's fun to listen to his thought process while he works. The mind is mysterious. Teach as many strategies as you can find and encourage whatever works for him.

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It sounds like your son is pretty comfortable with numbers. Sometimes kids are in a mood to play around, or are distracted by other things, or decide that they are going to be independent and do things differently from what we expect, just for the fun of it. One of the delightful challenges of homeschooling is trying to figure out what's going on inside their minds:

Here is one of my favorite game for 10s number bonds:

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