My father has an amazing ability to solve math problems in his head. He can add multiply numbers, do division problems, multiply large numbers and give the answers in under a minute. He did not really make an effort to develop this skill in his life, but he just does it naturally. As for me, I find that I can also do a lot of mental math and solve real life problems in my head quickly. My siblings also have the same ability. We’ve all acknowledged that the reason we can do it was due to all the math training we received from studying in a Chinese school. Where we all graduated from, we memorized almost everything from Chinese class.
Now that I’m a mom with four kids, I also desire to see the same skill developed in each of my children. That’s why I’m really privileged to have the opportunity to review The Verbal Math Lesson – Step-by-Step Math without Pencil or Pencil Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 are for students ages 4 – 6 and Level 2 are for students ages 7-8.
As I have shared before, Guitar Babe went through a period of math burnout after we used a certain curriculum. She got tired of working on worksheets, solving the same problems over and over again. Despite the continuous work on worksheets in the past, I feel that she still needs to improve a lot in terms of doing math in her head.
Verbal Math is a breath of fresh air for Guitar Babe. She was happy that we’re working on math problems without pencil and paper. Guitar Babe was also more auditory so this is perfect for her. By taking out the writing part, the whole process of solving math problems became easier for her. I can actually observe her thinking process as she solves the problems in her head. To add more challenge, we turn the lessons into games where she and I will have a contest on who can finish a group of lessons faster. Now, after just a few lessons, her friends marvel at how fast she can now solve math problems in her head.
As for Artsy Princess, who is more visual than auditory, we practice saying the problems twice to give her time to process the questions.
With The Verbal Math Lesson, you don’t give the book to the student. You hold on to it and read every problem to your student. Since the parents are the ones reading the book, answers are already given after every question. Every lesson consist of two sets of exercises and a set of 50 – 60 word problems. For every lesson, there is a short teaching time wherein the child is taught how to process the problems.
All in all, Verbal Math has developed their listening skills as they have to listen very well to the problems. Their visualization skills are also developed because they visualize the problems in their minds. The word problems are excellent in developing their comprehension skills. Another interesting point is that they are learning the important skill of being able to flesh out the important parts of what is being said to them and focus on the math problem that they have to solve.
I guess I don’t have to say that we are loving Verbal Math in our household!
The Verbal Math Lesson are written by Michael Levin M.D. and Charan Langton M.S. of Mountcastle Company. It is available as ebooks or physical books and sold at their website.
You can go to their website for a free trial lesson and loads of free worksheets.