If you’ve visited your child’s classroom or seen any math materials come home, you might be thinking that math doesn’t look like it used to. You’re not wrong! Math is taught differently than it was when we were in school. This can be confusing for grown-ups (how am I supposed to help my kid at home when I don’t even know how to do this stuff?!), but rest assured, it’s for a good reason.
Today, kids are learning more of the underlying concepts behind math, to give them a firmer basis for the “how to” stuff like formulas and equations. While we just memorized the multiplication tables, our kids are learning what it means to multiply numbers—and that’s good for their ability to build on their learning and do more advanced math later on.
Read more about why math is taught differently now than when we were kids.
You’ll start to see your child developing this “conceptual understanding of math” right from kindergarten. These years are about developing a core understanding of how numbers work: how addition and subtraction work together, what place value means, and how to break a large number down into smaller numbers.