Is it time to teach your child how to multiply and divide roots? Are you trying to resist the urge to hide under the bed until your husband comes home? Don’t worry – it really is not hard. There are many, many more complicated ideas you tackle without even thinking about it every day.
The basic concept is the same as multiplying and dividing in algebra: you can multiply like terms. A long while ago I wrote about laying the apples, oranges, and raisins out on the kitchen table and having your child group them into like terms as a way to show him that you really cannot combine “terms” (or items) that are in different categories.
It was a long time ago, if you have been working your way through my algebra materials, so it may be that you need to remind your child of the concept.
This is where hands-on and real-life examples like the fruits at the kitchen table come in handy. Those types of memories are generally “sticky”.
“Sticky” is a term I first came across in marketing classes, but it really applies to teaching your child just as well, and perhaps better. If you can associate a learned concept with a hands-on activity, all you have to do in the future is say, “remember when we sat at the table and grouped the apples and the oranges into piles and talked about grouping like terms – and then you ate the raisins?” That is a “sticky” memory and the more of those you can make for your child, the better he will retain what he learns.