# I HATE DECIMALS!!!

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I liked decimals in my prior lifetime as a CPA.  I am good at decimals.  What I am not good at is teaching my daughter decimals.  I think the two of us have shed more tears over this one topic than anything else in my lifetime.  I am starting to think it just isn't possible for me to get this through to her.  Do you ever just want to quit this homeschooling gig?  I'm good with everything else, but decimals, ay ay ay!!!

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This is why I keep my MUS Epsilon and Zeta dvds.  The two of them are awesome at teaching fractions and decimals.  Get stuck?  Find the right chapter, put it on the tv, and watch Mr. Demme explain.  :D

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I used Key to Decimals to help teach decimals. Good luck!

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Aww, hugs! I felt the same way with decimals and my dd. Then we got to long division. Then fractions. Now fractions and division and equivalent decimals. Boo-hoo-hoo. We've started to develop coping mechanisms, though, and she is mostly self-directed via MM.

Hang in there! Once you get to algebra there are a number of good out-sourcing options if you need them.

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I used Key to Decimals to help teach decimals. Good luck!

Yes. This got my oldest daughter over the dreaded decimal mind block.

Some students just need a different approach sometimes, it's not a failing for either of you. :)

Erica in OR

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Long division was HELLACIOUS.  We finally spent like 20 hours in 2 days working on it straight, and it finally stuck for good.  We limped through fractions.  But I swear decimals is going to kill me before we get through...

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You might look at something like Key to Decimals combined with something like CTC math.  Key to Decimals steps you through from basic all the way up.  Having that focus has been great here.

https://www.christianbook.com/key-to-decimals-books-1-4/pd/68413 (you might be able to find this bundled with the answer key cheaper somewhere else)

CTC has also been a lifesaver here because DD can go backwards and forwards through all typical math subjects from Kinder through Calculus as needed.  Each level is organized in the same format until pre-algebra so it is very easy to find one particular subject and work through just that type of problem.  If she is struggling with a particular topic she gets on CTC, watches the explanation (having a different way of wording things and having a very visual presentation sometimes helps both of us get over a hump) then does as many practice problems as she needs.  The system changes the problems every time she does a lesson so she isn't repeating the exact same problems each time.

Looks like it is a bit pricey right now but it might be worth it.  Way cheaper than a tutor and like I said, it allows a student to move throughout all math subjects from kinder through Calculus.  When something is particularly challenging she loves really digging in and focusing on that one thing now.  Used to she would just melt down and shut down.  Now she keeps pulling up that same topic until she feels she has it nailed.  DD also LOVES being able to go forward as far as she is able in areas she is better at.  Math is beyond hard for her (dyscalculic) so it is such a boost to her confidence to find that she can do some higher level math.  She sometimes hops on just to see what she CAN do, which also boosts her confidence and has increased her resiliency with math.  Removing me from the equation periodically has helped both of us.  I am still nearby when she is ready to tackle our main math program again.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Does CTC give a good conceptual explanation on the math or is it more procedural?

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Does CTC give a good conceptual explanation on the math or is it more procedural?

I guess it depends on the problems.  More procedural but there are some pretty good explanations.  Not like Beast Academy but I have found it to be adequate for our needs since we also supplement with more conceptual material on the side as needed.

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I liked decimals in my prior lifetime as a CPA.  I am good at decimals.  What I am not good at is teaching my daughter decimals.  I think the two of us have shed more tears over this one topic than anything else in my lifetime.  I am starting to think it just isn't possible for me to get this through to her.  Do you ever just want to quit this homeschooling gig?  I'm good with everything else, but decimals, ay ay ay!!!

Are you sure that your daughter fully understands the base-10 number system? What part of decimals are confusing to her?

Perhaps now is a good time to dally in other number base systems so that she can see how the system REALLY works. Base 5 and base 8 are both really helpful. Take a detour through alternative number-bases and then come back to decimals, but when you return, use some of those base-10 numbers blocks if you have any. If you DONT own any, then now might be the time to get or make a set. You can even print out some paper versions.

Treat the giant cube as "one" and let the flats be "one-tenth", let the sticks be "one-hundredth" and the single little squares be "one-thousandth"

Build and 5 numbers each day using those number models and talk about when you'd need to regroup in each place.

Show an amount in one value, say...3 tenths and let her model it in another way, say...30 hundredths, or 300 thousandths.

Ask her questions like "How many tenths are there in 4.5 and why? The answer is that there are 45 tenths because each of the 4 wholes are equivalent to 10-tenths, so thats 40 tenths and .5 is 5 tenths so that's 45 tenths."

And do lots and lots of word problems with money--dollars and cents.

Some kids struggle to see the forest for the trees by the time that they get to decimal numbers, even though arithmetic with decimal numbers is EXACTLY the same thing as with whole-numbers.

Good luck.

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