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From: C. K. (
Subject:         Need math advice and encouragement, please
Date: March 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm PST

I have homeschooled my 6th grade daughter from the
beginning. She does well in most every area, but really
struggles in math. I don't push more on her than I think
she is ready for. However, I am wondering if I need to just
let her use a calculator and go on from there. She is 12
years old, and still often forgets to borrow when
subtracting. If it has been a few days since she has
performed a concept (for example, long division, the fairly
easy kind even, like 633 divided by 3)she forgets what she
is supposed to do.

I have tried using graph paper to keep the numbers "in
line," but that confuses her. I have tried to accommodate
other issues she has, too. I just feel so discouraged right
now! Is it okay to let her use a calculator, then move on
to other concepts as long as she knows how to perform a
function on a calculator? The old school in me says, no,
she needs to know "how" to do the math. The practical part
of me says, "go ahead and let her use a calculator! How
often do you do subtraction, multiplication and division by
hand, without a calculator?"

I need encouragement and advice, not criticism, please.

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